View Full Version : HOMESCHOOLING By the seat of your pants ???
10-18-2006, 09:54 AM
Ok so folks out there homescholling toddlers do you wing it or set up scheduled routines and specific learning plans?
Right now my little one are watching Sesame Street. We've already had breakfast and will take a neighborhood walk before lunch.
I've been encouraging my 3.75 yr old not to get out of bed before 8:30 so we can stretch, cuddle and get in our last bit of rest the 2.75 yr old is usually still sleep.
Toileting and AM Hygiene stuff is first followed by breakfast right away.
My little ones are good at written name recognition but I'd like to get them writing their names and memorizing our new phone number. So If I accomplish that in October I'll feel pretty cool. Of course the rest of the month will be full of reading to them, expanding their vocabulary plus unlimited art, play and lots of love.
So part of me wants to be detailed with this in preparation for the accountability that my state will require when they are school age and homeschooled, and just incase I start some sort of at home biz that I'll have to juggle. The other part of me wants to just wing it, see what the day holds and explore.
We will buy a family membership to the children's hands on museum and visit there maybe 2-3 times a month this fall and winter.
Please share your thoughts...
10-18-2006, 10:59 AM
I don't have any children yet, but I am seriously thinking of homeschooling when I do, or perhaps a private school. I would definately set up a schedule. The key is holding their interest and I think children need some form of routine. The great thing is you can set your own curiculum. Definately have Art Time, so important.
Sharon in Colorado
10-18-2006, 11:05 AM
I've been really happy with what www.timberdoodle.com offers. Their prices can't be beat and there's a thorough commentary on everything they offer.
If you get a chance, ask for them to send a catalog, it's GREAT reading (I keep it in the bathroom, hee hee) anyway, much funner to flip through than the website.
Plus they have many toddler appropriate stuff, not just curriculum but great, fun, and educational toys, games and the like.
I have ordered lots of their stuff for curriculum and birthday gifts, and wish they'd been around when I had toddlers.
Their shipping is fast, reasonable and they always throw in some stickers with each shipment.
10-18-2006, 12:35 PM
Hi, I dont get to post much and really have nothing to offer yet in the raw food discussions, but thought I might share my thoughts.
You have probably already found that home schooling runs the gamut from schoot-at-home with all the rigidity and testing of modern education to unschooling which encourages the children to learn from their own desires. Mothering magazine has had some good home school/unschool articles.
One thing to remember is that you have been home schooling from birth. Your children watch/help with cooking, reading, going for walks, interacting with others, counting (dont we all count their toes?), and on and on. Teaching them phone numbers, full names and addresses are great.
My husband and I home school our three children (8, 7 and 3.) When we began this journey, I leaned more toward school-at-home but soon realized that it did not suit, my children nor me.
Two books that resonated with my spirit and made me want to yell yes, thats what I mean!! are For the Childrens Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay and When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper. They are both about Charlotte Mason and the method of teaching she developed in the early 20th Century. One of her main beliefs is that children need to play (without adults telling them how to play) and that formal instruction did not need to begin before age six. (Her background is Christian, but her principles will work for anyone. It doesnt have to be a Christian education.)
Here is a site dedicated to the Charlotte Mason method of learning and a brief review of her 20 Principles. http://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/20Principles.html
She starts with the fact that children are persons, they are not blank slates with the potential of becoming persons, but they are complete persons! This just moved me.
OK, so enough with the gushing
you may have already done all the reading you want, but I just wanted to share. Blessings on your amazing journey!
(timberdoodle is great and I also love Rainbow Resource - the hugest catalog of everything home schooling I've ever seen.)
10-18-2006, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the insite and links folks.
Just finished our neighborhood walk followed by lunch. hubby came home and played with the kiddos outside they were racing laughing and playing while i gave my mom 15min of chat time on the phone.
Nap time now so I'm free to check the links and get a gameplan together for Novemeber.
