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Friday, September 28, 2012

Homeschooling Outside the [Curriculum] Box {and a Giveaway}

   Our homeschooling style, if I had to label it, would be academic/Charlotte Masonish/hands-on/eclectic/hodgepodge.  As a new homeschool mom, I found a curriculum that we loved, but I soon discovered that we needed to branch out from it for some subject areas.  Letting go of the "need" to check off all the boxes and learning to use the curriculum and not let it use us was a struggle, but once I did, I finally "got" it.  Much of our curriculum choices have come about through trial-and-error, and because each of my boys has a different learning style, not all of my "hand-me-down" curriculum has been successful with the younger ones. 

   A new homeschool mom with young kids who is on a history curriculum support loop I am a part of has struggled this year with trying to "do it all," and she and her kids have been miserable.  Once she relaxed a little and stopped requiring them to do everything, they are all much happier.  She was questioning her choice with the curriculum, but several veteran homeschool moms encouraged her to cater it to her needs and the needs of her kids:  don't require all the copywork, skip some of the questions, let them narrate and you write for them.  The important thing is to find your groove, immerse yourselves into learning, enjoy this time with your kids, and adapt the curriculum to fit you. 

   With one child in an elementary grade, one in a middle grade, and one in high school this year, I am certainly having to take that advice.  Also, while looking at the bigger picture (transcripts anyone?), I have to remind myself to take things one day at a time.  Even a high schooler benefits from one on one time, hands-on projects, discussion, and shared learning, so we do a little bit of this/a little bit of that, and sneak in extra things when we can.
   My high schooler's curriculum includes:  Beautiful Feet U. S. and World History for Sr. High, Beautiful Feet Geography, I. E. W. Writing for American History/for Literary Analysis/and for Geography, Movies as Literature, Wordly Wise vocabulary and English from the Roots Up flash cards, Teaching Textbooks math, Apologia science, Power-Glide Spanish, an on-line film course, a literature discussion group using Progeny Press literature guides, listening to The Story of the World CD in the car, homeschool art classes, homeschool history museum classes, guitar, and whatever else I am forgetting right now.  He also writes scripts and writes a blog.  Do we check off all the boxes in the instructor's guides?  :) 

Sometimes you just have to stop and build card houses.

Be sure to click on the Not-Back-to-School blog hop button at the top of the post to visit the other review team members and peek inside their homeschools.

Since we're celebrating Not-Back-to-School, Home Educating Family has a giveaway for YOU!  Simply leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the On the Go planner.  Winner will be announced on next Friday's Not-Back-to-School post.

Congratulations to With Love and Confection who said:
This made me laugh AND cry at the same time! What precious memories you are making for your little characters!

All prizes must be claimed within eight weeks.

{Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only.
  This giveaway is not tied to any social media site.}


Swinging On Small Hinges said...

We are eclectic as well, using a bit of this and some of that to meet our homeschooling goals. Isn't it great? ;) I'd love to win the planner, thanks! fannyloo (at) msn (dot) com.

Ann Moore said...

Thinking outside the box to me, is trying to do things for free or nearly free off the internet. I have no extra $$ to spend after 2 major car repairs, and 3 wisdom teeth removal (at 37!!). We went to a used book sale, and bought pieces here and there... Literally didn't get a box to even think outside of here :D

Elizabeth Williams said...

Thinking outside the box is a new concept for me, but I think I am doing well at trying new things and letting go of traditional way for a more hands on, what my kids like, way. After all, I already know it, they need to learn it, and only they know how they like to learn. :-)

-Liz Williams

~N said...

I would love to win a planner! Great post!

Loretta said...

I would love this planner! I need something to keep me focused.

Gina of Hope said...

My girls and I had to take a quick trip to Florida last week, to joyously transport my 20 yo son from rehab to a new life in Florida at my parents' home... We are using SOS computer software this year, so during this *break* from their curriculum, they took turns reading aloud in the car from a literature textbook, as well as from the Bible, and we listened to Mystery of History cd's... I am so thankful for homeschooling outside of the *box*! Blessed be!

Angie said...

It's encouraging to see other moms have struggled with the "check off every box" thing. I really want to make this school year different and am entertaining a variety of changes. (like year-round school of 5 weeks on/1 week off) Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, great ideas! I would love to win the planner!

BARBIE said...

This is my first year homeschooling, and I am definately hodgepodge. I am once again changing language arts and trying to figure out what works best for my child.

Would love to win the planner!

Shelly said...

Thanks for the post! I would love to win the planner to keep me organized!

Annie [Dekom] Akins said...

I could really use an outside-the box planner!

learn&create said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I love the picture of the cardhouses, that is so something my boys would do. FUN!

Lisa C. said...

Thanks for the post, and for the chance to win the planner!

Deana said...

Thanks for the encouragement and the chance to win this planner.