• "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding metals, finance, politics, government and many other topics"

Our homeschooling adventure.

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
GIM2 is the only real forum I participate much in anymore and I don't feel like starting a blog; so this will be my ongoing thread about our family's homeschooling experience -- I think I chose the correct subforum. I welcome any suggestions or feedback. Maybe the info will interest or help somebody else.

I have a 10yr old boy, only child. I am self-employed and work from home -- and have been, for over 15 years. I've always dreamed of homeschooling my kid; but I didn't think it fair when he was younger as he is an only child and he needed the social outlet. Plus, he actually LIKED going to P.S.. We decided to homeschool due to covid restrictions. The remote learning experience last year was a nightmare: it was a lot of busywork and took more of my time just to complete than one could imagine. We decided that if he was going to be home anyways, I might as well choose the curriculum and tailor it for my son and our interests.

Luckily in our state, there are no homeschool requirements. You just have to send the schools a letter informing them that you are removing the kid from the public schools and homeschooling them. For a blue state, I found this rather amazing as the requirements are a lot less than most red states.
 

glockngold

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Midas Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
3,862
Reaction score
5,680
Will follow.
Been there did that.
Both my sons never set foot in a public school, though they both have bachelor & masters college degrees.
Plenty of outlets for "socialization" with sports at the Y, & now days in our state, homeschooled kids can participate in school sports.
Funny since when we started, it was damn near illegal in PA.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
Cursive
2 summers ago (about to enter 3rd grade), I spent a lot of time with my kid on cursive. He had poor print handwriting, motor issues and I wanted to give him a headstart. He learned most letters as standalone and entered 3rd with ability to sign his name in decent cursive. The PS teacher ensured me that cursive was still part of the curriculum and that they would be working on it. Then COVID hit when they were just starting on cursive and it immediately got removed from the remote learning program. So no cursive practice for last year at all. So when we started this year he had forgotten all of it except his name.

I found a free font: "Learning Curve"
With that, I printed out our own worksheet everyday. He started by tracing all the words and letters using the dashed font above. Then tracing and then writing it freehand on a blank line. I made worksheets out of vocabulary words, spelling words, words we were learning in ASL, common sentences, and even traced the Bill of Rights.

He has grown adept using this method where he writes everything in cursive without any aids. It is legible and better than his printing.
Note: my kid had an OT IEP in school and he never gripped his pencil correctly all through his public school experience --this was something they were supposed to correct and never did. A couple months with me and I had that remediated.

I wonder now with all the schools having done remote learning if he is the only kid in his age/grade that will ever know how to write cursive. A lot of people question the use of cursive nowadays; but my mom (an elementary school teacher) was a big believer and most of what I have researched on the subject indicates there is definitely a benefit from learning it.
 
Last edited:

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
Will follow.
Been there did that.
Both my sons never set foot in a public school, though they both have bachelor & masters college degrees.
Plenty of outlets for "socialization" with sports at the Y, & now days in our state, homeschooled kids can participate in school sports.
Funny since when we started, it was damn near illegal in PA.
I've always gotten pushback from DW and MIL. The COVID shutdown was a blessing in this respect as it gave me this opportunity. I've always said that after this year, the choice will be his: if he wants to go to PS, he can. He currently claims to love "daddy homeschool" even if we do occasionally yell at each other in frustration -- working on it. He gets a lot of social activity (our new neighborhood has 4 kids all the same age on our block) and he plays with them a couple times a week. He also has EC sports with kids nearly every day.

Our winter swim club started a homeschool group swim club a couple years ago that practices during the day. It has been a big success; and they have over 20+ kids in it now that practice together a few times a week. My kid doesn't participate as he is too advanced for that team; but I was happy to see that the group is thriving.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
Rather than wasting time in the morning, a couple months ago we started doing some education during breakfast.
I found https://curiositystream.com/

It is a relatively inexpensive ($12/year) streaming service with thousands of documentaries/educational videos.
Every morning while he is having breakfast in my office at his desk; he watches a new documentary.

His assignment is to write down (in cursive) in complete sentences any facts or interesting information from the show. This is helping him learn to pay attention and helping him distinguish between facts, opinions, and what is information worthy of reporting. Not to mention actually learning about those subjects, work on his cursive, and reinforce proper sentence construction and grammar. I was horrible at note taking or paying attention in classes and I aim to give him the skills to do it better than myself. So many subjects are available; we pick a different category everyday --otherwise it would probably be space videos 90% of the time. I cant recommend the resource enough it has definitely paid for itself already.

