Homeschooling Moms

mndzjen
New here, new homeschooler, any advice (2nd grader)??
by mndzjen
September 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Hi ladies, I'm a new Cafemom member and was told that there were a lot of really well informed Homeschooling mom's on this site who might be able to help guide me with homeschooling as it is something very new to us (my 7 year old daughter and I).

I am pretty much forced to homeschool my daughter as the teachers here in our country/state have been on strike since mid-August. I don't foresee them throwing in the towel anytime soon, and I will not let my daughter go without getting an education, so I took it upon myself to homeschool her. 

I guess a couple questions I have, and please bear with me, are how many hours are the norm to spend doing schoolwork with your child at this age/grade level? Do you study each topic/subject daily or do you pick and choose throughout the week? What do you do about homework? Quizzes? Tests?

We live in Mexico, so all those wonderful homeschooling programs you ladies have I am not able to use here because of course the primary language is Spanish, and while I do use some English worksheets and books for her to read and do work with, she really needs the Spanish language work in order to get anywhere in the school system here. 

At this point I'll take any advice/opinions/information. I feel lost, even after Googling for hours about homeschooling this, that, and the other thing. Seems people's opinions are so conflicting and I feel more lost now than when I first started searching for information. 

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any replies,

Jennifer

Replies

  • paganbaby
    September 28, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Hi Jennifer! My name is Annie and I'm pretty much a first time homeschooler with a 2nd grader too (I also have my 14yo home)

    I perfer not to use a boxed ciriculum and just pull things from this and that. Here's a sample of our day.

    Math- Worksheets, math board game, cooking and shopping.

    Writing- Notes to family. We're working up to stories; but mainly just anything he wants to write about.

    Grammar- Online sites, Grammar Gorillas and Sentenceplay.co.uk

    Reading- Any books he likes.

    We don't do spelling. He's learning that naturally through reading and writing.

    Science- Books from the library, netflix, walks. He picks a subject and we learn about it until we're done then we do a lap book.

    History- Books from the library. Same as above.

    Tests: The math work books come with their own tests which is nice but if they didn't I would just make my own. For other subjects, I haven't done it yet but I plan on writing my own based on what he's learned. Probably multiple choice. Then every semester I'll tally up the scores from the the tests and give him a grade based on that.

    We work for about 4 hours a day. 9 to 1. I like to cover most of the subjects everday but I don't trip if one goes too long. The important thing is, is that he's learning. Whatever we don't get to one day, I'll pick up the next.

    Hope that helps!

  • paganbaby
    September 29, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Also (I'm nosy ;-) How long have you lived in Mexico and do you speak fluent Spanish?

  • mndzjen
    by mndzjen
    September 29, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Hi Annie and thank you SO much for your reply. Seriously some of the things you mentioned are things I never would have thought of (math lessons while shopping & cooking....Netflix {i'm assuming for the documentaries}.....brilliant!). 

    I am relieved as I have been spending about the same amount of time daily with my daughter and we try to hit all the main subjects too. I'm sure it's normal to start out homeschooling feeling overwhelmed haha, it's a whole other ballgame! I'm really winging it down here as there isn't a whole lot of resources out there for Spanish homeschooling. I do have all the books & workbooks she would have been using this year from her school, so I have been trying to pick and choose stuff out of there for her to do daily, but it's really mundane doing that, and I'd like other more interesting, attention grabbing, thought provoking things for her as well. 

    As for Mexico, I've lived here about a total of 3 years. I hop back and forth from here to the States. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm fluent in Spanish, haha, but I get by pretty well when I'm out and about running errands, shopping, getting things done without the assistance of hubby. Driving here is crazy scary though!!! :) I actually teach English as a second language down here and I think I have learned just as much Spanish from my students as they have English from me :)

    **Edit

    Before I forget......

    What do you do about art, physical education, music, computer lab time like they generally would have in public school? I was thinking of putting my daughter in private classes to learn an instrument. 

