We’re taking the summer off, and I’m taking time to reevaluate some of what we did or did not like this year. We used Flashkids this year for many of our core subjects. While it worked ok, it got a little dull after a while. That, and one of my kids was really “phoning it in” when it came to answering comprehension questions (as in, just writing “I don’t know” instead of trying to find the answer in the text). I’m looking at other options and feeling paralyzed by choice.
I’m thinking of maybe trying time4learning as an all in one solution, but that would require us to have more (cheap!) laptops at home so that the kids aren’t all waiting to get on the computer. I’ve also been looking at CK-12 and potentially getting certification over the summer. I want what we do to be a little more interactive and meaningful than the workbooks (although they have their place in our home as well), but I also don’t want to be up all night before preparing elaborate demonstrations. I don’t want to buy homeschool kits that cost $800 per kid either.
Maybe I’m either too fussy or asking for the impossible, but suggestions or encouragement would be appreciated.
I hear what you’re saying. We’ve done Time4Learning in the past and we loved it, but it did require the boys to share one computer so it meant staggering their homeschool times.
Honestly if it came down to buying new inexpensive laptops or spending money on a homeschool kit, I’d buy the laptops for sure.
That way you can use a variety of online resources for schooling if you ever decide to do it that way again.
If I was looking to steer clear of prepping elaborate demos, I’d likely look to YouTube or other sources to help.
I would keep working with what you have, just modify it. Where it says to write in your answer, use that as discussion points instead without the writing. Where it has them read a long history passage or it’s covering a topic that seems to disengage – find a YouTube video or Netflix (if you have that) documentary on it to do instead. Use what you have as a guide to continue forward rather than changing gears entirely.
This ultimately what we’ve ended up doing. I started out using LifePac workbooks, got bored with it (kids and me), and changed to several different ideas over the years including online programs. Online programs are not more engaging or valuable than engaging directly with you. Several months ago, we went back to “boring” LifePac workbooks to keep tracking progress forward and I modify things as needed.
Last note: We took advantage of “Black Friday” online sales to get computers on the cheap for each of the 3 kids. This has been so wonderful! I’ve been teaching them how to do their own research (as guided by their curriculum or interest) and they don’t have to take turns. I also introduced them to Google Drive (or you could use DropBox Paper if you’re anti-Google) to compose their papers and engage in document sharing, collaborative editing, and how to print (the subtleties of nice printing vs. draft printing, etc to save money on ink). These are true life-skills in today’s age!
Good luck with whatever direction you decide.