This task also gives me some time in the morning to get my work done as he doesn't need much guidance for it.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains
Plenty of outlets for "socialization"
yes, I don't buy the 'socialization' bit from the schools, as if THEY are the arbiters of that.

There are many 'social' events to attend outside of the zoo they call 'school'. Churches, gatherings, friends with like minds are everywhere.

Most of what I saw that passed for 'socialization' turned into the inmates running the asylum. Kids on their phones during class, texting each other about how dumb this is etc.

That, is 'education' today.
 

mnmom

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
480
Reaction score
1,105
Im in my final year of homeschooling. My son has decided to do the PSEO program. He will be taking courses at a local community college in the fall. He chose cybersecurity for his field. Im glad we decided to homeschool the whole way through. Public school kids all seem messed up somehow.
 

hammerhead

Morphing
Midas Member
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
14,960
Reaction score
22,454
Location
USSA
Cursive
2 summers ago (about to enter 3rd grade), I spent a lot of time with my kid on cursive. He had poor print handwriting, motor issues and I wanted to give him a headstart. He learned most letters as standalone and entered 3rd with ability to sign his name in decent cursive. The PS teacher ensured me that cursive was still part of the curriculum and that they would be working on it. Then COVID hit when they were just starting on cursive and it immediately got removed from the remote learning program. So no cursive practice for last year at all. So when we started this year he had forgotten all of it except his name.

I found a free font: "Learning Curve"
With that, I printed out our own worksheet everyday. He started by tracing all the words and letters using the dashed font above. Then tracing and then writing it freehand on a blank line. I made worksheets out of vocabulary words, spelling words, words we were learning in ASL, common sentences, and even traced the Bill of Rights.

He has grown adept using this method where he writes everything in cursive without any aids. It is legible and better than his printing.
Note: my kid had an OT IEP in school and he never gripped his pencil correctly all through his public school experience --this was something they were supposed to correct and never did. A couple months with me and I had that remediated.

I wonder now with all the schools having done remote learning if he is the only kid in his age/grade that will ever know how to write cursive. A lot of people question the use of cursive nowadays; but my mom (an elementary school teacher) was a big believer and most of what I have researched on the subject indicates there is definitely a benefit from learning it.
It took me having to fill out the Christmas cards to see I needed to work on my handwriting skills. Most of my communicating is using a keyboard in one sense or another and I still need to learn to type and use a keyboard.
 

hammerhead

Morphing
Midas Member
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
14,960
Reaction score
22,454
Location
USSA
Been catching what you've posted over the past and have big admiration for your style with your kid. What I've seen in my grandkids doing the online learning is that there is no difference in the day from school and not school. Up until last month I would watch the two kids at least one day a week while their maternal parent went to school or work. I was dealing with my own physical issues and couldn't give them the attention that they deserved. I'm not happy with the socialist style teachings of the oldest kid's school and that has caused some friction between my grandson, daughter and myself. The parentals chose to have them do the on-line stint all year so when I resume being with them again, the structure will be different even if I have to throw them out the door a few times a day.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains
Public school kids all seem messed up somehow.
They've been 'socialized', that's what that is.

To think the same, do the same, react the same, text the same. Socialized.

Publc school.JPG
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
Every Friday is art day at "Daddy Homeschool"
We generally do some project of all 3 on Friday: Drawing, Creative Writing, and Music.

My kid used to enjoy drawing, and for years made very intricate scenes of stick figures; but he was under the impression that he was "no good" at drawing. I'm of the opinion that I have little talent for drawing as well; so this was another thing I wanted him to have the opportunity to improve upon. He never liked art in PS as he was forced to do stuff he had no desire to draw.

