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My Thoughts on Robinson

My Thoughts on Robinson

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Published by: fourshopping on Jun 11, 2010
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12/13/2012

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Updated 6/20/11 The Robinson CurriculumI feel so blessed to be using this curriculum. While our background has alwaysbeen using literature based learning, it had always been parent led and parentdirected.As our life circumstances have changed and our family has grown, our needs havechanged in our homeschool over time as well. What once was working wellenough (although it never felt “perfect”) no longer became workable and wasmore of a stress point and an area of discontent.Our first year using Robinson felt as if I've stumbled into curriculum perfection. Asif this was what we were meant to use all along. In our 7 years, our one year withRobinson is the only time ever I've not felt that “grass might be greener” whenreading what fellow homeschoolers are using. There is such a sense of peace toknow that, this is it and this is where we are meant to be.I consider us unschoolers in many ways, with a Charlotte Mason influence and asprinkle of Waldorf.I believe that every moment with my children is a teachable moment. And everymoment they spend with me is a lesson.I had looked at the Robinson curriculum previously, just a once over, not reallydigging deeper and getting past a few things that stood out to me as a “dealbreaker”, such as “no sugar” and “no TV”. Those two things that kept me fromlooking any further. Had I dug deeper I would have learned that, it's very possibleto do the Robinson curriculum without setting those rules in place. And I wouldhave fallen in love with this curriculum much sooner and saved myself a lot of trouble, and money, I'm sure.I do not do either of those rules. We do eat organic or at the least use non GMOfoods. We only use real sugar, I prefer those to artificial sweeteners. We do not eata lot of sweets though we do eat them, and do not eat processed foods (this hasnothing to do with the curriculum just our own choice). We do allow TV thoughtypically during the week it's rarely on as we are doing other things. But we doenjoy television. If it was a problem I would limit it. We do allow our children touse the computer to email pen-pals and family or do math drills and learninggames if they desire. We do not just turn them loose in emails without monitoringthem and reading over what is coming in and going out. We have no secrets andall emails are an open book.I also do not do RC exactly as written. We do not do the vocabulary as set up. Butwe do vocabulary in our own more relaxed Charlotte Mason type of way, just byreading good books and seeing how the words are used. If they have words theydo not know or can't figure out, they tell me and I help them find out the meaning.I do not do separate spelling or grammar study, preferring that to come from theirreading as well. There is Grammar exposure in the McGuffey books. If I need toadd in additional Grammar at some point, I have two books that the kids will read
 
if needed, one being Grammarland by Nesbit or down the line possibly ProfessorKlugimkopf's Old Fashioned English Grammar. For spelling, if needed I would useSpelling Wisdom. But a year in we have not needed to cover any extras and “just”reading is going just wonderfully.A lot of folks seem to have issues with the time requirements noted by Dr.Robinson which he has as:
2 hours math - 1 lesson completed, checked for errors, errors reworked untilcorrect
1 hour writing - rewrite previous day's essay with corrections, write newessay
2 hours reading - read from books on list, or other good quality book of parent's choice; study vocabulary wordsI do not do these time requirements. My children are younger. Dr. Robinson doesalso say that those are goals that should be worked up to, not jumped right into. Ican't say for sure if we will shoot for his time goals or not to be honest down theline. But I know that we are enjoying the flow of things how they are right now. Idon't typically time the kids but as of this update. My 9 year old reads about 4 – 6hours per day (this includes the reading she does in the evening before bed whichis about 3 hours). My 7 year old reads a bit less than her, maybe combined aboutan hour and a half to two hours at this time.My 9 year old adores reading so she does it as much as possible.Seatwork wise (which for us is Math and Writing) they spend about a half hour to45 minutes on and is done before lunch.Reading during the “school day” which starts with bible, devotions, McGuffey anda spot of reading one of their Robinson books is about a half hour after breakfast.We went to a Robinson math set up in the beginning of June 2010, but did not usehis exact flash cards. We stopped our math program, jumping full into learning allfacts with flash cards. This had me most nervous but my kids had taken to it verywell. I set up a system for using the flash cards based on the method I read at theVital core blog. Our flash cards can be found here:http://www.scribd.com/doc/33087615/Flash-Card-Supply-List-and-Set-Uphttp://www.scribd.com/doc/32858322/Flash-Card-Schedule***While I believe strongly that Dr. Robinson's goal of mastering math factsthrough flash cards is sound. I noticed after at time that for my older daughter thismethod was not working well for her in regard to retention. Now both the girls useChrisitian Light Education math which includes a flash card system that isfantastic. And the facts are really being cemented for my oldest who hadstruggled previously.I also had books that I wanted my kids to read so I added those into the RC listwhere I think they'd fit reading level wise. Some books like the OZ series, all theLittle House books (which Dr. Robinson mentions but does not have on his actualbook list), all of the Arthur Scott Bailey books, the entire Sophie May series (hehas just some of those on the required reading list), Boxcar Children and someothers. I was able to download all the books we don't have already in hard copy
 
and put them on our kindles.Here is the booklist I put together which is a mesh of my choices and Dr.Robinson's:http://www.scribd.com/doc/32889503/Booklist-B This is the one my younger daughter was starting with:http://www.scribd.com/doc/32862699/Our-booklist-A-Robinson-CurriculumA nice substitute for the Billy and Blaze books as a free option for E-readers isBeatrix Potter's series:http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=Beatrix%20potter%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts(they have nice pictures even on the kindle)I have found all the books for RC to download in the following places:
RC has allowed me to use aspects of homeschooling that are so appealing to me:1.Student directed learning2.Quality books3.Very inexpensive (in some cases can be free depending on how you accessthe books)4.Really frees up our time to focus on family, which for us is the heart of whywe homeschool.Even though my children are young, they really have embraced learning in thisway. Their workbox set up allows them to work independently. They were alsodoing piano and typing (both RC in flair since they are self learning each of these).*We have put a pause on the piano and typing as of this update. They now havedaily planners with a checklist of what to do each day. But this was the form theyhad used prior to that to keep track of what to do each day:http://www.scribd.com/doc/32955018/Workboxes-using-Robinson I have read a few places where some homeschoolers worry that this curriculumleaves the child hanging out to dry and detached from the parent. For us thiscould not be further from the truth. Our family interactions have not changed. Wecraft, cook, sit and talk, enjoy time together as we always have. And I don't haveto let other things slide so that we can get through a pile of required books for meto read to the kids. I try to read to them each night before bed or my olderdaughter jumps in and beats me to this (she really loves reading), just for the joyand fun of it. If I can't do the read aloud I don't have that guilt that I used to feel.We do a family prayer and bible time that is about a half hour. All the kids readsomething to us. My 9 year old reads us Jesus Calling for Kids, my 7 year old reads

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