Overall I’m happy with the online homeschool program we’re using called Power Homeschool/Acellus (review here) because it’s a complete program for K-12 and makes homeschooling easy. The kids like it and start on their ipads as soon as they wake up, without needing any prodding from me. Their core classes are English, Math, Science and Social Studies, but I regularly add electives and supplements if they need extra practice on a subject. There’s definitely a learning curve when you start homeschooling, but the beauty of it is that you can design your own curriculum to your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This is what Charlie and Olive’s current 4 hour homeschooling schedule looks like.
Math – 1 hour
English Language Arts – 30 Minutes
Science – 30 minutes
Social Studies – 30 minutes
Writing – 1 Hour
Electives – 30 Minutes (Typing, Korean)
W R I T I N G
The writing portion of the Power Homeschool curriculum is the one area that is lacking, so most parents supplement it with something else. We currently use Night Zookeeper (review here), but it’s for kids up to age 12 and I wanted something more structured for Charlie, who is turning 12 this year. After a lot of research, I decided on the Essentials in Writing program which combines textbooks with classes via streaming or dvd for both kids. They’re both advanced readers since most of their early childhood education consisted of just reading a lot. Olive is in the fourth grade and currently doing 5th grade English Language Arts, but she says it’s too easy for her. So I wanted to focus on more writing because you can never have too much writing practice! I also want the kids to write on paper, so they have journals with a daily writing prompt.
M A T H
Math is the subject both kids are struggling with most because they are quite behind. They need more practice than what is given in the online lessons, so sometimes I print additional worksheets for them on sites like Education.com for specific modules. Olive also prefers to do math on paper, so I’m getting some Spectrum Math workbooks. They will still do the math program with Acellus, but the workbooks provide additional drilling so they can master concepts.
S O C I A L S T U D I E S & S C I E N C E
The kids have a lot of history to memorize, not having taken US social studies while we lived in the Philippines, and it’s a lot of dates to remember when they’re cramming three years worth of learning into one. So I signed up for Curiosity Stream, which is like a Netflix for history, science and technology documentaries for only $20/year. It makes history and science come alive. Right now the kids are working their way through a 48 episode series on US history that’s about 12 minutes each, watching one or two episodes per day.
T Y P I N G
The kids have typed on an ipad their entire lives, and typing is an essential skill, so I signed them up for free! typing classes at Typing.com.
K O R E A N
When we lived in New York, the kids attended Korean school every Saturday. Now there are so many online options, I wish I had started this sooner! The kids are currently learning Korean through the Duolingo app, which is free and has tons of other languages too!
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Homeschooling parents I’d love to hear what your schedule looks like and what your kids are studying!