Homeschooling by substitute teacher, traveling, moving

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Homeschooling by substitute teacher, traveling, moving

Unread post by Julie in MN »

mgardenh wrote:As most of you know my youngest and I are going to Denver for two weeks to National Jewish. Grandma is going to homeschool. She is a retired librarian. I know MFW is easy but does anyone have any ideas how to ease grandma into homeschooling. She is anxiety ridden about everything so I would like to help her as much as I can to be ready. My wife and her sisters were in public school so she has no homeschooling experience.

I have already shown her the teaching manual and I am planing when she arrives a day or two before we leave to show her were all the material is. I plan on having each day outlined as well as what is in the book. But any other suggestions would be helpful.
Hi Mike,
I already typed up a few things that I did set up last year for my ds to do independently, and some of that time was while grandma was here. In the last paragraph, I think, I mention that one of the lists I made was for things ds could do if someone else was available to help (such as grandma):

My mil especially enjoyed doing the Bible readings with ds. She liked having my list of Bible assignments, and then she often said, "I told Reid that we didn't have to stop there!"

Another thing that she appreciated was having an idea of my expectations -- how little I would be okay with, and the fact that ds's school day could be over at a certain time each day even if the work wasn't done. Then she knew when to put her foot down and when to let it go. You probably already realize this, but -- don't forget that the kids at home are also going thru some stress while their parents are gone & loved ones are ill. I think keeping up some structure helps, but expecting high achievement can of course be put off for a while.

And finally, I made sure to let her know that she could add to the curriculum anything she wanted to call "educational." For "art," she helped ds choose colors & repaint his room. She also freely added phy ed, cooking, and cleaning :o)

In past years, I've also had other family members really enjoy teaching a class to ds, such as science. And some prefer to create their own "class." Your mil might enjoy some of these types of things:
* A downtown field trip with my sister when she visits every fall.
* Gardening with my other sister.
* A "fun day" with his Godmother.
* Fishing with his Godfather.
* Hot lunch with dad.

A couple other stray things that helped:
* I made a big pile of videos and games that I considered "educational."
* I arranged with other co-op families to pick ds up and bring him on a field trip or to a co-op class.

Best wishes on your trip,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Unread post by sarajoy »

My mother took over for me for 2weeks this past October while my dh had surgery. I gave her my general topics and she went her own ways with it. She didn't feel comfortable teaching the MFW1 manual, so I didn't sweat it too much.

She spent time on some of the "extras" I don't always get to with the energy I'd like to. She role played safety situations, drilled them on their address and phone number. She worked with them extra in drawing, as that is a strength of hers. She helped with seed collecting and nature walks and other various science topics. She kept them busy and she read to them. At the time that was enough for me. They were learning to cope with life in so many ways that couldn't be learned from a book.

When things got back to normal we picked back up where we left off. At first, that was a little tricky, but I account that to the stress of dh's surgery more than anything else.

Maybe that will help.

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Unread post by Poohbee »

On a couple of different days this year, I had some conflicts. My mom taught one day, and my dh taught one day. I just tried to keep it simple, and I didn't expect them to do everything that we usually do.

I did want my dd to get her reading and math lessons each day. I also wanted her to practice her Bible verses, and I asked my "substitute" teachers to read aloud to her. Other than that, I let the "subs" plan other things they wanted to do, such as arts and crafts.

I love some of the other suggestions given on this thread, too... making some educational movies or computer games available, etc. I would say, just keep it simple, and let your dd and grandma enjoy their time together. That is very valuable, too!
happily married to Vince (22 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Hi Mike -- How much is Julia "schedule driven?" Is she going to be upset if things are done differently than she is used to? When I went through a bought of illness myself, I had to give my dd a lot of gentle reminders that Daddy or Gramma or Papa may not do things just like Mommy, but it doesn't mean that it's "wrong." I had to get her to appreciate that they were helping so that Mommy could rest and get well. One can only listen to "THAT'S NOT HOW MOMMY DOES IT!" so many times. If it were me and my dd, I would thoroughly explain that she is going to special school with Gramma for two weeks, so that she would have no expectation for things to be the same. And trust me, with my mama, things would not be the same! If it's important for your dd to have things run on the same schedule and flow, I'd do what the other ladies have suggested and build a grid of things that should be accomplished each day, and write down how long each subject should take so they don't get hung up on any one thing. And I'll tell you what my dh tells me --- RELAX, she's going to be fine. :-)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Teaching While Traveling

Unread post by Julie in MN »

mlhom4him wrote:Have any of you ever taught on the road while traveling? We are planning on doing this in the future. Looking for any tips that I can get.

