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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off cover school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

What method of homeschooling do you practice?

Hey Veteran Homeschoolers!  I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and you give the answers.  My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things.  

Please contact me with your answer to the following question.  I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook.  I will not add your name, so feel comfortable in speaking freely.  Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc...  I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com 
with your answer.

Thanks!
Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question:
What method of homeschooling do you practice, how and why? The goal is to show new (and veteran) homeschoolers that there is no one way of doing things. Would love to hear specifics. Feel free to be long winded.

My Answer:  
Some of you may at this point be thinking, "Methods?  I didn't know there were different methods!"  You can find a listing and explanation of some of the the different homeschooling methods here.  My family practices unschooling with a spattering of Charlotte Mason and a structured math using Teaching Textbooks.  Both of my children are avid readers (new development for my youngest - yippee...happy dance!).  We do lots of hands on things such as gardening, canning, composting, nature studies, art, and physical activity such as yoga, martial arts, ballroom dancing, jogging, weight training, etc.  We also attend lots of field trips and local classes such as the Bham Zoo Science Classes, McWane Science Classes, Scrollworks, etc.  We always try to do plenty of volunteering as well.  


I think I am leaning toward eclectic 


I have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader they both use computer based programs that we love! I have found it is easier to teach them individually then together. It makes for a longer day for me but it seems to work better then doing both at the same time. I try to have a few minutes set aside 3 days a week where we come together and have some kind of lesson whether it is reading, art or Bible as a family. I just feel like it makes us closer to have that time to interact as a 'class'. 


We use Switched on Schoolhouse which is computer based. Right up my sons alley. Last year we were very structured and he had to work until he completed assignments for the day but this year we will have a schedule. Work steady from 8-12 and then done for the day. If we have somewhere to go then either the computer goes with us or that work will wait until another day. Also planning more field trips. Last year we were so concerned with him learning what he needed for that "school year" and have come to realize after SAT's that we are so far ahead of the curve that now learning is going to be fun. Letting go of my "brick and mortar" public school mentality. :) 


I call my method Individualization. One child takes half his highschool classes online and uses textbooks and a strict structure for the rest of his classes. Another child is also in highschool but works with unit studies and lapbooks in her classes. Still another child gets most of his middle school education through documentaries and books on tape. The youngest uses a mix of texts and workbooks, documentaries and computer based classes for his elementary school needs. Each child is different, therefore each education is different. 


Unschooling perhaps you could call it.... you name it we use a little of everything. Some days are kind of rigid and others are at the creek doing science. We do not use many texts ... A lot of reading . 


We homeschool M-Th utilizing F for weekly exams play dates and field trips. We homeschool from 9-3 with a 45 minute lunch break and a few 10 minute breaks. We are eclectic. We utilize "A Well Trained Mind" as a foundation, but add and take away to meet our needs. We complete 7 subjects a year utilizing various curriculums, the library, and computer programs. We incorporate creativity and her personal interests. 


This will be our 3rd year. The first year was a combination online curriculum and 2 classes were not. We used the library, books and videos and some TV documentaries for lessons. The second year all classes were online except 1 which was for her foreign language. This year all classes are online. But we still use workbooks the library, videos, etc for fun and also for extra information that may not be in the online curriculum to give more background to subjects, or for practice. We also are involved with 2 support groups. One is a home school group through our church and the other is through our cover school. So the kids can get together to do things like field trips and parties. My daughter is a Senior this year and didn't want to go to public school for high school.   PS I am a blind, home school mom. If I can do it, anyone can! 


We are eclectic Charlotte Masoners! We go to a co-op T & Th. We school at home M 9-1:30, T 9-12, W 9-1:30. We leave Friday for fun or if they don't finish their work. We use the bible & misc books for history, Apologia for science, Mastering Essential Math Skills, WriteShop, Apologia for bible study, footwork for handwriting, and a few other things. You can check out my blog for our complete list. www.sincerelyhome.blogspot.com


Hodgepodge the first few years ;o) Now, Classical Conversations Inc


We use different methods for 2 kids. My 7th grader uses switched on schoolhouse which is computer based. My 4th grader uses abeka curriculum. Doesn't like computer based learning. We school m-w with Thursday as coop day. We also do school on Fri. We school 3 wks on and 1 week off. So far it is working out. 


I had 2 kids who loved to read but 1 son who did not, so to get him interested in history I had him do 2 reports a week on a musician from recent history and long ago history because his passion is music. He needed to tell about what the world was like during that persons life, what was going on as far as wars, government, and events. He still remembers a lot of the details.


Our method is a bit eclectic but we use the Thomas Jefferson Education as our education philosophy. We don't stick to any one method because our children have different needs, sometimes they need more structure sometimes they need more freedom. It changes from child to child, year to year and even within the same day for the same child depending on subject. So we're flexible when it comes to what method we use. When we first started homeschooling we used basically a homeschool in a box method with a set curriculum. The girls hated it. So we found an online curriculum which they loved.. for about 6 months. We finished out the year with that and decided not to renew our subscription. Now we lean more towards literature based education where the children read classics (and yes even for math, The Number Devil is my all time favorite to read with the children).


I have been homeschooling for 5 yeas now. I have two boys, a 7th grader and a 4th grader. My boys do not like to read and they hate formal writing. They are super smart with hands-on activities, games and anything that is made into fun.  We use such a variety of curriculum. I have many, many bookshelves of resources as well as many computer sites that I utilize. My advice is that if it is not fun and interesting for the children, then don't be afraid to change mid-stream. Learning should be a GOOD experience, not a drudgery. I love field trips!  Surf the internet and write down sites that you love so that you can go back to it. Don't spend a ton of money on curriculum that you may or may not enjoy. If you spend a lot then you feel that you HAVE to use it no matter what. Go to thrift stores and yard sales to buy. Also I get a lot of my curriculum off of ebay. You can get slightly used materials that are just as good as the expensive new stuff. It does not take long to get too much curriculum.  I have tried strict schedules, and I have tried being less restrictive. We do well with a middle of the road approach on this. I have torn up my schedules though and just have learned to go with the flow more. Some days we spend hours on one subject and some days we sail through them all. I do school in every room of my house, at the park, outside under the shade tree, whatever it takes! Don't worry about what other people think, and do not compare your self or your kids with others. God made us all individual for a reason.  Also, I use different curriculum for different subjects. For example, I really love Bob Jones Grammar and Writing. I love A Beka curriculum for Health and P. E. I like IXL math on line. I LOVE workbooks! Some of the best Science workbooks that I have used have been from Teacher Created Resources. (I buy these at the Parent Teacher Store in Northport.) Some of my favorite internet sites are : www.spellingcity.com/ , www.IXL.com/,www.gmajormusictheory.org ,apples4theteacher.com, and I love You Tube for videos about Science and History.  We also watch the History Channel and Discovery Channel a lot.   You will have good days and bad days. Don't beat yourself up if it is not going well for a day. Feel free to take a break for a while and come back to it if you are beating your head against the wall. It is better for me to work with my children individually on some things and together on others. I like to do the subjects that are harder for them in the morning when they are fresh. I find that doing heavy work in the evenings is a no no at my house.