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Re: Hello  Ellen Sawislak & David Albert
 May 12, 2006 17:34 PDT 

Candice - welcome! I'll write more later - but I've got to run.

We've moved our list to Google Groups under Quaker-Homeschooling-Circle
- you'll find many more of us there, and fewer Internet hassles!

Best -

David
'have fun. learn stuff. grow'

Candice Sisemore-Houston wrote:
 Thank you so much for all that you said...I guess trusting that it
will all come up even is very difficult for me, even though every
thing I've read about child led learning speaks so deeply to me. I
don't have the yahoo link-would you mind sending it? I would love to
keep in touch. Your boys sound really cool! What are their interests
at this age? I am just amazed year after year at the differences in my
kiddos. Hope to hear from you soon!


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     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
     needs.

     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
     library.

     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,
     Shannon

     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
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