Major Help Needed to Get Me Started!!!

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  • Titus2mama

    First off I am a mama to 8 little ones

    Ages and genders are

    DS 14

    DS 12

    DD 10

    DS 8

    DD 7

    DD 5

    DS 4



    My Oldest 4 have gone to a Christian School for 2 years,  we just finished (are finishing) our first year of homeschooling since the CS time.  I emjoy having them home with me and have always been intriged with the CM approach.  After much reading it is time to do this for my family


    My Oldest is a very sullen child,  nothing seems to interest him except vidoe/computer games.  He does like to read,  and reads the Lord of The Rings Books etc.  He would much rather be reading star wars or some other junk.  He is a very good student, does well in school,  has never had much Grammar or Science studies


    My DS who is 12 is a good student,  struggles a bit in math,  loves to read.  He also love Tolkein and Lewis.  He is more open to books I suggest than my older son.  He is helpful but can be moody.


    I am thinking of putting the 2 oldest boys in year 6, maybe 7.  Not sure.  Should I even clump them together?


    My DD who is 10 and my DS who is 8 just finished a 3rd grade year.  My son is an advanced student.  There were some struggles with them doing the work together but it was all in all a decent year.  I was thinking of putting them in year 3.  not sure where to place anyone. Yell


    My DD who is 7 is picking up reading super well.  and I was going to start her in year 1 but I didn’t know if I should add her sister to her year also.  


    I will still have the 2yo and the 4yo to occupy also.


    any advice would be helpful


    we have looked at

    ambleside online, smiply charlotte mason, tanglewood, and Charlotte Mason help and really dont know which one would work best for our family.  I do know if I start this year and decide to try something different my hubby is gonna freak out on me.


    Thanks for listening and am anxiously awaiting  much help and support


    Welcome to the group!  Here are my thoughts from reading your post, but I’m most certainly not the most experienced CM mom here.  I do have experience making it work with lots of kids (I’m pregnant with #7 and my oldest is 10). 

    First, one thing I love about Simply Charlotte Mason instead of AO is that the whole family is in the same time period, just with books on their level.  This simplifies things so much for me.  For example, this year we are doing SCM’s Module 4, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation.  We have family read alouds together.  Then I have books for my little ones up through grade 3, I read those to them as a group and they all can narrate out loud or draw a picture or just listen and then go play.  Then I have books for my 4th-6th grade range (1 child for me).  She reads her books on her own (I tell her what the assignments are) and then she narrates to me out loud or on paper, sometimes drawing a picture to go along.  I use SCM’s Family Handbook for this Module, so all the daily readings for everyone are laid out for me and we’re all on the same general topic together all year long.  There are booklists for it, obviously, and the book has lists and assignments for clear through 12th graders, so if I had them I would have their history lessons planned out too.  We do writing about our history 😉

    You asked about combining some of your children into the same grade work – do it! 

    You mentioned a child with video/computer game addiction and I’ll suggest something unpopular but oh so helpful – get rid of them, effective immediately.  You could just box them up and keep put away for a month or two with the possiblity of bringing them back with improved attitudes (and then only allow them to play once a week).  Or you could sell them and get rid of them all together.  We have one child who loves video/computer games, several who like them.  When we began having attitude issues over schoolwork and chores we did exactly this.  After a few months with none when the issues resolved we brought the items back.  However, each child may only play for 20 minutes on Saturday.  That’s it.  There is nothing worthwhile eternally in video games and computer games, they are pure entertainment, and as such we are keeping strict limits on how much the family uses them.  It really does make a difference in their reading, creativing, attitudes, and imagination when they’re nearly non-existent.

    By the way, we were the “worst parents in the world” according to our children for doing that in the beginning.  LOL. 

    Back to academics . . .

    Other than history choose science and group as many children as you can.  Create writing assigments related to real life (write letters or stories about your day/journaling) and related to topics they are interested in/learning about.  Pull spelling words and grammar work from mistakes you find in their writing work for now.  Choose an artist and a composer and go online to find free paintings and music.  Look up here on SCM picture study to learn how easy it is, then the same for composer study.  For math use what works for your children (we use Math U See).  Read to them.  Choose a great book and read aloud to everyone, even the oldest.  Have fun and enjoy every minute!


