Topic | Help!

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  • horserider80

    I’m finishing my first year homeschooling my 6th Grader. But for next year I want to switch up our curriculum. This year we used a traditional curriculum (CLASS) because it’s what I was taught with growing up. However, I can see for my daughter she is not making the connections I’d like for her to make and her reading comprehension and ability to restate things in her own words is not improving the way I was hoping. I think that the CM way would help her in those ways, but I’m SO lost as to where to start! I’ve been obsessing over curriculum for over a week now and I can’t figure out what would be best for us. She’s a good and avid reader, but as I said comprehension is low. She has never learned cursive, as they didn’t teach it in public school and I was so focused on all the subjects we had to get through this year that I decided it wasn’t something I’d address yet. But she and I would both like her to learn it. I’m wondering if I could sub it out for a handicraft or something, since it is like art (and she enjoys lettering more than coloring or drawing). There are so many wonderful books I want her to experience and I feel we are so far behind! I’ve looked at SCM, Ambleside Online, Living Books, Sonlight and several others. I like aspects of each one, but I’ve got myself all confused! It’s hard because I don’t personally know anyone using a CM method and I don’t know how it will work practically speaking. Can anyone give me clarity?


    So many choices. I hear you!  Don’t be afraid to use pieces of different curriculum. We do this a lot.  For instance SCM history with AO language arts. Each of my children has different needs and preferences, so we work with them.  Show your daughter some samples you can live with and see what she thinks.

    Ask lots of questions.  Praying you figure it out. For us it’s a continual thing.


    A few thoughts for you –

    Hooray, you made it through your first year and you are ready to plan year 2! Great job Mama!

    I would choose your basic/core subjects first. I would suggest not diving completely into creating your own curriculum for every single subject this year, but find something planned out for you in some way. Here are some questions to guide you through.

    What math program do you plan to use? Did you like what you used last year? If so, stick with it.

    What do you want the day to day lessons to look like for Language Arts? Is there a particular program/company’s materials that you like for this? Does your daughter like online/ebooks or will you need to have print copies? In Language arts you are going to think about reading, writing, narration, grammar, spelling, etc.

    What do you want your day to day history studies to be like? How often do you want to do history? Do you want a heavier reading load, average, or light in history? Find a program that fits.

    For science, do the same. How do you want to study it, what looks like it matches how often and how much you want to study science?

    For the rest, the ‘feast’, do you want to pick and choose, or do you want to get a plan and use what is listed and scheduled out for you? Feast items could be artist study, composer study, hymn study, art (drawing/painting/creating art), foreign language, nature study, typing, handwriting, handicrafts, Shakespeare, etc.

    Remember to think of your entire set of choices and see if the reading adds up too much. If you choose a heavy literature load and heavy history reading, plus adding in a hefty amount of science reading, and so on, it can add up to more than you realize. (Ex: I know Sonlight is pretty heavy on the reading list, while SCM is a smaller list for history reading. It just depends on what fits your student.)

    One last thing to consider – if your daughter has comprehension issues then a few things that can help are to 1. Use books that are an easier reading level.   2. Have her read LESS at a time, then narrate, then read some more. In CM you begin narration with reading just a paragraph, then narrating. As children practice this skill they can then listen to or read 2 paragraphs or a page before narrating, and so on, until they are able to read half or all of a chapter before narrating. Build the skill step by step (reading a couple paragraphs and narrating), instead of jumping in to the deep end (reading a whole chapter and narrating).

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