Thursday, January 01, 2015
2015 Homeschool Changes: To Ambleside or not to Ambleside
So, here's the first "I'm not really sure yet" post.
I told you yesterday that I've long been intrigued by/interested in/drawn to Ambleside Online. I've used their free reading lists and their annual booklists for free reads and read alouds. I know they ask you not to do this.
I would like to continue to try to keep the children together for most of their content. I like that they have others to bounce and build ideas. I like that we are learning together as a family. One of our goals for homeschooling has been and continues to be building a family culture and family unity. Because my kids are only 32 months apart, we have a great opportunity to do that in our schooling.
Anyway, here are the options as I see them.
First, we could finish our trip through Narnia. We read all but The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle last year. We could continue with Story of the World and finish Chemistry and start Physics. We could essentially continue with the resources we've used in the past but in a different way. When we finish Narnia, we would do British Legends for literature: St. George, King Arthur, and Robin Hood. I like this idea, but I'm afraid that it will be easy to fall back into old patterns. And I'd have to do a lot of the planning, prepping resources, etc. And I'm tired.
Second, I'm strongly leaning toward full-on AmblesideOnline. The real problem here is choosing an appropriate year. I think I'd choose either Year 3.5 (we've already read or listened to a lot of the books for this year, a bit young for the older two, but R-girl is only 7.5) or Year 4 (right where we are in history already, new books we haven't read, perfect looking for N-boy and M-girl, but R-girl is only 7.5). Aiming at N-boy's level and varying up or down for the girls. I do not wish to attempt 3 Ambleside years as my friend Anna is doing. She's brave!
Math is my other big problem. I love MEP. Serious love. What I don't love is teaching 3 hours of math a day. It is very teacher intensive and the kids need a lot of interaction with it. Some days I feel like all I do is teach math. I thought we'd try out the interactive pages, but they aren't what I thought they'd be. Hmmmm. The end of the year R-girl was doing math on Khan Academy, because she had progressed far enough that MEP was becoming too conceptually ahead of where she was. I think she's ready to pick it up again. N-boy was doing the lesson part one day and the activity sheet a second because he's in a difficult section. We'll probably continue this way until he's through this section. M-girl is a bit behind, and needs to move ahead. I may start skipping the 5th (review) lessons for a time.
I know a lot of Ambleside folks use MEP, so I'm going to head over there to the forums and see how other families with multiple students handle it.