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If you think this is about YOU, maybe you should go reconcile with your parent and work to get back your kids instead of continuing to be a jerk. If you think I am you, or similar to you, welcome! :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

For All This $$- Not Next Year!

When we started the distance learning/ homeschool thing, the Mister insisted we use a curriculum with a grading and advisory service.
  • I hadn't taught in a home environment in over ten years.
  • We might not like distance learning, and we didn't want to jeopardize getting the kids into a good school just because we didn't use the opinion of experts. After all, we are old (in our fifties).
Since late July, we have been pumping away at this particular curriculum in their format, day in, day out, some days are better than others. We hope to be finished by April, and it will be none too soon for most of us.

So I asked the kids. They like distance learning MUCH better than going to school. This is from children who looked forward to going to school for the conversation! They like learning in a relaxed style, going way beyond what the books say, doing their own research, all the really cool projects.

What they don't like is the preformatted curriculum. I don't blame them. But we paid for the darn thing, in full, and all its goodies, including the compass and protractor we never used.

We have explained to the Mister that he is not here all day, and we will be setting up our curriculum. He agreed, particularly when I pointed out how much money we would save. We have syllabi, outlines, course of studies, all made by our own little fingers. This is what we plan for next year:

  • Two different math programs for kids who learn differently. We have a math lover in our house, and she wants, nay she demands Saxon. The rest of the child learners would prefer something more along the lines of Math U See, or Math U See Not (their preference).
  • More girl books for the girls! The books we have had to use to complete the canned program are geared toward boys. The most reprehensible of these books is an adaptation of Robinson Crusoe, that ended up tossed across the room on the last day of its use. Three cheers for Louisa May Alcott and pass around the Nancy Drew mysteries.
  • Less textbooks and more "real" books. The first to go was the spellers that came with the school-in-a-box. I found instead several research books, including the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, 365 Simple Science Experiments, Mindbenders, and the APA and MPA style guides.
  • Foreign language. I stood my ground on this one. They will start Latin in order to have a good foundation for all languages, starting with English.

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