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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Where do I start?

Posted by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 12:36 AM
  • 19 Replies

 Hi. I'm fairly new to homeschooling. I am trying to get a good system set up to homeschool my daughter. She is four years old and right now we are working on pre-school level things but I'd like to have a system or set up that could easily take her into the first or second grade with little modification like just adding or changing curriculum as we go. She shares a room with her seven year old sister but I was considering moving her into her own room. Aggghhh. This brings me to question number 1...should I set up her school materials in her bedroom? Question 2? I was thinking of ordering the Sonlight curriculum, have any of you used this and if so what was your experience? Question 3? If no, what curriculum do you use? Question 4..what does your homeschool system look like? Thank you all.

by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 12:36 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:07 AM
1 mom liked this

You have a lot of questions...

Where to start: Start with your state laws. Do you have to file a letter with hte District or State? What reporting is requied if any. Check out the links atthe top of the board and they will help you.

#1 No, I personally wouldn't set up the school area in the bedroom. We work everywhere and you want everything where it will be most convenient. Many find that a file cabinet or shelf or drawer in a central area works well.  We have a dedicated office/school room and each child has a color coded crate for their current books. then we have three bookshelves. one is all my stuff, one is all reference materials and lab equipment, extra paper, notebooks etc, the 3rd has MY reading books and one shelf for all the kid's pens, pencils, crayons, (each in a labeled pencil box for easy identification)  etc.

#1 Sonlight - I've heard many people like it. I've never used it. I mix and match depending on the kid.

#3 - For Language arts I use Write Source, All About Spelling, Easy Grammar, Zaner-Bloser handwriting, and Spectrum Reading Comp and Poetry Comprehension. I don't use them all at once we may do handwriting one day, grammar another, etc.

Math: We like Math U See and Teaching textbooks

Science - I get Science in a Nutshell kits, random kits that interest the kids. I do have state textbooks for each grade level that I use as a basis because honestly - if I tried Science on my own we wouldn't do much. it don't follow i exactly we jump around and mix and match.

History - Up until this week, I did it like I did Science. I use a state textbook for my outline or as a guide then add and subtract as we want to,

This week - I finally got my hands on STORY OF THE WORLD and LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!  I wish I had found out  Icould get it years ago. I get my curriculum paid for through a charter school and never asked for it because I thought it was considered religous. Well, I just found out they approve it and DD LOVeS IT!

Science and History - I even work in their Girl Scout and Boy Scout requirements into Science and History  

#4 Our System - My kids are older now so it is way different from how we did pre-k and Kinder. At that age I just did lessons daily and they didn't have much input. Now I do a weekly assignment sheet and it is due by 2 PM Friday. I break it out by day so they can do it that way, OR they can mix and match and do all math in one day, all something another day, as long as it is done by Friday.

I mentioned before that each child has a color coded crate that they keep their work in. As they complete work it goes into a specific folder for each kid and I grade it and discuss it throughout the week to make sure they are on track for Friday. 

debramommyof4
by Silver Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:11 AM

I am going to answer in your post to make sure I answer all your questions. 

Hi. I'm fairly new to homeschooling. I am trying to get a good system set up to homeschool my daughter. She is four years old and right now we are working on pre-school level things but I'd like to have a system or set up that could easily take her into the first or second grade with little modification like just adding or changing curriculum as we go. She shares a room with her seven year old sister but I was considering moving her into her own room. Aggghhh. This brings me to question number 1...should I set up her school materials in her bedroom? I do not do this because my children are that age and would play with scissors and glue and things in their room.  I am fortunate enough to have an entry room that works perfectly for my school room.  It is to small for anything else.  Lots of homeschoolers use the kitchen table, the couch, and floor and school everywhere though.  A question to ask is do you want one place, or do you want to learn everywhere you are?  For preschool I have found, I am on my 4th preschooler, you will learn everywhere and preschoolers do not learn anything like older kids. Question 2? I was thinking of ordering the Sonlight curriculum, have any of you used this and if so what was your experience? I have not used Sonlight but I have dreamed about it.  The more I look at it though I think for my family it would be a waste of money.  My kids are all learning on so many different levels it would just not work well for us.  Sonlight is also liturature based and extremely expensive.   Question 3? If no, what curriculum do you use? I use letter of the weeek, and lesson pathways.  Both of which are free and very good curriculum.  Lessonepathways.com and http://www.letteroftheweek.com/ Question 4..what does your homeschool system look like?  I have a 7 year old, 6 year old, 4 year old and 3 year old.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance, go over the calendar and weather.  We then do our history and science which we all do together.  Then my older two go to their desk where they work on their lessons, while I go over the letter of the week, we talk about the snack of the week (goes with the letter), read a poem, talk about the animal, shape and number of the week.  They do some fun activities, then while my 3 year old does some coloring my 4 year old and I sit down and work on his phonics lessons (he asked to learn how to read or he would be coloring also).  After we are done with phonics we read a story then they are done for the day and I go work with my bigger girls.  It all takes about an hour with my 4 and 3 year olds.  My 6 and 7 year olds spend about 4 or 5 hours if they are slow to finish their work for math, lit, spanish, and handwriting. Thank you all.