Mary Lou
Mary Lou,
Are you talking about a travel lifestyle, like I've read about, who travel the country... or the world?

Or are you talking about taking a 2-week vacation or something along those lines?

I've done #2, spending 2-3 weeks with my parents in another state. I will say that we never do as much school as I planned, and I never plan to do it all, but there are also good experiences on a trip that can be "school" in themselves.

I'm sure for #1, if you traveled as a lifestyle, you'd get into a daily pattern.
mlhom4him wrote:Technically it is vacation BUT because we are behind :~ and because we have many hours on the train (30 to be exact) each way, it seems logical that we would do school.
Well, this is just my method. Hopefully you'll get others!

I definitely bring the math. Singapore was very portable. If we have a bigger textbook (like geometry for high school), then for just a week, I am likely to zerox the math text pages, and if it's longer then I am likely to bring the whole text.

I try to bring along materials for Bible and History. This year, I put the Bible chapters on my son's ipod from an audio version, and I just had him write (type) a few sentences each day on what he had read. I try to get a sense of the main focus in history, so I don't have to bring our entire shelf of books. I also keep an eye out for things that really need to be daily, rather than squished together before or after the trip -- the whole learning will be gone if I try to get my son to do too much at once in some areas, so those are good things to keep up with on the trip. I find good breaking points for other materials, to finish we go or after we come back. This takes a lot of words to explain but really doesn't take me long to figure out, since everything's already on the grid.

For other things (science, music, art, reading, book basket, read-aloud, writing, spelling, foreign language): I try to bring along more portable materials, like a book or video for science, or a CD program to listen to from the library in the foreign language. I figure we'll end up skipping some of these subjects altogether, or sometimes I'll find it easy to sub them by doing something in the area we are visiting (a zoo for science, an art museum for art). When my kids were public schooled, they were assigned to create a trip journal to make up for their missed school (that was it!) -- something like that can take care of writing, maybe spelling, and even some history.

Hope that helps & isn't too convoluted. My son has taken many trips & had many interruptions over the years, and for me I just need to sit and stare at the grids for a bit to get a sense of what i want to do.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Teaching While Traveling

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I've schooled on the road when my dh worked out of state and we traveled back and forth with him sometimes. I had a separate carry-on size suitcase and even took library books. I packed everything very securely, using socks or a blanket to cushion as needed. I recommend copying the grid for the weeks you need (check copyright rules) and make notes on them. Leave your TM safely at home. Trust me. Singapore is so easy to take along. Forget manipulatives - you can use your fingers. PLL and ILL are small - I took peechees instead of binders and then filed papers in the binder later. Of course, dd took her own Bible. I copied pages from SP for what we would need (I don't even know if that's ok, but that's what I did). Take along the colored pencils, several school pencils and a sharpener in a box and at least one good notepad.

You could do things much simpler, I'm sure - but that's my story. We needed to do that because we were definitely travelling a LOT during the school year. If it was a 2-week vacation, I would spend the time playing games and having fun and being a family and forgetting about school. I get way too serious at times and have to be reminded to chill out and enjoy the moment. Just thought I'd throw that out there, too.
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When in Transition... MFW works!

Unread post by courthart246 »

When in Transition... MFW works! I had ordered MFW 1850 to Modern Times and planned on doing MFW K with my youngest. We have gone through the whole cycle and are finishing up this year.

Then our lives took a turn and my husband ended up in church planting training, and we ended up in an apartment not even in our home state for 4 months. We are just finishing up that training, and then my husband will do an internship and then we will begin the process of planting a church. This is a HUGE TRANSITION time for our family with multiple moves and schooling in not the most ideal of conditions. (However, I am so thankful for homeschooling right now!)The hardest part for me has been not being able to check out enough books at the library because we have visitor cards which greatly limit the number of books you can check out. And I LOVE my book basket!

