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Old 05-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
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There are too many options! My DS will be starting kindergarten in the fall, and I am trying to decide on curriculums. I am completely overwhelmed by all the options. Work books? Montessori? Waldorf? Unschooling? We're also trying to steer clear of things that have been modified to meet common core standards. I realize this is OnlY kindergarten, but I feel like this will set the track for the rest of our homeschooling years. I also don't want to waste money on something that will be completely wrong for us. My heart leans towards montessori, but since I'm not trained I worry he won't get the true benefits of a montessori curriculum and ill completely screw it up. I would do better with a daily guide so I know he is "on track" but I know he needs more hands on stuff.

Anyways how in the WORLD did you decide on a program? My head is spinning and I am seriously nearly in tears trying to make a decision.

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
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Re: Overwhelmed.......

It's not easy. Start with deciding what your budget is, along with any HS association fees and HSLDA fees. Then you will have an easier time narrowing it down. It helps me to imagine what i want my day to be like, and go from there determining your HS style.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:09 PM   #3
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Re: Overwhelmed.......

What do you want him to learn? For us, in kindergarten, all we focus on is phonics and math. We feel that once they are reading well and able to do math, the rest will fall into place. This doesn't mean we completely ignore everything else, but those are the only things we focus on at that age.

Secular or Sacred? Do you want something that teaches a specific faith, has a certain worldview, or does it not matter? Knowing that really helps narrow it down.

Do you know his learning style? Again, this really helps to narrow it down, too. It's not always easy to know. My son is finishing 4th grade, he's only ever been homeschooled, and I still couldn't tell you for sure what his learning style is. My oldest is definitely a hands-on learner, and I'm not positive yet on my youngest (she's 6). Some programs work well for a variety of learning styles, and others not so much.

If you haven't yet, try and find a copy of Cathy Duffy's Top Homeschool Picks. If I recall correctly, she gives good info about different styles, as well as reviews a kazillion curriculums.

Also, keep in mind, that you are not likely to ruin your child. It took us several years to work out what works best for our oldest. She is finishing 7th grade, has always been homeschooled, and even though the first several years we went through at least 5 different things (except for math -- only consistent thing), she is on grade level or above in every area, except perhaps writing.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Overwhelmed.......

Ask around too...other HS moms like to talk and may share curriculum for you to look at and see in person. Get the catalogs from programs you like and review those. Go to a homeschool fair or convention if you can...our area always has one for new homeschoolers...
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:00 AM   #5
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Re: Overwhelmed.......

What kind of life style does you family have? What kind of philosophy? Usually the different philosphies appeal to different families based on their own beliefs. Waldorf, true Waldorf, has a definite spiritual (not Christian) side, in addition to being very story (not book, storytelling though and lots of fairy tales) and art based. Montessori can be a little harder to impliment in the homeschool as your child gets older, but is great too. Very different philosophy though. More guiding your child, lots of hands on special equipment...unschooling at the grade school level takes a lot of commitment to pull of well for you have to have a lifestyle of learning, a rich environment, but those who love it really can thrive too...work book or text book is more school at home style...


... And always feel free to switch...


There are curricula that yu could use inspired by Montessori, or a few Montessori homeschool guides for k.

Brilliant Minds Math, Right Start Math, and Shiller Math are montessori or inspired by.

For hands on phonics and spelling hands on I recommend looking at:
All About Reading
All About Spelling
The Phonics Road
The Writing Road
The Wise Guide
RIGGS
YES Phonics
Brilliant Minds

Montessori:
New Child Montessori http://www.newchildmontessori.com/
NAMC Homeschool
My Montessori House
The book "Teaching Montessori In the Home The School Years"
Myhomeschoolstyle.com
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVeryHappyMama
What kind of life style does you family have? What kind of philosophy? Usually the different philosphies appeal to different families based on their own beliefs. Waldorf, true Waldorf, has a definite spiritual (not Christian) side, in addition to being very story (not book, storytelling though and lots of fairy tales) and art based. Montessori can be a little harder to impliment in the homeschool as your child gets older, but is great too. Very different philosophy though. More guiding your child, lots of hands on special equipment...unschooling at the grade school level takes a lot of commitment to pull of well for you have to have a lifestyle of learning, a rich environment, but those who love it really can thrive too...work book or text book is more school at home style...

... And always feel free to switch...

There are curricula that yu could use inspired by Montessori, or a few Montessori homeschool guides for k.

Brilliant Minds Math, Right Start Math, and Shiller Math are montessori or inspired by.

For hands on phonics and spelling hands on I recommend looking at:
All About Reading
All About Spelling
The Phonics Road
The Writing Road
The Wise Guide
RIGGS
YES Phonics
Brilliant Minds

Montessori:
New Child Montessori http://www.newchildmontessori.com/
NAMC Homeschool
My Montessori House
The book "Teaching Montessori In the Home The School Years"
Myhomeschoolstyle.com
Thanks for all the ideas! I came across the namc homeschooling last night. I am super interested! I've always been interested in montessori, but worry without training I will "mess it up" I love that it has a parents guide, and also a mastery check list to make sure I'm doing it right! I can't seem to find very many reviews of it though..
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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Re: Overwhelmed.......

hello there theonenonlymrsmsith!

Welcome to the homeschooling forum and to the homeschooling world.

You have gotten some wonderful suggestions from the others and I just want to add another.

Try to start off slow. There really are SO many options out there and it does make your mind spin to have to pick the "right" one. The Paradox of Choice is a book and a real life dilemma that is tough to deal w/. In regards to educating our children we are led to believe there is all this stuff we have to get and to do it just right. Don't do x,y, z and you might ruin your child for life! Please, please don't think you will fail. By starting out small w/ getting materials and planning to do certain things you give yourself more time to decide on what will work best for your family.

What are you currently doing and using w/ your DS? How is it working out? If things are working maybe continue w/ what you are doing. Also don't feel like you have to subscribe to only one philosophy. I like to say we do our own thing although we lean mostly toward unschooling. You can take some ideas that you like from Montessori and others from more traditional homeschooling.

You will do a great job w/ finding what works best for your DS. I know you will enjoy learning right along w/ him.

Best wishes and feel free to come back to let us know how things go and to ask more questions.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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Everyone has posted such helpful things to think about!

Ds is a sponge, and seems to learn any way he is taught. he loves to read, research, observe and pretend. He loves hands on, but seems to also like tracing letters on preschool pages as well.

We don't really have a budget, but I'm very frugal and would like to avoid spending a ton, free is even better if its effective. however even if the curriculum was 1000$ or more we wouldn't shy away if it was right for him. Which is completely unhelpful I know.

I think I would be helped by more of a checklist, he needs to know "a, b, c, and d" this year and then I could easily tailor the lesson plans. I am having such trouble reading the state standards curriculum online, is there any sort of checklist for me anywhere that would provide this in a more straightforward format?

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Old 05-07-2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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Re: Overwhelmed.......

Look to see if you have a homeschool convention coming up soon in your area. It is a good opportunity to get your hands on books and see all kinds of curriculum and get an idea of what you are looking for.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Overwhelmed.......

I bought the overpriced Cathy duffy book, took her quizzes and in under an hour had narrowed down our curriculum choices to two, that for me was worth the $$.
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