Homeschooling (Part Two)

Part one.

Curriculum.  Everyone has an opinion.  Everyone thinks you should know their opinion.

I don’t mind advice.  I really, really don’t.  But, here’s what…my kid had a stroke, probably before she was even born.  Add that to her ADHD, aphasia, and cognitive disorder, and you have a brain full of chaos.  Alana hadn’t been formally diagnosed with any of her learning disorders until after we started homeschooling, but we knew about the stroke, and we knew that she wasn’t learning at the same level as her peers.  Because of this, I didn’t want to start her on a strict (and expensive) curriculum.  We actually started out unschooling.

Some people will tell you that unschooling is lazy.  Some will tell you that it’s not even a thing.  Some will tell you that their kid learned how to read by five because of unschooling.  I can tell you that it was fun, and interesting, and awesome, but it wasn’t the key for Alana’s learning.  She is an inherently lazy learner and she needed a bit of pushing, especially when it came to phonics and reading.

Alana did workbook on top of workbook (my absolute favorites are the ones by Brain Quest, but Sylvan runs a close second).  She used abcmouse.com and starfall.com.  I printed worksheets from education.com and teacherspayteachers.com.  Basically, we kept doing stuff until she learned it.  For the 2013-2014 school year she went to tutoring at Sylvan for nine hours a week.  It was more expensive than I could have imagined, but it was worth it, the confidence that she gained while learning there was invaluable.  During the same school year we also added in time4learning.com and brainpopjr.com.  Both are animated and held her attention pretty well, but it just wasn’t enough.

This was part of Alana's 2013-2014 school year.  She watched a video about Dr. Seuss on BrainPop Jr and decided she wanted to know more about him.  She did some more research and ended up typing a paper about him.

This was part of Alana’s 2013-2014 school year. She watched a video about Dr. Seuss on BrainPop Jr and decided she wanted to know more about him.  After a little more research she ended up typing a paper about him.

This year we’re trying something completely different.  We’re going to be using K12 International.  From the research I’ve gathered, this will be a fairly structured curriculum.  I’m a little nervous about it, but since we’re hoping to get Alana back into the public school system next year, I think it’ll be the perfect gateway.

I typed all these words to say this:  every child is different.  Don’t immediately jump headfirst into a curriculum.  Go to a used curriculum site and buy books from various publishers, see what fits your child best.  For us, there is no easy fit, but I think we’ve finally found our rhythm.

signature American Kat 2013

About americankat

I am an American expat living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Most of my time is spent creating, trying to keep my two kids occupied, and trying to satiate my wanderlust. Americankat.com is where I (sporadically) share these adventures.
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7 Responses to Homeschooling (Part Two)

  1. Ramona says:

    Love this, I completely agree that every child learns different and thrives on different ways (workbooks,apps,hand ons items,etc). You definitely have to know the child and find the right groove. I wished they offered k12 in nc since Solomon thrives on structure.

  2. Pingback: Homeschooling (Part Three) |

  3. Katie says:

    I think thats the really great thing about homeschooling-you can really pick what works for your kid!

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