But all of that to say that MFW still works!!!! Even in this time of transition, my kids are learning and growing, as am I. When I knew that we were going to be in this new journey in life, I considered going with a textbook/workbook curriculum just for the year, but since I had already purchased MFW, I thought I had better just stick with it. I'm so glad I did. If any of you are facing big transitions in life, this is just an encouragement to say that MFW works even in the transition times!!!! And it can even be an encouragement during those times as well!
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Re: When in Transition...

Unread post by meagabby »


You are so right!! Thank you for such an encouraging post of users that wonder!

We are on the 5th year of the cycle as well. Thanks for the reminder that MFW was placed before me so many years ago and that God knew all the transitions I'd be going through.

Loving learning with MFW!
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Advice on schooling while traveling

Unread post by Julie in MN »

afelton wrote:I am using MFW K and MFW 1st grade. We are traveling to see family and I need any advice on getting school done while we are gone. What to take with us, ect.

We will be gone for a little over a week. However, I am only planning on three or maybe four days of school.
Most of our trips have been for longer times. Usually what works best for me is to mostly pack independent work, rather than things I mostly "teach." So reading a chapter a day works, short-answer questions, CDs or DVDs related to our studies, and maybe math. Some things can be loaded onto an MP3 or something (Rosetta Stone audio companion, audiobooks from the library). If there are lots of books in one subject, I usually try to choose the most important one currently.

What I *don't* bring are things that could get lost or wrecked (timeline, mapping, notebooking pages), things that require a lot of accessories (science projects, art), or things I really care about and want to discuss/delve into.

For short trips, we usually just set school aside and spend time together. I have never taught K/1, myself. But when my kids were in public school, we visited relatives quite regularly and on long trips, teachers usually assigned a travel journal. That covers English and social studies at least, sometimes even art (my dd) or math (my ds & his little trip budget) :)

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: advice on schooling while traveling

Unread post by cbollin »

Julie in MN wrote:For short trips, we usually just set school aside and spend time together.
yep. gotta agree here.... even if you need to legally count a few days... . it's planned ahead and field trip learning....

for k/1st... take along some books.. books on audio in the van can be fun for some children. favorite bed time stories. Now you got reading done. :)
do some sightseeing.... as a family (call it field trips if you want)

print out some google maps or get a road atlas - let them follow the exit numbers, or mile markers... now you've done "math and social studies"

if you by any chance happen to be traveling on US 63 and will be near the border of Missouri and Arkansas, you have to stop at the "welcome center" on US 63 at the junction of Route 9 in Mammoth Springs. Walk around that lake and look at that! It's the 2nd largest spring in the Ozarks mountains! The waterfowl there are "tame".... beautiful! was just there today... I'm just so glad a friend of mine suggested that instead of stopping at mcdonald's for potty break.

enjoy the trip... look for stuff like that and do visitor tourist things.... it's school and learning time...

I'd leave worksheets and curriculum at home and "unschool with field trips" for those few days.... and yes, it counts. I'm not being silly on the maps and all of that... for 1st and Kindy, that counts.

the only workbooks - stuff that would be fun for them on the car ride/plane ride.

then pray together and sing together.... and it doesn't have to be classical music either!

I have different experiences for high school level on this...... my oldest takes all of her stuff to grandma's house for a week and thinks it fun to do school at grandma's. (that's when she travels to grandma's without the rest of us for special birthday visit....)

for weekend car trips.... oldest likes to take "fun book" to read, and maybe something from mfw that she is otherwise not getting around to

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: advice on schooling while traveling

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Is a particular time of day that you're trying to fill? Or do you want to keep up on skills? Do you need something to keep them busy on the car or airplane? Or are you trying to finish the year by a certain date?

