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Old 02-09-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
aliciamarie632
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Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

A little background...My son is currently 4 and in preschool at the Catholic school where we go to church. We have never really considered homeschooling (DH has always been against it). I started looking into kindergarten a little late since this is our oldest and I didn't really realize how far ahead people plan. Our public school changed the the birthday date (now needs to be 5 by Aug 1, or son turns 5 on Aug9) so that isn't an option. The school he goes now drastically goes up in price for kindergarten (more than double the price and about 2500 yr)-we can't afford that but DH's family said they'd help if that's what we chose. The constilation school by us has a waiting list of over 30kids for kindergarten already so not an option. We also are putting our house up for sale this month. So I looked into homeschooling and was suprised that DH did not think it was a bad idea!

So after going into all that...we have decided to homeschool DS for kindergarten this fall. This is just the plan for this year so far and depending on if it works for us we may keep with it or change once we move. I also have a 2yr old and a 10month old to care for.

So I am looking for something that will work with caring for my other kids, has lots of hands on, and will keep the attention of a easily distracted boy. It would be nice if God/religion is integrated but even if it is not I will work it in on my own. We also need to keep the cost under $900 (what we currently pay for preschool). I would like that amount to include ALL supplies needed, curriculum, and at least one membership to a nearby museum (about $100 for that)-but cheaper the better Ideally under 5-600. I do have some background in teaching and love crafting with my kids but I would like the majority of the curriculum to be laid out for me since I don't have a ton of time to prep. I also need the curriculum to be in depth enough that if we decide to switch to public/private school for 1st grade he will transition well.

What we are currently looking at:

My Father's World Kindergarten-this as a base, also adding in some spanish lessons and art from books I have found. Concern is doesn't seem very in depth in history science etc. Not sure if should add in some MFW 1st grade? Possibly adding movie time with "what's in the bible" videos.

Virtual schools that are free...

one with the k-12 curriculum-really seems in depth with lots included, hesitant about time spent on the computer. Would add in religious aspects.

one with Calvert curriculum-seems like more books and less computer than k-12 and in depth lessons. Would add in religious aspects.

Please help point me in the right direction with pros and cons of these and/or add in your own suggestions. I'm a little lost:/

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Old 02-09-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

I can't help you with a religious based program as I am not religious. I can tell you that many people who have started out using K-12 in K and didn't like it because it required far too many hours for a child of that age. Many people on here do like My Father's world or you could look at Heart of Dakota (I think that is the name). I have no experience with those. I have no experience with Calvert but have heard good things. My oldest went to a Charter that used Saxon (it is secular) but people are pretty hit or miss on it (some love it some hate it) it can be a little busy work heavy I think.

In K the primary focus really should be on reading, writing and math, science and history should be extras. I don't think you will find many boxed curriculum that but much focus on science and history at this age level because it they aren't core subjects at this age. You really don't want to overload a child at this developmental stage or you wind up with fights every day.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

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I can't help you with a religious based program as I am not religious. I can tell you that many people who have started out using K-12 in K and didn't like it because it required far too many hours for a child of that age. Many people on here do like My Father's world or you could look at Heart of Dakota (I think that is the name). I have no experience with those. I have no experience with Calvert but have heard good things. My oldest went to a Charter that used Saxon (it is secular) but people are pretty hit or miss on it (some love it some hate it) it can be a little busy work heavy I think.

In K the primary focus really should be on reading, writing and math, science and history should be extras. I don't think you will find many boxed curriculum that but much focus on science and history at this age level because it they aren't core subjects at this age. You really don't want to overload a child at this developmental stage or you wind up with fights every day.
Thanks for your help! I wasn't really sure what all should be focused on in kindergarten. I know the subjects are taught daily at his current school's kindergarten but I have no idea to what extent they are taught. When I saw the k-12 curriculum went so in-depth I thought maybe that was the norm.

I'm really leaning towards MFW so I feel better that if I choose it that it's not lacking in those subjects.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

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Thanks for your help! I wasn't really sure what all should be focused on in kindergarten. I know the subjects are taught daily at his current school's kindergarten but I have no idea to what extent they are taught. When I saw the k-12 curriculum went so in-depth I thought maybe that was the norm.

I'm really leaning towards MFW so I feel better that if I choose it that it's not lacking in those subjects.
I think the biggest complaint I have heard about MFW is that it is hard to find the books to go with it sometimes? I'm not really sure. I know a lot of people just try to pick the books up from the library and it isn't always easy but maybe that was a different program. Hopefully some one else with more experience will chime in.

I'm big on history (ok I'm obsessed) but don't go in depth until 1st grade. My kids do combined history. Many K programs will do a social studies, something like citizenship, communities, calenders and that sort of thing. K is usually an introduction to science and nature.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

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Originally Posted by iris0110 View Post
I think the biggest complaint I have heard about MFW is that it is hard to find the books to go with it sometimes? I'm not really sure. I know a lot of people just try to pick the books up from the library and it isn't always easy but maybe that was a different program. Hopefully some one else with more experience will chime in.