  • paganbaby
    September 29, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Glad to be of some help :-) Other ladies will chime in too. Just get as much info you can and go from there.

    3 years in another country, wow! I can't imagine,lol. I would love to travel... Do you plan on staying out there long term?

    As for P.E., we go to the park everyday for an hour and he goes to a bounce house place once a week for an hour too. He isn't too interested in art but we do a little drawing for his lapbooks and he hasn't shown an interest in an instrument yet. Although he's really into magic right now. I think a private class sounds perfect for her.

    Quoting mndzjen:

    Hi Annie and thank you SO much for your reply. Seriously some of the things you mentioned are things I never would have thought of (math lessons while shopping & cooking....Netflix {i'm assuming for the documentaries}.....brilliant!). 

    I am relieved as I have been spending about the same amount of time daily with my daughter and we try to hit all the main subjects too. I'm sure it's normal to start out homeschooling feeling overwhelmed haha, it's a whole other ballgame! I'm really winging it down here as there isn't a whole lot of resources out there for Spanish homeschooling. I do have all the books & workbooks she would have been using this year from her school, so I have been trying to pick and choose stuff out of there for her to do daily, but it's really mundane doing that, and I'd like other more interesting, attention grabbing, thought provoking things for her as well. 

    As for Mexico, I've lived here about a total of 3 years. I hop back and forth from here to the States. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm fluent in Spanish, haha, but I get by pretty well when I'm out and about running errands, shopping, getting things done without the assistance of hubby. Driving here is crazy scary though!!! :) I actually teach English as a second language down here and I think I have learned just as much Spanish from my students as they have English from me :)

    **Edit

    Before I forget......

    What do you do about art, physical education, music, computer lab time like they generally would have in public school? I was thinking of putting my daughter in private classes to learn an instrument. 


  • mem82
    by mem82
    September 29, 2013 at 7:37 AM
    Lol I've been to Mexico and I agree about the driving!

    You can find lots of resources in libraries so don't forget to go take a look.
    If you haven't, check out Pinterest because the at home Science projects are very creative.
  • JKronrod
    September 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    I home school our six-year-old son (almost seven), who is also in second grade.  Because I work full-time (albeit from home) and I have two older children to home school, we have to be efficient. 

    Each morning,  as soon as my son gets up, my husband starts breakfast and I work with our son beginning with reading.  Usually that takes about 10 to 30 minutes depending on what we are reading.  I use McGuffey Readers and simply have him read one section out loud to me and answer some questions.  Essentially, if you don't have a ready made reader, you choose something that is slightly above his reading level and have him read it.

    Then, while I take my shower, I have him do RosettaStone Japanese and a supplemental math program called IXL (essentially math games with questions).  He also can do a Geography program online if he finishes the others.

    Then he has breakfast.  After breakfast, interleaved with my work, I supervise him with Singapore math (one section per day) plus flashcards (maybe 20 minutes total); Writing with Ease (one section per day) plus English for the Thoughtful Child (less than one section per day -- I have him do what I think he can handle for that day) (usually about 30 minutes); Abacus (15 minutes); Violin (maybe 10 minutes); and then alternate days he does some Hebrew reading online (maybe 5 to 10 minutes) and History (reading and time lines) (maybe 20 minutes).   I have him do Science (once a week) and language (Japanese and Spanish about 8 and 7 hours respectively every week) and religious classes outside the home -- we have our au pair drive him to those as well as work with him everyday in Japanese. 

    All in all, I spend about 2 hours total each day.  He's working more than that but probably no more  than 4 hours everyday.  He's also reading books to himself which also adds to both history and science. 

    I do some "quizzes" for math, but I don't think it's really necessary for other subjects at this age. 

    Frankly, it doesn't take huge gobs of time to get your child to a relatively  high level.  The individual attention makes a big difference.

    You might look at edhelper.com.   It's a "for fee" ($30 for a full year as I recall) but they do have reading comprehension books for Spanish-speaking students where you can create a reading booklet for an entire week's reading.  They also have math worksheets in Spanish as well, I believe.