I have different opinions based on those, too.
afelton wrote:Yes, I am trying to fill a few mornings until lunch time. My husband is going to a conference for school. While he is gone the dc and I will be staying with my parents. Both my parents work in the mornings and I want to fill that time so the dc arent just watching tv the whole time. I also don't want to be finishing school too much into the summer. We had a lot of trips that we took off and some sickness this year. FYI, where I live I don't have any reporting until 8 yrs old. So that isn't hanging over me.
I totally understand. We did that while staying at my dh's parents for a week during ADV. School actually worked a little better there than at home - except for science. I wouldn't bother with any science experiments. That's more mess and hassle than you need to deal with.

If you're not breaking the copywrite laws, I would copy off the pages you need from the TM. I'm not sure how that works in the new TM's. I actually damaged my ADV TM pretty badly when I took it along on our trip. Take along the file folders (or however you separate the student sheets now) for a week. I would even take the Bible Notebook and Reader if it's convenient. Pack some neat story books. You'll need writing pencils and a small assortment of colored pencils. Your parents are going to have printer paper, tape and scissors, I would imagine.

I really wouldn't take too much for Kindy. You can go over those topics pretty well without too many materials. Keep it bare minimum and don't worry about the letters or blocks or anything. Take some fun toys that the K'er can play with if they don't sit in on all of 1st.

I think it'll be really doable for you. Just keep it simple and know ahead of time that you're not going to do everything.

eta: Have a designated place that you keep your "school stuff" while you're there. Take it out, work on it, then put it away in a box or suitcase.
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used MFW from K through WHL

Re: advice on schooling while traveling

Unread post by cbollin »

in that case....

for kindy:
*take the worksheets you need for Kindy. focus on "staying on course" with phonics. You know the routines by know with phonics letters.
*do not worry about math. repeat... practice setting the table for grandma and count things and do laundry.
*copy the few 2 pages from the kindy manual that you need for some of the badges, activities then destroy the copies when you're done.

*see if grandma has a library card.

depending where you are in the program..... you might not need more than a handwriting sheet, Bible reader and notebook.
take complete book of math - do a few pages... again.. at this age, if they don't complete the book, it's ok..... the focus is not to finish the entire stuff there...
(i say that because you don't want to do school in summer)

go ahead and repeat some favorite science - or if you are in the last part of the year..... do it all as nature walks. What is growing at grandma's? What is in her parks?

Honestly? I'd still favor in terms of playing at parks in grandma's city. Library a little. visit some stuff. do a lot of nature walks in new city and call that science.

take enough with you to stay on track with phonics/language arts. all the rest is Kindy and 1st grade and if you don't finish, it's ok! I don't know how your children travel in terms of energy levels and all of that... but if they need the first two days to do nothing, it's ok.

Can you work ahead in the program for a few days before you travel so you aren't behind from other stuff this year?

to spark your thinking a bit.... what if this trip were happening and you were already done with K and 1st? what would you do during the morning with them? that's what you take with you and do. Art work can become play dough and markers at grandma's. Play some new games.....

I've done it a variety of ways - including having to take a lot of speech therapy stuff for some children...

safe travels to you.
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Re: advice on schooling while traveling

Unread post by afelton »

Thanks so much for your advice. There is nothing better than advice from those who have been/are there.
Using MFW since 2010.
Wife of Terry since 2002.
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Moving and Trying to Keep up with School

Unread post by Renee413 »

inHisgrip wrote:We have just sold our house. We've been in our home for 14 years, pre-kids, and I have forgotten how much work it is to move. We are not moving out of state, but about an hour away. With the market the way it is, no seller will consider an offer [on their house] until we have closed escrow on our house. This puts us into the position to have to rent for a month or so.

While selling our house I have found it very difficult to keep up with school. Between showings and keeping the house clean and doing house maintenance, it was very difficult for us. A stressful time for mama, to say the least. Now I find myself purging, packing, and trying to figure out where we are going to live, all while looking for a new home and dealing with realtors/escrow/lenders, oh my... School is hardly getting done. I am trying to do math and language arts, but some days that doesn't happen either. We are loving CTG, but I don't want to skip too much of it so I'm considering putting it away until after we settle somewhere.

