J.W. asks from Lavon, TX on April 15, 2009
Need Help with Switched on Schoolhouse Homeschool Curriculum
I am getting ready to tutor a girl who is using Switched on Schoolhouse curriculum. How many assignments do your kids do a day?
The girl is in 7th grade. She had surgery in the middle of the first semester and was not released from the hospital until January. She is having to cram both semesters in by the end of the regular school year (beginning of June). She has always gone to public school and will be returning after the summer, but we have to finish everything in a very short amount of time.
D.W. answers from Tyler on April 17, 2009
J.... SOS is an awesome- computer based curriculum... it will allow her to do as much as she wants in a day- if she is mastering the objectives then she will work through faster. It is very interactive as well and keeps track of all grades and such. You can call the people at AOP and they are very helpful and will answer any questions you may have.
Is she doing this work through the academy or just at home.
You live in Tx... is the school going to accept her grades from this? I have considered trying to homeschool my youngest son- for at least a year. but was told if we homeschooled his freshman year and then decided to go back to public school that the state of texas does not recognize any other curriculum but their own and the student would have to go back and do that grade over - they have an accelerated program to do so.
I'm surprised with her being in the hospital so long they didn't put her on homebound and enroll her in school there... where a teacher comes to the school a couple days a week. modify lessons and such...
Hope it all works out for you.
S.S. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2009
I am not familiar with the Switched on Schoolhouse, but all the homeschool curriculums I am familiar with have a lesson plan outline. Also, most homeschool curriculums are overly thorough and students don't need to do every single assignment. For instance, instead of my children doing 200 math problems in every section of every chapter. I would let them do odds or evens. Sometimes I would let them study a chapter concept, solve the review problems, and if they excelled on the review, they did not have to do the section problems, we would move on to the quizzes and tests. I let proven mastery of a concept dictate how much or how little time was spent on that particular subject matter. I created weekly lesson plans for my children (I used a variety of curriculums for different subjects), sometimes they were so motivated they would finish the entire weeks lesson plan in two days (I was available for help if they needed it, but for the most part my children were independent learners). I would then give them the next lesson plan, if they chose to take a day off before they started the next lesson plan that was fine since they had finished the prior lesson plan early. This may sound a little odd, but it worked for us, my children both excelled on the SAT and College Entrance Exams.
The first couple of weeks of lessons will indicate how much your student will be able to accomplish in each school day. In my opinion, homeschool students should spend no more time in school than a public school student, likely less time despite her need to catch up; homeschoolers can be more focused (no class changes, friendship dramas, distractions, the opposite sex dramas, etc.).
K.E. answers from Dallas on April 16, 2009
Most home schooled children work half the time public school kids work. It is not unusual for a home schooled child to finish nine subjects in three hours. There are no distractions, no changing classes, no waiting for others to catch up. So the "time" is not that critical. She should easily be able to do two semesters in one without feeling she is "cramming". Of course she can also work through the summer to ensure she is at the level her public school expects. My feeling is she will exceed their expectations! The only thing to be mindful of is public schools continue to use testing so you will probably have to prep her for the summer TAKS test.
Home school curriculums are superior to public school curriculums in every way. I'd make sure Switched on Schoolhouse is the appropriate curriculum for her however. There are so many home school curriculums and the beauty of that is you can choose the one most appropriate for her learning style.
There is a terrific home school book store in Lewisville ( Home Educators Resource) and the staff have an excellent depth of knowledge about resources.
If you google "home schooling in Dallas) you will find a wealth of information. There are also many Yahoo groups you can join for support and answers to questions. The metroplex has a huge homeschool community and abounds with resources.
You will probably find, she does not want to return to public school once she has experienced the joy of home schooling!
T.B. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2009
J., I just saw this question this morning. Before school is out be sure to contact her middle school to confirm what you are doing. I work in Fort Worth with many young people each year to take them from a regular level in school to the honors level for the following year. In doing this it is very important for me to work with their current school, their parents, and have a specific goal (realistic) to head towards. I always pretest the students and do a post test. The reason for this....you need to tell the school just how far the student has come during this time period. You should provide this testing information to the school prior to school starting in the fall. To do a whole year of every academic subject in a summer would not be realistic for even the brightest of students. SOS is a very average program that lacks a great deal in math (is she in algebra, pre algebra, or regular) and literature. Many times a school will wave several subject areas and be good with doing math, English, and literature at this level. The credit issues are not there, but you must communicate with the school as to what your plan is and the areas that will be covered. I recommend Saxon Math, Easy Grammar Plus (red), and Permabound Literature Guides for books like Old Man and the Sea and other classics (see what books her class read this year as well). Blessings, T. Willis ###-###-#### www.christiancottageprep.com
C.S. answers from Dallas on April 16, 2009
I used Switched on Schoolhouse with my 7th grader a couple of years ago. It's a computer based program. She can get alot of work done in one day. Doubleup assignments, skip to tests if she is getting things easily. That will save time on busy work. You don't have to do every thing. If she gets it, just test her and move on. The public school system should allow her to homeschool during the summer if needed. There are kids to have to go to summer school to pass sometimes. Don't stress out, Let her set the pace, and reassure her she will be fine. If some subjects move faster than others for her, learn ways to "fly through them", for example, if she understands a science concept, skip doing the experiment. The program grades itself most of the time, and keeps up with everything for you. Assignments, grading, and bookkeeping. Good Luck.
There really is no reason to stress.