Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Homeschoolers Prerogative!

  This year the girls and I decided to try the ACE program out of the local school system. ACE provides the books from K12 then we work in them and online for about 4hrs a day to complete so many lessons by a certain time. Started out real good, loved getting all the boxes of books from K12. Piper loved the art and science, math and spelling not so much. Literature was Zoe's favorite with math and science running last for her. They both liked the history books also. With this program you set up a schedule of what lessons you would do every day of the week. I realized pretty quick the it took longer to do some of the lessons than they allowed for(math) and once we really got into a subject (like history) we would have to stop and do the assessments which would interrupt our rhythm. I started feeling the pressure of not getting all the lessons on the schedule done and so we tried the block schedule which helped a lot. One of the concerns I had was what to do when the girls got sick. When Zoe gets sick she is usually out for a week and then when one gets something, the other one gets it a few days later, we are dealing with that now. The teacher we are working with said to work ahead as much as possible so we wouldn't get behind, so on Sundays we would get out the books and try to get ahead as much  as we could. I started to feel like we couldn't spend enough time on subjects they really liked because if we did they would fall behind in others. I felt I was teaching to the test (major pet peeve about schools), that they were learning just enough to pass the assessments at the end of the lessons.In Sept. we had started our classes with our co-op and this also took time away from ACE but could be counted as supplemental.
 Number one reason we started not liking what we were doing was the learning was no longer fun! Befor this
we played board games for math, history, spelling, all kinds of games. We would watch documentaries and videos on everything. Do projects with our friends and pretty much had a lot of fun learning for the sake of learning. When I started telling the girls that they had to learn a certain subject on certain days they started resisting. We tried letting them pick what they wanted to do for the day, history, lit.science and art were always done with math and writing falling behind.During this time I had started reading a book called Feel-Bad Education by Alfie Kohn. Maybe this wasn't the best book to be reading at the moment as it just emphasised all I felt I was doing wrong in teaching our kids. Here is a video about the book.

I truly believe that anyone who is in the process of educating children should read this book. If anyone has read it I would like to hear your oppionions on it.
I finally sat the girls down and we had a long talk about what they liked about the program we were using and what wasn't working at all. The decision was to no longer be part of the ACE program and go back to the way we had been doing things.Everyone felt very relieved and started looking forward to not being on such a tight schedual again. Maybe we can keep the books we liked and work out them the rest of the year.
This is what I really like about homeschooling, if we find that something we are doing is not working for our kids we have the prerogative to change the direction we are going.

                                                  Making a timeline for Ozark Tapestry class
                                                            Learning to make sushi,
                                                            Hanging out together,
                                                                         Yoga class,

                                                                         Blessed Be,

1 comment:

Carolyn Renee said...

Thank you for doing posts on homeschooling; my DD is just under 3 so we're not actually "schooling" at home yet (besides those FUN letter & number games...wink-wink), but I'm now seriously looking at other methods and books so I have some idea what we'll be doing in the near future. Glad you were all able to sit down and discuss which methods are working for you.