10-18-2006, 01:37 PM
...I meant to add this link about Charlotte Mason http://www.amblesideonline.org/WhatIsCM.shtml
and this thought: relax, enjoy and explore
10-18-2006, 02:48 PM
we unschool, and at this point it is very child led (it always is, but at this age-well that's just how it goes!) We have art times, but the kids tend to like different projects. It is working well for us. Ds loves trains, so we have taken some trips and let him explore that. Dd is into ponies at the moment (she's 2.5) so we have gone to farms and read books and such. We do some class type stuff, but mostly we play. Play is a childs work and my kids work hard!
They are also really good at lacing and are learning to stitch. Ds asked to make a pillow, so that's what we'll do when we get the supplies.
We do some writing, but their attention span isn't fabulous with that. IT's loads of fun though!
10-19-2006, 06:40 AM
We homeschool and I found that the older they got, the more we just gravitated towards what they needed. When they were little (well, one is still little, they are 6, 11, & 12) we just played, explored, & followed our hearts. Unschooling worked well for us. As they have gotten older they have started to do more schoolish stuff.
I love it and can't imagine a life without my kids around all day. People always comment "I don't know how you do it! I couldn't" and it makes me sad because I don't understand how someone could feel like spending all their time with their kids is too *hard*.
We are actually off to our homeschool Halloween party today! :D
10-19-2006, 10:50 AM
Being with my toddlers 24/7 this week has been a blessed chore :) and I wouldn't trade anything for it. The cleaning up is a bit to mundane but the conversations, kisses and bright eyes and smiles are a joy. LAst night after supper I took a break and went to Pilates class. Good diversion but I was glad to get home to my little ones. My son was so full of life that I let him stay awake til after 10p. My little girl woke this morning and said she missed me. I told her I didn't go anywhere, then she reminded me that I left last night and she missed me. She was already sleep when I returned from Pilates.
Oh the love and warmth. Hubby comes home for lunch, though he's fasting, just to be with them too.
He's working daily to support us, I'm more at ease and my family actual seems to be balanced now.
I AM SO GREATFUL FOR THIS SEASON IN MY LIFE AND THEIRS !!!! :D
10-19-2006, 11:04 AM
I would definately set up a schedule. The key is holding their interest and I think children need some form of routine.
Personally I think adults need/want a routine more than kids do. From my experience, kids like spontenous unschooling type schooling. The younger the child the more this is the case IMO.
That being said I am homeschooling/unschooling a 6 yr old right now and we have no routine involved in schooling. We have enough routine in our daily life that I feel like learning should be a fun thing not a scheduled boring routine. Just my opinion.
10-19-2006, 11:08 AM
I homeschooled my 3 boys and worked full time and they turned out great!
For me, the key was to focus on each child's individual interests and try to build a curriculum around that. For instance, one boy loved computers and I was poor, so I went to Goodwill, bought an old junker computer for $25 and said, "Fix it and you have a computer!" He did, and now makes more money than I ever dreamed of working on computers!
The second boy loved music and science so we spent a lot of time going to musicals, plays, tapdance classes as well as paleontological society digs and picking apart (and finding) owl pellets. We also did rehab work for Cal State University Bakersfield and had a variety of raptors, including barn owls, great horned owls, and various hawks in our house/yard. He is now a printer with a daughter of his own and is doing fine.
The third boy was a sports nut so we made sure he got into Little League, Basketball, and later, Weight Lifting. He joined the military and went to Bosnia, then to school on the GI Bill. He is now an operating room RN.
Once each boy was able to pass the GED (around 16 years old) they had a choice of Jr. College or work. All three went to work. The middle boy never went to college. The youngest is now enrolled in PSU and the eldest finished college after the Army.
I've asked all 3 boys if they feel they missed out on anything not going to public school. They all chorused, "No way!" They were the envy of their friends, who spent 6 hours in school then 4 hours on homework. They'd get their school work done in 2 to 3 hours, then have the day to themselves. So it didn't take much to inspire them to do their work.
