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Old 10-10-2012, 12:49 PM   #1
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Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

So, I just pulled my dd out of public school today. Her teacher this year has been horrible and unfortunately was the only 4th grade teacher at her school. I have decided to home school, and want to choose a curriculum quickly and there are so many to choose from.
I am a licensed teacher, but a stay at home mom for now. What advice do you have for someone new to homeschooling? What curriculum do you like?

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Old 10-10-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

What kind of learner is your DD? Also what type of curriculum would you feel most comfortable teaching? Ideally you would find something that is what both of you would most want.

I have a 4th grader that is very antsy, strong-willed and disagreeable on most days. On the upside, she is super smart and works well hands-on. We are doing Saxon 5/4, Scott Foresman Grammar/Writing (free online workbook), Spelling using the lists from Homespellingwords.com plugged into spellingcity.com. Story of the World Volume 1 (audio) with Mystery of History Volume 1 (read aloud if possible), Geography in 5 Minutes a Day (Scholastic e-book), Apologia Astronomy with Notebooking Journal. We're Catholic, so we're also doing a saint study right now. I have actual religion texts in my Amazon cart, but so far they haven't been purchased.

Her reviews...
She hates Saxon. They expect her to sit for an hour and do math. Ugh!
Grammar and Spelling are tolerable b/c she can do them both in under 30 minutes. The writing bugs her only b/c I make her plan, write, revise and do a final copy (oh the horror!)
She loves history, geography and science. There's a lot more moving around and she loves to be read to.

My side: I don't care if she hates Saxon or not. I want her to do well at math. I was taught with Saxon and I know math very well. I give on a lot of other things, so I don't fell bad about pushing the math issue. I'm not sure the grammar is meaty enough, so when we're done with the workbook, we'll probably do quite a bit of diagramming (b/c I'm the nerd that likes diagramming sentences). Until just the last week or so, we've had trouble getting history and science in on a regular basis. I changed up the format so that they have an assignment to read each day and if I can read it aloud, I do. If not, it's up to them. Then we discuss it on the way to whatever evening activity we have. That's working pretty well so far.

Good luck to you in your search.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

I like time4learning.com . It is very interactive, but it is mostly computer based - so you would both have to be okay with that. My DS is in 1st grade and he loves it. You can get a free trail too to try it out for a month and see if it works. Everything is online - so there is nothing else to buy - which I like and it's very straight forward. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or want more info. on the free trial.

We have tried Lessonpathways.com which is a free program - it takes more work on your (the teacher) side I think but it's very helpful and straight forward.

We are new to HS'ing this year and these two things have worked well for us. There are also free online homeschool programs in most states so you could look those up and call them for more info...it's usually k12.com and maybe another school depending on the state...they are completely free, but in my opinion require a lot of busy work but work well for some people as the bridge to HS'ing.

GL mama you can do it .
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

I'd highly recommend Time4Learning.com also. You wouldn't have to stick to it but if you feel you need something right now, I think it's the way to go. Next find out her learning style and do some research into curriculum. Do you want something all in one (like a boxed curriculum) or do you want to piece together her curriculum? (meaning different publishers for different subjects) Are you religious? Would your religion dictate her curriculum? These are some important questions to ask when finding curriculum.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

I'd recommend taking a break and "deschooling." Homeschooling does NOT have to look at school at home. Don't rush into things. Study the curriculum choices. Do crafts, go to museums and the zoo. Enjoy each other. You can school year round if you're worried about being "behind." Read good books while you're deciding.

Check out the Well-Trained Mind forums. They are one of the more active homeschooling boards.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:27 AM   #6
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I think HSing after a bad PS experience is the best time (I've done it twice). Everyone is thankful to out of a bad situation and is gun ho! I would start with time4learning. Them do some research and visit people you know (if you do) and check out their books and get their reviews. If you don't know anyone who HSs, find a group and make friends...
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:42 AM   #7
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

Thank you everyone for the advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2queens&1princenmyhouse View Post
What kind of learner is your DD? Also what type of curriculum would you feel most comfortable teaching? Ideally you would find something that is what both of you would most want.

I have a 4th grader that is very antsy, strong-willed and disagreeable on most days. On the upside, she is super smart and works well hands-on. We are doing Saxon 5/4, Scott Foresman Grammar/Writing (free online workbook), Spelling using the lists from Homespellingwords.com plugged into spellingcity.com. Story of the World Volume 1 (audio) with Mystery of History Volume 1 (read aloud if possible), Geography in 5 Minutes a Day (Scholastic e-book), Apologia Astronomy with Notebooking Journal. We're Catholic, so we're also doing a saint study right now. I have actual religion texts in my Amazon cart, but so far they haven't been purchased.

Her reviews...
She hates Saxon. They expect her to sit for an hour and do math. Ugh!
Grammar and Spelling are tolerable b/c she can do them both in under 30 minutes. The writing bugs her only b/c I make her plan, write, revise and do a final copy (oh the horror!)
She loves history, geography and science. There's a lot more moving around and she loves to be read to.

