I seriously need to be banned from all BST groups. Sigh…
Here’s my story.
I started homeschooling my kiddos 4 years ago, in this order. MFW ECC (made it 12 weeks, then switched to a computer program). Next year, HOD. made it half way. Then just worked on math and book lists…Next year: Sonlight core F, made it about half the year, switched to Monarch, did well. Started with SOS the next year (because we did well with monarch) hated it. The second half of the year picked HOD back up, and did okay, but are only 10 weeks in and then summer hit. My two older kids (will be 10th and 7th) are set with Artios (a 1 day a week intensive. Think co-op with paid teachers) so they are set. But my 3rd and 5th are drifting. I’m reading a bunch of CM material, and love it. But I also worry because of all my drifting that I have messed everything up. Hindsight, I wish I would have stuck with something , either HOD or MFW because they are the closest to the CM model. I quit both because they seemed too short snippety on each subject each day. Now I get it. But the HOD curric we are in seems so focused on each age group. I should run two guides. But to switch back to MFW, and then work them together… well I don’t think we loved ECC… And then this summer, I started collecting the Ambleside book lists…
I seriously need to be banned from all BST groups. Sigh…
We have also done a lot of switching since we began. You are definitely at a point now when you need to settle into something, especially for your 5th grader. I started with Abeka, moved on to CLE, stayed with CLE for a while for all subjects. Switched back to Abeka for Language. Tried HOD using Rod and Staff language which we hated this year as well as Sonlight. This new year switching again. I think every subject is new, however this year we have a focus… I am doing History with Diana Waring, Math with BJU, Language and writing with IEW, Science using an online program etc… I also now have a 5th Grader and I realized all the switching isn’t good for their development of a subject, learning how to do everything differently every year. This year I am more confident of my choices because I finally read a book that spoke to what my teaching philosophy will be going forward. (Heart of Wisdom approach) I read through it, saw what we needed and really focused on which programs would fit the bill, what would work with all the grades I have to teach this year, what fit the philosophy and also just gave me peace of mind. Remembering each student is different is important. What worked for one may not work for another. See where they thrive, see what you enjoyed using and what they enjoyed too. Maybe mix and match… I LOVED HOD but I could see areas where we needed something different. So to finish up the year I dropped what wasn’t working and added in the new years stuff that I knew would work. There is no one size fits all hence all the switching. There are elements of Sonlight I loved that I plan to use with the younger children while putting in our own stuff… it’s really a matter of finding which programs work for each subject and putting it all together, or maybe even making your own curriculum for the children so you have a steady pace and you keep moving forward.
I just bought the Heart of Wisdom book from amazon this morning! It will be here Saturday, I can’t wait to read it.
My fave book so far concerning methods. I love it. It’s by my bedside table so I can look at the charts etc… often.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I feel your pain here! When I started homeschooling my oldest was in fourth grade. I had no idea what I was doing and I didn’t know anyone who homeschooled. (Really, I still don’t!) We started and stopped so many programs and I seriously worried about my child’s education due to all the switching. Its really hard when shopping for a curriculum that will fit your child’s learning style and your own teaching style. I wish that there were curriculum stores in every town so we could all go and physically look through books before making our purchases!! Anyhow, I now have two kindergartners and I’ve done so much research on products in the hopes of finding something in each subject that my kids can just grow with without switching around. I don’t really have any awesome advice to give you, I just wanted to say that you certainly are not alone when it comes to having curriculum ADD! Personally, I would try to make a rough sketch about what I want/need my kids to learn in the next few years. I would try to make the best curriculum choices for my kids based on that plan and I would stick with it. I’d try to be disciplined and see it through. Like you said, sometimes it takes awhile to see the big picture of a program unless you commit to it. Here’s hoping that we both can do that!!
You’re not alone. LA/Reading - We tried Critical Thinking for our 1st year in 2nd grade. He loved it but I didn’t think it was enough so next year we switched to CLE. The workbooks were nice but after two years of struggling to have him do his work we are switching to something more colorful, Bob Jones for 5th. Math - Initially tried Singapore, but found that he would forget things that we went over months ago too easily. Needed a spiral method instead of Mastery. Tried CLE and same thing with the LA. This year we are trying colorful Critical Thinking again and using Khan academy. For History/Science/Music we are going back to MFW. We used it for 2nd & 3rd (Adv & ECC), then tried TOG (which I hated and my kids hated). My son loves reading so MFW is great for us (don’t know why I switched), we can’t wait to go back and do RTR next year.
CLE now has grade 4 math in colorful text. This will be a series, grade 5 is due out 2017.
How did you like the Heart of Wisdom book? I forgot to ask.