Back then, it was illegal part of the time, but we did it anyway. Books were difficult to find for a while. Then I found a place in Washington state that sold homeschooling books and we were in heaven. We'd go twice a year to pick out books. The kids loved going! We also spent hours at the local library each week and each boy came home with an armfull of books to read.
As usual, I could yak forever, but I'll stop. I'll just say that .. personally, I think homeschooling is the way to go if you have the inclination and anyone trying it has my hearty support!
10-19-2006, 12:27 PM
I homeschool 7 out of my 10 kids. I graduated my eldest last year and she is going to our local Junior College for starters (this would have been her senior year.) Then I also have a preschooler and an infant.
I like the unschooling method with preschoolers, giving them lots of things to do and changing what they're doing often. It's fun to see what they are interested in, and giving them more of THAT thing to do (or just the supplies to do it with.) But, as our family grew, I had to have more routine and discipline, just to survive the day! Now my pre-schoolers have a bit of a routine with the different older kids taking turns (45 min each) doing something with them. They jump on the trampoline, water the garden (and of course pick stuff), watch a Sesame Street type video, art time, they get read to, lego time, free time with supervision, etc. Each of the older kids gets to do what THEY like to do but with the youger ones. So, the house is a little quieter for the older ones to study.
Then, as they get older, we do math and language arts with the older ones, sometimes based on their interests. The Charlotte Mason website, mentioned above, has some cool stuff, like a math course where the child has a business (pet store, book store, etc) and the course teaches them with daily assignments to buy stock, pay bills, sell stuff, add a percentage before selling, etc. It has math lessons to do to help them if they don't know how to do a "math" problem involved. The kids think it's a game, and they are learning their math. We do alot of writing, at first there are no rules at all (when they are too young to write, they tell me a story and I write it down for them, then, they illustrate it.) As they get older, we teach (or correct their writing) for one concept at a time. Like, in kindergarten, the only thing I correct for and expect them to try to remember is capitals at the beginning and punctuation at the end of their sentences. They get one thing down, and then we move on to another. In high school we do 5 paragragh essays, once they get the form down we do all the different kinds of papers that they may be expected to do in a collage course.
All along the way they read, and are read to, great and interesting books. My husband reads aloud to all of us a couple times a week at night. All their history books are historical novels and history story books. They remember all of it! Because they are interesting and like any good book, they get lost in the story and imagine themselves there, etc. It helps to have a dateline going around the walls of your schoolroom and whatever they learn they can put a picture of it, or write something on it. This helps get general dates of when things happened in history in their minds.
In high school they have to do 5 speeches during each year, just to our family usually (these are all different, some read, some recited.)
We don't use any textbooks until highschool, then they use them and answer the comprehension questions at the end of chapters, etc. This is to help them with test taking and using college texts someday.
We have fun, go on a lot of field trips, and make alot of things from scratch, whether it be food prep, dog houses, gardens, our girls cottage in the back (we live in the country and our two oldest girls, 14 & 17, "moved out"), and now a family room addition that my husband is doing on our house. The kids know a little electrical, plumbing, welding, framing, woodworking, etc.
I don't know how well we're preparing them for a future, but we all love what we are doing, and they test well, when tested...
Blessings to all the homeschools out there.
10-19-2006, 01:26 PM
ROWAN and cenaw/10
Thank you both for the delightful tales.
I agree the schedule is probably more for me.
Like now it is nap time so I am stealing away to the computer. Which I must really keep a handle on 'cause I could stay here allday and usually ave 2 browsers open at a time while I await RFT post I read other stuff.
For now I think I will focus on just a few learning objectives by the month, just so I can track my success at doing this.
What amazes me is how bright these little ones already are from all the stimuli they were proved at home this summer with hubby and I in and out and them being in the care of 3 older siblings.
The 3 yr old is grasping the concept of time and also number recognition on the digital clock. She has made refrences to "yesterday" vs. the "other day" and clearly new what she was talking about.
Singing reading and exercise plus a little art was something we always did before I became a SAHM. So now I just need to raise the bar with them as my guide.
