Planning our usage and other lessons
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  1. #1
    starfan is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Planning our usage and other lessons

    Hi, I'm new to T4L, we just started two weeks ago and already the kids love it and beg to do it. My son is 8 and my daughter is 6 and they both love computers and games anyway, so this was really a perfect fit for them both. We have been eclectic homeschoolers, using mostly books and workbooks from various sources and a little of "make it on your own" along the way. I have a few questions about our usage of T4L along with our other lessons and activities.

    I have been wanting to become more "unschooly" for awhile now, but I'm always afraid we will "miss" something. We became more and more relaxed over the past couple of years (this is our third year HS'ing) but I never reached the point I could really let go of the curriculum and we still spent a lot of time doing paper and book work. My kids get kind of frustrated with that. Anyway, after using T4L for a couple of weeks I can see what a great program it is, and it really seems very comprehensive. I am considering dropping most of the other paper/book work in favor of using T4L for the four main core subjects, with the printable resource pages. I would like to keep our spelling program and our handwriting program, at least until they have the basic lines mastered (this is the first year of cursive for my son and daughter is still learning to write neatly also). I also have a creative writing program I would like to use with my son (in addition to the writing that T4L resources offer), and I have some fun project books for science and history that I would like to do more as fun activities and not in the sense of "we are doing a science lesson now", if that makes sense. We also have art, music, physical activity and of course reading that we would do together as a family.

    Would this be complete enough? I would like to have less table work and more free project time, which I feel T4L would free us up to do. I would like to get more of an open, free learning environment feel to our "school" day, with maybe only an hour at the table doing table work (writing things), but I still worry about it not being enough. For those who have used T4L for awhile now, would you say this is reasonable? Right now I've been supplementing their T4L work with more math and phonics/LA from other workbooks/books, but I'm thinking about dropping the extra unless they need extra practice with a concept. Is this doable or should they have more writing work in the day?

    Thanks for your advice, I look forward to hearing your answers!! Oh, and does T4L cover the 50 states at all? I'll go look through the lesson plans and see if it's covered under Social Studies, but if anyone knows and could let me know, I would appreciate it!! Thanks!!

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Hi, and welcome!

    Your plan is very similar to what I do with my own children. (I've home schooled six children for ten years, so supposedly we know what we're doing by now. )

    Time4Learning's language and math are very complete. They do not require supplementation any more than any curriculum would require supplements, especially if you also utilize the printable resources.

    U.S. geography is covered in fifth grade social studies. There is one lesson that covers states and capitals, including a printable blank map to label; online "flashcards" for identifying states by their outlines; and brief acquaintance with the capitals (with a list that you could easily use to require memorization if you chose to do so). Subsequent lessons cover major cities and rivers and the characteristics of each region of the United States. The student keeps a social studies notebook throughout the year to record things he has learned.

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

  3. #3
    starfan is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Kelly, thank you so much for your quick reply!! How many years have you used T4L? I'm looking forward to telling the kids that we are dropping the other stuff, they will be so happy!! I figure I'll keep the books on the shelf so if they want to do something in them, or if we find a concept that they need more practice with we will know where to find them. I love how I don't have to fight with my kids to do T4L, they are begging me to do it! And they can do it from Grandma's house or wherever!!

    Did you supplement handwriting? If so, how long? And did you teach your children cursive? That's the hurdle we are dealing with now. My kids don't like handwriting, and last year I made a deal with my son that if he wrote neatly on all of his work, I wouldn't make him do handwriting separately for extra practice, but since he is learning cursive this year it's back. My daughter is still learning how to write all of the letters correctly, so she still needs it for now. She doesn't mind it as much, but it's not fun for her either.

    Thanks again!!

  4. #4
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    I believe this was Time4Learning's third year. The first year, it only went through third grade. We started using it last year. My favorite part, besides that my children love it, is that I don't have to spend time grading the work.

    Let me share a previous thread, explaining what our family is doing for penmanship. The Pencil Pete program is not affiliated with Time4Learning, but it's a great match for families who enjoy the T4L learning style. My children are always eager to learn cursive by third or fourth grade so, yes, I do teach them cursive.

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

  5. #5
    mom2kaisnkam is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Thanks for that info Kelly. I am definitely check out pencil pete. My kids will love that too. This is going to be our best year with HS thanks to T4L and all of the advice we have found here.
    thanks so much
    nette, kaisee, kameron

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