Are you planning to homeschool your 7 year old also?

MommeisQueen
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:26 AM
1 mom liked this
Thank you, you have given me a lot of good information.
Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

You have a lot of questions...

Where to start: Start with your state laws. Do you have to file a letter with hte District or State? What reporting is requied if any. Check out the links atthe top of the board and they will help you.

#1 No, I personally wouldn't set up the school area in the bedroom. We work everywhere and you want everything where it will be most convenient. Many find that a file cabinet or shelf or drawer in a central area works well.  We have a dedicated office/school room and each child has a color coded crate for their current books. then we have three bookshelves. one is all my stuff, one is all reference materials and lab equipment, extra paper, notebooks etc, the 3rd has MY reading books and one shelf for all the kid's pens, pencils, crayons, (each in a labeled pencil box for easy identification)  etc.

#1 Sonlight - I've heard many people like it. I've never used it. I mix and match depending on the kid.

#3 - For Language arts I use Write Source, All About Spelling, Easy Grammar, Zaner-Bloser handwriting, and Spectrum Reading Comp and Poetry Comprehension. I don't use them all at once we may do handwriting one day, grammar another, etc.

Math: We like Math U See and Teaching textbooks

Science - I get Science in a Nutshell kits, random kits that interest the kids. I do have state textbooks for each grade level that I use as a basis because honestly - if I tried Science on my own we wouldn't do much. it don't follow i exactly we jump around and mix and match.

History - Up until this week, I did it like I did Science. I use a state textbook for my outline or as a guide then add and subtract as we want to,

This week - I finally got my hands on STORY OF THE WORLD and LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!  I wish I had found out  Icould get it years ago. I get my curriculum paid for through a charter school and never asked for it because I thought it was considered religous. Well, I just found out they approve it and DD LOVeS IT!

Science and History - I even work in their Girl Scout and Boy Scout requirements into Science and History  

#4 Our System - My kids are older now so it is way different from how we did pre-k and Kinder. At that age I just did lessons daily and they didn't have much input. Now I do a weekly assignment sheet and it is due by 2 PM Friday. I break it out by day so they can do it that way, OR they can mix and match and do all math in one day, all something another day, as long as it is done by Friday.

I mentioned before that each child has a color coded crate that they keep their work in. As they complete work it goes into a specific folder for each kid and I grade it and discuss it throughout the week to make sure they are on track for Friday. 

ripemango
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I did this free curriculum when my child was about that age:

http://www.letteroftheweek.com/

I don't have experience w Sonlight. DD does her schoolwork at the kitchen table or at her own 'workstation' table in the living room. (It's her little area of the living room behind the couch. She has a table that is just hers with her book collection right there, blank paper, writing and craft supplies, etc. I think how you have your home setup will determine the best place for her school materials. You could try it in her bedroom and if isn't working out like you had hoped, opt for something different.

My DD is now 5, and we are doing the following for reading, writing, etc:

http://www.msrossbec.com/spelling_index.html

We are doing these spelling words each week and matching it to the corresponding book. We obtain supplemental material for these lessons from here:

http://www.primarygradesclasspage.com/first%20grade%20harcourt.htm

This curriculum is also free. We go to the library at least once a week and we check out the book that goes with each weekly unit.

We aren't following an actual curriculum for science and math, but going by where she is at and trying to keep her stimulated.


I don't know where the sunbeams end and the starlights begin; it's all a mystery.

