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Our homeschooling adventure.

specsaregood

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Well the kid crushed the qualifying time for fly in champs and is only a few tenths off the back qualifying time. he has one more shot at it this weekend. I told DW it was her turn since she was a backstroke champion and I was a fly champion. He is letting hitting the lane lines and going straight cost him time.... so I declare the specs' summer olympics training center complete with the addition of homemade line lines:

Well the kid and DW did it. Boy swam a monster swim, dropping a whopping 3 seconds, crushed the qualifying time by over 2 seconds, and jumped up the rankings from #40 to #9 out of 182 in a single week of homeschool coaching/practice on backstroke. He achieved half of his goal for the summer of qualifying for the champs, only thing left is to medal in 2 weeks.
 
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specsaregood

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I also heard from another parent doing staging that my kid was giving speeches to his teammates while waiting in line to swim. If you ever have a kid seamlessly work in both thomas edison and eminem into a pep talk, you might be dealing with a homeschooler.

I asked him what he said and he said,

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. We have ONE SHOT to seize everything. So don't give up! No slowing down! "

heh
 

Tbonz

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I also heard from another parent doing staging that my kid was giving speeches to his teammates while waiting in line to swim. If you ever have a kid seamlessly work in both thomas edison and eminem into a pep talk, you might be dealing with a homeschooler.

I asked him what he said and he said,

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. We have ONE SHOT to seize everything. So don't give up! No slowing down! "

heh
Impressive results, I wish him the best of luck at the next level.
 

specsaregood

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Trying to decide on a foreign language for the kid to start learning next year.

The default around here is Spanish, which they make all the kids take starting in 1st grade. But I dont see much competitive advantage in learning that as there will almost always be a native spanish speaker to do that job and given the choice an employer is going to take the native speaker if it is a job requirement.

I was thinking mandarin as china is an economic powerhouse and it isnt ubiquitous for americans to be familiar with the language. Maybe...

I thought about German, but I absolutely hated german when I took it in school.

French? lol, no.

Arabic? Those people are done for once oil use is in in the past and there are plenty of native speakers for the govt jobs that require it.

Russian? I really liked russian when I took it in school and found it easy (might just have been a good teacher). They are still a global powerhouse and lots of programming work comes from russian speakers. Maybe...

Latin? Meh, sure it helps in the sciences but I think it could be reserved for study in the high school years.

Open to suggestions/ideas/commentary.
 

mtnman

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Spanish. Yes there are lots of natives that speak it but in real life it's nice to know what they are saying about you...
 

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Latin will cover most of the bases. (French, Spanish)

German is/was the language of business - not sure if English replaced it?

Arabic - meh who cares?

Mandarin - they are a force to be dealt with

Russian - doesn't fit any of the above. It's a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma
 

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I like Russian. It has a different alphabet, and it is different enough that the student won't be trying to grab things from English to try to make it easier. (I hope this makes sense. What I mean to convey is that the mother tongue won't interfere.) English does not have the cases well defined (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, locative, and instrumental), so that should be interesting to learn, and the cases will also apply to other languages.
 

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English does not have the cases well defined (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, locative, and instrumental)
I haven't a clue what these are and yet I know how to read, write, think... I'm amazed how folks know all the English 'stuff'. I'm lucky to know what a noun, and a verb, is.

I hated school as a kid. It was a place where black-robed bitches ruled with a ruler.
 

dozer99

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Please don't stop with just one language. Start with Spanish and then move to French/Italian/Latin. Our country is overrun with Spanish speakers and knowing how to speak/read Spanish is a must.
 

Goldbrix

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Mandarin is highly possible to become the next language of Business, and as such politics eventually.
Good enough for Jim Rogers to have his kids learn. Of course he is raising them in Singapore too.
 

specsaregood

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Please don't stop with just one language.

I would hope not. We did sign language this year and its fun to be able to sign to him from across a pool and not have to yell. Or in quiet settings.
I always liked learning languages, but never learned any well enough to be fluent over the years and never having much of an opportunity to use them: french, russian, german, farsi, spanish, dutch, ESL. my favorite was russian.

I guess I could add yiddish or hebrew to the list of possibilities, lots of people around here that speak those.
 

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specsaregood

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We have decided to prioritize learning an instrument this year. The kid tried his guitar but it never took, tried to interest him in trumpet, harmonica, anything else with no success. So we are going to go with Piano. Nobody in the house was ever taught how to play piano -- DW self-taught and can hack her way through it -- so this will be a learning experience for all of us as I intend to learn right along with my son.

A lot of the music the kid likes best has piano in it, so it should be a good fit. So currently, shopping for a good keyboard -- maybe far in the future we'll commit to a real piano, if it sticks.
 

mtnman

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We have decided to prioritize learning an instrument this year. The kid tried his guitar but it never took, tried to interest him in trumpet, harmonica, anything else with no success. So we are going to go with Piano. Nobody in the house was ever taught how to play piano -- DW self-taught and can hack her way through it -- so this will be a learning experience for all of us as I intend to learn right along with my son.