I'm big on history (ok I'm obsessed) but don't go in depth until 1st grade. My kids do combined history. Many K programs will do a social studies, something like citizenship, communities, calenders and that sort of thing. K is usually an introduction to science and nature.
Thanks, and yeah that was one of my concerns. I have a friend that uses MFW and she said bc a lot of the homeschoolers in our area use it; it's hard to get the books from the library.

They do have a literature package of the books that I am considering or possibly ordering some through amazon but not sure what's ideal.

thanks again!
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:30 AM   #6
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

History isn't usually super important in Kindergarten. I think most programs really focus on phonics and building skills to help them with formal math instruction later on.

MFW K covers God's creation and ties it in with the science (along with phonics, math, art, and character building) and then you'll cover the bible for history in 1st. If you want more of a social studies focus in K, you could always add in some Usborne books like Living Long Ago for a gentle intro to the past.

Another great curriculum is Sonlight. Their K program seems to be a little more intense than MFW. Actually, I've heard people say MFW K is more like pre-K and SL K is more like 1st. The name of the SL K core is Intro to World Cultures, so if you really want that to do a more formal study of that in K SL would be a good choice.

Heart of Dakota introduces history in Kindergarten as well. From what I can tell, HOD is the most hands on of those 3, SL being the least. HTH!
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

Hi there Alicia!

Welcoming to the homeschooling forum! Maybe a few years from now you will look at this situation and be grateful that things worked the way they did and you got the opportunity to homeschool your DS. I really didn't plan on homeschooling my daughters but when it came around the time to enroll my oldest in PS we decided to homeschool instead because of the crappy schools we have here. Now I say that I am glad Philadelphia has lousy schools because I wouldn't have chosen to homeschool otherwise but I see SO many other benefits to homeschooling. My oldest DD is now 11 and has never been to a brick and mortar school.

I don't have experience MFW or HOD but I do know some about K12. We didn't enroll in k12 (it is also free in PA) but I have a friend who has been using it at least 4 years. Like Shannon said it really is a lot of hours and you have to follow their rules. With having young children in the home you might need more flexibility than cybers offer.

Since you say you have a friend who uses MFW, I would suggest that you ask her to borrow the workbooks and other materials that she has already used so you can take a good look at it and make sure that you are pleased w/ it. Too often we buy something thinking we will use it and then we don't care for it. Since you live in an area where there are many homeschoolers using this curriculum I would suggest that you join some homeshooling groups for your area and ask around to get the package of books used. That will surely save you some $. Also I highly suggest to buy the curriculum used as well. Like I said many people buy stuff and never use it so you could get your curriculum (like new) at half price or better! Try to buy locally 1st because you will save on shipping costs but if you can't get it that way I would suggest that you look on-line. DS has a forum for homeschooling materials that you should be able to use.

I love that you are considering getting a membership to a museum. To save $ on memberships I would suggest that you look at groupon deals or goggle deals. A couple of wks ago our aquarium had a pretty nice deal on goggle deals. Also look at the local museums and see when they are free. Around here the science museum has a community night once a month for free (we go just about every month)! The art museum is pay as you wish the 1st Sunday of the month. This way your family can visit a variety of museums and not spend a fortune.

Feel free to ask any more questions and best wishes with your homeschooling journey!
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

If u like MFW layout then u will like Heart of Dakota. They don't officially use grade levels but it goes by age. It is much stronger in history. Pretty light on science, but I think in K it is pretty easy to add science in. Go to the zoo, take hikes, go watch eagles, go to bird sanctuary, etc. HOD for me was easier to navigate. All the lessons r short like 15 mins or so. Perfect if u have smaller ones to care for. U can take lots of breaks when needed. HOD also has a yahoo group to chat with other parents and also has a separate forum to buy and sell used curriculum. I spent about 50 bucks total bc I got everything used.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

U will also need a separate math curriculum. HOD follows Singapore math which I love their K book. We didn't care for the 1st grade so we switched to Horizons math. But u can use whatever math fits for ur child. If ur child is more advanced I wld go with horizons K if they r not go with Singapore early bird math K
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for some direction-kindergarten...

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Originally Posted by Solomon's Mama View Post
History isn't usually super important in Kindergarten. I think most programs really focus on phonics and building skills to help them with formal math instruction later on.

MFW K covers God's creation and ties it in with the science (along with phonics, math, art, and character building) and then you'll cover the bible for history in 1st. If you want more of a social studies focus in K, you could always add in some Usborne books like Living Long Ago for a gentle intro to the past.

Another great curriculum is Sonlight. Their K program seems to be a little more intense than MFW. Actually, I've heard people say MFW K is more like pre-K and SL K is more like 1st. The name of the SL K core is Intro to World Cultures, so if you really want that to do a more formal study of that in K SL would be a good choice.

Heart of Dakota introduces history in Kindergarten as well. From what I can tell, HOD is the most hands on of those 3, SL being the least. HTH!
Thanks for the suggestions! I will have to look into Usborne books.

I had considered Sonlight but I think it will be too much reading for my DS.

I hadn't heard of Heart of Dakota. I'll have to look into that. Thanks so much
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