The first thing we found that he got excited about drawing was:
We found Roblox characters he was familiar with on there; and we were off; all of a sudden he wanted to draw, follow the instructions, and learn how to draw. His drawings have gotten a lot better and started to develop his own look. We have begun mixing the media with digital editing as well, where he draws by hand and colors. Then we scan it and he does further editing on the computer in https://www.getpaint.net/. (free, simple to use, but good editor). He now does drawings for holiday cards to send out to friends and family, combining them with stories. We have moved on to him trying to draw real life creatures and scenes. And he did his first bob Ross painting recently.

vMu83sf.jpg


I plan on looking up some of the more advanced art classes that are available to focus on techniques, but I'm happy with him just exploring the arts for now.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains
I'm of the opinion that I have little talent for drawing as well;
Talent is 99% perspiration... you get out of it what you put in.

10,000 hours and you're an expert!
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
Talent is 99% perspiration... you get out of it what you put in.

10,000 hours and you're an expert!
I would agree for the most part. But there is another element to it that practice can't help.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
"Find a Woman that won't break the bank."

Sometimes you wonder if the knowledge or wisdom you attempt to pass on to your spawn is taking root; then sometimes they unexpectedly show that the roots are deep indeed.

We were having family dinner with the MIL last night, and she says, "Oh I have to tell you something funny your son said. We were watching Pirates of the Caribbean and out of nowhere he says, 'I don't know who I'm going to marry; but I know It will be a girl that doesn't break the bank.'"
She exclaimed, "What? What does that mean?"
He replied, "My Dad says to find a girl that likes you to write her poetry, stories, letters or make things for her rather than one that just wants you to buy her jewelry and stuff." And that was the end of the explanation and they continued with the movie.

That little lesson in Dad Wisdom came up when we were working on a poetry writing assignment and he said, "why would somebody a poem?" And I told him, "to get a girlfriend." Hell, it always worked for me, he probably wouldn't be here today if not for sheets of poetry I wrote to ensnare his mom.
 
Last edited:

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains
I would agree for the most part. But there is another element to it that practice can't help.
Correct. A burning desire to perservere.

Perseverance Furthers I-CHING

I've played guitar for 45 years. People always tell me how talented I am.

I don't think I'm talented. I merely found the shortest distance between two points over the duration. The musicality automatically wove it's magic like a thread in cloth. Thousands of hours of practice - a solitary endeavor. Kind of why I'm introverted in some ways. Back in the day if you knew me you knew me and my guitar. Like Linus and his blanket? Same deal.

It's the same as singing. If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk you can dance. HOWEVER... you must first learn the basics. Happy Birthday works, as does do re me fa so la ti do. As does ABCDEFG.... It's why we have song at parties and things are 'learned' using song. Folks with a tin ear never took the time to 'hear' the difference between two different notes (for starters). Too busy learning something else? Have to start early on because as age happens, the wonder of it all disappears.

Your kid draws way better than I do and I'm an old fart. Why? Because I was learning how to play guitar!
 

Goldbrix

Mother Lode Found
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
20,583
Reaction score
32,378
Our winter swim club started a homeschool group swim club a couple years ago that practices during the day. It has been a big success; and they have over 20+ kids in it now that practice together a few times a week. My kid doesn't participate as he is too advanced for that team; but I was happy to see that the group is thriving.
As long as he knows how to swim. That is a basic survival skill. I got my kids into swimming lessons at very early ages.
Every summer many people die from drowning because they lack basic skills. Even Adults, and Teens become victims here as many are out fishing yet slip off banks or lose their footing wading and fishing.
I had my kids learn to swim, write cursive, and in Elementary & Middle school learn to play a musical instrument ( reading music).
Reading music is learning a different language AFAIC.
I felt it was a plus for them entering college. The youngest got a free ride (smarts) and the oldest was offered a job at his university. He went from graduating with an internship in his resume and walked back in the next day as an employee.
A semi-pro football player that befriended the kids early in their middle school and high school lives. Told us when the kids get to college get them to volunteer in fields of interest and apply for school jobs. Volunteers & Interns usually get first crack at PAID internships as they come available.
Practical experience becomes more valuable than the "sheepkin" as every graduate gets a"sheepskin" but very few have earned any practical experience.
Practical Experience is a Selling Point + in the JOB MARKET.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains
I taught myself to swim in my 40's.

