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curriculum help

Posted by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:12 AM
  • 17 Replies
I am having a hard time with finding and picking a curriculum for my kiddos.

How did you ladies choose one and what are you using and why?

Because I don't know what or if I'm doing this right.

My girls are in 8th, 5th and 4th.

EDIT: Thank you for all that has replied (and whoo hoo featured) My computer is getting cleaned and im on my cell. I am slowly (very slowly) looking at everything and will respond to you all soon.

We went to a teacher store today and I got alot of posters (will post pictures when I get them up) my youngest needs to see something. The store was having a huge sale.

We had a family meeting of what they want. They are thinking about it and looking into something and we are going to talk about it again tomorrow.
by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:12 AM
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by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 6:54 AM
1 mom liked this

1.  Understanding your child's learning style is the first step.  2. How To Home School explains the different methods used by home educators. 

by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:56 AM

It's really a matter of what your child responds best with.  And all 3 kids may like different things.  Sit with them and ask.  Do they think they may like workbooks and textbooks or an online program.  Are they good writers or readers?  Are there any learning issues?  What kind of daily or weekly schedule are you thinking of?  

After writing down a bunch of information, I would suggest looking at for other people's opinions.  You can order things from Rainbow Resources, Christian Books, or the individual product websites.  Try a variety of things.  There are also many free resources available (literature, websites, workbooks/textbooks from the library, lesson plans, curriculums, art/craft ideas, study guides, etc). 

If the kids are new to homeschooling, I suggest a period of "deschooling" (at least a few months).  This is where they spend the day following their interests (with you facilitating), spending time with you (home and out), and finding out who they are, what they like, and what they want.  

I chose programs for my ds based on his input, interests, retention level, etc.  I tweak everything for our needs.  He'll be 13 next week and he's currently in 7th grade.

Good luck!  Hope that helped!

by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:11 AM

i buy individual pieces.

I use MathUSee, but might pick something else in the future. (on my list of other options are: Saxon or Teaching Textbooks or MathMammoth)

I use SpellWell and am not liking it much anymore and am thinking of switching to Spelling Power workbooks

I use WordlyWIse and still pretty much like it. But I have thought of switchin or adding Vocabulary from Classical Roots.

I use a fluency practice program called OneMinuteReader and have loved it for years and am on the last set of books. I may switch to their school verision called Read Naturally Encore Series for next year as it goes to higher reading levels. But it's about $130 for half a year of the program. So, I bought one of these books used to see if it would give me similar practice passages for a much cheaper price. It hasn't arrived yet and it's from a used seller for a whopping $5, so I hope it's not completely written in and I can use it!

Then I use a variety of real books and some workbooks for grammar and writing and comprehension practice.

I can't stand my grammar book (it's called Ridgewood Grammar), but I got it free and have next years' book also free, so I'll try to muddle through them. 

I use older, used school textbooks for science and social studies, but we kind of only use it as a launching point for finding hands-on science projects and other reading materials for both SS and Sci.

I'm considering a few different science options next year and am going to come up wth my own units for a few different science topics that parallel what the local schools do at that grade. I'm looking at dvds from or these books

I kinda have no idea on social studies and will probalby wing it in that area.

I"m comtemplating going with IEW for writing, but may stick with what I've been doing for one more year, which is sort of winging it, using a simple textbook and expanding on that for having my ds do final writing passages.

Then, we take a lot of classes we find locally, have done several in science and art. And we do "PE" at a local gym where I convinced a personal trainer to work with us once a week for a low price so we can run around on their indoor turf for an hour a week. Then, he has a bunch of extra curriculat activities in sports and art. We are slackers on music. 

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:50 AM

For me personally, I prefer having everything all planned out for me. However, those types of programs can get pretty expensive (usually). So some years I buy that, and some years I piece it together. On the piece it together years, I always feel kind of frenetic and worry we are missing things. Next year is definitely going to be a pre-packaged curriculum year for us!

