New to Homeschooling

Discuss the pros and cons of various curriculums, or get help on which to choose!

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Elizabeth86
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New to Homeschooling

Postby Elizabeth86 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:58 am

Currently I am homeschooling my oldest son for his first year of school in Kindergarten. I have been told again and again to keep K simple and I have.

This is what we do

Phonic - The Reading Lesson
We read books together
Writing - We just practice in a basic dollar store alphabet workbook
Math - Singapore Math Essentials Workbook

We have dabbled in Five in a Row, but get wrapped up in blogs and pinterest and try to do way to much and waste too much time planning that I don't have, so I'm working on a different approach for science and social studies for K. I made a list based on state standards of what he'd cover in public school and just piecing together lesson based on this for science and social studies. I like this approach, but I don't like piecing it together.

I am already thinking about 1st grade next year because I'm having a terrible time thinking about what curriculum might work.

Anyone want to make some suggestions?

Religious or secular, I'm good either way.

I feel I need something that require minimal planning. I'm super busy, I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old too.

I lean toward traditional like bju or a beka, but I'm so scared because so many say that it is really tough. Also, cost isn't a big factor, my husband promised $1000 from our tax return to buy curriculum, but I'm just scared spending that much money and then hating it. What would I do then?

I LOVE the thought of the literature based ones like book shark, moving beyond the page, sonlight, but it doesn't seem the traditional approach to school and that worries me.

I have no idea what the future holds, but it is my desire to homeschool the early years and then private or public school as they get older. Maybe somewhere from 4-6 th grade we would make that transition if they felt ready. I don't feel confident about the older years and it is my desire for them to go out and experience the world away from me in school, but just not at 4 years old. I feel there is a lot to be gained to have them home when they are little.

Sorry I'm so nervous about this, I'm just a really black and white person and this gray area of curriculum choice is killing me. I do best when I am told I must do a. b. and c. I need to mark things off lists.

Thanks for your help. If I left out any info that might be helpful just ask.

Elizabeth86
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby Elizabeth86 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:17 am

Also I wanted to ask do you think it is "ok" to do something light like the let's read and find out science books for the early grades. I also think the magic school bus series seems like a LOT of fun. And maybe the year before we do public or private school do a more traditional approach. My fear is just that I won't have ready for school when he starts that I will make him behind. THat's my biggest fear. I just have no idea what they are doing in public schools these days. I know they teach science and social studies in K, but what grade are they actually tested in these areas?

Elizabeth86
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby Elizabeth86 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:42 am

Also, has anyone used this called Learn at home?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/07696 ... QQEGCY4JVT

That seems just what I've been looking for for science and social studies at least.

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elliemaejune
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby elliemaejune » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:44 am

Elizabeth86 wrote:Currently I am homeschooling my oldest son for his first year of school in Kindergarten. I have been told again and again to keep K simple and I have.

This is what we do

Phonic - The Reading Lesson
We read books together
Writing - We just practice in a basic dollar store alphabet workbook
Math - Singapore Math Essentials Workbook

We have dabbled in Five in a Row, but get wrapped up in blogs and pinterest and try to do way to much and waste too much time planning that I don't have, so I'm working on a different approach for science and social studies for K. I made a list based on state standards of what he'd cover in public school and just piecing together lesson based on this for science and social studies. I like this approach, but I don't like piecing it together.

I am already thinking about 1st grade next year because I'm having a terrible time thinking about what curriculum might work.

Anyone want to make some suggestions?

Religious or secular, I'm good either way.

I feel I need something that require minimal planning. I'm super busy, I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old too.

I lean toward traditional like bju or a beka, but I'm so scared because so many say that it is really tough. Also, cost isn't a big factor, my husband promised $1000 from our tax return to buy curriculum, but I'm just scared spending that much money and then hating it. What would I do then?

I LOVE the thought of the literature based ones like book shark, moving beyond the page, sonlight, but it doesn't seem the traditional approach to school and that worries me.

I have no idea what the future holds, but it is my desire to homeschool the early years and then private or public school as they get older. Maybe somewhere from 4-6 th grade we would make that transition if they felt ready. I don't feel confident about the older years and it is my desire for them to go out and experience the world away from me in school, but just not at 4 years old. I feel there is a lot to be gained to have them home when they are little.

