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How structured are you?

Forum: Homeschooling


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March 22nd, 2010, 10:00 AM
frgsonmysox's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Offutt AFB, NE
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I'm an extremely organized, structured person. Not having structure and order makes me super anxious. I'm someone who loves lists, and time lines, ect.... My husband is much more laid back. We are having a hard time figuring out how structured to do homeschool. I of course want it super structured, with room for change. I would like to touch on most subjects every day, just like in public school. Chris thinks it should be really lose and only do one or two subjects a day.
~Beth~ Wife to my Airman Chris, and mommy to: Anthony Nathaniel (8/31/04), Anastasia Fae (8/01/06), Baby C (lost on 10/12/07), David Cillian (7/31/08), Charles George (4/29/10), and Alan Christopher (2/22/12)

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March 22nd, 2010, 10:55 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 784
reading comprehension or Explode the code- I shoot for everyday (reading comp., explode the code has basic writing)
Grammar- when he asks and when I worry
math- I shoot for convincing him to do one lesson a day but he has to earn video game time 1 pg.=5 minutes /60 minutes must be done before redeeming stickers.
SS- We do it as bedtime stories or free reading when he wants (however his bed time is 8 and he has a choice of reading/ being read to for a hour or going right to sleep)
Science- Every day at his demand
Writing- EIW 1x a week (mandatory)

He has no idea if he can come up with something else we'll do that.
Next year will be a bit different as he starts a "formal" spelling program and hopefully we can keep up with him. He's been know to wipe me out of 2 years of complete curriculum in less then a month if he likes it. We school "year-round" unless he's at a summer program.
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March 22nd, 2010, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 83
There is nothing wrong with either of those methods so long as the child is learning and having some fun. Plenty of people will tell you that we're learning all the time and that a child learns best through play, supporting your husband. Even The Well Trained Mind has things light and easy for children grades 1 - 4.

I always remind myself that I remember almost nothing from elementary school aside from how to read, write and do math. Most of what I know I learned as an adult. Many people who do very relaxed homeschooling do structured math and relaxed everything else, and it sounds like it would be easy to do reading and writing with your son in a relaxed way since he likes it anyway.

That said, I do things in a pretty structured way these days for my own sanity. I started out more relaxed when I had just one child of school age, but now I don't think I could make sure they were all three learning something without the help of curricula because I don't have the time or the brain space to deal with it all on my own. Also, I found that my children like computer games and video games a little too much, and if given the freedom to choose for themselves, they would consistently choose those over reading and writing about the weather or bugs.

I would say, if you need structure for whatever reason, go ahead and come up with a structured program. BUT, don't get too worried if it doesn't go as planned. He is learning and that's all that's important. Also, keep in mind that a typical homeschooler does not need to spend as much time doing schoolwork as they spend in public school. They don't need to spend time waiting for the other kids to catch on, or they don't have to wait for the teacher to get to them to answer a question. They don't have to spend time lining up and waiting in line etc. So, you may find that even with a structured program your child gets more playtime than he would otherwise and your husband will be happy.

One more note, the science and history programs that I have looked at do not have daily lessons. We do science 4 days/week and history 3 days/week, but it depends on the program and your specific goals. If we had started our history program earlier in the year we would probably be doing it 2 days/week.
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March 22nd, 2010, 11:19 AM
Amaranth Dhanya's Avatar aka Hillarie
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I tried being structured and it went out the window. Everytime I tried to stick to the schedule I had set up(where I did 3-4 subjects a day and had play time and exercise time,etc)something went wrong and blew it out of the water LOL.

So, now we do 2 subjects a day and if something must be skipped that day for some reason....so be it. However, I do make sure reading/writing is done daily(even on the weekends sometimes)because that is the one thing that Im really wanting him to take away from this first year of hs'ing. He's almost 6 so, for me, that is more important than anything right now. He still does science, geography, and arty stuff but not as strictly as reading/writing.

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March 22nd, 2010, 01:32 PM
Sandra314's Avatar Homeschooling Mom
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On paper I am structured and organized but it the realistically I am very flexible when it comes to our homeschooling and schedule. Sometimes things come up and we have a change of plans.