I know a lot of others on here have experienced this same thing, and I'm just wondering if anyone has some advise for me. I am such a grump these days and my poor kids are seeing a mama that is stressed to the max. Being Christmas time is making this even more difficult. All our Christmas stuff is in storage and I am trying to find other ways to celebrate this year and make it special for my kids. Any advise or suggestions?? Thank you!!
I so feel your pain! We had a crazy year... husband took a job 2 hours from home.. we couldn't move until we sold our current home so he lived away from us during the week and returned on the weekend. I was left schooling the kids and keeping the house immaculate for all our showings (and we had a lot!)..We finally got an offer on our house, placed an offer on new house in new state... it fell through which put us at square one again. Then we couldn't find a house that suited us. We closed on our old home and didn't have a new home!! The kiddos and I packed up and went to stay at grandma's (14 hours away) for a month until husband could find a home and close. UGH!.. but we're finally safe and sound, back together as a family after 10 long months.

My kids are 7 & 8, doing ECC. Somehow we managed to get things done... but I haven't managed to get any extras done (ie. science experiments or crafts). I wish I had some advice, I know that's what you're looking for. I just wanted to empathize with you!
Colin - age 8: ECC, TT 4, PLL, Spelling Power
Analise - age 7: ECC, MUS Beta, PLL, SS & S

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Re: Moving and Trying to Keep up with School

Unread post by MelissaB »

We moved in May 2011.

You know, there are only 24 hours in each day. And so, we have to budget our time exactly like we would budget our money. I wish I were like that boy on the Incredibles, and could spin around and do a thousand things in one second. (And would love to do that invisible thing, too...) But, we're not.

This is not advice, but just sharing with you what we did. We put all school aside except Bible and Math until after we were completely moved and moved in. The entire process (packing - moving - upacking & organizing) meant that we lost 3 months of school. The results:

1. We had to do school through the summer months. (Thought that would be terrible, but it turned out to be no big deal. I couldn't believe it.)

2. We were able to move in completely. So, everything was in its place. When we started back to school, everything went smoothly because our home was organized. It went great.

Do what your gut is telling you to do. Yes, it's December and January. Most people are in school. If you take off school during those months, you're going to be - - different. And that's O.K. Because as homeschool parents, we tend to do things a little differently anyway. ;)

P.S. Love your blog. Your verse at the top is one of my favorites. :)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Moving and Trying to Keep up with School

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Uggh on the moving from me, too. It's been 20 years since I moved and I still can't bear to think about it :) But I thought I'd add to the suggestions just from the perspective of homeschooling during stressful times. I figure the more suggestions you get, the more you have to choose from...

1. I agree math is good to continue, but maybe they can work on math facts, rather than anything that needs your teaching.

2. Maybe for writing, they could keep a daily journal. I'm not a huge fan of journals just about feelings and such, but journals about trips and moves can be precious. Maybe they'll want to add in some photos or drawings, interviews or questions, maps of old and new landmarks, or other mementos. And it will keep them writing every day.

3. Setting aside the rest of school during the Christmas season isn't all that drastic; even the public school teachers will be doing less and less teaching in the coming weeks. And after Christmas, who knows, maybe there will be a day here and there when you pick up the manual and enjoy something together. God is good at orchestrating the perfect, meaningful lessons when the time is right. Turn it over to Him.

4. Teaching your kids how to handle stressful situations, how to maintain a marriage and home responsibilities when it's not so easy, and how to forgive yourself are foundational lessons that will stay within them even if they don't realize it. Your efforts there are not wasted. My oldest, public-schooled son is not really sure about this whole homeschool thing, but he does say on occasion that he wishes he knew more about what was going on in the family over the years, because he was away all day and doing homework, and just didn't always see behind the scenes. My youngest, who's been homeschooled a long time, will have no need for such a wish :) , and I am thankful for that.

Best wishes, and hoping you get many suggestions to choose from,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Re: Moving and Trying to Keep up with School

Unread post by inHisgrip »

Oh Ladies!! I can't express how much your words have helped me already.

Renee, my husband is so quick to want to try and 'fix it' when I try and talk to him. You 'empathizing' with me is exactly what I needed. Being back together again after 10 months must be so so sweet.

