Friday, July 25, 2008

Answer to a question...

I had a comment posted on one of my posts and replied but I thought I would post it here on the main page. This is the end of the comment and my reply....

~~~...I want my own children to get a good education and be prepared for life's challenges and college. I've read some of your comments and I'm interested to know about the curriculum you use and how well you think it prepares students for the future.

July 24, 2008 9:03 PM

~~~Hello there,
The local Christian school here was a consideration for a moment but we thought the same as you. I am sure there are those that push the students and challenge them but our local one doesn't. My husband even knows first hand because he attended it once upon a time. And I remember from my high school experience that students who went there said it was 'so much easier' than public school.
Now, last year I admit that I tried to make things easier for my son. I even switched curriculum mid-year because he didn't like it. We were using Abeka for English and it was great. I loved it and it seemed fairly challenging but he didn't like it. So I changed to Switched-on Schoolhouse (SOS) by Alpha Omega publishing. It's a computer program and of course he liked it better but it was 3rd grade (that's what level they start at) so it was a little bit more advanced for him.
I decided to do the Classic curriculum style for my daughter and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I shouldn't just give my son 'the easy way out' because he wants it. So this year they are BOTH going to be doing Classic English. For this I bought the book (you can probably find it at your library) called the well trained mind which gives you a detailed explanation and guidance for the classical program. There is also a book for English called "First Language Lessons for the Well trained Mind". It goes k-2 and we're using that this coming year. I want a challenging program that will give them a good thorough basis for education.
For math I switched too late because Math-U-See wasn't for us. A lot of people love it but I don't like that it only focuses on one thing for a long time. We were working on addition for so long without even getting into subtraction and he had FORGOTTEN how to subtract just from last year. I didn't like that personally so this year we're going to give Saxon math a try, it's one of the best math programs.
I believe that if you challenge your kids, they will often be able to match your challenges. Sometimes it'll be too much but you (as the parent) know your child better than anything and know how to adjust for them.
I am hoping that as the children get older that by high school they will be able to dual enroll in some college courses to get the feel of it and help be more prepared for full time college work.
Plus, a side-note...homeschooling does provide real life experience. You can add a class of teaching your children how to balance a check book, work the family budget, manage a household, etc. This provides a foundation for learning how to deal with real life. I'm saving that for a few years down the road when they're more stable in their math skills.
They also learn how to manage their schedule by getting their household chores done, their school work (which students do become more independent with as they age) their hobbies and extra curricular classes, etc. It teaches them to realize that if they don't get those things done that it leaves less time for play time. Just like in real life 'work before play'.
I hope I answered your questions. If not, or you have more, feel free to post. :)

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