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Old 02-06-2013, 03:53 AM   #1
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Overwhelming at first

We have decided to start homeschooling my almost 7 year old this fall. I've looked up state requirements, which there aren't many, but I'm not sure where to go from here. From looking over posts it looks like there is a program for each subject, rather than one program for the entire grade. I know I want to do more of child led learning than structured, but that's all Ive got so far. I'm kind of terrified to screw this up. How did you start?
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:48 AM   #2
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Re: Overwhelming at first

I look at where my child is, what they need to learn, what they want to learn, what their learning style is, and go from there.

I chose separate curriculums for each subject. I did a boxed curriculum a couple of times, and while they were great programs, they didn't work well for my kids.

That may be a bit vague of an answer, but I don't really know what else to say. If you have any more specific questions, I'm glad to help if I can.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: Overwhelming at first

You can NOT screw it up! I promise! You can not do any worse than any govt school!!! Like PP said, just look at where your child is and start w/that. There are programs out there that are canned curriculums, meaning that every subject is in one box. These are easy-peasy and make things VERY simple for the mama. Some of those include....Sonlight, Abeka, Oak Meadow, Timberdoodle. The downside is that if your child can't keep up or is advanced in an area, then you have wasted $$ and time. Also, it can be VERY expensive to have to buy the entire curriculum from one person.

The other method is to pick and choose from each subject the curriculum that best fits your child's needs. For example, with my 2nd grader, we use Math Mammoth for Math (cheap and perfect!), Rod & Staff for Reading/Phonics (again, cheap and perfect), Story of the World for Hx, Language Lessons for the Elementary Child for Language Arts, and Sequential Spellng for spelling. I like having the option to pick what is best for my kids. I like having the option of having him in 3rd grade for one subject and 1st grade for another subject. I have to run right now but I'll link some free sights later for you
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lyn1270
You can NOT screw it up! I promise! You can not do any worse than any govt school!!! Like PP said, just look at where your child is and start w/that. There are programs out there that are canned curriculums, meaning that every subject is in one box. These are easy-peasy and make things VERY simple for the mama. Some of those include....Sonlight, Abeka, Oak Meadow, Timberdoodle. The downside is that if your child can't keep up or is advanced in an area, then you have wasted $$ and time. Also, it can be VERY expensive to have to buy the entire curriculum from one person.

The other method is to pick and choose from each subject the curriculum that best fits your child's needs. For example, with my 2nd grader, we use Math Mammoth for Math (cheap and perfect!), Rod & Staff for Reading/Phonics (again, cheap and perfect), Story of the World for Hx, Language Lessons for the Elementary Child for Language Arts, and Sequential Spellng for spelling. I like having the option to pick what is best for my kids. I like having the option of having him in 3rd grade for one subject and 1st grade for another subject. I have to run right now but I'll link some free sights later for you
Yes! Free sights would be appreciated lol.
Is there a list anywhere of all the different programs? It seems like there are so many! I think that's where I get overwhelmed.
I like the idea of being able to customize it to her by picking and choosing each subject. She's coming from a private school and I know she's been getting a great education and is ahead in reading and does great in math.
Ill def be looking into the ones you mentioned. Thanks so much!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: Overwhelming at first

I would also look into whether you want a Christian based curriculum, or a secular curriculum. That will help steer you in the direction you want to go.

I know that with math, some curriculums have free placement tests online so you can get the right level for your child specifically. I know Singapore Math has the placement tests.

ETA...the sticky in the homeschool forum here has links to free stuff and other helpful links.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:49 AM   #6
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Re: Overwhelming at first

Okay....here's some free sites for you. There's not really any list of all the different curriculums. You just have to hunt and peck, kinda. You can go to homeschool conventions, and that can help, but honestly I find them overwhelming. Homeschool groups can help you w/determing which curriculum as there are mamas that have a lot of experience w/different curriculums. We do regular schoolwork at home M/T/W/F & then on Thursday we attend Classical Conversations, a homeschool community. We also do our CC work throughout the week.

now to the free stuff
Aborbing Science
REAL Science.....not free, but gives you a good free trial pack that you can use til you decide what you like

also, google Free Lap Books and you can find free stuff there. And google free 1st grade worksheets, and you can find stuff there. for handwriting, at your child's age, I would just make them do copy work, write their name, write Bible Verses, etc. no reason to spend money on a formal program when they just need practice. many of the homeschool websites will offer free samples and/or trial periods.

you can also try homeschoolbuyerscoop.com
it's a place to get great deals on homeschool curriculum/websites. I've bought more than one thing from them and have never been disappointed.

i hope this helps. i will post more as i come across them and as time allows
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: Overwhelming at first

Feel free to check out my blog, where I have written about my preschool/K journey (we're currently doing my own version of the Five in a Row program, which is good for many different ages). I have a bunch of free resources listed, and even though my kiddos are younger it may still give you an idea of where to go from here. Next year I'll "officially" be homeschooling since I need to send a letter of intent to the school district - that makes me a bit nervous!
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
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Re: Overwhelming at first

don't forget homeschoolshare.com for free unit studies.

Learn how your child learns. Does she like her books in black/white so she can color? Do colored pages distract her or engage her? Does she enjoy drilling a concept until it is dead, or does she prefer learning a little at a time? Is it hard to make her do math drills? What type of curriculum do you want (classical, traditional school at home, unit studies, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, unschooling)? There are so many ways to homeschool, and none of them are wrong, they just don't fit all kids and families the same.

I'm a big fan theoretically of Waldorf style, but it doesn't challenge my daughter. She loves unit studies, technology, hands on learning. She likes black and white pages that she can color. She likes to learn each concept in 3-4 different ways before we move on. So we do a movie or online activity, a single worksheet, an activity and a story to go with each concept. It is a lot of jumping around, but she loves it. She stays engaged, interested and no fighting.

The whole point of that is, get to know your child. Find out what classes she likes and why. Chances are she doesn't like math because she is good at it. She likes math because the way she is learning it is engaging. If she tells you she likes math, find out how they're learning it. Does she have to do a ton of drills and she enjoys it? Then choose a program that has lots of drilling. If she hates science, find out how they're doing things. Does she need more hands on, less hands on, etc.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Re: Overwhelming at first

There are some that you can buy that are full. And like others say you cannot screw up. Just relax look at your child and see what she needs or even wants to know. Like for Science and history I go with what my ds whats to learn about even with reading he reads what he is interested in we switch up the format like newspaper articles, books and such so he knows and sees different kinds of reads
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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I'm just subbing. I feel the same way as you. I'm so worried I'm going to mess up and my kid isn't going to learn anything and it'll just be a big mess.
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