And Melissa, this last year was the first summer we have taken in 5 years of homeschooling, and honestly I really didn't enjoy taking that much time off of our normal schooling schedule. I think taking a break now and continuing school through the summer would work out great. Giving myself permission to settle in and get organized before jumping back into school would be such a gift to me. It may also help our new house feel more like a home sooner and help my kids transition better too!

And Julie, you hit the nail on the head with your comments regarding teaching my kids how to handle stressful situations. I'm doing such a poor job of that these days. I am going to try and watch my attitude this next week and try to turn that around and be a better example to my kids. One of the best ways I can think of to do this is to start the day out with Bible again, just like we would if we were doing school (I've let that slide). But we can break after that and do some packing until my little one goes down for a nap and then get some math done. Also, I love your idea about a journal. This is a huge change for our family and it would be nice if it were documented in their own words. Not everyday, but some times would be neat. We have been praying for this move for years, and there have been so many instances that only God's hand could have made this happen. We need to record these times so we can look back and be thankful to the One who made this possible.

Thank you ladies! I knew I would get some wonderful advise here. You have refreshed me and I feel I can start this week anew and encouraged. God Bless!!!
Married since 98 to my best friend
ds 2003
dd 2005
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Going crazy - remodeled, moved

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Loughridge wrote:This is our second year to homeschool.the first year was very bumpy changing curriculum half way through. This year seems the same we remodeled a house and moved. I just still have not got a good structure and schedule. I have a 7 yo boy, 5 yo boy and 4 yo girl.

Part of me questions if this is right for my family and part just thinks I haven't found the right curriculum or structure for our family. I have a friend that uses MFW. I have looked at it for a while. I want something that structures my day and my children together; it seems this program does. Any suggestions. And would you wait and finish what I'm doing or switch in the middle of school year. In all honesty Im not that far in what we r doing because of the move and the holidays...please help
(((Hugs))) Sounds like you've had a rough year. I can't imagine what it would be like to try and homeschool with a move/remodel in progress. I don't have much advice for you, as I'm fairly new to homeschooling myself (oldest is doing 1st). My only suggestion would be not to base your decision of whether or not to homeschool on your year with moving, etc. That would be SO tough for anyone.

MFW may be for you. We LOVE it. I had a rocky year doing K with my oldest until we found MFW for 1st. It really lays the day out for you and includes all the fun and exciting things that I've always wanted to do as a homeschool mom, but never came up with or was able to plan myself. I'm also really looking forward to future yrs when my kiddos are a little older and I can combine them in the 5 yr cycle. Bonus!

Best wishes to you in whatever you decide! Hopefully some veteran hs/MFW moms will chime in here :)
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
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2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!
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Re: Going crazy

Unread post by mshanson3121 »

Well.. we've changed twice this year ;) Started with [one program] and that didn't work at all, so we just kinda bumped along using a bit of this and a bit of that and FINALLY I was able to get MFW grade 1. We're starting tomorrow.

I can't tell you the peace I feel. How nice it is to have that teacher's manual all scripted and pre-planned, I can just open and go. I love that I don't have dozens of things to keep track of, just one teacher's manual. I love their curriculum, it is so gentle and yet thorough. I find it the perfect blend of hands on and worksheets. My son loves hands on stuff, and can't handle a lot of workbooks. And yet, I found that when we were doing ALL oral/hands-on, I didn't feel confident in the teaching/knowing what he was learning. MFW is a perfect blend. I highly vote: go for MFW!!!
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Re: Going crazy

Unread post by mshanson3121 »

Also, many people actually change their "year" at New Year's, and start a new curric. That's the beauty of homeschooling - you can make it work for you. You can change grades in September, January or March!
Julie in MN
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Re: Going crazy

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Oh, ugg on the moving. I always say that when you move, you can't even pick up a spoon without the mental effort of figuring out where it is now.

I agree on changing mid-year not being a problem. Done it many times, myself.

Are you starting your 5yo in kindergarten yet? I'm a better-late-than-early gal and started my kids in K at age 6 or close to it. So, if you aren't worrying about the 4 & 5 yo doing formal school yet, then you can just use one program for your 7yo (1st or Adventures, depending on where he's at) and the others can join in on the fun stuff.

