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Anyone NOT start out with a purchased curriculum?

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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
Replies (11-12):
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

 I liked using when I first started with my daughter because I was able to change things up when I realized what she did and didn't know certain things. It also gave me a good foundation on which direction I could go, and I was able to dig deeper in some subjects and skim over others if needed.  Next year will be the first time I'll be trying an actual curriculum, granted they're different for each subject, but only because this past year was too much for me to handle and I don't want life to almost get in the way of her education again.   Good luck :)

by Sonja on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:02 PM

 We have never bought one and now I am not seeing much point in it as I have been home schooling for about 12 years.   I write all the school work for the kids. 

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