Thanks everyone, my onfidence is growing and I'm sooo excited about the possibilities.
10-19-2006, 01:35 PM
I plan to homeschool. Can't wait. Structure, no structure, I think a good balance of both is the way to go. Hope it all goes well for you and your little ones.
10-20-2006, 11:23 AM
Bluedots, we homeschool with Charlotte Mason's methods, too - I use the amblesideonline.org website every day!
I don't do anything structured with my toddler. I read her books when she asks, but mostly I just let her play, interact with us, and make her own observations about her environment. If she was my first, I might be chomping at the bit to start doing something, but I have her older siblings to work with, and that satisfies my need to feel like I'm "doing something."
The best thing I read regarding education and toddlers was Endangered Minds by Jane Healy. It explains how a child's mind develops and how they're wired to learn. That helped me to set priorities in what was most important to provide during the early years. You can read a review of the book at http://www.amblesideonline.org/ReviewHealy.html
10-26-2006, 11:03 AM
Did my research on the state of TN
Cut and dry:
2 page application
upto $80 bucks registration needs to be submitted
a 4hr/day 180 day / year requirement
Just FYI for myself incase my teens decided to stay home too.
Don't need to do anything with the state for my toddlers unitl first grade.
K5 I preume is not mandatory
10-28-2006, 09:27 AM
Cool Artist Site (http://www.jamalrecords.com/catalog.html) Things are going well
this months Learning objectives are:
Improving dental hygiene practices and hand washing
Table Setting ( kiddos will make placemate out of leaves that they mount on paper I will have their masterpieces laminated and we use these at Thanksgiving orthe table and for host gifts to our guest)
Arabic Alphabet and Songs
Ordered some wonderful singalong CD's from this site
Cool Artist Site (http://www.jamalrecords.com/catalog.html)
Writing Name in English
Saying Spanish Numbers to ten ( Mya and Miguel on PBS intereactive )
My three year old is great at language recognition, She can diffrentiate Spanish vs. English vs. Arabic commands, most likely due to voice inflects and poor accents from the non native speakers.
11-01-2006, 07:20 AM
Yes Nutrition Concepts and Health. The ultimate leaning objective.
THese are a given and continuous. What better way to break the cycle. Surely they can conceptualize the why behind some of what we do now.
11-03-2006, 11:04 PM
I have found homeschooling was more about learning me and not so much about the kids schedule. I have 13, 10, 7, and 5. We flow how I feel. Sometimes the kids particularly the older ones want something more than I do. So they have learned to create for themselves. But when they were also young. I wanted to learn to wrk on a schedule and we schedule everything. I got great results not much relaxation and fun. Three years ago we went on a travel exploration around the country to learn about "unschooling" it scared me, but I learned unschoolers know a whole bunch. I learned so much about myself. I am sometimes a good unschooler, going with the flow and sometimes I am not. So we do as I need it to be done. But when ever someone steps up and expresses what they need. I support them whole heartedly. My second daughter a vivacious reader likes books and schedules and class room challenge. They both take a class and the university of chicago, a latin class. the ten year old gets all 100 percent papers. The 13 year old has gotten mostly 95 percent. They like it and I like it because I know no latin. They all play instruments. The cellist puts in 2 hours a day. She plays in an advanced chamber. She likes the music but she likes her friends more I think. But they are all who's who in music for their ages so she puts in the time to play with them. The same with her latin class, her friends are there and she likes to do well so she studies and 95 percent is fine for her. She is a gymnast and works out over 25 hours a week. Now there is where she wants to shine 100 percent. My little ones the seven year old plays the violin and he plays all day and I chase him to do studies. He studies just to be allowed to play the violin. But his studying is fun and play and games of math and beating daddy. My youngest 5, is much like my 10 year old latin language lover. They both play piano. The 5 year old only plays to one day be a movie star and a good actress and she is, she is reading to read her lines. She practices everyday,and every day she ask me to let her do movies, and plays. I am not quite ready yet.So she will wait until she figures out how she can do this with mommy's help or not. But she is a busy reading for that time.