Was a YMCA kid that just couldn't figure it out. Finally did and it's automatic now.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
As long as he knows how to swim.
yeah, you could say he knows how to swim. This was a couple years ago, he is better and faster now. That is swimming against a >2knot current.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
I had my kids learn to swim, write cursive, and in Elementary & Middle school learn to play a musical instrument ( reading music).
Reading music is learning a different language AFAIC.
He started on a loog guitar last year, but he really didn't enjoy it all that much. My wife is the musician, she has started teaching him to read sheet music and playing on a keyboard, he is currently working on learning/playing 2 different star wars songs. He has also shown interest in playing harmonica and trumpet. But he actually wants to learn to play the star wars songs, so thats his friday music classes for now.

The kid loves all the classical music from movies. Often we'll put on john williams soundtracks during the school/work day.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
One thing my son has enjoyed for years now was creative writing. Since it is an activity he already enjoyed, this is something I give to him to do on his own while I get my own work done.

This year is the first time that we have introduced editing and revision. His mom or myself will review stories he writes and mark them up with a red pencil. He then makes the updates in his word processor. Markups include grammar, punctuation, spelling (which is never a problem really), the biggest markups having to do with incomplete thoughts, vague definitions, or sentence structure.

We also introduced the thesaurus and we highlight a few words during the editing process to suggest he find an alternative for (doubles as improving vocabulary and spelling knowledge).

He writes at least one story per week and has taken to writing stories to include in the holiday cards he draws and mails out. His stories have grown a cast of reoccurring characters and outside family members bring them up to discuss at gatherings.

Generally I let him write whatever he wants; but have also started giving him requirements such as: writing from the POV of an animal, all in 1st person or 3rd person, present tense or past tense, locations, or characters.

We are tentatively thinking about compiling all his short stories from this year and self-publishing them as a book at years end on Amazon for free or at least on Kindle Unlimited.
 
Last edited:

hammerhead

Morphing
Midas Member
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
14,960
Reaction score
22,454
Location
USSA
Do you use a system to grade him? Rewards at all for successes?
What I see in your approach could be obtaining knowledge can be a life long experience.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
Do you use a system to grade him? Rewards at all for successes?
Not really, we just do something until he has it completely mastered. He might get little rewards like pizza or staying up late, or closing the school day early.

What I see in your approach could be obtaining knowledge can be a life long experience.
That is the goal. That's what my parents taught their kids. I self-taught myself how to program computers 25 years ago.

Currently we are working a lot of "research" where I give him subjects to search and answer questions (working on all 50 states now).
I gave my wife a task of coming up with a general "literature research" outline worksheet for him. When she does it, I'll post it here. I plan on having him do that for a while and hopefully by years end have him able to research a subject and write a small paper on it.

Some of this goes back to the ADHD thread. I'm sure I have it undiagnosed and I went through life completely ignoring all teachers and classes. I would just read my own book in class all day everyday. But I had the ability to read the class book and study independently. If he has problems paying attention in class, I want to give him the tools to study on his own to work around that problem.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains
One thing my son has enjoyed for years now was creative writing.
I'm probably too old to be adopted, but I'd like you to be my parents....
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821

vichris

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
757
Reaction score
1,934
Location
In a van down by the Rio Grande river
Well I guess I'll pipe in here. We raised 3 kids. Our oldest went to private christian schools throughout primary school and got a full ride scholarship to a state college. The other two got a combination of christian schools, home school, and then some public school. My youngest finished up back in a private school. We were fortunate when homeschooling we found a local homeschooling group that had all kinds of activities. We even participated in a small town parade and WON for having the best float which the kids had built with a little help from parents. Now my oldest got a masters degree in education and taught in private and pubic school. She is now a public school Librarian. While she was a public school teacher she pulled her oldest, my grandson, from public school and home schooled him for 7 years. He just graduated last spring. He worked after school his last 3 years of school and is now a manager at a local restaurant. He's a sharp kid. One of his graduation presents was some junk silver. He's already added to his collection.
 

MrLucky

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Sr Site Supporter
Survivor
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
2,467
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Rock <me> Hard-Place
A lot of people question the use of cursive nowadays; but my mom (an elementary school teacher) was a big believer and most of what I have researched on the subject indicates there is definitely a benefit from learning it.
These are probably the same people who don't teach their kids how to read a non-digital clock. I know kids who have no idea what time "a quarter to (or after) 10 o'clock" is.
 

TAEZZAR

LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH
Midas Member
Sr Midas Sup +++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Survivor
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
23,719
Reaction score
49,881
Location
ORYGUN
These are probably the same people who don't teach their kids how to read a non-digital clock. I know kids who have no idea what time "a quarter to (or after) 10 o'clock" is.
That's 25 minutes, no?? sarc !!!!
 

