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OT: Homeschooling an only child

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  • KariE
    started a topic OT: Homeschooling an only child

    OT: Homeschooling an only child

    I know I am in the minority here, but are there any other MP users who have homeschooled an only child? I would love to connect if so. Feel free to private message me if you'd rather do that.

  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Oh wow! So glad those tidbits were helpful!

    (And good for you on Latin-way to go.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Eve
    replied
    Hello Jessica! Thank you so much for your response! I wanted to thank you days ago but I didn't realize that I had to login again until Michael helped me! I have received some real pearls of wisdom from you myself! Your post about how you think of incorporating the Charlotte Mason method more in your mothering than in your teaching really resonated with me and settled the comparison issue for me once and for all. That clarity helped me set my goals as a mother and as a teacher. You also helped to give me the bravery to step out in faith and tackle Latin ! All of you on this forum who have really invested your time in thoughtful replies have been amazing!

    Leave a comment:


  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Yes, Eve! Please share more often. Those are pearls of wisdom right there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eve
    replied
    Hi Jen! Thank you for responding! Funny , so many of your posts are what have helped me and given me confidence on my homeschooling journey. To see that all of your children are succeeding in higher education has helped me to stay focused and believe in this path being a good one for the long haul! Your firm conviction in why you have chosen certain curriculum based on past experiences with others has really given me so much good food for thought. For instance , my daughter has been using CLE math since first grade and for the most part she has been sailing along beautifully, now that she is in fourth grade we definitely have hit a speed bump and I have wondered if we should switch to Rod&Staff math. I lingered over your post last night which stated your young son is the only child in your family who had his math facts down cold this early.I can say that CLE's new concepts are coming at us like a whirlwind at this point and I'm concerned she will lose the ability to master the amount of work coming at her at this point, although she has continued to score high on the built in tests& quizzes but we have slowed down more than the curriculum allows for in a year . We will continue math through the summer but this is the quirky stuff I stress about in our schooling. I concern myself about where we are because of quarterly reporting (we are in NY) and arriving where we 'should' on time because of standardized test that will be taken on grade level next year . I have returned Rod& Staff in the past because my ability as a teacher to assist her worked much better with what I thought were clearer explanations in CLE. I still feel they are clear just coming at us with rapid fire! She also uses CLE for LA . She loves it and is very quick with it and does not want to make the switch to English Grammar . I do feel she has reached mastery with grammar which has been shown through her writing and oral review. Since this has been her math curriculum since first grade I don't know if it would be wise to switch , or just slow down to solidify facts& new concepts and ignore the unit we are on . This is our conundrum at the moment! Thank you again , Jen ,for your response to help get me started here and your wise feedback over the years!


    Leave a comment:


  • Jen (formerly) in Japan
    replied
    Lovely, Eve. And, you really ought to share more!

    Your words convey the beauty and naturalness your family has found in homeschooling in YOUR life. Bonus: your child is receiving a classical education in addition to dancing. It sounds heavenly to me.



    Jen

    Leave a comment:


  • Eve
    replied
    Hello fellow MP users! I am new to the forum but not to MP. I have been using MP with my only child for five years . I have been a forum reader all of this time trying to be somewhat connected to other users since I don't know of any in my corner of the world. All of your posts have helped me on my homeschooling journey , but there have also been times I have thought maybe my post could also help someone else on their journey . My daughter has absolutely loved MP and homeschooling ! She has never voiced any feelings of loneliness whatsoever . But, I'm quite sure this is also due to the fact that she has been involved in dance since before pre-k and is now on a dance team that only leaves us completely free two days a week. As soon as school is over she is happily rushing out the door to be involved with her 'dance family'.This is her passion and it brings her fulfillment. She also appreciates her weekday of rest with a much longer school day because she loves school just as much. An interesting truth that I think is important to add , is that not one other child at her dance school is homeschooled and most of her teammates want to be! It is not just because team dancing is a very rigorous schedule and a lot on the body but there is a general dislike of school being voiced , especially socially. Many of the parents question me but fear making the change or they are just too entrenched in full time work at this point. I believe we were called into homeschooling . It was just not a part of our lives or on our radar when we began. I believe we have to let that settle our unrest when those doubts start creeping in . But , I also believe when we are homeschooling one child we owe it to them to help them find their passion early on and involve them outside the home on a bigger scale so they can develop like minded friendships. We didn't know dance would also consume our lives we were just looking for something artistic and also some extra physical activity for our daughter to be involved in where she could make friends as well. She is 10 .

