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Sunshine C
09-11-2015, 02:06 PM
I love the idea of slowly increasing the level of responsibility and independence that I give my children in regards to their schoolwork. I love that FIAR is bonding time/discussion time with my dc, and I don't want to lose that, but I'm not sure how to balance both of these desires. :unsure: There's no way I'm giving up my FIAR! :lol:

How have you incorporated independent learning with FIAR?

Rachel Jane
09-11-2015, 02:39 PM
I don't have access to it right now, but we did independent studies with the rabbit trails. When I get home, I will try to remember to send the plans if I still have them saved.

Melissa Crabtree
09-11-2015, 04:06 PM
We use the Notebook Builder pages to help the kids know what they should find out about a topic, and then when they're capable, they take those notes and turn them into a paper.

Rachel Jane
09-11-2015, 05:32 PM
Found this which is Rebe's adaptation of what I had done with my kids back in the day. It is similar enough that you can glean from it and adapt it to what can work in your home.


Name – 7th Grade
2011 - 2012

- Using the online catalog and browsing the library shelves, find and read 5 (or more) nonfiction books and 2 fiction books related to your topic.
- With teacher supervision, find 2 reputable websites related to your topic.
- Write a book report on one of the fiction books. Must be 2 pages long, typed, double-spaced. Attach handwritten rough draft to the final copy.
- Make a geography poster or display that relates to your topic.
- Write a 5-paragraph research report based on at least three nonfiction books and one website. Cite sources. Get your thesis approved. Discuss the facts, the history, impact on society, etc.
- CHOICE: Make a drawing, sculpture, poem, painting, etc. (creative fine arts) related to your topic OR plan, shop if necessary, and prepare one food item or one entire meal related to your topic.
- Choose one person related to your topic and make a poster or write a 1-2 page report on that person and why he or she was important.
- Find a Bible verse related to your topic. Display it nicely and be prepared to discuss why it applies to your topic.

EVERY DAY: Read some and work on at least one project. List what you do each day on your to-do sheets.

Projects may be completed at any time during the month. All projects must be completed by the last day of the month.


List your topics below. See next page for ideas, especially for fiction.

September _______________________________________

October _________________________________________

(etc.)


We chose most topics together. One or two I wanted her to do and added them myself. One in particular we changed in mid-year based on something she got very interested in for science and wanted to study on her own for another month. So it's very flexible. Also, with her outsourced classes, she's really busy this year, so I changed the requirements to be EITHER a geography project OR a biography project. She had too much schoolwork overall otherwise.

For her, this ISP is her social studies and literature. It could also be science if needed, depending on what topics you choose.
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Sunshine C
09-11-2015, 10:55 PM
Thank you ladies! Do you do any pre-preparation for this with your elementary school kids? That is, do you give them smaller assignments to do to build up to these bigger projects and papers?

Leslie Nelsen
09-12-2015, 12:39 AM
Hi Sunshine,

Here is something I've done with my kids. Have them find 3 or 5 (or one if that is what works best) interesting fact about whatever topic you are studying. They can do this by looking/reading a book, watching a film or listening to a story. Sometimes I have them illustrate what they have learned too if that is something they enjoy. :) This helps them to be a little more independent and also shares what they are learning with you! :)

Fwiw, we have not done papers at all in elementary school. We do use some of the notebook builder pages. I have some with dyslexia/dysgraphia which plays into it as well, but this was also true of my oldest two. We learned through lots of reading and discussion on a lot of topics. :)

LeAnna(MA)
09-12-2015, 08:48 AM
I have been trying out using lap books for independent study with my third grader. Since she finished her phonics program, I let her choose books to read (some out loud to me by her choice) and then do a lapbook from Homeschool Share or Confessions of a Homeschooler. It still takes a lot of hand-holding at this point, but I think she might be able to work more independently in the future. She has finished one on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one on Hedgehogs, and is working on one on the Solar System. (We don't use lapbook said with our FIAR books.)

Robin in Colorado
09-13-2015, 10:44 PM
I waited until upper elementary age and then turned them loose independently with Beyond. I also had them do Apologia's elementary science curriculum independently and we began at the same time. I got them started and was available when they needed help, and went over their assignments at the end of each week. It worked out well for us.

Sunshine C
09-14-2015, 01:05 PM
I waited until upper elementary age and then turned them loose independently with Beyond. I also had them do Apologia's elementary science curriculum independently and we began at the same time. I got them started and was available when they needed help, and went over their assignments at the end of each week. It worked out well for us.

Robin, when you did Beyond with them independently, did they do all the lessons, or did you let them pick, or...? Beyond isn't written to the student, is it? I would love to hear more about how you did this.

Robin in Colorado
09-14-2015, 10:44 PM
Sunshine, It's not written to the student. I don't think. :lol:

Seriously, when I had them do it, I was really, really struggling with the effects of having Chiari. We had a bunch of other issues going on in life as well, and I couldn't be as actively involved with their learning as I wanted to be. :( So, I just handed them the manual and the book and said, "You are the teacher. Read the teacher part and tell yourself what to do. Then be the student and do it." They reported to me enough for me to record what they were doing.

They went through the whole thing independently and it worked just fine. In Apologia, I had Belle keep a notebook. Kitty needed some help with other areas, so I had her do a lapbook instead.

It was a year that I honestly don't remember much of, but I know that working it that way was a lifesaver for us.

ETA: in Beyond, they did all the lessons. Even the art.

Sunshine C
09-17-2015, 01:21 PM
Thank you Robin! This is very helpful.

Robin in Colorado
09-17-2015, 01:43 PM
:)