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Thread: Homeschoolers come on in :)

  1. #1

    Default Homeschoolers come on in :)

    Feeling so overwhelmed with picking a curriculum for next year... how did you decide on the curriculum that you initially chose? Also, if you would like to share what you have used and what you have found to be the strengths/weaknesses that is very welcome too


  2. #2

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    I have been homeschooling for 15yrs, and have started 5 kids in k so far and this is what I love for K:

    Saxon math-It uses lots of manipulatives, simple stories, covers tons of different topics and is just fun. Its the only year i use Saxon for now, but i havent seen or tried anything else that i like as much.

    Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons. It just works. i have tried other things thinking i needed something "more", but every time i have ditched it and gone back to 100EL. i also like BOB books.

    Hand Writing Without tears-for all the same reasons as Saxon. its hands on and fun. Simple and easy to teach as well.

    Sonlight curriculum core K and science. I use Sonlight until highschool, and i love it. i love teaching history and science using real books. i love reading to my kids.

    I have tried other things here and there, added something one year, not done something another year. But the above is what i have saved for my youngest. I am getting rid of most everything else when #5 is done with it, just so i can start fresh, as there is 7yrs between them. The only thing im saving besides the K box, is the Sonlight books.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    14,336

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    We are just finishing our first year homeschooling so we are still learning how to pick the right stuff ... but what helped me most was to get some ideas from other homeschool moms on what they use, look at it online and then see it in person in a curriculum fair or a homeschooling conference before making a final decision. Definitely do not put a whole bunch of money into something before you use it. For example, I personally LOVE the Five in a Row curriculum but DS does not like it at all. So you have to consider your style as well as your child's (I am keeping for now it because I think DD may like it).

    I decided on Math-U-See and we like it but we do not use the manipulatives (they are distracting for DS and turn into projectiles and play objects rather than providing stimulation away from paper ... lol). Every now and then, DS gets bored with it so we use it along with math from The Critical Thinking Company. I think Math-U-See makes more sense because it sequentially builds skills but I simply let DS pick which book he wants to work from each day.

    I think Handwriting without tears is awesome. After a couple of lessons, DS had a perfect grip and never went back. It was really amazing how well their approach worked. We actually just use the work books and the chalk boards (at least at the beginning we used the chalk boards). I never used the teacher book, music CDs or wooden letters with DS but DD likes the wooden letters and flip crayons.

    For reading, we just read books. I just get used books like Step into reading from a local homeschool curriculum resale store. I tried to use the library but because we are new to the area, I can only check out 6 books at a time and it is just not enough with 2 kids when you have a long drive to the library. It just seems easier to buy a bunch of books for 50 cents.

    I have also asked other homeschool moms to lend us books they use and we look at them together to see if we like tham (DH, DS and I all take a look). It is nice to be able to use a book for few days instead of just seeing a few sample pages online.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    10,135
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    I looked around like mad when M1 was about a year old. I knew that I would be forever bogged down in the details if I didn't go with a package deal. I also knew that I wanted a curriculum with LOTS of books. So, I picked Sonlight as well. I love their philosophy of teaching. We did the preschool and pre-K packages so far and I am very excited to start kindergarten with M1 this next year. M2 has sat along with the pre-K package so I plan to have him just behind in reading and math at this point. He'll turn 4 in December and will do the pre-K workbooks that M1 did this year.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My blog about MCAD

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    12,070

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    We are going to start this coming year. I am not sure exactly what I'm doing yet, either. I haven't made any decisions yet because I am attending a homeschool conference next weekend and wanted to wait and see what I learn there. I'll be joining the homeschool coop in our town also. A lot of the MOPS moms are members, so its nice that there will already be some familiar faces.

    I'm hesitant to buy an expensive boxed curriculum for kindergarten. I just don't know if its necessary for such a young age? Or if I can get by with doing lots of activities, trips to the science center, lots of reading, online learning such as Starfall, some cheap workbooks, etc.

    My MIL has Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and swears by it. Since I have heard good things about it from other people as well, I'm willing to try it. And I will be looking for something for math. But other than that... I wonder if I could just get a list of what needs to be learned for 1st grade and kind of wing it?