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Annie,
    I hope you can continue to homeschool and that this won't come up, but stash this in your back pocket--just in case. When local homeschoolers have begun away school many of them have started at a grade below than where they were with homeschooling. There are many reasons:
    -They were already young for their grade and this was an opportunity to course correct so as to not graduate young.
    -No room in their grade, so went to the next lower grade.
    -Wanted an extra year for sports in high school.
    -Wanted margin to acclimate to the content at the school as it was not a classical curriculum.

    In my experience much of the "advanced/not advanced" gap closes once everyone can read fluently. Early reading skills are not a good indicator that your child (or your school) is advanced over all. It just means the child is an early reader. Hope this gives you some breathing room. It sounds like between his two parents, he'll have all he needs at home or away school.

    Leave a comment:


  • Annie D
    replied
    Originally posted by KariE View Post

    One suggestion I have is to sit with him and ask him what he desires socially . . . things that are more manageable like outings to the library or field trips or being involved in an extra curricular or church activity. ... I think figuring out if your son just wants activities where he is around other people even if he doesn't know them or if he really wants to be around close friends or family members more frequently is important because it may help you identify the best ways to try to meet his social needs. Are you apart of a homeschool group?

    One of the blessings of the time you are in right now is, as others have said, school work is still minimal at this age so that allows time in the afternoons for special outings or playing outside that might fill his social tank. I am a by the book "overachiever" type and I will say I was always wanting to fill up our day academically (which is easy to do with an only child), partly because it is extra quiet around the house, but 2 hours a day (which might look more like 3 if you like to take occasional breaks and work more leisurely) is pretty sufficient at that point. My daughter loved having a list to cross off all her assignments or "subjects" as she completed them. Then you have plenty of time to learn through independent or aloud reading and playing for fun or art projects, which is also important for learning and something that away school doesn't allow as much time for.

    Feel free to private message me if you'd rather. I'm always happy to talk if you'd like since our situations are not as common in the home education world
    Hi KariE,

    I love your suggestions!! I did sit down with our son today and asked him about what he wanted to do. It will be a conversation that continues, but it was a great start! I agree that there is a distinction to be made (people in general or specific people). I thrive with one or two very close friends...and if I have that, it matters not if I am all by myself or surrounded by thousands: I have my people and am good to go just knowing they are "there."

    I am working with some other moms to have a scheduled (meaning regularly meeting) homeschool group. For the moment, it looks like we will be meeting up for open gym 2 Fridays per month, but we'd also like to organize some outings / field trips. Our first meet up was great, and all the kids had a blast.

    I tend to be a bit of an over-achiever, too, though not always by the book. A huge part of the pressure I feel with our son's education is that, should I not be able to continue to home school, he will have to attend the school where my husband / his daddy teaches. It is a prep school and they pride themselves on their stellar (hyper) academics. One of the teachers asked me about Anthony's work in 1st grade and told me that that was Kindergarten work at their school. So I feel this almost threat to have him do well, "just in case." (And he is. He's doing much better than I was at his age.) At my husband's school, if a kid gets behind, it can be impossible to catch up. In fact, I currently tutor three kids there who missed some building blocks.

    That being said, after receiving Jen1134's suggestions, much of the pressure came off. My son is finishing his school work in less time; procrastination and all.

    I had made a checklist on my wipe board, but I do like having the idea of one that my son can check off daily. I believe this could be a great morale booster. Thank you and Colomama.

    Leave a comment:


  • KariE
    replied
    Originally posted by Annie D View Post

    This is something I am struggling with . . . and after 6 months of a friend telling me to look into the Forums, I finally made the time :-) We have a 6 (almost 7) year old son. He is the MOST social being I have ever met. I have yet to find other friends nearby who can really click with our family. I have other friends who home school, but they are either too busy because they have many children, or they home school VERY differently (their whole home school day is an hour or less, and he just can't understand why he has SUCH a long 4-5 hour day in comparison to theirs, which produces 6 yo boy drama). I'd love to hear how you motivate a little boy -- who would really rather be playing outside with his dog -- when he doesn't have the sibling example of older brothers / sisters...or younger siblings for whom he can set a good example.
    Hi Annie, I started this thread when I was homeschooling my only child, but we decided to send her to a 5 day week school this year. We are actually contemplating a return to homeschool, which is a surprise to me because as you know homeschooling an only has it's unique challenges, but I'm also learning from the flip side it has a lot of advantages! I know you mentioned your son is very social. One suggestion I have is to sit with him and ask him what he desires socially. His requests may be unreasonable (such as if he wants a playdate everyday!), but it might be things that are more manageable like outings to the library or field trips or being involved in an extra curricular or church activity. My daughter is actually pretty introverted (I'm the one who is more social, haha!) so her needs are definitely probably different than your son. I think one of the things I have learned is I was more worried about her homeschooling and being lonely than she was, though it is a valid concern and one to be thought through. I think figuring out if your son just wants activities where he is around other people even if he doesn't know them or if he really wants to be around close friends or family members more frequently is important because it may help you identify the best ways to try to meet his social needs. Are you apart of a homeschool group? We homeschooled with a classical tutorial the first year and then two years with a cottage school. These were a blessing to us and helped fill some of the social needs for my only.