I do what is comfortable for me and the children, but if we want peace. We let mommy figure her part out and they create for themselves with me.
11-13-2006, 08:21 AM
Sounds awesome Imani :) Do you have a web page or blog I know a very dynamic family that is moving to your area in a few months and would love to send them your way.
Ok so I suck at teaching shoe tying.
but the Arabic Cd's are going well. We do these in the car only and the toddlers are learning bits and pieces of a few really nice songs, plus the salutations and a few conversational words.
Still working on table setting and manners, gotta get this one down in time for Thanksgiving. :)
01-21-2007, 02:52 PM
Doing this by the seat of my pants so long that I've decided to just wear skirts. :D
More than a hundred days now.
Still trying to manifest some extra income :o
We don't catch sesame street to much any more. Either because we wake up late and we are doing devotional stuff and just cuddling, or the little ones are just busy with playing. Which I think is better than any TV show on earth.
I'm letting them in the kitchen more and just not getting so hung up on wehter or not there is a mess to clean.
The only thing keeping me from selling the idiot box, is that I do like to rent movies on ocassion plus check out religious, travel and culture DVD's from the library.
Next week I'm tackling the task of painting my hallway and I've been doing a creative story and color board for the theme which I think it will be a moroccan bohemian chic influenced kind of room. Think Bombay Company Stylings + Pier One Colors with Target Pricing :D
:cool: These new phase of life has been interesting. I'm actually learning awhole lot about me,, my tendencies, hang ups and utimate desires.
What real amazing me is how long it's taking me to just gear down from all the external stimulation I'm use to receiving. I've yet to have a whole weekend or 2 day stretch computer free. I'm a cyber geek and actually enjoy reading blogs and surfing more than just sitting still.
Hmmmmm gotta fix this!!! :confused:
09-23-2007, 06:07 PM
Swiftly approaching a year at home, during the day (recently took a night time teaching gig) and WOW is I all I can say.
My kiddos never got to be pros at shoe tying ( my goal for Oct.2006) but boy are they learning a ton of cool and awesome stuff. So we'll stick to velcro sandalas and slip on shoes ;) .
Definately p[lanning to homeschool for at least the next 3-6 years.
In three years my DD15 graduates from highschool and I will either go head long fulltime into "my business", leaving the kiddos home with dad during the day until they are old enough to help at the centre, or we may consider just traveling aroung the world a bit before settling into another phase of life.
09-23-2007, 06:54 PM
I personally couldn't do it. I have a business on the side from home so the time where he is in school is my time to be productive. I clap my hands for any mothers who can juggle it all. I call them super moms :D
09-23-2007, 07:13 PM
I LOVE this thread. My heart is in unschooling 100% and my brain is telling me I'm crazy because.....well, you know the drill. Such great info on this thread. Thanks to all!
12-14-2007, 11:25 PM
Still pluggin along, It's been over a year and now we are on holiday.
We've got Hanakah, EID, Christmas and KWanzaa. So we'll restart in earnest in the New Year. Of course the kiddos are still learning everyday but nothing formalized.
The little ones will start a drama class in Janurary, so that we'll be something new.
04-15-2008, 07:38 AM
JUst rapped up creative child/ drama class, dance and a weekly art class.
We are officially on "SPRING BREAK" now. Things will get a bit more formalized afer Earth Day. I always find nice materials at our Earth DAy event to spear head more activities around ecology, green consciousness, consumer responsibility etc...
Did start working on the kiddos biosketches. Would love for them to be able to read and write and clearly articulate their personal info, including intrest and emergency contact information by the end of summer. Plus prepare for emergnecies and get help.
WE had a series of bad windstorms and a few tornadoes in the area this year already and it dawned on me that as a family we reallya ren't prepared.
Already started our container gardening on the deck. Stuff is growing so this has been cool. Kiddos also doing more in the kitchen.
Looking forward to a productive hands on summer!!!
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