The other day I was asked this question on Facebook.
“Do you have a firm method of schooling? We are a combo of unschooling and actual courses.”
I have never been asked this before and it surprised me and strangely bothered me. Perhaps it’s because I’m a newbie, and nervous about people judging my choices.
I am a homeschooler, a new homeschooler so I’m open to learning about new curriculum and new methods of schooling special needs children. That being said, I feel that I am also confident in my choices. I tend to be chaotic with schooling where I’m happy to change the order up of what subjects we are doing each day, all the subjects will get done, but not always in the same systematic approach as the day before. Generally, our home life is calm, unless the cows get out of the pasture, then my life is very chaotic for a short period of time.
I feel like a baby bird being nudged out of the nest. So, here it goes.
I use Saxon math for my kids. I know that some students hate it, some parents hate it. My kids love it and I can see their confidence growing in Math on a daily basis. That being said. I hate time drills. They are the bane of my existence. Do you want to know the reason why? My kids are smarter in the math drills than I am. It takes them under 5 minutes to do the drills, it takes me 6-7 minutes to mark them. I can not multiply effectively, sorry Mr. Brett and Mr. Fox, I know you tried to teach me but I still haven’t learned. So, I compensated. I found my new math friend www.xtramath.org there my children do math drills on a daily basis, my dd9 likes it so much that I had to make a rule of only twice a day.
For History we use, The Story of the World and we are currently on Volume One. I bought the accompanying curriculum guide/activity book. In the activity book there are lists of suggested books, here are the books we picked up for the next three weeks of reading and a few review books to remind the children of the chapters we have already completed. We love our librarian Ms. Laura!
For Language Arts and Science we use Switched on Schoolhouse. Each child is on their own grade level and I love being able to customize the software to meet the needs of my special needs son.
For Spelling and Vocubulary we use www.spellingcity.com and I paid of the premium membership because I also want to be able to track their grades and allow them access to some of the premium games and actviities. I decided to use the Abeka spelling lists that were so graciously typed in by a Miss Julia. I pray you are truly having a blessed day Miss Julia because you have saved me a ton of work!
Typing we use Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. We spend 15 – 20 minutes everyday and the kids are doing great!
For penmanship we use A Beka and this cursive writing book. Although, my son’s fine motor physio therapist wants us to use Hoops and Loops so we are looking at starting again and working through that program for him.
Everyday I require the children to read. One hour that was the expectation I had for each child to fulfill every single day. Now, I have turned into the bad mommy who won’t let them read longer than an hour everyday. The lot of us, would be happy as punch snuggled up on our beds reading for hours at a time! What do my children read? Everything, they can lay their hands on. It really cracks me up to find my son reading encyclopedias. Yeah! My non-reader LD child loves encyclopedias, he also loves history! I tend to follow a more classical style reading list like Ambleside Online, but priority is always given to Christian literature first.
We’ve already finished our Geography course for this year, we used Ann Voskamp’s A Child’s Geography. The kids and I loved it! We are all looking forward to learning through her second book this fall.
Ok, so that is what we are currently doing. So, to sum everything up, I use a bunch of different companies to build a method of schooling that works for my kids. I couldn’t pick just one of these companies as my favorites, they are all being equally enjoyed.