    I too would keep them all in the same time period. Perhaps choose what you think is best for your oldest and then just include the younger ones with varying books. I could not imagine being able to do different time periods but that is just me. I have 5 I am schooling and find most days we don’t get it all done. Since we just started year 3, I also find I am much more relaxed when that happens. Wink


    No matter what, have fun and do what works for your family!


    I should clarify I meant started year 3 of homeschooling. We are in Module 4 this year of SCM. This is our first year using SCM but I love it already. We had used Mystery of History before which we liked, but I love that they are reading novels and I have a guide laid out to help us along. And the mapwork in SCM makes much more sense to me. We chose Module 4 b/c it overlaps with where we left off from last year using MOH Vol. 2.

    At first I worried about my oldest being OFF schedule from the years suggested by SCM and then I just got over it and figured Sonya would tell me to do what works best for our family. My son will get at each module one time though not in order (4-6, then back to 1-3). Hope this makes sense.


    explain the modules.  It isn’t like they have to start at a certain point?  I mean if they are going in to 7th they don’t have to start year 7


    also the video games they play with their father.  It is a huge issue with us.  I don’t mind the occassional game but the complaining I get when they are not allowed to play and the sitting and watching papa play bugs me.


    Hello and welcome!

    I am not the most experienced CM mom here, but also have some practice with homeschooling many children (we are expecting our ninth in January, our oldest is 13).

    Have you seen the curriculum guide here:

    The top section is for individual studies, the bottom section for grade-combined family subjects.  It might be easiest to combine as much as you can. 

    The history modules are outlined here:

    With a short but good article on how to use them here:

    Tristan makes the best suggestion for the video game problem, but it does not sound like that will be a peaceable solution for you.  Prayers are lifted up for your family from our home.


    Have you seen the SCM curriculum guide yet? Browsing that may help you understand the modules better, as well as how you could combine for some other subjects.

    I agree with the other moms, pick one period of history and keep everyone together! I would choose the module based on what your oldest one needs to cover since the littler ones have plenty of time to cycle back through. Keeping them together will simplify so much for you and the kids will have great synergy learning with each other :o)

    The combined History/Geography/Bible modules are NOT based on grade-level or Year (as in AO). The are in chronological order, beginning with Genesis. Theoretically, you can begin with ANY module. I would look at what the oldest two have studied in history and choose the next module-time period. SCM’s history modules are, I think, the very best option for large families. I can’t even conceive how else you could do it! Then you won’t have to worry soooo much about what “year” all your kids are in, because as you can see from the curriculum guide, grades 1-3 have their own reading, grades 4-6 have their own reading, 7-9 have their own reading, and 10-12 have their own reading. All in addition to a “family” read which keeps everyone on the same page. The olders can be assigned their reading while you read aloud to the youngers. Everyone is doing work at their level while still in the same time period.

    I think your 14 yo will need his own science, I’m not sure what everyone would recommend for the 12 & 10 yo, but I would think you could combine from the 8 yo on down on an Apologia book of your choice OR maybe split the middle kids – having them do Apologia, and then do Outdoor Secrets (from SCM) or 106 Days of Creation (also SCM) with the littles. The middle children could feasibly do the Apologia independently, for the most part.

    As for Literature, assign some good books for the older children to read on their own -they should give you narrations on these, btw. Then like Tristan said, pick a good book to read aloud to everyone.

    Have you started a foreign language or Latin with either of the older kids? What program did you use for math – if it works, keep on using it! If you can combine the littles, do it. But I really think the older 3, at least, need to be in their own level from this point on.

    When looking for books for especially the older children, look at the lists from AO (all years), SCM, Truthquest, and Christine Miller’s All Through the Ages. Then you can pick stuff out from the time period you are studying and see if your library has them or whatever. I just think those resources are really valuable to have on hand.

    You will also need a language arts program for the bigger kids – but I’m no help there, :). BUT, there are a ton of posts on this forum about what everyone likes to use for each of the grade-levels.

    As far as the video games & the attitudes, well, I think Tristan makes a good case. Here (with only a 6 yo) I have used it as an incentive. If he does his schoolwork well with a good attitude all week, then he can play computer games on Saturday. These are pretty much educational games, but he doesn’t know that lol. So far, this has worked well. But I wouldn’t hesitate to take drastic measures if I had to. Tristan is absolutely right – having less TV, video games, etc. in our home has made our kids better listeners (at least in school, ha ha) and more creative.

