Monday, September 24, 2012

Curriculum choices this year

The last couple of years our homeschool has been pretty chaotic.
It has been so difficult for me to figure out how to meet the educational needs of 5 children all at the same time.
I've tried several different approaches, but nothing I prayed over and tried seemed to really work well.
My oldest daughter and oldest son both have different forms of ADHD, and they manifest this condition in different, frustrating ways.
I have spent the last year begging the Lord for wisdom, and for some sort of educational intervention for me.
I've prayed that the Lord would just lead me to people who could give some suggestions or help in some way, or that He would open a door that would provide some solutions for me.

One day last fall, I was at a very low point.
I knew things had to change, but didn't know what or how to make things change.
"Out-of-the-blue" I saw a tiny billboard at an intersection in our town that I've crossed every week for years now that was advertising a small private school designed specifically for ADHD/Dyslexic students.
I couldn't believe it.
I've lived in this town for over a decade and not one. single. person I know has ever heard of it.
You better believe I called.
The cost is astronomical for our one-income family ($7,000+/year/student), BUT I talked to the administrator on the phone and she was so helpful.
She made some suggestions to me, and I was encouraged.
I also found out that this school offers a Homeschool Umbrella Program.
I thought and thought about that......and I finally called the director of that program in June.
I met with her in July and we're IN!
I am so excited about this opportunity and what that means for my sanity as well as my children's.
You can read about it here.
My three oldest will be participating in this program.
I'm most excited that someone else will be keeping track of my 9th graders high school transcripts!
Our "teacher", Mrs. S. made some very good curriculum suggestions and I was thrilled to go with what she said:

Math - Math-U-See
(In my opinion, the BEST curriculum for teaching math to ADHD students and even better for those who are not.  It makes is so much easier on our whole family!)

English - My oldest girls will be going to a teacher two days a week who will be teaching with ABEKA materials.  My oldest son will be using Easy Grammar, and my two other children will be using ACE Paces.

Social Studies - The oldest 5 will be using ACE Paces.

Science - ACE Paces

Spelling - The oldest two will be covered in the English course, and the others will be using ACE Paces and Spelling City for their tests.

Bible -We're still looking for something for the two oldest, but the 4 youngest will be heavily involved in our church's Master Clubs program on Wednesday evenings.  It's awesome and very thorough in Bible memory and teaching them practical service skills!

Spanish - As an unexpected bonus, my oldest daughter will also get Spanish from the English teacher two days a week.

P.E. - Our goal is 4 hours of P.E. a week.  Swimming and karate classes will be included!

Quilting - My 8 year old really wants to learn quilting from a friend of ours, so she will be starting with her in about a week as well.

Missions - Our oldest daughter, after much prayer and consideration, feels the Lord is leading her to take part in our church's mission trip to the country of Ghana next June.  She will be spending much of the next 9 months preparing for that.  We are very excited about this wonderful opportunity for her!!

If you're not familiar with ACE Paces, I highly recommend them.
I went through an ACE school from 1st to 12th grade (I actually ended up graduating a year early), and had a wonderful experience with them.
Granted, Paces are not for everyone and are particularly difficult for ADHD students because of all the seatwork and amount of pages you complete each day.
But I love that my children can work as quickly as they want and are working independently of me.
I can move among them as they are working and get them through a stuck place and then they are back on their way again.
They enjoy being in control of their mornings, and having more play time in the afternoons!

I'm so excited about what this year holds for us, and for the Lord answering my prayers about intervening on my behalf!!

1 comment:

Jackie P said...

My daughter is ADHD and also has dyslexia and CAPD. We have used many things down this homeschooling road we travel. Some worked and lots didn't. We ended up using Time4Learning as our core the last several years because it works well for ADHD and dyslexic kids. She has moved on to high school now. Transcripts scare me a bit, but I've been reading lots about them at Let's Home School High School, so maybe I will get a handle on them before the year ends. LOL

Oh, we use Spelling City too...just upgraded to he premium level so she can get more vocabulary practice.

Best wishes to you!!!