Other than that, it's down to trial and error. You can read a lot of reviews of various programs and then go from there. Some companies have demos or even free samples on their websites so you can test things out. See if there are homeschool conventions near you - these are great opportunities to see the materials live in person and ask the rep questions. I was afraid to go to my first one because being "sold to" really stresses me out, but I realized that's not really what happens at the conventions. The salespeople are there and are ready to answer questions, but for the most part they just want you to look at their offerings and they usually give you a % off coupon to use online when you DO order, later on.

by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I agree with the above. The best thing to do is figure out what type of style they have.

But I'll give you a run down of what I use for my kiddos,

For my 8th grader

Reading- Anything she wants to read for 30 mins

Grammar- Life of Fred Language arts

Writing- Jump in

Math-, Life of fred Fractions, Math Antics

History- Disgusting history, Horrible Histories summerised in a note book

Science- Experiments, Different topics, right now it's Ants also summerised in a note book

Home Ec- Cooking, baking, sewing, ect

Art- Paints, clay, drawing

P.E. Excersise videos and the gym

For my 3rd grader

Reading- He reads different things but I had the idea to put books in the bathroom ;-)

Writting- Comics

Computer skills/language arts- Toon Doo

Math- K 5 learning. I copy the problems down write them on a white board, Life of Fred

Science, history, art, home ec and P.E. are the same as his sister.

I will not have a temper tantrum nor stomp across the floor.

I will not pout, scream or shout or kick against the door.

I will not throw my food around nor pick upon another.

I’ll always try to be real good because I am the mother.

I am the mother.

I am the mother.

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

It's been trial and error for us.  The first five years was pre-packaged, but eventually it turned to pick and choose.  This year I'm putting together PK/K and 8th.  Most of what I got came from Rainbow Resource, which sells a lot of different curriculum.  I also look at different homeschooling web sites. 

The biggest thing is knowning how your children learn best and finding something close to teach with.

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM

 We don't use one & never have. Everything is learned from interest that they show in things! For instance right now they are learning how to make miniatures from polymer clay. They are also learning about American history because my DD loves those Question & Answer books & she found one a friend gave us & asked if I could read it with her. She is also reading a book on Sarah Noble from early American history.

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I tried a boxed curriculum (sonlight) and lasted a month. I don't like being tied down to a schedule. Now I just buy separate books and curriculum. It depends on each child's learning style. We really love apologia for science and next year we are trying teaching textbooks for math. It's definitely been a process to figure out what works for us and what doesn't. Maybe try finding stuff used? I have also found a lot of books at Goodwill that have been useful. 

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:41 PM

We've gone thru a lot of different ones in our 3 years and I think a lot of it boils down to your child's learning style, which is harder for some people to determine. I have just figured out that my oldest (9) is a visual learner (charts/movies/hands-on stuff) but when I revealed this to my DH, he said "oh yeah, I thought you new that!"  Anyway... I will just throw out some of our curriculum we have used and love: Apologia science, Heart of Dakota, Ambleside Online (Charlotte Mason), America the Beautiful by Notgrass Publications.

I just checked out a great book from our library & I am getting so many wonderful ideas and websites and resources and I plan on buying it and recommending it to everyone I can! It is called The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas (5oo+ fun and creative learning activities) by Linda Dobson  although it does say for ages 3-12 , I found some ideas in the book I thought were more appropriate for late middle-school / early high-school.

What makes you think you are doing it wrong? I think a lot of confidence comes from time and experience; I have gotten more relaxed as we have progressed but I still have days where I panic and worry we aren't doing enough or have jumped around too much.  I have enjoyed going to a couple of regular moms support groups (found through Yahoo groups) and joining a co-op, (although after 3 years we are going to quit this spring) and a lot of inspiration and motivation from online blogs or group.  Hang in there, it will be easier some days than others!

by on Mar. 2, 2014 at 12:37 AM
Thank you for the help. My two oldest are easy its the little one that im having the hardest time with. One day I think I have her learning style down then the next day its different.

Quoting romacox:

1.  Understanding your child's learning style is the first step.  2. How To Home School explains the different methods used by home educators. 

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