I find that homeschooling gives a structure and purpose to our days that makes life easier rather than harder. Well, not that parenting isn't hard sometimes, whatever we do, but I find more of the direction I sought in my parenting now that I homeschool (after having my kids in public school for maybe 12 years, I've homeschooled these last 10 or so).

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Re: Going crazy

Unread post by asheslawson »

There are always bumpy times - but that's true in anybody's life and all types of schedules. This is my 5th year to homeschool...and I finally feel like I've established some normalcy & routine. But that may be different next week!! ;) I have adult children I sent to public school and finally decided to homeschool when my now 12 year old was 10. I have always home schooled my 8 year old since pre-k. What you are doing is monumental - a remodel is tough on a seasoned home schooler - and you are going through it as a 2nd year HS'er! Might be able to say you are seasoned well after this year!! :-)

Changing mid-year is fine - MFW is undated... That being said - I like to go by the school year in my routine - but that is largely because I have a home child care and I follow the public school schedule because I have extra kids in the summer - doing school is just not attainable when there are public school kids here on break weeks, summer, etc. Still - you can work the manual starting at any point.

As for me - I love MFW...I've looked at tons of curriculums & I prefer the flexibility of MFW - plus - I could not imagine doing everything separate. We do core subjects on their level - so it is really nice to blend history, science, art, etc! MFW gives notes when needed - lays it out - and just makes it so easy. I am thankful to have found it first!

As an added note - I started w/MFW K & then did MFW 1st with my daughter - and she was slow to catch on to reading at first - but now - I am so thrilled as she takes turns reading aloud during the bible reading time. She is reading so much more than I expected - and their is truly a sense of accomplishment when I hear her reading and I know that we did that together!

Pray about your decisions - we all go through ups and downs!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
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Re: Going crazy

Unread post by Loughridge »

All of u guys have been very helpful! I'm going to pray about my changes. I hate changing in the middle i just like going by school schedule so I would always feel behind. I know that is one of the joys of homeschooling :)... Im already doing k with 5yo he will be six early feb. Glad to know there r so many helpful people on here because I will need lots of help on how to combine these ages I have with this curriculum.
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: ohio

Re: Going crazy

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie »

A year ago I made a similar post. We has used workbook based curriculum. [ ... 394#p84354 ] Our first year was rough to say the least. This is our third year and first with mfw. It has been such a blessing for us!

I can not tell you what to do as fast as middle of the year switch. Really up to you. If not middle of the year then just wait til next year. I have a few friends who use ur as sgml and they love it too.
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
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Re: Going crazy

Unread post by unitlovinmama »

I think the first few years of homeschooling are the hardest for many reasons, but perhaps mostly because you have a school age child and probably some younger ones to keep busy too. While trying to build a solid reading and math foundation for the first child, the next child is ready to be schooled and begin building the same foundation. Having a Pre-K, K, and first grader means lots of building! They are at such different levels (typically). When they are all reading well, that's when it seems to get a bit easier. They'll all join the family cycle if using MFW. The core subjects are the same, math and language arts continue to be at individual levels, but I've found my kids get more independent each year.

I did the Weaver for 5 years and I loved the unit study approach, but with three children, a move, and lots of "life" going on, I needed and wanted something that was completely planned for me! MFW has been a God-send, truly. It took a few weeks to get used to it, to find our groove, like what order to do things and how to set up notebooks, but after that, it has been a breeze compared to all the time and energy I spent making lesson plans. And I loved making lesson plans. After four weeks off for Christmas, all I had to do to start school back up was pencil in math, reading, English, and spelling and look over my teacher's guide to make sure I had the supplies I needed! Wow, did that make our school start up so much easier this past Monday!

It's going to take time and commitment to get used to any new curriculum and schedule. Home educating is mostly discipline and habit, I have found ;) Give everyone time to get into the new groove but be consistant. I think you will love MFW if you give it a shot.

God bless you as you make a decision!
-Stephanie, HSing for 5 yrs, first year with MFW 2012-1013 (ECC).
Wife of 12 yrs, mama to three crazy but amazing kids (9, 7, and 3)
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us..." Psalm 90:17
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