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Anyone NOT start out with a purchased curriculum?

Posted by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM
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Hello, I'm going to be new to home schooling this next school year. I will have a dd6 in first grade and a ds8 in third grade. I've already purchased two of the giant comprehensive currilculum workbooks from same club to start. I know there isn't really a right or wrong way to homeschool, but I don't want them to fall backward. Their learning styles are polar opposites, but fortunately my son is older, wiser, and can learn more independently so I can spend a little more time with my free spirited daughter.
Looking though the workbooks, I can see some reasoning for their order in grammer, reading comprehension, and math. I'm thinking about just using these as my guide and supplementing with online resources and other stuff. History, science, art, and things I'm just planning on using the heck out of my awesome public library. Those "extra subjects" will be mainly unit type things led by my kids' interests.
So mainly I'm concerned abouth the 3 R's so that I don't miss some critical building block and then ruining the rest of the learning experience and cant figure out why. Lol.
My other issue is I'm not really super sure what all my kids know. I know that sounds bad but I would hate to buy something and have to skip half the lessons if it's something they already know. Especially the older one. He shocks me with some of the things he knows how to do.
Thanks for any input!
by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM
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by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM
We have always Hs my kids are now 8 & 10. We have never purchased curriculum. Between resources on the web and books like what your ___ grader needs to know, i have always built our own. I usually recommend new hs families not spend a lot of $$ the first year while trying different techniques, get a feel for what might work best for your family.
by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 6:26 PM

 i didnt start with a bought curr. and stilll havent bought one.

heres a site that might help if you dont have the book that kickbutt recommended

i stick with the 3rs like you do, and do unit studies for the rest

also heres a lang. arts program that might help

by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 7:40 PM

 I started out without a curriculum for my children, when DS was in 4th grade, DD was in 2nd, and my youngest wasn't really doing school yet. I hated it. My kids and myself do so much better when we have a boxed curriculum. Now the are DS13, DD11, and DS5 and have all used Sonlight since our second year of homeschooling. Next year the younger two will stick with Sonlight and the older will do C.L.A.S.S. I like a boxed curriculum because I can really follow what my kids know, I have worksheets and things to keep for their portfolio, but I still have the flexibility to skip  a subject they already know or a book they have already read. We also have the flexibility to do a 4 day week if we want, or to take a week off to work around my DH's schedule. He's a soldier and we want to spend as much fun time as we can with him when he's home.

by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM
We don't use a boxed curriculum like my fathers world, bju, abeka, etc.
I just basically looked at math, found one I liked. Looked at science, found one I liked, etc.

We used a comprehensive curric book this year in addition to our other work to fill in the gaps and for extra practice. But I have to warn you, it definitely isn't enough on its own. Well, in my opinion. :)

Like you said, reading, writing, and math are the ones most focus on. I'd add science to that list also because you learn so much about life through science. It can easily be incorporated into your reading, and will touch on math more than you think!

Look at math curric and find one you like. We used all about spelling for spelling and phonics. Handwriting without tears for handwriting. Once they have the basics down with that, you could just do copy work for handwriting but we like the workbooks hwot offers and they are reasonably priced. ($7 for the teacher manual and $7 for the workbook I believe).
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by on Apr. 28, 2012 at 6:24 AM

I've never purchased one in the 13 years I've been homeschooling.

I've collected some textbooks and workbooks over the years at swap meets, which I use as references. I'll pull them out to help go over some concept or topic sometimes. I'll also print worksheets out from websites for them to practice math and language arts. We have them do a lot of writing/reading, we discuss things a lot.

Frankly, I think curricula companies and schools over-complicate learning. I think reading comprehension is inevitable if kids just read-- read together, read alone, read with them, discuss things you read. Same thing with writing-- let them write. Write to them, have them read each other's writing, write together, talk about writing. If you see blaring mistakes, stop and correct them, go over it. To learn math, use math, not just on paper but in life, point out to the child that this is math/logic/reasoning.

Peace, and all that jazz...


a Browncoat4eva 

...I'm a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar...

by on Apr. 28, 2012 at 6:49 AM

Never purchased a curriculum. We use "what your xxx grader needs to know" as a starting point and go from there. DD8 uses Brain Quest workbooks, too.

by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 7:12 AM
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My children are all grown, but I still tutor, and give workshops to home educators and teachers.  Yor described your children as having different personalities, and already seem to know that they may need different things for that reason, and for their ages as well.

Sometimes I tutor as many as 6 children at different grade levels at one time.  I like the old one room school house approach because the kids learn as much or more from each other than they do from me alone.  How To Create Your Own Lesson Plan will help you create that learning environment, and save you money on wasted curriculum.

You might also find this article helpful: How To Home School

by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I just started homeschooling this year. I have an 11 year old and a 13 year old. In public schools they were a year apart, but in homeschooling I have them on the same grade level. I have not bought not one textbook, nor do I plan on buying any in the future. I do like the majority of the moms on here say, I go to google and search for what an 8th grader should learn or 8th grade _____, whatever subject I'm wanting to search for.

I have nothing against textbooks and book curriculums, but my children are more of the hands on type learners and reading something out of a textbook or doing something like a worksheet just isn't going to work with them. I find lesson plans online, then incorporate them into a hands on type lesson plan as much as possible.

As far as your children falling behind, as long as you use lesson plans, worksheets, etc., for their particular grade level or age you will be fine. Also, I test my kids once a week in math and spelling. Those are what I feel are the two most important subjects so I test them weekly on those. I also require them to do a lot of writing exercises for Language Arts. Sometimes they will write a story about what they want to be when they grow up, sometimes we go a little debate like and I ask them to write a paper on their viewpoint of a specific subject explaining their choice, and sometimes we pick a book in the library or a famous person, and we will read about them, then they have to do a book report.

I would also suggest finding a homeschool group. Some areas have homeschool groups in their community, but if not you can do a quick Google search and find tons of great homeschool groups online. Get in the groups, get to know some of the moms, read their posts, and ask them questions as you have them. You'll find that most homeschool moms are more than glad to share their tips, tricks, and curriculum ideas with you.

by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 2:24 PM
We have never used one & never plan to.
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by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:14 PM
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There are so many online resources that there really isn't a need to go buy boxed curriculm or textbooks.  You can find any of the information that your child needs to know online.  Just try to have fun and learn with them.  My son is 9 and since he started homeschooling this year he has become way smarter than he was in public school.  He went from barely being able to add to doing long division.  I use and for most of my worksheets.   Just search and you will find all you and your two children need to know.

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