We homeschool in the late afternoons and it works for us. I like having a flexible laid back relaxed approach and my boys do too! "They are learning while having fun and that it what is important for us."
Sandra. Wife to Timothy and Homeschool mom to Michael and Matthew

Married for 16+ years to the love of my life.
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March 22nd, 2010, 02:46 PM
frgsonmysox's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm sure I'll say this many many more times a I post here more and more. I am SO worried about somehow screwing my children up when it comes to schooling them - by missing something I should have taught them, or over teaching them, or.... Anthony loves to learn, so I'm really banking on that helping ME out. The kid has already read the childcraft books cover to cover, just for fun. Our big issue is actually getting him to be more creative and less structured - I guess he takes after me. My daughter will be starting pre-k this year, so we plan to be a lot more loose with her - and she's not as logic based as Anthony is. I want to do year round, we already kind of do that as we school on his summer breaks anyway.

And you are right, my schedule might change as we progress and I might find we don't need to spend a lot of time each day on everything as we aren't waiting on other children, ect....
~Beth~ Wife to my Airman Chris, and mommy to: Anthony Nathaniel (8/31/04), Anastasia Fae (8/01/06), Baby C (lost on 10/12/07), David Cillian (7/31/08), Charles George (4/29/10), and Alan Christopher (2/22/12)

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March 22nd, 2010, 03:11 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Like pretty much everything I do, organization falls smack in the middle for me. On one hand, I'm extremely structured. I have a spread sheet of what we'll be doing all the way through Summer '11. Seriously. I have to think that far ahead or I'll go crazy. I also have another spreadsheet with all the things he'll do through high school. Some are set in stone (like science will be apologia), and some are not (like, I haven't decided on a Latin program yet). Some things have to be planned in advance so I'll know he's able to do x at the same time as y. (He's really into science, so I have to make sure he's at the algebra level at the same time as chemistry, for example.)

On the other hand!

I plan by week, not day. I know that this, this, and this need to be accomplished if we're going to stay on track, but I know that this, this, and this are the least important and won't kill him to skip them. On weeks that he's begging for more and more, I've got plenty planned. On weeks that we're busy with field trips and such, he'll do only the basics (math, reading, etc.). Also, time of day doesn't matter. The day itself doesn't even matter. If someone's sick, doesn't matter. He's doing so little these days (time-wise), that even if he skips a day, he can still make it up the following week without feeling stressed. If we see something cool and want to chase it, fine. We can. If we want to stick strictly to the books, fine. We can. I don't care as long as he's being challenged enough to not drive me insane.
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March 25th, 2010, 08:36 PM
KeriMomof2's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 145
I have found that the reality is no matter how "we" as parents want to "home-school" if it doesnt work for our child...its not gonna work !
Play around with some routines...see what works best for your child...

Does your child work best in the morning..afternoon?

does he do better using a book curriculum or Online?

does he learn better doing more hands on?

so many learning styles out there..

*Keri*I am a Co-sleeping ...Retired-EBF'er "8+years total"...No-circumcision... Non-Vaxing...Home-schooling/Road-schooling ~> College Student Momma, Who loves Blogging<~click to View O' and did I mention I am now a Avon Sales Rep ? www.youravon.com/Keri
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March 26th, 2010, 12:49 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga
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I lean towards the middle myself. If it were completely up to me: I'd be pretty lax and just teach things as we come to them. But that's just not how my daughter is. She wakes up every morning and says "what are we going to do today, mom?" She really likes organization and thrives on a well structured day.... so I have to force myself to meet her where she's at and teach her in a way that helps her grow.

A funny quote that sort of gives me perspective, "If you've told a child a thousand times and he still does not understand, then it is not the child who is the slow learner." -Walter Barbee
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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March 28th, 2010, 09:36 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I'm pretty unstructured, but then I think 4 years old is too young to start full time education anyway, and we are only formally schooling this year ( he just turned 5 now) because Northern Ireland has the lowest school starting age in Europe.
I do keep a journal, but alot of things we do for "school" are things we would have done anyway, like listening to lots of stories, going to museums or zoos, having a nature day etc... Also I let him run with his interests. Since right now he is really into reading, we've focused alot on that this week. If he sees something that interests him in a museum or anywhere else really, we may drop other planned activities and focus on that. He's really having fun with magnets now so I'll include some more activities using magnets next week too. We also plan things around the weather here, so if the sun breaks through, we may drop everything and run out to enjoy it, even if it means finishing studies after tea time.
I do think more structure is required with older children, but I'd like to always keep it open enough that if a childs interests are really fired up, they could stay on that subject for awhile and learn more rather then being forced to end the activity and move on to the next scheduled subject like in ordinary school. I'd also always like to leave room for them to explore subjects of their choice too.
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