MommeisQueen
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:34 AM

Thank you for being so detailed. I kind of homeschooled my older kids until they went to Kinder and we do homeschool type of activities in thier downtime and we use our kitchen or anywhere really. I am ready to move out of the kitchen and find a dedicated space for her school materials as she is requiring a lot more structure, visuals, malipulatives etc.  

Quoting debramommyof4:

I am going to answer in your post to make sure I answer all your questions. 

Hi. I'm fairly new to homeschooling. I am trying to get a good system set up to homeschool my daughter. She is four years old and right now we are working on pre-school level things but I'd like to have a system or set up that could easily take her into the first or second grade with little modification like just adding or changing curriculum as we go. She shares a room with her seven year old sister but I was considering moving her into her own room. Aggghhh. This brings me to question number 1...should I set up her school materials in her bedroom? I do not do this because my children are that age and would play with scissors and glue and things in their room.  I am fortunate enough to have an entry room that works perfectly for my school room.  It is to small for anything else.  Lots of homeschoolers use the kitchen table, the couch, and floor and school everywhere though.  A question to ask is do you want one place, or do you want to learn everywhere you are?  For preschool I have found, I am on my 4th preschooler, you will learn everywhere and preschoolers do not learn anything like older kids. Question 2? I was thinking of ordering the Sonlight curriculum, have any of you used this and if so what was your experience? I have not used Sonlight but I have dreamed about it.  The more I look at it though I think for my family it would be a waste of money.  My kids are all learning on so many different levels it would just not work well for us.  Sonlight is also liturature based and extremely expensive.   Question 3? If no, what curriculum do you use? I use letter of the weeek, and lesson pathways.  Both of which are free and very good curriculum.  Lessonepathways.com and http://www.letteroftheweek.com/ Question 4..what does your homeschool system look like?  I have a 7 year old, 6 year old, 4 year old and 3 year old.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance, go over the calendar and weather.  We then do our history and science which we all do together.  Then my older two go to their desk where they work on their lessons, while I go over the letter of the week, we talk about the snack of the week (goes with the letter), read a poem, talk about the animal, shape and number of the week.  They do some fun activities, then while my 3 year old does some coloring my 4 year old and I sit down and work on his phonics lessons (he asked to learn how to read or he would be coloring also).  After we are done with phonics we read a story then they are done for the day and I go work with my bigger girls.  It all takes about an hour with my 4 and 3 year olds.  My 6 and 7 year olds spend about 4 or 5 hours if they are slow to finish their work for math, lit, spanish, and handwriting. Thank you all.

Are you planning to homeschool your 7 year old also?

 No I do not plan on homeschooling my 7 year old at this point, she goes to public school right now. I did homeschool her for a year prior to her entering Kindergarten as well as my son who is now in Kinder but I am considering homeschooling my 4 year old beyond pre-school and am trying to gather my thoughts on it as well as get some type of system in place.  

debramommyof4
by Silver Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:40 AM

 Do you have a corner somewhere you can set up?  For just one you do not even need a full room.  A corner with a calendar and the alphabet and to store materials would be enough.  Then you can use the table as a desk or get her a small one.

Quoting MommeisQueen:

Thank you for being so detailed. I kind of homeschooled my older kids until they went to Kinder and we do homeschool type of activities in thier downtime and we use our kitchen or anywhere really. I am ready to move out of the kitchen and find a dedicated space for her school materials as she is requiring a lot more structure, visuals, malipulatives etc.  

Quoting debramommyof4:

I am going to answer in your post to make sure I answer all your questions. 

