? about balancing things

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PoppyD
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:37 pm

? about balancing things

Post by PoppyD » Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:47 pm

Hi ladies,
I hope you all are doing well! I have a question that really isn't HOD related, though we are using CTC this year and my daughter and I are LOVING it. Next year we will continue with her and also add in her little sister, who will likely do Preparing.
But.........here's my question. We are a part of a local homeschool group. It was one that started years ago by Sally Clarkson and some friends. (Nashville) It is wonderful. The community is exactly what one could hope for. Very Christ centered. Very grace based. A loving group of friends for myself and my children. The classes are really fun for the kids, though they don't take the place of any subjects at home. They take science or history enrichment in the morning and electives in the afternoon. Here's my dilemma. Once 7th grade hits, it becomes more of a tutorial. It's set up where you can pick and choose what you want them to take. So if I like English and History, I keep it at home. If i dislike science and can't speak Spanish, I farm those out. So it sounds like a win/win. But here's the hard part for me. I would say that the classes are probably mediocre to sort of good. :) Sometimes there is a fantastic teacher and the class ends up great. Sometimes not. I know I don't want to farm out Bible, English or History. There is too much rich discussion and relationship building from those. I would happily farm out science, math and foreign language, along with certain electives. But it's time consuming to have them responsible for classes and course work in addition to HOD. And that doesn't include outside activities like ballet, horseback riding, art lessons, etc....
How do you all manage things like this? I am chomping at the bit to do all of the future HOD guides. I couldn't be more thrilled. There's no doubt we'll keep on with that. But I really want my kids to stay connected with this fabulous community. It really is a life line for us. I just fear we won't be able to manage it all. And I also fear that the classes won't be that great and they'll miss great opportunity for learning by taking mediocre classes. Any thoughts on this?
Thanks ladies!!
-Poppy
2016/2017 Preparing - 3rd grade daughter

StephanieU
Posts: 1549
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: ? about balancing things

Post by StephanieU » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:49 pm

For me, the things I would be willing to "farm out" to a co-op with unknown content and teacher ability are:
Fine Arts
Foreign Language
Any other electives

Those three areas are ones I want my child exposed to, but I am not too picky on how much they actually retain. Foreign language I think they might learn more from in a co-op setting because they would get more conversational practice. Fine arts, electives (outside of Bible) and even foreign language are subjects that what kids retain can very greatly regardless of the teacher and curriculum (and even effort and grade).

I personally wouldn't do the math or LA because I want to ensure my kids get what they need. If I am going to farm those out at all, it will be with a qualified teacher (i.e. ex-teacher or at the community college). Science will probably be the same unless I know for sure that my child won't need it later at all (most 2 and 4y degrees require some science, so I want them prepared for those classes in college). History and Bible are ones it would really depend on the curriculum more than the teacher/co-op. For example, we might trade some of the HOD Bible for Awana or Faith Bible Institute if our kids want to do either of those.
Mom to 4
DD (12) MtMM (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and Rev2Rev)
DS (10) CtC (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, and Preparing plus some of LHTH)
DD (8) Preparing (completed LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)
DS (4) LHTH

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: ? about balancing things

Post by MelInKansas » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:51 pm

I can totally relate to this. We are part of a weekly co op with elective classes and I feel exactly the same way you do about it - academically the classes aren't that great and aren't needed. Maybe it's because HOD is so good! I'm not an artist and appreciate when my kids can learn art with someone who really knows how to do it well, and they do PE with group games every week so that's good. We are in it more for the relationships we have built and community. Quite honestly, once we reach 7th (our co op only goes to 6th grade anyway) and will be doing sports teams with some of the same families, I'm not sure we will continue. 2 more years I guess then we will see.

My approach to HOD plus this co op has been to lax up a little with HOD during the school year but to also school slowly throughout the summer. I have taken some longer breaks, probably not more than 4 weeks at a time though. I do it when I can and just try to keep the ball rolling. To make sure we complete the whole week's worth of HOD during the school year is a bit more than we can manage (and we try not to be overscheduled, but do have some other weekly activities). Our co op classes don't require any outside time though, usually, most of the teachers just cover things within the class time. Doing this, my older kids in 4 day a week guides do still finish a guide in a year, or maybe sometimes it's 13 or 14 months (last year was because I had the baby). My kids in 5 day a week guides are closer to 15-16 months to do their guides. This all seems to work out, as my kids are a bit "young" for their guides and therefore have more time to grow with their skills also. So, that's how I do it. I hope you are able to figure out how to make it work, or decide what is needed and what's not.

