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Does everyone use a purchased curriculum?

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Or maybe I shoud say a pre-written/pre-designed or predetermined curriculum? It seems to me that every time I look up information on homeschooling it's all about choosing and purchasing a curriculum. Is it necessary? Have any of you just designed your own?

What I've done is familiarize myself with the law, then the core standards at each grade level, and started to gather materials that I feel will keep my daughter on track with (or, realistically, ahead of) the standards. Maybe I just haven't reached the point where I can fit a curriculum into my plan? I don't know, I'm just starting to wonder if I'm going about this the wrong way. Reinventing the wheel.

by on Sep. 14, 2013 at 8:31 PM
Replies (21-28):
by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I am going through FL Virtual School Online for my son.  What I found is that at this point I'm well ahead of the learning curve for Kindergarten.  Every one does different things.  Right now I'm using their curriculum because I wasn't sure exactly where my son was education wise.  If he was kind of ahead or behind or middle of the pack.  I guess it also depends what grade your children are in and how much they are required to know by the state and if testing is different for HS based on what you are using for curriculum. 

by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM
I do a combination of designing my own curriculum according to their grade standards and allowing them to do child led learning (unschooling). I am not strict about them staying in order when it comes to their textbooks and workbooks. I am also pretty flexible when it comes to them picking out the topics that interest them.
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by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:17 AM

 I purchase most of our curriculum because I am more comfortable knowing that all the topics are covered that my oldest son needs.  I am doing my own thing with my preschooler though.

by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:44 AM
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There are a lot of people that put together their own curriculum.    I have ADHD and have been diagnosed Bi-polar, although I question that diagnosis.   Anyway, I do know I have challenges, and getting a curriculum helps me with my "swings" because on my own I'm not as consistant.  

There are days I'm really "manic" and days I'm really depressed.   I get up and put a smile on, but if it weren't for the curriculum in front of me, I'd probably find it overwhelming and shut down.

However, that being said, I don't really use a full curriculum in the younger grades anyway.   I introduce an actual Math somewhere between 1st and 2nd... and then around 3rd for an english curriculum.   Up until then, I teach it on my own and with little supplementary resources..

by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 2:35 AM

I have put together our own science curriculum... but somethings I just do not find it necessary to reinvent the wheel...  Basically everything else I purchase.... although not from one company...

Math In Focus

FLL AAS SL readers & Read alouds Word Roots Handwriting without tears

Latin for Children

K12/ sonlight history

artistic pursuits

piano wizard academy and a composer study by confessions of a homeschool mom

Tai Chi Lessons on DVD

Yoga on DVD

by Group Admin on Sep. 17, 2013 at 7:23 AM

 I bought a full math curriculum.  Other than that, I pretty much design my own.  I bought Story of the World (history), but I make my own activities and lesson plans.  I have 4 science textbooks, but we are on our own timeline with our own topics.  I was a language arts/ reading teacher for a few years, so I pull together my own language arts curriculum myself.

The schools buy a full curriculum themselves, don't let them fool you.  Then the teachers pick and choose what to use and discard.  They nearly never cover the entire text.  They skip around.  As you get more comfortable, you probably will too. 

As for the teachers in your family, mine surprised me.  More than half are really supportive!  The others are ones that you can tell are not very good at their jobs and therefore not very secure in their jobs.  Me teaching outside of my appointed grade level is obviously intimidating to them.  I would know the CCSS, but I would avoid actually using it.  However, it sounds like you already know that!  :-)
by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 7:27 AM
It sounds like you're doing an amazing job :)

I like the measuring tape idea- I'm going to write it down LOL

Quoting Karmea:

Hi! My daughter is just shy of three... are you laughing? Am I too early? :-) I just want to be well prepared so I'm not scrambling to catch up with her. This child is a bookaholic and knew all her letters at nineteen months old and could probably be reading already if I was more on the ball with her. I just don't want to hold her back further because I'm not prepared.

So we're not using anything now, really, just her books, and counting with marbles, trying to make every new experience into a learning one. Today she was using a tape measure to mark lumber for me :-) As far as planning a curriculum, I've found the Common Core State Standards to be really helpful. I'm not completely through them yet, but I'm using the document as an outline that I plan to fill with specifics as I go. I like the idea of unit studies, too. I'm looking forward to learning a lot here!

Quoting oredeb:

 hi karmea, nope not everyone uses a pre designed curr, and no its  not necessary to use a certain curr. 

and it sounds like your going about it the right way for you!! good job! how old is your daughter? what are you using doing?

i pick and choose and make my own for the kids, so many nice resourses now days to choose from. making unit studies are my favorite thing to do for the kids, i use those for science, bible, history, writing, reading etc

for math and english i use saxon math and rod and staff english depending on how old child is.


by Bronze Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM
First, I wasn't attacking you. It's okay!
Second, it is NOBODY'S business, not family, PS teacher, cop, how you teach your child. Period. I understand the desire to cover all the bases and prepare for a fight/disparaging remarks/ill will disguised as curiosity, but you might find it easier to shut it down politely as soon as anyone questions you. Just a tip that has helped me.
Quoting Karmea:

If nothing else, this post has taught me never to mention the CCSS to homeschooling parents! Very prickly issue, I see. I'm only sorry that I haven't been able to make my reasons behind using it clear, because I honestly believe they're valid.

Here's the thing. We have public school teachers in the family. They don't know yet that we plan on homeschooling, but I'm anticipating some.. let's say concern.. over our choice. Now, if I show up armed with a good understanding of the standards kids are held to in public school, and can show that my daughter consistently exceeds them (which she does), I'll be a lot more comfortable having that conversation and hopefully no one will leave feeling her education is going to be neglected.

Never have I claimed or felt that the CCSS is an all-encompassing curriculum for a quality (or adequate) education, any more than Green Eggs and Ham is an adequate education in literature. But should the day come, as I fully expect it will, that I am challenged on my ability to educate my daughter, is it a silly idea to be familiar with the standards she'd be held to if she weren't homeschooled? To be able to demonstrate that she's already doing work the public schools wouldn't have given her for two or three years? I don't know, maybe I'm crazy, but it makes sense to me. The best offense is a good defense and whatnot.

Quoting tuffymama:I hear or read, "common core," and I have to fight the urge to walk away. LOL. You're LO seems precocious, so I foresee you abandoning the CCSS shortly, anyway, but if you are committed to using it even as a loose guideline, I would like you to research the CC itself before continuing.

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