I began experimenting with multi-sensory education when we brought home our two children from Ethiopia. We had so much fun with the sensory bins and tactile activities that my other kids wanted to participate too. As time went on, I realized that some of my kids had some learning issues. I had one child that was super smart and became bored easily with typical text books and workbooks. Once child had dyslexia, speed processing issues and time blindness. Another child was also very smart but struggled with confidence. Another child was still struggling with a new language, had a low IQ, no visual processing ability and very poor short term and long term memory. Finally, one child who was having a hard time with reading comprehension. Now, some of these issues are less heard of - but some are pretty common. When we took the time to have our kids evaluated, I decided that I needed to find a way to teach them all together, in a way that would appeal to all of them and their learning styles.
I really enjoy homeschooling the high school years. I love to hear from each of my kids about what intersts them and what they would like to study. As a mom that wants to help them grow and cultivate their interests, I spend alot of time researching and trying to find the best curriculum that isn't going to waste time and isn't going to waste any money.
Our first experience with 7Sisters was Philosophy in 4 Questions. My daughter really enjoyed the material and her and I had some great conversations about it. I want curriculum that helps to open the doors of communication.
Do you homeschool year round? If so, do you use the curriculum you have used all year, or do you and your children pick something fresh and new?
I am certain that most homeschooling families school through the summer to a certain extent. Even traditional schooling families school in the summer - it just looks different. Family hikes, visits to the zoo, summer reading programs, summer bridge books, building projects, gardening and more - this is school in the summer. Sure, some kids (like my own), need to keep the math going for retention, but generally, summer school can be what you make it.
When I was younger I enjoyed the feeling of a book in my hands. Now that I am older, I stuggle to find time to read. Most of my reading is all about homeschool and curriculum research. The research turns into purchases. With five kids, that turns into ALOT of books! We have made pretty good use of our space - but even still - I have come to appreciate the value of digital curriculum.
Digital Curriculum is less costly by far. I only print what I need to. If I really need to print the entire thing - I go to Kinkos or something equivalent and have it printed and bound. This is still usually far less money than an original printed book.
Space is always an issue for homeschoolers. The space while you are actively using the product - but also the space to store the product while you hang on to it, waiting for other children to use it in the years to come. I don't have room for that.
You can always take it with you. Planning an extended vacation, traveling around the country for school, are you a military family? You don't need to pack your books- just bring your ipad or laptop - everything is there for you.
With publishers and authors recognizing the movement toward digital curriculum, more and more quality products are becoming available.
I encourage you to take inventory of what you might be needing for homeschool next year, and see if you could save space and money with digital curriculum
As our kids get older, it is important for them to become familiar with different methods of learning and having different instructors. Online classes is a great way to accomplish this. The format of these classes can vary from live classes have student interaction to recorded classes that can be done at your convenience.
History - something I HATED as a kid - dates and names of old, far away places - who really cared anyway.
Well now that I am an adult and teaching my children history -I am a history NUT. I love old places and things and love to imagine what a beautiful country scene may have looked "back then".
Getting organized and staying organized often make the difference in the level of success of something. This can be applied to so many things in life. To help us be better homeschooling parents - getting organized in your homelife and chores as well as homeschool planning makes for a smoother year.
Over the years, I have come up with some systems that have worked for us. These likely are not for everyone - but maybe you can glean something from them.
The cost of homeschooling can be high - classes, books, manipulatives, field trips, dvd's etc. Now consider multiple children, special needs, sports activities and it can be very stressful. Our family went from five of us to seven of us during the same year as the economic downturn in 2008. We decided that I should homeschool - it would be the best thing for all of us - especially for the children that recently joined our family. The following year, we lost our business and our home. I questioned going back to work. Instead, I found a way to pay for homeschooling without touching our bank account. My husband was able to support us and I was able to teach the kids the way we wanted to.
One of our children struggles with some permanent diagnosed special needs. The kind that would certainly land her in a special ed class in a regular school. The more I found out about all of her many struggles and hurdles that would need special curriculum, consistent repetition and more to even begin to be able to learn and retain information, the more I felt compelled to continue to educate her myself. I will be along side her for what she needs and will continue to be a source of support for her. There is alot of tough love - I want her to succeed on her own and have the confidence and independence that comes along with that. Helping her to set and achieve goals will help ensure an independent life.
If you are anything like me the picture above might be terrifying. I know alot of families look at high school as a daunting task - something they fear touching with a 10 foot pole. I have to say - it has been my favorite time of schooling with my kids. I was one that kept saying "We'll put them in school in Jr. High", "We'll just do this until high school".