Homeschooling Discussions

Reply to topic


Looking for encouragement and advice

Looking for encouragement and advice

So, I had planned on using Simply Charlotte Mason for History and Enrichment studies. I really like the idea of the program. However, as it is more teacher led I fear we won't get it done. I am in a season of life right now where I have good days and bad days. Fighting anxiety and fatigue. I had planned to do some AO as well, but fear it won't get done either. I love the CM method, but also want the kids to learn how to research things, etc. I don't see a lot of that happening in either SCM or AO. Unless I am intentional about adding it and right now I struggle to get the bare necessities done. Which leads me to say I am considering bagging most of that except for select books that we can enjoy together. Then, for history do Queen Homeschool. We are already doing their science, language lessons and Bible. This way i know even on my tough days they will still get their school done. They are used to working mostly independently anyway so that wouldn't be new. I also have never been keen on the 6 year history cycle with SCM. I love that they basically read through the whole Bible in SCM, but we could do that anyway. I guess in sharing this i am looking for advise and encouragement. Thanks!

re: Looking for encouragement and advice

I don't know how old your kids are, but I have been in your shoes....
I have discovered (after many years of switching curriculum) that what you would like to see happen and what you're able to do, don't match up. I really wanted to use lots of CM methods, but it just didn't happen here. I know some who can really do that in there hs, and I admire them! I haven't tried SCM, so maybe someone who uses this, can chime in and help you make it more independent. Or.....

So, I would suggest something maybe similar, but more useful for you. The Queen stuff sounds great. I am not familiar with that, but if you think it will work, do what you need to do.
I can suggest maybe Notgrass materials for history. You get a textbook, but then again, it's very different than some of the larger text companies. Or, you could take a text and bend it to make it work for you. Another good one is easy peasy homeschool. A plus for that is that it is done independently and it's all free online.

Find something similar to the SCM, even throw in the good books that you have (when you have time) and carry on! HTH!


This post was edited on Sep 08, 2017 05:26 PM

re: Looking for encouragement and advice


As a home schooled student, the SCM or classical or a blend would have been ideal *for me.* :) But I quickly realized it was not a fit for my children. Also, my children were all close in age, and due to that and their personalities (esp. a strong willed, energetic one in the mix), I needed a different schooling method.

What I found worked **tremendously** was the textbook based method. Teri Maxwell at has some wonderfully encouraging, inspiring articles about using it.

And all those wonderful books I wanted my children to read? and all the extracurricular activities and hobbies? -- they got to do those, as well!!! :) It was/is the best of both worlds, for us. :)

So if you find that something streamlined like that enables you to cover subject areas and find success, be encouraged that yes, it can work very well indeed, and often creates MORE opportunity for the enriching reading and interests.:)

re: Looking for encouragement and advice

Blessedlife, I want to tell you that I TOTALLY can relate to you as far as the CM method is concerned and your desire to use it. I also can TOTALLY relate to the fatigue that results from mom doing SO much of the schooling and the kids having to wait on mom before they can get on with their school work. I struggle with this myself. I love the idea of CM and have looked over so many programs. In theory, they sound wonderful, but in practice not so great. At least for me and my little family. We forget sometimes as moms that we can't look at curriculum as what appeals to us, or what sounds like fun for us. What appeals to me usually does not appeal at all to my children. I constantly have to remind myself that I am teaching them and they are the ones being educated.

My mom home-schooled me and eight of my siblings, and she went with ACE because it taught the basics that we needed to know and it taught them WELL. Regardless of what others sometimes say about ACE being all rote and no critical thinking, that just is not so. At least in my experience, and that of my brothers and sisters. The good thing about ACE is that it's all laid out so that the child can read and understand what is being taught because it's taught directly to him/her on the child's level. I've noticed when I try to read many of the "living" books, they are geared more to higher grade levels and the younger child sometimes just fidgets or sits with a blank look on his face. The truth of the matter is that all the wonderful books(and don't get me wrong, they ARE wonderful) can just as well be read on their own time and at the proper age. In my opinion, school should just be the basics taught at a level suitable to the child's mental, emotional, and physical capabilities, and written TO the child so that he/she can accomplish it on their own if and when mom is busy with another child, or sick, or otherwise occupied. That doesn't mean learning can't still be hands-on and fun with both mom & dad involved, but why can't those things be done more spontaneously and randomly as time allows AFTER school hours? Why does it all have to be crammed into school hours? Sometimes that just takes the fun out of it. I think sometimes in trying to make sure our children have the best and are schooled in a fashion totally opposite public school, we create a monster. We think that unless our children are having fun, then we have failed as mothers and teachers. This is just not so. All learning is not fun. Sometimes it's just necessary and the sooner a child can learn to work on their own and set realistic goals, the better off they will be as an adult.