MrLucky

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Sr Site Supporter
Survivor
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
2,467
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Rock <me> Hard-Place
Almost.
 

TAEZZAR

LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH
Midas Member
Sr Midas Sup +++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Survivor
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
23,719
Reaction score
49,881
Location
ORYGUN

Avalon

The most courageous act is to think for yourself
Midas Member
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
7,473
Reaction score
16,396
Location
NC
GIM2 is the only real forum I participate much in anymore and I don't feel like starting a blog; so this will be my ongoing thread about our family's homeschooling experience -- I think I chose the correct subforum. I welcome any suggestions or feedback. Maybe the info will interest or help somebody else.

I have a 10yr old boy, only child. I am self-employed and work from home -- and have been, for over 15 years. I've always dreamed of homeschooling my kid; but I didn't think it fair when he was younger as he is an only child and he needed the social outlet. Plus, he actually LIKED going to P.S.. We decided to homeschool due to covid restrictions. The remote learning experience last year was a nightmare: it was a lot of busywork and took more of my time just to complete than one could imagine. We decided that if he was going to be home anyways, I might as well choose the curriculum and tailor it for my son and our interests.

Luckily in our state, there are no homeschool requirements. You just have to send the schools a letter informing them that you are removing the kid from the public schools and homeschooling them. For a blue state, I found this rather amazing as the requirements are a lot less than most red states.
I have to give all of you who have homeschooled your kids big props. It is not an easy job.
 

TN_Preacher

Site Supporter
Silver Miner
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
206
Reaction score
392
Location
Tennessee
kudos to any who homeschool. There are more and more reasons to do it. I'll give the short version of my experience. Our eldest son was set to flunk 5th grade in public school. He'd hide books in his desk and read them while the teacher was teaching. He didn't do his homework. He hated school. One teacher made a special rule just for him and said if you don't do your homework, you automatically flunk the class. So he flunked.
We were obviously upset. We spoke with the school admins and they had a "child study team" look into our son. In the end, they recommended he be advanced to the next grade and advanced 3 years in his English related classes. But at that point we'd had enough of the PS system and we took him out and enrolled him in a local Christian School. He had an awesome teacher that next year and she turned his hatred of school around and made him enjoy learning. But it was expensive for us, and having just met some folks who did homeschooling of their kids, we decided to give it a go. And yes, it was a scary venture. I was still a bit unsure it was the right thing to do.
The end result was he truly blossomed with homeschooling, mostly studying on his own. He finished HS and took his community college placement tests and started college at age 13. At 14 he was working half days for a computer company and going to school part time. He got his associates degree at 18 yo when his public school friends were graduating HS. So then he finished a 4 year degree and has had great paying jobs after that. And yes, he understands that gold is money :2 thumbs up:
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
He'd hide books in his desk and read them while the teacher was teaching. He didn't do his homework. He hated school. One teacher made a special rule just for him and said if you don't do your homework, you automatically flunk the class. So he flunked.
That was me. Never paid attention in class (always reading my own book hidden under the desk or behind the class textbook; nor did any homework that I couldn't do in class or before class the next day. A's on all the tests, but got bad grades because I didn't do the homework.
 

hammerhead

Morphing
Midas Member
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
14,960
Reaction score
22,454
Location
USSA
I hated school with a passion.
Ditto here. Took me 13 years of schooling to drop out with enough credits to be considered a sophomore. The words of encouragement I got from the high school vice principal told me all I needed to hear when I approached him with the idea of quitting school. "Good idea Hammer, now get out of here".

Took the Good Enough Diploma test that May. Was a 5 subject 2 night test that I completed all 5 tests on the first night. Was the last to leave and when I handed in my final test sheet, the the test administrator asked me if I wanted to know if I passed. Intrigued, I took her up on the question. With most of it being multiple guess, she had a template that was placed over the sheets. There were very few empty circles. Doubt I grasped anything in the last 2 years of schooling so as far as I was concerned, most of my high schooling was interrupted by attending school. Can't say for sure if that's good or bad.
 

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
One thing we took from public school was the daily reading requirement. In his public school, they were required to read 20min/day and log it with parents having to sign off on the reading log. We aren't doing a log, but we kept up the reading requirement.