I'm with Stephanie on what I would "farm out" if it wasn't done by someone very knowledgable and a good teacher - languages, fine arts, PE. We have seen many of the classes as good supplements to what we are doing at home with HOD - there's been geography, some science, art in many different forms, music, cooking, etc.
Melissa
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end"

DD12 - Rev to Rev + DITHOR 6/7/8
DD10 - CTC + DITHOR 2/3
DD7 - Bigger + ERs
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

Nealewill
Posts: 1611
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: ? about balancing things

Post by Nealewill » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:57 pm

Like the other two ladies stated, I am very leery of farming things out. I also attend a once a week co-op but finishing my guide in a year is actually very important to me. So I try not to pack my schedule so full that I can't do school. I also used to do more year around schooling but have become against that as well now that my kids are getting older. There are so many kids in my neighborhood and my kids like play with those kids. That really puts a damper on their play time. Plus, we went to the pool pretty much every day last year and I loved that! So I am pushing more for taking off 2 full months and schooling only over 10 months and taking breaks when needed.

But as my kids get older, I guess farming something out would really depend on whether or not it was something I was specifically planning to cover. For example, at my co-op, the ytaught IEW writing this year. They were using the student intensive level B. Since my oldest dd is in R2R, at first I thought great! I actually planned to let her take the class. I figured it would be the same thing but just on a different topic. She would have fun with her friends and it would be somewhat similar in load. However, I ordered in the student book and found out that this level doesn't cover half of the writing techniques taught in the Medieval level nor did it include any vocab. I ended up selling that student book to another parent who signed up for the class for the price I paid minus shipping so that I could recoup most of my money and I went with IEW Medieval writing instead for this year. Next year, my co-op is planning to teach Exploration Education. Both my oldest and middle son are going to be taking the intermediate level next year since my oldest is doing RevtoRev (long story but my son is doing the science from Preparing this year so next year when he and his younger sister do Preparing as a level together, he will do science with his older sister at the intermediate level for a year and then do EE at the advanced level when he gets to RevtoRev). If they do the Intermediate level - which I think they will - then I am going to highly consider having both of those kids sign up for the class. They will watch the discs at home and do the experiments in class as a group. I am fine with that. It won't necessarily take a lot off of my plate per se but my kids like going to co-op and they like interacting with other kids. The other thing they are probably going to offer next year is the same state study that HOD does in MtMM. I have thought about having all 3 of my kids sign up for that class because they will do all of it specifically in class. For me, I guess I draw the line at are they covering the exact same thing or at least extensively comparable to what I am doing? If yes, I consider it. If not, then I don't.

I know I will have decisions to make once we get to high school for these things. I don't know how much we will be able to continue with co-op if my kids can't take a few things there that don't interfere with their HOD school. For right now, we like the 1 day a week of classes and most oare supplemental fun. I will try my best to see if we can make it work each year but have been prepared to drop co-op or go to half days if it doesn't work. This year we actually dropped to a half day because I needed more time in my day and it has been a great year. My son has auditory processing disorder and he is in therapy again this year. I am having to work with him a lot to close some of the gaps in his learning style. But next year all of my kids will be in 4 day a week guides and my son will hopefully be moving more steadily along with less assistance. I am prayerfully considering returning for a full day.
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

PoppyD
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:37 pm

Re: ? about balancing things

Post by PoppyD » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:10 pm

Thanks ladies!
This is helpful. I am really praying God just works it all out when we cross that bridge. Thankfully I have several other friends at the co-op that feel the same way and I have been reminding my girls that they may only get to take a couple of classes there and not to expect a full load, as some are doing. I guess it's kind of hard because they really love being with their friends and I do see some value in discussing things as a group of peers sometimes. Lots to think and pray through.
Thanks for all of your thoughts. Keep them coming if anyone else has any.
Poppy
2016/2017 Preparing - 3rd grade daughter

Little Women
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:16 pm

Re: ? about balancing things

Post by Little Women » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:29 pm

We have a similar co-op. It's ok, but not what I would call rigorous. However, my kids love it, and especially love doing science there. They do use Apologia science, which is a very strong program, but they don't do all the experiments and all the parts of it, which I think is important, especially getting up into high school. So we do science there, but I make sure they do the whole thing at home. We skip the HOD science section entirely.

Our writing teacher is very good, so I let them do that part of it at co-op, and we just skip those assignments.

It's not a perfect system, but it works for us and gives my kids what they need and want.
Long-time homeschooler, short-time HOD user.
Mom to
K21: college senior
L19: college sophomore
C15: high school sophomore
J12: 7th grade

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