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Re: Hello  weidekamp
 May 12, 2006 08:52 PDT 

Hi Candice!

It sounds like you are on the right track with wanting to "fulfill our
passions and learn together"! I have been homeschooling for 4 years and
have just now came to that conclusion!

I have 2 boys, ages 9 and 11. I have been trying to "keep up with the
Joneses'" so to speak, for the past few years and not following what my
heart is telling me. The first year, I tried the curriculum-in-a-box with
everything included and was very overwhelmed---it would have taken us 10
hours a day to complete everything! Then I tried some of the ideas that
others in our local homeschool circle were using and it just wasn't a fit
for our family. We are homeschooling because we want our children to have
an openminded view of the world and to find their passion in life not
because we want to protect them from outside influences and ideas.

Because of that, I have tried to "do the right thing" and follow a set
curriculum. My 9 year old has struggled with reading and I am sure would be
labeled with a learning disability if he was in a traditional school. I
have given him his space and not tried to force the issue with him---all at
once, he is jumping ahead in leaps and bounds! I had read several studies
that stated children will learn in their own way, in their own time and not
to worry until a child is around 10 years old to teach formal reading. Boy
that was tough not to freak out over! I guess it was the still small voice
within that was telling me, "It will be O.K." I think that is the best
thing about homeschooling--we can let our children guide us as to their

I have spent a lot of money on books and curriculum materials that just
weren't needed and are sitting collecting dust. What I have shifted to in
the last several weeks, is a unit study approach, based on my boys
interests. We sit down to traditional workbooks in math and English a few
hours a week---in a few hours we can complete what most classrooms do in a
few weeks of study. Once I know that they have a concept down, we move on
the next chapter. If they need extra time on a specific item, we do
additional work until they feel confidient. We also use everyday situations
as learning opportunities......they pay the check in restaurants and figure
the change and the tip, they calculate how many gallons of gas we get for
the money (which isn't a lot these days!). We also do a lot of cooking
together and cover weights and measures. My husband and father do projects
with them and cover length and angles. They see how to apply math to daily
situations and they have fun while doing things with the people they love.

As for history, science, geography, and other subjects, we follow our
interests and explore the library, internet, museums, and local events.
We also have outside classes in music and art and our local YMCA has a
homeschool gym program, where the kids play traditional playground games and
sports.   People worry about the socialization that homeschool kids
get--somedays, I feel like that is all we do!

Your children are at such great ages! Just being together and involved in
play, they will learn a tremendous amount. Children these days don't get a
chance to just BE! Exploring, playing, natural curiosity are great
teachers. Also, I have a background in Montessori education and truly feel
that the "jobs" in math and language that Montessori offers are great for
young learners. Most materials you can make at home with things you already
have around the house--there is a lot of information online or at the

I would be happy to keep in touch with you and share ideas. I am a lone
Quaker in our local (Indiana) homeschool circle and would welcome the chance
to share experiences with a fellow Friend!

In love and peace,

P.S. I noticed that you signed on to Topica--it seems that the Quaker group
that was here has moved to Yahoo groups--do you have that link?


Hello all! I recently signed on to the list. My name is Candice
Sisemore-Houston and I'm from the quirky small town of Winslow, Ar. My
family has been a Quaker family since 2002. I have four amazing
children, all born at home- Sol,age7, Ivy, age 5, Aley, age 3, and Arlo,
just almost ten months. I am interested in any curriculum ideas and if
you don't use a curriculum, could someone please explain a little more
clearly how that works in the early years! Am I just freking out about
math and reading? What if my children love the used math books, then
don't finish what they start? We are new to this, and so far we spend
scatterred amounts of time totaling around an hour and a half...anyway,
thanks to all in advance for advice or experience. I am looking for a
spirit and fun filled family life where we all just fulfill our passions
and learn together!
love and light,
Candice Sisemore- Houston

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