    One of the blessings of the time you are in right now is, as others have said, school work is still minimal at this age so that allows time in the afternoons for special outings or playing outside that might fill his social tank. I am a by the book "overachiever" type and I will say I was always wanting to fill up our day academically (which is easy to do with an only child), partly because it is extra quiet around the house, but 2 hours a day (which might look more like 3 if you like to take occasional breaks and work more leisurely) is pretty sufficient at that point. My daughter loved having a list to cross off all her assignments or "subjects" as she completed them. Then you have plenty of time to learn through independent or aloud reading and playing for fun or art projects, which is also important for learning and something that away school doesn't allow as much time for.

    Feel free to private message me if you'd rather. I'm always happy to talk if you'd like since our situations are not as common in the home education world

    Leave a comment:


  • howiecram
    replied
    Wet erase! The dry ease do not work well! I will look into this! I have been looking all ver for that template you gave us at Sodalitas a couple years ago. Would you mind sending a file my way?

    Leave a comment:


  • Colomama
    replied
    I would use a visual checklist. This gives him a visual cue as to how much he has remaining to do until he's done. This also keeps YOU honest, only doing a day's work...no adding things in because he seems to be having a good day.

    I'll include two quick pics of what we use. One is a spreadsheet inside of a page protector. He can use a wet erase marker to gleefully cross things off as he does them each day.

    Next is a laminated sheet. I put black Velcro dots on things not assigned to that day and stars for things as they get done.

    The spreadsheet one shows the whole week, the other just one day at a time. His age would probably do best with one day at a time.
    Attached Files

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  • Annie D
    replied
    Originally posted by jen1134 View Post

    MP1 should only take 1-1/2 to 2 hours max a day...is the fidgeting make it take longer? ... Does he feel like there’s no end in sight so he drags his feet in despair?

    If we can help get your school day hours reduced, I think you’ll see a lot of other things fall into place.
    Jen, I think you encapsulated it well: fidgeting and no end in sight. I have implemented a few suggestions, and MOST days are getting better and our school day is shortening. We actually finished in about 2 1/2 hours a couple days last week. This included the MP1 with Enrichment plus Myself & Others and Faith & Life. We through a celebration, bought pizza and allowed no-sugar added ice cream. He was so proud of himself!

    Leave a comment:


  • KF2000
    replied
    Hello, Annie!

    Right off the bat I have to agree with Jen that that is a really long school day. Our sixth child is in first right now, and it’s just as Jen said - we shoot for getting done in under two hours. This is out of necessity so I can work with older siblings, but it also includes round-robin work with her younger sister. Four hours is really long for a guy at this age.

    AMDG,
    Sarah

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Originally posted by Annie D View Post

    This is something I am struggling with . . . and after 6 months of a friend telling me to look into the Forums, I finally made the time :-) We have a 6 (almost 7) year old son. He is the MOST social being I have ever met. I have yet to find other friends nearby who can really click with our family. I have other friends who home school, but they are either too busy because they have many children, or they home school VERY differently (their whole home school day is an hour or less, and he just can't understand why he has SUCH a long 4-5 hour day in comparison to theirs, which produces 6 yo boy drama). I'd love to hear how you motivate a little boy -- who would really rather be playing outside with his dog -- when he doesn't have the sibling example of older brothers / sisters...or younger siblings for whom he can set a good example.
    Yay, Annie!!

    While I can’t answer the social aspect, I think a big part of this is what you said about the length of your school day. MP1 should only take 1-1/2 to 2 hours max a day...is the fidgeting make it take longer? Does he naturally work more slowly on things? Does he feel like there’s no end in sight so he drags his feet in despair?

    If we can help get your school day hours reduced, I think you’ll see a lot of other things fall into place.
    Last edited by jen1134; 01-05-2019, 08:03 AM.

    Leave a comment:

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