Do you feel like you are teaching to a test?
No, I don't feel like I'm teaching to a test at all because we don't do any testing except for when our facilitator comes 3 times a year to our house to test the kids. It's all basic math and English. The state testing coming up is freaking me out, however. But I don't know that I'll have any ideas of what the test will be like first so ... I'll have to keep you posted! If you use regular Calvert you might have testing packets. We don't have to do those. Just read and do the checkpoints to see if they understood on most things. Some videos, some games, some tech stuff.
When the facilitator, who is incredible with the kids, comes to the house, he is maybe here for an hour. He is super patient with my girl who is "behind" in her reading abilities.
I believe I need to go to Leavenworth for testing but we are currently trying to figure that out since it's 45 minutes away.
I hope to report back more on the testing experience because a lot of people wonder about it. Then you can make a good decision over the summer about joining by fall!
Will you continue using it?
Yes, I would continue using it for all of my kids. So much so that we are looking into movie and want to stay in Kansas for this program. I'll have 5 in the program this fall. It really helps keep me in track. As rigorous as this program can sometimes be, I freeze up when I think about building my own curriculum. The researching, the purchasing, the hunting down, figuring out. This is all done for me and I love it.
How much time do you spend with each child?
Time depends on grade. Kindergarten I don't do all the suggested goodies to make it a full day b/c I don't think it's necessary and I don't have time with teaching 3 others plus she soaks up stuff from them. Kindergarten 30 mins but they have enough meat to make it a full day. 7th grade a few hours but you could turn it into all day as well if you really wanted to do every single thing in the curriculum.
I'm new to homeschooling and was wondering how you teach the younger kids different subjects at the same time? My kids are still pretty young (kindergarten and first grade) and don't work well independently yet.
Honestly, most of the time my 5-year-old and 7-year-old are playing. We try to knock out our school for all kids by lunchtime-ish. Winter days stuck inside all day we'll draw it out longer and make up for those gorgeous days we quit early to go to the park or do something with friends or take a field trip.
Kindergarten should not take more than about a half an hour of real learning and the rest is learning through play. I know it works because both of my oldest boys learned to read by or at age 7 doing this and it worked for our family.
Mostly my kids don't work independently because I like to learn alongside them. My 7th grader likes for me to read him his Literature book and then he does the checkpoints (about 5 questions per day per subject). I let them loose on computer lessons like learning how to type and things like that. But I find that they usually need something. Oh, and Spelling is easy for my big boys so I let them go crazy on that alone ... they work WAY ahead on that and were done by January. Math we are behind on and will work more intensively on it. This won't work for some families but my kids like it.
Is there time left at the end of a school day for your kids to learn about things they want to learn about?
Absolutely. Some days do feel rushed, only because we have other things going on. One son is in Scouts. They all do Religious Ed on Tuesdays. We sometimes do Meals on Wheels. Wednesday afternoons are reserved for a playdate at a gym with other homeschoolers. Thursdays they have gymnastics for an hour. Fridays their dad is off work every other so that's more of a fun day than a homeschool day! Oh, and we like to go swimming at the community center and visit grandparents! Our days are full of memory-making goodness and we fit school around life!