Hi. I'm fairly new to homeschooling. I am trying to get a good system set up to homeschool my daughter. She is four years old and right now we are working on pre-school level things but I'd like to have a system or set up that could easily take her into the first or second grade with little modification like just adding or changing curriculum as we go. She shares a room with her seven year old sister but I was considering moving her into her own room. Aggghhh. This brings me to question number 1...should I set up her school materials in her bedroom? I do not do this because my children are that age and would play with scissors and glue and things in their room.  I am fortunate enough to have an entry room that works perfectly for my school room.  It is to small for anything else.  Lots of homeschoolers use the kitchen table, the couch, and floor and school everywhere though.  A question to ask is do you want one place, or do you want to learn everywhere you are?  For preschool I have found, I am on my 4th preschooler, you will learn everywhere and preschoolers do not learn anything like older kids. Question 2? I was thinking of ordering the Sonlight curriculum, have any of you used this and if so what was your experience? I have not used Sonlight but I have dreamed about it.  The more I look at it though I think for my family it would be a waste of money.  My kids are all learning on so many different levels it would just not work well for us.  Sonlight is also liturature based and extremely expensive.   Question 3? If no, what curriculum do you use? I use letter of the weeek, and lesson pathways.  Both of which are free and very good curriculum.  Lessonepathways.com and http://www.letteroftheweek.com/ Question 4..what does your homeschool system look like?  I have a 7 year old, 6 year old, 4 year old and 3 year old.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance, go over the calendar and weather.  We then do our history and science which we all do together.  Then my older two go to their desk where they work on their lessons, while I go over the letter of the week, we talk about the snack of the week (goes with the letter), read a poem, talk about the animal, shape and number of the week.  They do some fun activities, then while my 3 year old does some coloring my 4 year old and I sit down and work on his phonics lessons (he asked to learn how to read or he would be coloring also).  After we are done with phonics we read a story then they are done for the day and I go work with my bigger girls.  It all takes about an hour with my 4 and 3 year olds.  My 6 and 7 year olds spend about 4 or 5 hours if they are slow to finish their work for math, lit, spanish, and handwriting. Thank you all.

Are you planning to homeschool your 7 year old also?

 No I do not plan on homeschooling my 7 year old at this point, she goes to public school right now. I did homeschool her for a year prior to her entering Kindergarten as well as my son who is now in Kinder but I am considering homeschooling my 4 year old beyond pre-school and am trying to gather my thoughts on it as well as get some type of system in place.  

 

HarrisonMD
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM
1 mom liked this

My DD is 3 1/2 and we are just now getting a little bit more structured! Haha! We incoporate a lot of playtime into our lessons so that she doesn't even realize it's school time! I've got so much stuff accumulated that now I'm trying to separate it all and get it organized...but what we've started doing now and my DD really loves is that I'm utilizing wall space for lessons...she's very visual! There's an educational resource store in town and I love it! We have the alphabet lamenated on the wall along with shapes, colors and sign language. I've started putting up a Word tree bullentin board to help her reading and spelling, we have a seasonal that's full of her Turkey Day arts and crafts, I think that's her favorite! lol...I tend to be all over the place too, so I'm picking and pulling from everything. Also, my DS who is 18 months is coming up right behind her and he loves all the stuff I've been putting on the walls! As I get more organized with everything Ive collected, then I can see what and if I need a certain curriculum to use, but since she's still young, I'm not too worried about it. She knows, sign language, letters, numbers, shapes, counting, some sight words and we're contantly working on fine motor skills too! Have fun Momma!

-Teeter-Totter-
by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM
2 moms liked this
We're just starting too :)

We turned our dining room into the library/ school room, using the breakfast nook in the kitchen for meals and crafting.

I haven't used Sonlight, but know people who have and the sentiment seems to be 50/50 on loving it, and not liking it because its too rigorous for little ones.

We just started using Starfall.com's preschool curriculum, and are having a blast with it. We also throw in some manipulatives from Timberdoodle, and a variety of ideas from montessori, Charlotte mason, waldorf, the how and why encyclopedias, craft books...

Each day for us consists of movement games, stories, a circle time, and crafting/ games in the afternoon, in addition to housekeeping and outdoor time. I tried the littleacornlearning curriculum for a month and started modeling our days similar to their daily guide because it worked so well for us.

A great resource I've found for ideas on fitting in schooling and chores/ daily life is milestonesacademy.com. Her blastoff course focuses on setting up habits and schedules regarding honeschooling. It also includes a free curriculum guide similar to those of ambleside online and simply charlotte mason.

Memoria press is a company my friend uses, which she loves.

There are so many cool curriculums out there! I hope you find one you love, too :D

MommeisQueen
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Yeah I have a wall and a corner of her room with her alphabets that I'd like to add her other school related visuals to(calendar, number chart etc). Right now I have a three drawer cart holding our materials that I put in the garage when we are done and we do most things at the kitchen table. 

 

Quoting debramommyof4:

 Do you have a corner somewhere you can set up?  For just one you do not even need a full room.  A corner with a calendar and the alphabet and to store materials would be enough.  Then you can use the table as a desk or get her a small one.

