New here... intro and trying to make sense of it all.
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  1. #1
    Cara Mia is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Hillsboro, OR

    Default New here... intro and trying to make sense of it all.

    Hi everyone. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have found T4L and to be getting started. It's exactly what I was looking for for my son and wasn't sure existed.

    *Note, sorry in advance that this is so long... just trying to get it all out here.

    I'm new to this whole homeschooling thing... my son is actually still in public school (3rd grade) until Christmas break in a few weeks, then we're jumping in with both feet. We fall into the accidental homeschooler category for sure... with a combination of labels for my son (talented/gifted AND ADD), the public school system just wound up driving us all into discouragement and frustration, so here we are. I also have a preschool aged daughter who will be using the program.

    One of my biggest questions is how to organize it. My son does very well with somewhat of a schedule, at least knowing what is expected of him, when, and is very reward-motivated (one reason why I chose this program... computer games are a HUGE motivator for him, so having that built in was super cool). Since we're starting in the middle of the school year after he has already had traditional curriculum in PS so far, I'm not sure where to start him or how to arrange it.

    I'm due to deliver my 3rd child in May and would love to cut the school year short this year, then pick back up in August for the 4th grade, but we'd like to finish the 3rd grade school year pretty much by May if possible. Doing the math, it seems like if he just started and went through all the lessons, we could accomplish this by doing 2 lessons a day in math and LA, and then maybe rotating Science/Social Studies. Is this a reasonable expectation? I have no idea how long the lessons take to get through since he hasn't done them yet... he happens to have the day off school today, so I am going to sit through some of the lessons with him and see how he does, now that we're signed up. Of course I would alternate with other activities and breaks in between lessons so he isn't sitting there at a long stretch, but do you think a whole school year's worth of curriculum on T4L could be done Jan to May with a fast learner who is very technology minded? I guess I can always give it a shot and change things up if they don't pan out that way.

    Would you recommend just going through the whole program (he struggled a lot with the stuff already given this year because of a teacher that was obsessed with doing worksheet upon worksheet all day at school, and worksheets are not his strong point), or starting with new material that he hasn't already worked on? When I looked at the lesson plans, it seems like at PS, they started to introduce some of the concepts throughout the "year", but didn't really expand on much so I wouldn't say he is comfortable with them. How do I de-select lessons that I don't want him to have to repeat?

    One more question. I'm lacking space to set up any kind of formal environment for "school" to take place. Since my son is highly distractable, I'm prone to have him working on a laptop in his quiet bedroom or on the family PC in the upstairs loft. Since I spend most of my time downstairs, I'm wondering if I should plan to have him in the same room (maybe in the dining room) so that I can easily help him through activities and supervise his work efforts or if it is better to let him be in a quiet environment where he can work independently? I know this is a matter of preference, I just would like to hear what worked for you. I know my daughter will need me to be at hand, but I'm worried about putting my son upstairs and then needing to run up there every 5 minutes to help with something or that I won't be really in tune with what he is learning if he isn't at least in my general line of vision most of the time. How do you have it set up? (Also, we're supplementing with a one-on-one book and pencil Bible course, and he is taking a science-oriented class at a local homeschool center, then we're adding additional reading to the mix as well).

    Okay, sorry for all the blabber... didn't mean to write a novel. I'm excited but also overwhelmed with trying to start things off in a way that he will take the work seriously enough to work at it, but not bombard and discourage him. The good news is that he is totally excited about it and loves to learn anything he can if it is coming from the computer, so that's a big thing in my favor.

    Nice to meet all of you and thanks in advance for your responses!


  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Blog Entries


    Hi, Cara. Welcome to the forum.

    Doing the math, it seems like if he just started and went through all the lessons, we could accomplish this by doing 2 lessons a day in math and LA, and then maybe rotating Science/Social Studies.

    You will find that it doesn't take long at all to get through that much work. Homeschooling, by its nature, takes far less time than public or private school. There is no waiting for other students to finish, "crowd control" procedures, and so forth.

    Three of my children work on Time4Learning very independently. With two of them, I sit right there and watch them do all of their work, especially math. Then I can interject clarifying comments occasionally. With experience, I think you will probably "fall" into what works best for your son.

    Be sure to let us know when the new baby arrives.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

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