My side: I don't care if she hates Saxon or not. I want her to do well at math. I was taught with Saxon and I know math very well. I give on a lot of other things, so I don't fell bad about pushing the math issue. I'm not sure the grammar is meaty enough, so when we're done with the workbook, we'll probably do quite a bit of diagramming (b/c I'm the nerd that likes diagramming sentences). Until just the last week or so, we've had trouble getting history and science in on a regular basis. I changed up the format so that they have an assignment to read each day and if I can read it aloud, I do. If not, it's up to them. Then we discuss it on the way to whatever evening activity we have. That's working pretty well so far.

Good luck to you in your search.
Lily is really smart, and she loves to read. She does have an attitude and likes to push her limits.
We used Saxon math and Scott Foresman at a school district I used to work at, so I am familiar with them. Do you use the same textbooks as PS or do they have a HS version? She was doing everyday math at her school.

I found out that our library has a whole HSing section! We are going to go check it out today.

I will try the free month of time4learning. I might use it as a supplement.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:56 PM   #8
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indymomof3 View Post
Thank you everyone for the advice!



Lily is really smart, and she loves to read. She does have an attitude and likes to push her limits.
We used Saxon math and Scott Foresman at a school district I used to work at, so I am familiar with them. Do you use the same textbooks as PS or do they have a HS version? She was doing everyday math at her school.

I found out that our library has a whole HSing section! We are going to go check it out today.

I will try the free month of time4learning. I might use it as a supplement.
There is a Saxon homeschool series. To me, it is basically the same as classroom Saxon as far as style. The difference is that the lesson is written out in the text for the student as more of an independent learning experience. I typically don't go through the lesson with the girls. They just read it and if they have trouble doing any of the problems, they come ask and I sit down with them and talk them through it. Our schedule isn't as rigorous as some, , but it's working for us. We do math Monday-Thursday, about 1.5 hours each day. Then we take Friday off. Occasionally if I see that they need some help with a certain thing, I'll find a worksheet and throw that in on Friday, but they seem to be getting the concepts really well, so we've only had to do that a couple times.

Here is the Scott Foresman grammar book that we use. It is supposed to be a supplement to their reading program (which I used when I taught as well). It does go through the writing process and I try to expand that aspect out. Usually at some point through the week, the student is expected to write a paragraph using whatever specific element they are working with (this week was plural nouns). Instead of DD2 just slapping a few sentences together, which is what she would prefer to do, I had her go through the entire writing process. She'll write her final draft tomorrow (and her paragraph is 3 because she decided that one wasn't enough--we are making progress ).
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2queens&1princenmyhouse View Post
There is a Saxon homeschool series. To me, it is basically the same as classroom Saxon as far as style. The difference is that the lesson is written out in the text for the student as more of an independent learning experience. I typically don't go through the lesson with the girls. They just read it and if they have trouble doing any of the problems, they come ask and I sit down with them and talk them through it. Our schedule isn't as rigorous as some, , but it's working for us. We do math Monday-Thursday, about 1.5 hours each day. Then we take Friday off. Occasionally if I see that they need some help with a certain thing, I'll find a worksheet and throw that in on Friday, but they seem to be getting the concepts really well, so we've only had to do that a couple times.

Here is the Scott Foresman grammar book that we use. It is supposed to be a supplement to their reading program (which I used when I taught as well). It does go through the writing process and I try to expand that aspect out. Usually at some point through the week, the student is expected to write a paragraph using whatever specific element they are working with (this week was plural nouns). Instead of DD2 just slapping a few sentences together, which is what she would prefer to do, I had her go through the entire writing process. She'll write her final draft tomorrow (and her paragraph is 3 because she decided that one wasn't enough--we are making progress ).
Thanks Kristen I think I may go with Saxon and Scott Foresman, since I have used them before. Which books did you buy for Saxon? Do you use all of them? So for grammar/writing you only use the free worksheets, or do you have the textbook as well?


The library didn't have as much as I had hoped. They had a learning resource person who is an ex-teacher as well and she suggested a book called "write ahead" which I have never heard of. When I looked at the time4learning site, my dd said it was the same as compass odyssey, which she has the password for from ps.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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Re: Starting home schooling after a bad start to the school year at public school

It took me a couple weeks or intense searching to find what I wanted, and even then I changed my mind a couple times. I originally started out wanting to do every subject by the same company to make it easier (Alpha Omega Lifepacs), but I found that wasn't the best thing for us. We're Christian, so I didn't mind a religious curriculum for the most part, but since DS has been in public school up until this year (he's in 8th grade) I didn't want to confuse him in science so I found a secular curriculum in that subject that teaches evolution and "old earth". I also wasn't impressed with the math that they had in the Lifepacs, so I decided to use CLE 700 math for him, which is a GREAT program.

Also, at his age I wanted mostly stuff he could work on independently, rather than have to sit and hold his hand throughout the whole thing. The only subject I'm deeply involved in is sign language (which we use for a foreign language) simply b/c I want to learn along with him. He grades his own work so he learns more from it, and the only thing I have to grade is science b/c the answers are on my computer.

Good luck! We started homeschooling b/c of a really bad experience at the new public school DS was going to (we moved here 18m ago), and it has been a great choice for us. DS loves it, loves learning again, and isn't held to learning according to the slowest person in the class. He can go at his own pace, and in turn is learning SO much more.
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