  • Precious333
    September 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM
    There are so many ways to approach.homeschooling. i have a 5 and 7 yr old i am homeschooling and we use classical.method. our primary curriculum is classical conversations. We also have an additional math workbook and reading books as well, along with other stuff.

    You can use as much or as little to homeschool though. The world around you is your classroom. Any book can be used to learn from.
  • Precious333
    September 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM
    Oh and for time spent, 1-3 hours total a day, so an average of 2. It is split up through the day. They are constantly learning though :)
  • mndzjen
    by mndzjen
    September 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I've got my homeschooling board on Pinterest and it's slowly but surely been getting filled with all the awesome schooling/project/crafty ideas that others have! 

    And I am definitely going to have to find where the local library/libraries are around here. It's on my 'need to do' list. I've never had the need to go because if I need a book I download it off the net, but I know that utilizing all their books, especially being that they're in Spanish, is going to be a must. Thanks for your reply mem82!!

    Quoting mem82:

    Lol I've been to Mexico and I agree about the driving!

    You can find lots of resources in libraries so don't forget to go take a look.
    If you haven't, check out Pinterest because the at home Science projects are very creative.



  • mndzjen
    by mndzjen
    September 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Wow, you must be one of those moms who have homeschooled for a while because you really got your stuff together! I'm really impressed with the way you school your son :) 

    I have a couple questions about the things you mentioned:

    1. Abacus; is that some sort of program you have him doing, or is it literally an abacus?

    2. What geography program do you use?

    My issue too is that I've got 2 younger ones, so my schedule with my oldest has to accomodate the things I have to do for & with them, as well as the schooling for my her. Since my husband works long days it's usually just me here with the kids so I'm learning how to spread my time and attention out to all three of them. Most of my schooling I've been doing while the two youngest are in school, but on top of that I have students coming for private English classes so I've got them to work around too!

    Thank you for your reply JKronrod, I appreciate it. :) It's nice to see how others go about teaching and their way of doing things. Great for getting ideas! 

    Quoting JKronrod:

    I home school our six-year-old son (almost seven), who is also in second grade.  Because I work full-time (albeit from home) and I have two older children to home school, we have to be efficient. 

    Each morning,  as soon as my son gets up, my husband starts breakfast and I work with our son beginning with reading.  Usually that takes about 10 to 30 minutes depending on what we are reading.  I use McGuffey Readers and simply have him read one section out loud to me and answer some questions.  Essentially, if you don't have a ready made reader, you choose something that is slightly above his reading level and have him read it.

    Then, while I take my shower, I have him do RosettaStone Japanese and a supplemental math program called IXL (essentially math games with questions).  He also can do a Geography program online if he finishes the others.

    Then he has breakfast.  After breakfast, interleaved with my work, I supervise him with Singapore math (one section per day) plus flashcards (maybe 20 minutes total); Writing with Ease (one section per day) plus English for the Thoughtful Child (less than one section per day -- I have him do what I think he can handle for that day) (usually about 30 minutes); Abacus (15 minutes); Violin (maybe 10 minutes); and then alternate days he does some Hebrew reading online (maybe 5 to 10 minutes) and History (reading and time lines) (maybe 20 minutes).   I have him do Science (once a week) and language (Japanese and Spanish about 8 and 7 hours respectively every week) and religious classes outside the home -- we have our au pair drive him to those as well as work with him everyday in Japanese. 

    All in all, I spend about 2 hours total each day.  He's working more than that but probably no more  than 4 hours everyday.  He's also reading books to himself which also adds to both history and science. 

    I do some "quizzes" for math, but I don't think it's really necessary for other subjects at this age. 

    Frankly, it doesn't take huge gobs of time to get your child to a relatively  high level.  The individual attention makes a big difference.

    You might look at edhelper.com.   It's a "for fee" ($30 for a full year as I recall) but they do have reading comprehension books for Spanish-speaking students where you can create a reading booklet for an entire week's reading.  They also have math worksheets in Spanish as well, I believe.



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