Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About THEIR HS Style!

We ALL have style~and I'm not talking about the runway, but maybe running away...LOL..No! seriously, we all have a WAY that we homeschool...and this week for TOS Blog Cruise, I'm asked about our homeschool style around here.  Our style has emerged over time and what we started out with has changed.  Homeschooling is a lifestyle for our family so when we discuss our styles, we are truly talking about how we live and learn!

In the beginning, our homeschoool was a mama and two little kids: one in kindergarten and the other in first grade sitting either on mama's lap as she reclined in her big ole LazyBoy recliner or with each little child using little kid chairs at the end of the piano bench with mama in the middle.  These positions worked really well as I had prepared their "lessons" in book bags for each of them, and I would work between them going from one to the other.  As one child worked, the other was taught~of course this didn't work for everything.  We did a lot of hands on stuff that included measuring tools of all kinds for liquid and linear measurements~small critters that ... well, I ain't (sorry LOL) telln! LOL...and all kinds of art works from painting to clay pottery to weaving/gluing and more!  We did all kinds of stuff~puzzles. Leggos, cars, dolls, bikes, paper crafts~paper chains, ALL kinds of stuff. These various things took us wherever we needed to be to do homeschooling well...our core was Abeka Book which in a couple of years we moved from...so we were pretty box curriculum-ish at first.  For a good few years...when we did ventured out of the "box" literally~it was in the areas of reading and language arts because we kept Abeka math the longest...I used Lincoln Logs to build with my kids a replica of Jamestown...the plastic cowboy and indians you can imagine in that early colony...We used modeling clay to make cuneform with a sharp stick as a stylus when we studied Egypt and Babylon. 

At the time we ventured from the workbook/text kinds of learning, we went into a learning co-op which gave us a good bit of instruction and outlines...it was about third grade for my daughter and second for my son that we incorporated living books.  We even tried Switched on Schoolhouse that year as well, which for a child who knew how to use the computer but was frustrated with the isolation of computerized lessons~it was a disaster!! I sold the program a few years later having NEVER attempted it with my son~some things work..and well...  But we learned that this style of learning was NOT going to be effective at such young ages for them.  We continued the individual attention of me teaching them the same subjects for science, history, health, art, while individual in reading/phonics/writing... and while my daughter was reading a loud and developing an intense love of books, my son was struggling with the written word~terribly.  I began looking and looking and looking for what would work with him~I tried the Abeka system...I used Starfall.com...then I found Sing Spell Read and Write by Sue Dickson.  Mrs. Dickson has a mulitimodality program of oral, eye and hand...there were songs and games..and it was BOY-geared...a race car moved around a track for 36 (weeks) LESSONS to the FINISH LINE~oh how fun it was,  and ...most of all, IT WORKED! But let me tell you...I didn't know how well until I caught that boy..yeah, MY son...memorizing AWANA verses and looking them up in his Bible..he was pranking me that he couldn't read~because it WAS HARD for him...okay, sooo this mama kept going..and going...and going...pic that Energizer Bunny...and this was me~I continue to push, even today..."SON, YOU are going to be educated!" IS my mantra~and it's amazing how well he continues to do!  Those early struggles led us to seek help in a developmental pediatric practice and center where all the disciplines were evaluated.  I was given the go for continued homeschooling while "special ed" in the public school was a viable option and one they suggested I consider...we did try a year~with wildly good success for him, we made a major cross states move and brought him home for continued homeschooling...He continues to do well here at home...he's developing each year and increasing his skills...and we're STILL out of the box..and a little more into the computer~but really more into the books...we read a great deal...

I realize I  was probably a bit off topic..but it reminds me of this ~that our style is ELASTIC homeschoolers~we change and adapt as we need to~I'm not fixed and firm into anything~oh, there are things I love...like Mystery of History and Bible based history..studying it chronologically...Apologia ANYTHING...and Teaching Textbooks Math..any of 'em...Love Math Tudor DVDs (kids just finished a series of preAlg and Alg...Oh how much help this was!!), LOVE all the wonderful classical and good literature we get to read...but MOST of all, I love that my kids are home with me.  I love being flexible so that they can participate in activities they enjoy like a drama group...and church activities...and well...their own interests too...

I know ELASTIC Homeschoolers isn't really a category..we're eclectic these days...Leaning classically with a little Charlotte Mason...and some lapbooking (yeah, my teenagers LOVE to do the Apologia lapbooks by Cyndi McKinney!~not kiddified!!)...

Check out the CREW           to see everybody's style...!

2 comments:

Guiding Light said...

Ha ha ha - great, informative post with some chuckles too. Blessings elastic homeschoolers! :)

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Very cute. I think everyone has to be a little elastic when they homeschool!