    Anyway, I hope some of what I wrote will help you and hopefully clarify some things for you! Good luck! 🙂



    ((HUGS))  Having Daddy play too does complicate things.  My husband now plays only when the children are in bed for naptime during the day (and he’s usually at work, so this is rare), or on Saturday too, like the kids.  It was an adjustment.  He played in the morning before work for a while (he’s up between 2am and 4 am to go to work, so the kids were asleep then too). 


    Honestly if your husband is not willing to adapt his playing at all then the only thing you can do is take it to the Lord.  Pray. 


    Thanks all!!


    I just read a lot more here and am loving the modules soooo much better than what I found over at AO.  I will see what the older one needs and use that as our starting point.  


    I have been using Saxon and Teaching Text books and will continue to do so as that will give the children some continuity from last year to this one.  

    want to add latin but am gonna get the basics going well before I add that in.  Also we have used a little of Rod and Staff for grammar and really loved it.  I just did it all naration style and the kids really liked it alot.


    As to the computer.  Well papa is home all day on Monday so I will pray and if the Lord allows, talk to my hubby about having the boys only play if they have all their school work and chores done well.  Papa has a tues-sat work week so monday is the kids day with him.  maybe the boys could play during nap time on mondays.  I just know it needs to cut down from every day.  

    we dont do much TV here,  it is only here for videos.  You know you don’t watch many videos when your boys are excited to watch Anne of Green Gables during the heat wave!!!Laughing


    As you mentioned “Year 7” and so forth, I immediately thought of AO.  Is that what you were thinking of?  I looked at AO last year, and I decided to use SCM’s guide as it somehow seemed simpler for me and easier to implement. As far as grade levels are concerned, we did a number of subjects as a family, so even though their ages would indicate varying grade levels, we were using the same books for many things.

    For example, I had (this past year) a 12yo who would be in 7th, an 11yo special needs who would be in 5th (for most things), and a 10yo who would be in 4th.  For literature, the book recommendations listed in the SCM guide span 4th through 6th grade, so I just chose books from those for the younger two. If a given book had not been read before by my oldest, we would use it as a read aloud for the entire family. After all, a good book is a good book, as long as it does not seem to be geared toward much younger readers. I did choose a few books for her to read alone from the 7th through 9th grade level recommendations, and I chose a couple of books for the younger two to read on their own.  We did something similar for history.  There were a few books I where felt my older one was ready for something more in-depth, so she read a different book covering the time period, person, or event.




    Nice to meet you.  That is funny about the tv.  We don’t watch it much either and when we do, it is a treat, whatever it is.  lol.  dh likes to play Wii with kids.  My children are younger than yours.  I have 2 dc.  They know that when dad’s not home, they don’t get to play, so they stopped asking me a long time ago.  So, they tended to play only on dad’s day off.  But, interest has dwindled down.  I try to have other plans for us.  dh usually doesn’t “plan”.  lol.  So, if I grab a few board games and set on the table, the kids are excited about that before they have a chance to think of the Wii.  So, I suggest having other plans that take the time away from the video games instead of just saying that the video games will stop.  They need to know that they will be doing something else fun.

    I really like SCM resources and this forum.  I hope you find it as helpful as I have.


    If your dh works T-Sat, why don’t you school T-Sat too?  When my dh’s work schedule is different, that is what we do too…


    I agree to either do SCM, or a similar program that combines history and science with the family, with individual work added on based on grade/age/ability level….


    Titus2, we struggle with video games too. DH himself puts it away, but one of our sons especially (but all of them really) just seem to get sucked in and don’t want to quit. When they become a vice, DH puts it away. I wish we had never gotten the Wii but my parents gave it to us (I agreed but wish I had not). When my parents the next Christmas wanted to give everyone a DS, Dh and I did say no and we still don’t have any.

    I think you’ll really like the SCM module guides. I love ours already.


    I do actually find the Wii handy at times…  we have a couple of active games where you have to run, jump, etc to play them – and we use them in the winter when it is too cold to go outside to run some energy off.

    That said – we seem to have gotten into the Lego games…. so we too have some of the problems with them always wanting to play…

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