A lot of the music the kid likes best has piano in it, so it should be a good fit. So currently, shopping for a good keyboard -- maybe far in the future we'll commit to a real piano, if it sticks.
ya get real pianos for free. Craig's list free stuff always has a piano or two for free.
 

specsaregood

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ya get real pianos for free. Craig's list free stuff always has a piano or two for free.
yeah, i saw a few. moving them would take quite a bit of effort or costs and even then I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what shape they are in and would probably end up spending a more than getting a good electronic piano/keyboard. Plus I can see where the kid really gets interested in it is plugging one into his computer to record/mix, etc.
 

glockngold

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Back in the day we bought a Yamaha Clavinova instead of an acoustic piano. (paid $1200.)
It has a weighted wooden keyboard, that fairly closely equals an acoustic, a damper pedal & is volume dependent on how hard you wack it.
Never needs tuning & sounds like it did the day we brought it home.
These are common & easy enough to manhandle.
I'd pay a couple fourhundred or so.
 

Fiat Metaler

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I've heard of baby grands being available for free on Facebook Marketplace because people can't sell them. You will need to hire pro movers, maybe $500. Register on a site called Freecycle.org as well.
 

specsaregood

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Decided to purchase some history curriculum for this year. Last year we went light on history, focusing mostly on American history (the constitution and founding fathers). I laid out the options for the kid and he decided on Curiosity Chronicles "Medieval History"

Started the first lesson today to give it a try. Learning all about Justinian the Great. it should be a pretty educational year for both of us.
 

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Decided to purchase some history curriculum for this year. Last year we went light on history, focusing mostly on American history (the constitution and founding fathers). I laid out the options for the kid and he decided on Curiosity Chronicles "Medieval History"

Started the first lesson today to give it a try. Learning all about Justinian the Great. it should be a pretty educational year for both of us.
I wish I could send my granddaughter to Specs home school :)
 

specsaregood

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I wish I could send my granddaughter to Specs home school :)
Thanks, It is quite the compliment. I have been getting a lot of that over the summer from other parents. If the schools dare go remote-only again I think the exodus will be even greater.
 

specsaregood

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From a nearby school district board of education meeting:
fPl6ILI.png


These people have gone completely insane.
 

mnmom

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When I taught my son we went with a classical style of education. This does lean heavy towards Latin or Greek. My son didn't care for Latin much, but over the years realized its an excellent base for learning other languages and understanding English grammar. If you want to add a second language I'd suggest Chinese or Russian. I have a feeling they'll be leading industry for the next century.

I'm a musician and was classically trained. My instructor emphasized piano is the best starter instrument for everyone. Once you are proficient, you can add another instrument to your set.

I highly recommend Susan wise Bauer's history curriculum called story of the world. Its chronological history told in an engaging way. Perfect for 1-6th grade. They have it narrated too. My son loved listening in the car.

Good luck this year specs! I'm missing the teaching a lot this year but the boy is already excelling at college.

 

engineear

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Chinese.
Workstation=piano/organ/strings/woodwinds/horns/voices...etc. Pick up a used Korg Triton can get 88 key piano action or Yamaha Motif or Roland. All will work BUT you have all those other sound options.
Karate, hand to hand...self defense builds confidence and fitness.
 

Oldmansmith

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17558.jpeg

I'm partial to rock climbing, this is baby Old in a recent climbing competition, she placed second in the youth division
 

Avalon

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From a nearby school district board of education meeting:
fPl6ILI.png


These people have gone completely insane.
I don't know if you have been following my School Board saga but its horrible out there Specs. You are making the best possible choice for your son. The evil and Marxist agenda has literally taken over the school system. Also the pressure to coivd test and vaccinate will be off the charts soon. My daughter is currently looking for a new job to be able to work form home and get my granddaughter out of the system. My hope is we find like minded parents like you and can patch some homeschool learning together for the kids.
 

Fiat Metaler

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I highly recommend Susan wise Bauer's history curriculum called story of the world. Its chronological history told in an engaging way. Perfect for 1-6th grade. They have it narrated too. My son loved listening in the car.

My son made it to the Nationals of the History Bee based on that curriculum. He did it mostly by listening to books on tape on road trips or just normal trips to do errands. There were about 150 kids there, not just homeschool kids, and he placed around 75th. The kids who won were truly impressive.

Jim Weiss might have been the narrator for those tapes. Any books on tape by him are uniformly good.