Quoting MommeisQueen:

Thank you for being so detailed. I kind of homeschooled my older kids until they went to Kinder and we do homeschool type of activities in thier downtime and we use our kitchen or anywhere really. I am ready to move out of the kitchen and find a dedicated space for her school materials as she is requiring a lot more structure, visuals, malipulatives etc.  

Quoting debramommyof4:

I am going to answer in your post to make sure I answer all your questions. 

Hi. I'm fairly new to homeschooling. I am trying to get a good system set up to homeschool my daughter. She is four years old and right now we are working on pre-school level things but I'd like to have a system or set up that could easily take her into the first or second grade with little modification like just adding or changing curriculum as we go. She shares a room with her seven year old sister but I was considering moving her into her own room. Aggghhh. This brings me to question number 1...should I set up her school materials in her bedroom? I do not do this because my children are that age and would play with scissors and glue and things in their room.  I am fortunate enough to have an entry room that works perfectly for my school room.  It is to small for anything else.  Lots of homeschoolers use the kitchen table, the couch, and floor and school everywhere though.  A question to ask is do you want one place, or do you want to learn everywhere you are?  For preschool I have found, I am on my 4th preschooler, you will learn everywhere and preschoolers do not learn anything like older kids. Question 2? I was thinking of ordering the Sonlight curriculum, have any of you used this and if so what was your experience? I have not used Sonlight but I have dreamed about it.  The more I look at it though I think for my family it would be a waste of money.  My kids are all learning on so many different levels it would just not work well for us.  Sonlight is also liturature based and extremely expensive.   Question 3? If no, what curriculum do you use? I use letter of the weeek, and lesson pathways.  Both of which are free and very good curriculum.  Lessonepathways.com and http://www.letteroftheweek.com/ Question 4..what does your homeschool system look like?  I have a 7 year old, 6 year old, 4 year old and 3 year old.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance, go over the calendar and weather.  We then do our history and science which we all do together.  Then my older two go to their desk where they work on their lessons, while I go over the letter of the week, we talk about the snack of the week (goes with the letter), read a poem, talk about the animal, shape and number of the week.  They do some fun activities, then while my 3 year old does some coloring my 4 year old and I sit down and work on his phonics lessons (he asked to learn how to read or he would be coloring also).  After we are done with phonics we read a story then they are done for the day and I go work with my bigger girls.  It all takes about an hour with my 4 and 3 year olds.  My 6 and 7 year olds spend about 4 or 5 hours if they are slow to finish their work for math, lit, spanish, and handwriting. Thank you all.

Are you planning to homeschool your 7 year old also?

 No I do not plan on homeschooling my 7 year old at this point, she goes to public school right now. I did homeschool her for a year prior to her entering Kindergarten as well as my son who is now in Kinder but I am considering homeschooling my 4 year old beyond pre-school and am trying to gather my thoughts on it as well as get some type of system in place.  

 

 

MommeisQueen
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM

We like starfall too. SO far our routine consists of alphabets, abcmouse and a story....I take her on starfall somedays as well but she really likes the magic rainbow tracing on abc mouse and it helps with her fine motor so I've been letting her do that a lot.  

Quoting -Teeter-Totter-:

We're just starting too :)

We turned our dining room into the library/ school room, using the breakfast nook in the kitchen for meals and crafting.

I haven't used Sonlight, but know people who have and the sentiment seems to be 50/50 on loving it, and not liking it because its too rigorous for little ones.

We just started using Starfall.com's preschool curriculum, and are having a blast with it. We also throw in some manipulatives from Timberdoodle, and a variety of ideas from montessori, Charlotte mason, waldorf, the how and why encyclopedias, craft books...

Each day for us consists of movement games, stories, a circle time, and crafting/ games in the afternoon, in addition to housekeeping and outdoor time. I tried the littleacornlearning curriculum for a month and started modeling our days similar to their daily guide because it worked so well for us.

A great resource I've found for ideas on fitting in schooling and chores/ daily life is milestonesacademy.com. Her blastoff course focuses on setting up habits and schedules regarding honeschooling. It also includes a free curriculum guide similar to those of ambleside online and simply charlotte mason.

Memoria press is a company my friend uses, which she loves.

There are so many cool curriculums out there! I hope you find one you love, too :D

 

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