Hello From Texas
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  1. #1
    AMLord's Avatar
    AMLord is offline Junior Member
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    Default Hello From Texas

    Hi everyone. I am new here, have been reading the forum for the last several days.

    I have two boys, currently in public school, a 7-Yr-old in 2nd grade and an 8-yr-old in 3rd grade. Although they are close in age, they are on both ends of the spectrum in a lot of ways. The older son is a natural learner. He seems to learn things with almost no effort. At the beginning of the school year he was reading on an 8th grade level and on his most recentl testing he reads on the level that would be expected of an 11th grader. The child reads computer programming books in his spare time. Yet, as intelligent as he is he hates school, lol!

    My younger boy on the other hand is pretty much on grade level cognitively, but he has PDD-NOS, (although a lot of people just assume he's a kid who misbehaves a lot because he will "Seem Normal" most of the time and then have outburts of anger/frustration). He is emotionally immature. He has done "OK" at school for the last few years, but this year has been a struggle. His teacher seemed real sweet, but something happened (it seems), and the two of them (son and teacher) are constantly butting heads. He is refusing to work, she is trying to force him to do his work, he gets mad and wads up his worksheet and throws it at her. I tried to explain to her that trying to force him to do something just makes it worse, but she thinks he's being disrespectful. He's gone to this school for Pre-K, K, 1st and now 2nd and this is the first time he has had this much trouble. When she paddled him twice in less than two weeks I was very concerned. When she took his desk away and told him he could do his work on the floor, I was mad. When she stuck him out in the dark hallway by himself and told him he would have to do his work out there, but then called me and told me he was doing well - not mentioning that she had made him sit in the hall, well then I was livid. I knew I had to do something.

    I was first considering K12, but one of the things I don't like about public school is the TAKS test. (This is a test the state requires they give to students in certain grades each year, and the school's funding is linked to how well they do on the TAKS test overall). Most public schools spend most of the time after Christmas preparing children to take this test. There is a lot of pressure on the teachers and the students to do well on this test. If we go with K12 they would still have to do the TAKS. But my main concern is that they require about the same number of hours a day as the school district does - about 6 hours a day of school time, done at certain times of the day. For my older son, that wouldn't really be a problem - he wouldn't "Like" it, but it would be do-able; but for my younger son I think it would be just too much. He can do something he enjoys, and he doesn't have a problem learning, but being forced to go from one thing to another for hours, he's not so good at, and it would end up having a negative effect.

    So, I found T4L and it looks good! I am a little concerned about if it will be challenging enough for my older son, but I guess I could always move him ahead in areas that he is already knowledgable in?

    Now my questions - I live in Texas, and from what I've seen, the only real requirements in Texas are,
    " In order to be a legitimate home school, you must have a curriculum which teaches reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship, and you must pursue that curriculum in a bona fide (not a sham) manner. This curriculum may be obtained from any source and can consist of books, workbooks, other written materials, or materials on an electronic monitor including computer or video screens, or any combination thereof."
    - Does T4L curriculum cover all of these areas, or would I need to supplement to be in compliance? I know I may need to supplement for personal choice reasons, but just wondering if the subjects above were covered?

    I plan on starting them on T4L in January, around the time they would be going back to school after winter break. Since the year is already half over, how do I know where in the curriculum to start them?

    Thanks for any info!

    Angela
    Angela - Mom to:
    Billy - almost 11
    Sammy - almost 10, PDD-NOS
    You can also find me as moderator "Dasher" at WorkPlaceLikeHome

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is online now Administrator
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    Hi, Angela. Welcome!

    Time4Learning is a complete core curriculum, covering all of the areas you listed above. Most people do add electives and things like penmanship and free reading.

    There is no pressure to complete a grade level during a typical school year. In fact, a child may be placed at levels that differ from their expected grade level. For example, I have a fifth grader who is doing third grade math and seventh grade language.

    Place your children in levels where you "think" they belong. If it seems too difficult or too easy after you get started, you can adjust the levels. There is no charge to do this, and the change is made within 24 hours of your request. You can always preview lessons from other levels to help in your decision.

    I would start at the beginning of whatever level you choose. If your student hasn't finished by the time you break for the summer (if you do take a summer break), he can pick up where you left off when you resume.

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

  3. #3
    AMLord's Avatar
    AMLord is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks Kelly, you are always so helpful!

    DH is a little nervous about taking the older one out of public school, but I figure hey, I work from home, I am going to school from home (medical transcription), they may as well get their education from home too! At least then I will *KNOW* what goes on in their lives.

    Now a couple of dumb questions, but if I don't ask I will just keep reading them and wondering what they are...

    What are Unit Studies?
    and
    What are Lapbooks?
    Angela - Mom to:
    Billy - almost 11
    Sammy - almost 10, PDD-NOS
    You can also find me as moderator "Dasher" at WorkPlaceLikeHome

  4. #4
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is online now Administrator
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    A unit study is where everything the child studies revolves around one topic, such as "horses". If you are doing a unit study on horses, your child will read about horses during reading time. For language, they might be instructed to write a research paper about horses, or study "horse" vocabulary (such as withers, trot, etc.). For science, they might study a horse's anatomy For social studies, they might be reading about the horse's role in early America. During art, they might draw a horse standing still and galloping, or from differeing angles.

    Some popular unit studies are The Prairie Primer (which I am doing with a some of my kids this year) and Five in a Row (my very favorite unit study).

    A lapbook is usually a file folder, sometimes left as is and sometimes folded so it opens a little differently. In it, the child glues hands-on examples of what he is learning. There are ways to fold/make little booklets, games, and pockets to include in lapbooks. Most children like to look through their lapbooks many times, which increases retention of what they have learned. Go to Google, click on "Images", and type in "lap book" or "lapbook". You will find a lot of examples. When I get to a computer where i have pictures saved, I'll post a few of ours. (I love to show off! LOL! )

    I love doing Time4Learning in conjunction with unit studies, because I know that the basics are always being covered, regardless of what tangent we take with our study unit.

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

  5. #5
    ambertopaz75 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome Angela! My son also has PDD-NOS and T4L has been a blessing for us. It allows us to work at a pace that my son can handle and we can work around his moods/outbursts. This is not to say we don't have some solid structure but we can adjust his schedule daily as needed. He still has certain things that need to be done in a certain time frame and he is pretty good at keeping to his tasks. Though when he does have one of his random outbursts we can stop and continue the activity at a later time while we deal with it. He has done activities as late as 8pm before and we even work weekends sometimes. I have found that after lunch he is more "into" school so we do most our work then. Which works out great since I work outside the home four days a week , weekends included. If he has had a really good nights sleep he will be up for some school in the morning but mostly light stuff like reading, Language arts or Math if he has already done some of the activities and liked it. He is in fifth grade but does work in 3rd, 4th and 5th. I was having him work in 6th for math but it got a bit complicated for him with all the other grade levels so now its mostly 4th and 5th with on chapter in 3rd science we are going to be doing. Though he is a very smart boy and actually tested for the gifted program when he was in thrid grade in public school, I found that he was missing a lot of basic info. Here in Washington State we have the WASL test( similar to the test you were talking about for your state) Teachers tend to focus on the subjects taught on the test so my son excelled in those subjects but lacks in the other basic subjects. Spelling and language mechanics he scored very low on last year when he took his yearly standardized test my state requires to homeschool. So I am very thankful t4l lets us work on different levels based on the childs needs.

    If you ever have any questions this forum is wonderful as you have already seen from all the info Kelly provided.
    Amber
    13y/o son with PDD-NOS

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