He reads any book or magazine he wants for at least 30min/day. Most of the reading is done on his tablet using kindle, while on the car on the way to/from EC activities. We have had a kindle unlimited subscription already for years and have used it amply. I read about a book/week on it myself. My dad was the most prolific reader I've ever known other than myself, and he never was without a book for reading.

This year he is reading through the Harry Potter series (he had never seen the movies). When he finishes a book in the series, we watch the movie together as a reward; he is currently on book 3. He recently finished reading the first book in the Darth Bane Trilogy (star wars), this one was the most challenging as it is an adult level book and 400+ pages in length. Mixed in are various minecraft and other books written for kids available on KU. We did some book reports early on, but nowadays we just discuss the books instead. I believe his reading is mostly responsible for his above average grammar skills, spelling, and vocabulary.

I hope he grows up with the same love for reading as I did.
 

Goldhedge

Retired
Mother Lode
Midas Supporter ++
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
63,987
Reaction score
138,601
Location
Rocky Mountains

specsaregood

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,143
Reaction score
3,821
I believe his reading is mostly responsible for his above average grammar skills, spelling, and vocabulary.
I will admit that when he was a toddler/preschool age I used the netflix/amazon prime babysitter more than I would have preferred. But it just couldn't be helped with needing to work and a wife working as a nightshift nurse. He had free roam of his room with toys, and I'd setup a laptop outside his door next to my office. He would stand at his babygate and watch it when he wanted, other than playing in his room. It was a decent setup as he could see me all the time from the door and I could check on him.

The one thing I did right with that though was turning on subtitles! I enabled subtitles on everything he watched and I'm convinced he learned to read for the most part from that. I had no idea it was working until one day when he was a young 4 year old, I paused a video over his objections and in an act of defiance he read the next couple lines of dialogue! Flabbergasted, I turned off the volume and restarted it, telling him he had to tell me what it was saying. He read those subtitles near perfectly. I now recommend to anybody with kids that use the streaming services, to enable the subtitles for their kids.
 

hammerhead

Morphing
Midas Member
Midas Supporter ++
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
14,960
Reaction score
22,454
Location
USSA
I will admit that when he was a toddler/preschool age I used the netflix/amazon prime babysitter more than I would have preferred. But it just couldn't be helped with needing to work and a wife working as a nightshift nurse. He had free roam of his room with toys, and I'd setup a laptop outside his door next to my office. He would stand at his babygate and watch it when he wanted, other than playing in his room. It was a decent setup as he could see me all the time from the door and I could check on him.

The one thing I did right with that though was turning on subtitles! I enabled subtitles on everything he watched and I'm convinced he learned to read for the most part from that. I had no idea it was working until one day when he was a young 4 year old, I paused a video over his objections and in an act of defiance he read the next couple lines of dialogue! Flabbergasted, I turned off the volume and restarted it, telling him he had to tell me what it was saying. He read those subtitles near perfectly. I now recommend to anybody with kids that use the streaming services, to enable the subtitles for their kids.
Reminded me of when my oldest daughter said 'play' when the vcr would flash that on the screen when a video started.
 

Fiat Metaler

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
2,225
Reaction score
1,580
Homeschooling gets more difficult in the middle school years. This is a good time to supplement your teaching via cooperatives, hybrid schools and tutors, especially for things like science and labs, and activities like art or music or a foreign language. Once they get to high school, they are a little better at working independently, and can take AP, IB, or dual enrollment classes. Dual enrollment is really the way to go if done right, because you will get college credit so long as you get a passing grade, which is very different from AP where by design half of kids don't get a high enough score on the national exam. Its conceivable to shorten college by 1-2 years.

In addition to curriculum, work very hard to do 2 things: 1) instill good habits, whether its keeping a schedule, taking notes, showing up on time, doing something right the first time, saving money, etc. 2) look for enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom. sports, volunteer service, starting a business, travel, camping/scouting, reading and writing or drawing for fun, etc. The effect is amplified if your son can see you do these things. For example, I started a small business, was the head coach of his sports team, volunteered as a referee, and was an assistant leader in his scout troop. We also took vacations to foreign countries, historic sites (Monticello, Jamestown colony) or national parks. Admittedly, we did better at the enrichment than the habits, and my son is paying for it now.