These are all things that I was totally aware of when I first became a mother and started planning school with my own two. I knew that I wanted to homeschool, and I started out with what had worked so well for my mom and myself. My children did ACE Kindergarten. Then I joined a co-op group and started hearing all the other ladies talk about CM and they were all very condescending and even a little horrified when they found out I was schooling with ACE. That was what caused my first moments of doubt and the more I begin to research, the more confused I became. There was SO much out there and so many moms leaning toward CM methods that I decided I better try it and see what we were missing. After all, I didn't want to "hurt" my childrens' critical thinking skills or make them stay with "un'fun" curriculum. Well, that started several years of flitting from one thing to another. MFW, HOD, AO, Nograss, ect. Along with multiple more "fun" Math programs. The only result was bewilderment for my poor children who just wanted one steady, predictable curriculum that they could do and understand. Plus I realized we had changed so many times that there were huge gaps in their learning and they had missed out on a steady progression of skills, had I just had the courage to stick with what I knew from my own personal experience worked.

Anyway, I apologize about this lengthy post and it may not even be what you were looking for as far as encouragement lol. But I would encourage you to look at ACE as an option. It is geared to the child. They can just open up the books and go. They can work at a pace that is comfortable for them and they don't have to wait on poor, exhausted mom who is beginning to feel completely overwhelmed with all of it. I can assure you that this method worked very well with me. I LOVED it. I thrived with it. I was responsible for my own learning and my own work, and I grew into a responsible, well-adjusted adult who still amazes people with my ability to set goals and accomplish them. I'm not bragging. I'm just trying to encourage you that a less hands-on approach with mom doing a lot less work can be just as effective and, perhaps, far less stressful for everyone.

I wanted to leave you with a youtube channel of a mom who went to an ACE school, and who now teaches her children with it at home. The family reminds me of my own background and I so enjoy watching them learn and grow and interact. The mother is a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. I hope it's a blessing for you.

I pray you find what works for your family and gives you peace!

This post was edited on Sep 08, 2017 07:23 PM

re: Looking for encouragement and advice

That doesn't mean learning can't still be hands-on and fun with both mom & dad involved, but why can't those things be done more spontaneously and randomly as time allows AFTER school hours? Why does it all have to be crammed into school hours? Sometimes that just takes the fun out of it.


Yes, you articulated this better than I did. :o) Agree with the above thoughts - freeing. :o)

re: Looking for encouragement and advice

mommy4Jesus, Yes!!! Loved what you had to say as well. And you're exactly right-freeing is THE word to use here:)

The links I gave for the homeschool mom on youtube prove just that. Her kiddos do a tremendous amount of other fun and educational activities after they are through with their school hours. It frees up so much valuable time by using a textbook/workbook type curriculum! At least that was/is my experience.

re: Looking for encouragement and advice

Do what works for you and don't worry about what other people may think.

For me, I really enjoy a very eclectic CM style. I read, they read, we use LOTS of audio books and movies.

We discuss what we are learning. We do copywork. Dictation.

For myself, this is the easier method vs trying to do something else. I wing it a lot.

re: Looking for encouragement and advice

Your idea sounds fine to me. Use Queens and just read through the books and the Bible on your own time as you are able.

I love the idea of SCM. However, I have never gotten into the whole narration thing. When mine were younger, I easily could have them narrate to me back what they read, but copywork? Me writing down what they dictated? Uh, nope. And my children are the type who, if you tell them to write in a journal they will write one lousy sentence and whine they don't know what else to write or that this is stupid. Lol

I am an eclectic homeschooler. I use texts mainly, as a spine. I have also used many, many living books. I have used ACE. I have used Sonlight, I have used Abeka and BJU and Queens and LLATL, and CLE, and over the years pretty much everything. Each child is different, each student has different interests, skills, and weaknesses. And each year for Mom has different life circumstances. Some years I kick booty on school, and some, like last year, I was in a coma, hospitalized, for a month and had a lengthy recovery where I couldn't even walk or go to the bathroom without help. Naturally, last year I got very behind with school. This year, because of my precarious health, I completely changed EVERYTHING I had originally planned to do to much more independent work for my last child. I want her to be able to keep up with school if something should happen to me again. And you know what? This has been one of our best years ever so far! I give assignments, but they are also all laid out in black and white if I'm not here to give them. I discuss and teach and grade, and give feedback, but she will successfully complete school if I'm NOT here to do that.

You have to do what works for YOU. You have to do what will get done, not what you dream of doing because it looks so amazing. And no matter what you choose, they will learn. :)


Reply to topic


Return to Homeschooling Discussions