  6. #6

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    I have used "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" its ok, it does work... but *I* was board out of my mind! I switched to Hooked on Phonics and my kids love it!

    I also use all about spelling after they are reading at a kinder level (so about 1st grade). There is also an "All About Reading" curriculum that looks fantastic too, Its newer, and I haven't seen/used it yet, but the reviews are great!


    For math I use Math U See, Love it! I have used Saxon, it was good, but also boring for both the kids and me. Its meant to be used every school day, and while you can tailor it to what you need, that was requiring more effort then I wanted to put into it. It was better when I was only teaching 1 child and 1 grade... But the way Math U See is, I can do the lesson, leave that child to work on the practice problems, work with the other child on something like reading, then come back to the 1st... With Saxon I needed to be present the entire time, which just isn't happening in our home right now.

    Handwritting with out tears is also great, we usually only use it for Kinder, but I think when I introduce cursive I'll go back to their material!

    For Science, history/social studies we still just use the library and field trips for what they are into... nothing formal. If you want something more formal for Science I love the Apologia Stuff! I have some waiting for when we want more structure. And History, I like the "Story of the World" It teaches chronologically, and repeats every 4 years, and can be used with multiple grade levels.

    We also do lots of Language arts Lap books, that you can find free all over the web...

    I like piecing things together individually, I find its more affordable to make changes when something or a subject isn't working vs a 'boxed' set. It is a bit much to look at all the pieces individually, but for me it works better. I've made a lot more adjustments then I ever imagined so Im glad I went this rout.


    Also Confessions of a Homeschooler has ALOT of stuff for preK and Kinder at very affordable prices, and its great stuff! She also reviews lots of different pieces (Saxon, Math U See, All About Spelling/Reading etc... she also links to reviews from other bloggers).
    Katie~
    DD1 (7) DD2 (4) DS1 (22 months) Baby #4 EDD 7/13/14

  7. #7

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    Stalking- I am almost considering homeschooling I am going to be thinking it over.
    *** Lindsay ***



  8. #8

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    Ty ladies so much for taking the time to respond...so informative and helpful!!!


  9. #9

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    I'll be the odd man out here.
    We're just wrapping up our first year (kindergarten) through K12.
    I had to have a set curriculum, I don't trust myself to know what all I needed to be doing for his age/grade level. I found it very easy to teach because everything was laid out for us. Handwriting Without Tears was what we did for handwriting through K12 and everyone else is right, it's a great one to use!

  10. #10

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    I use a set curriculum too (this upcoming school year i'm using ABEKA). I am using DVD or online video streaming this year too. Since the new baby is due half way through the school year, I still wanted my DS to stay on track with schooling without having an overtired mommy to be the teacher.

    That may change the following year. or as he gets older. I may do a hodgepodge of stuff. That's the great thing about homeschooling, you can cater to your needs and the unique family situations that happen or change each year.

    Brenda

  11. #11

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    Thanks ladies and congratulations Brenda I didn't realize you were pregnant!!!


  12. #12

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    I use a Mortensen math blocks along with a blog called Crewton Ramones House of Math for our math lessons. He makes math fun and easy to understand. I pay for a password to watch videos where he basically teaches how to teach.
    We also use some handwriting without tears but most of our practice for writing fits in with our other lessons as writing is a part of recording science observations, letters to family, fun puzzle workbooks, madlibs, etc.
    For reading, we just read books. My reading to them eventually phased into them reading to me and now they read to me every day.
    History lessons are in the form of books we check out at the library and I read to them while they play.
    A set curriculum didn't work for us because I guess we'd be considered more of "unschoolers" (although I think that is an unfortunate word for this type of learning) as we thrive on active and practical learning.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by anonsouthernbell View Post
    Thanks ladies and congratulations Brenda I didn't realize you were pregnant!!!
    Yes.....we are due Nov 3. We are excited and looking forward to completing our family.

    Hope you are well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    12,070

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    Going to that homeschool conference today! I'm really looking forward to it!

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