Classical education is more than just latin and Greek. It also includes rhetoric and debate, critical thinking, etc. So for example, my son is entering college and he (not me) refused to get vaccinated. He is studying business and his idea is to own his own business rather than work for someone else. It also empowers you to be interested in teh world around you and just get things done, so prior to college starting, he and his best friend drove from the East Coast to the Grand Canyon, LA, Sequoia NP, and Las Vegas, mostly camping along the way (they had to cut the trip short and skipped Arches NP and Bryce Canyon NP). I guess that homeschooling paid off.
 
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specsaregood

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I'm partial to rock climbing, this is baby Old in a recent climbing competition, she placed second in the youth division
yeah, I tried to get the kid interested. He tried it, got to the top exactly once, then decided he was "afraid of heights" -- he isn't -- and refused to try it ever again. He only did it that once because they had a t-rex as a handhold at the top.
HCJU4pm.png
 

Oldmansmith

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My daughter is afraid of heights, but loves to boulder. No rope, up to about 10 feet she's fine. She really got into it when this older boy was doing some pretty hard stuff and she decided she wanted.to beat him (not yet, he came in first). Not why I got into rock climbing, but whatever works.
 
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Goldhedge

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I don't know if you have been following my School Board saga but its horrible out there Specs. You are making the best possible choice for your son. The evil and Marxist agenda has literally taken over the school system. Also the pressure to coivd test and vaccinate will be off the charts soon. My daughter is currently looking for a new job to be able to work form home and get my granddaughter out of the system. My hope is we find like minded parents like you and can patch some homeschool learning together for the kids.
time for the people to join forces and take over their child's education.

Entrenched 'boards' have an agenda to adhere to....
 

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Avalon

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specsaregood

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I'm a musician and was classically trained. My instructor emphasized piano is the best starter instrument for everyone. Once you are proficient, you can add another instrument to your set.
DW has been saying that for years -- and I generally listen to her since she can play any instrument she comes across -- we just have never had room for a piano until now.

Once she found out, we (me and the kid) were serious about learning piano she took over and we ended up with some casio electronic thing. Seems nice enough to me.

We signed up for flowkey https://www.flowkey.com and the kid and I are working through the lessons. DW is playing the songs already.
The kid is excited and committed to practicing 15minutes a day. He wants to learn how to play the video game songs. :)
 

Goldhedge

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I'm a musician and was classically trained. My instructor emphasized piano is the best starter instrument for everyone. Once you are proficient, you can add another instrument to your set.
Your instructor is correct!

Of all the instruments, piano is the best. It is visual. You can 'see' the keys. All the other instruments (not xylophone, or vibes) one has to comprehend what a linear scale looks like. With piano you can accompany anyone.

Violin is the most difficult because one has to understand a scale and where to put the fingers, and how to bow. It's a little bit like walking, chewing gum, patting your head, and rubbing your stomach, while tap dancing.
 

specsaregood

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We had our annual cardboard boat race this weekend. so I had the kid "research" boat designs before we built it.
He decided on a "viking" boat. He had to figure out how we were gonna do it, then lookup dragon head designs to use as a guide. We rocked out to viking music while building it. And we discussed why the vikings used such a design (flat bottom).

He ended up falling out of the boat, but we had gone over backup plans before the race. So he ended up winning using it as a kickboard after he went overboard.

WfD1h1T.jpg
 

Goldbrix

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1631058217895.png

I really only wanted the top pic but this works with both anyway:
 

Goldhedge

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Even had a helmet!
 

specsaregood

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I really only wanted the top pic but this works with both anyway:
ill share with him. This was our soundtrack while building. Listen to this for an hour and you’ll be ready to go ashore and plunder.
 

specsaregood

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Been perusing the various social media forums and 2 things stand out.
1. After reading all the parents upset/fretting/pissed/stressed out over mask mandates, social isolation, in school suspensions, and forced week long quarantines with no virtual school just from possibly coming into contact with an infected individual, it just reinforces that it was a good idea to pull my kid from the public school system and makes me grateful that he chose to continue homeschool this year. People are unhappy all around; but not us.

2. There are now 2 very diverse groups of homeschoolers. The majority of old school homeschoolers are anti-isolation, anti-mask, anti-mandate, and conservative leaning. But now, there is a large/growing group of homeschoolers that are the exact opposite and choosing to homeschool because their states/schools DON'T have mask mandates. Interesting dynamic, but hey thats what freedom is about, choosing what you think is best.

Anyways, kid worked up his schedule for the year. We'll substitute things as they come across, but he works best with a schedule and routine.
Always open to recommendations.
Fve0lHT.jpg

Note: we decided to keep up the sign language studies/practice this year and skip adding another language for now. We'll review through the year, might just add something simple like how to greet/goodbye/count in lots of languages.
 

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specs, you may have mentioned this before but how do you decide the curriculum and how do you teach the choices. Surely you don't know about all the subjects.