Sorry I'm so nervous about this, I'm just a really black and white person and this gray area of curriculum choice is killing me. I do best when I am told I must do a. b. and c. I need to mark things off lists.

Thanks for your help. If I left out any info that might be helpful just ask.


What you're doing sounds just fine for a little person who is 5ish. :-)

Why do you think that homeschooling must follow the "traditional approach"? If you wanted a "traditional approach to school," you'd enroll him in school, right? Homeschooling by definition is not "traditional."

Or, to put it another way, historically children learned at home until they were 10 or older (partly depending on their socio-economic status). The concept of compulsory education, where children are pigeonholed for 12 years with other children exactly the same age, is a new blip on the timeline. :-)

It is not that BJUP or ABeka are "really tough;" it is that they were designed for a classroom of children all the same age who are captive audiences; they must all learn the same thing at the same time at the same grade level for all subjects, and trying to do that at home can be disastrous. We homeschoolers know the truth: that children learn different things at different levels, and that there are a multitudinous number of ways to learn things. Homeschooling gives us the freedom to teach our children what they need to know, when they need to know, in the way they will learn it best.

Homeschooling will be an education for you, too. :D

Of course you don't feel confident about the older years. You will feel differently after you've been homeschooling for five or six years. :D

There are many ways for children to have experience away from you without their being sent away every day, five days a week, for six to eight hours. During that time, your children will not be taught by other mature, experienced adults; they will be mostly taught by other children who are equally as immature.

As far as what kinds of materials to use, I am unimpressed by the Reading Lesson, although it's fine for now. It is not strong phonics; "whole language" is just another term for sight reading, which has been completely debunked as an effective method for teaching children to read. If you are unsure of this, look for "Why Johnny Still Can't Read" in your local library. There are a number of methods that are solid phonics: Spalding and its spin-offs (Spell to Write and Read, Logic of English, All About Spelling, and more) Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, Victory Drill Book, and more.

Many people love Singapore, so you're good to go there.

You have plenty of time to think about everything else. Look for a local homeschool support group and visit with the folks there. Attend a homeschool convention or book fair. Go to the library and look for any books on homeschooling and educate yourself.

And yes, yes, yes, it is just fine to do something light for younger children.

If you decide to enroll your child in school, the only things that will matter are his English and math skills.
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 sweet boy
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Elizabeth86
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby Elizabeth86 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:48 am

I thought The Reading Lesson was the phonics approach. See how lost I am already?

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elliemaejune
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby elliemaejune » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:25 am

Elizabeth86 wrote:I thought The Reading Lesson was the phonics approach. See how lost I am already?


I had to sift through several pages on the site to figure it out. It discusses "phonic" and whole language, and says that it is a combination of them. "Whole language," as I said, is just a repackaging of sight reading. Any method which invokes the term "whole language" is going to be sight reading, even if it throws in some phonics.

This is why I recommend that you read "Why Johnny Still Can't Read." :D
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years

Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil

Grandmother to 1 sweet boy

Caretaker of 2 budgies

Elizabeth86
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby Elizabeth86 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:03 pm

After you burst my happy bubble of The Reading Lesson will get the job done, I've been looking elsewhere. Do you have anything negative or positive about McRuffy. I've had others recommend that curriculum. Do they use the phonics approach? Is it a solid method for learning to read? I'm thinking my son would love the worksheets.

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elliemaejune
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby elliemaejune » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:06 pm

Elizabeth86 wrote:After you burst my happy bubble of The Reading Lesson will get the job done, I've been looking elsewhere. Do you have anything negative or positive about McRuffy. I've had others recommend that curriculum. Do they use the phonics approach? Is it a solid method for learning to read? I'm thinking my son would love the worksheets.


Sorry about bursting your happy bubble. :(

McRuffy looks like phonics, and phonics is always best, but honestly, you can teach your child to read and write well for much less money, with much less prep. There are a number of excellent products and methods: Alpha-Phonics, PhonicsPathways, Victory Drill Book, Explode the Code, and Spalding and its spin-offs/look-alikes: All About Spelling, Logic of English, Spell to Write and Read, and a few others.
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years

Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil

Grandmother to 1 sweet boy

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Homelearners
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Re: New to Homeschooling

Postby Homelearners » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:33 pm

We take it one year at a time. For kinder we kept it simple. We used the Bob books for reading and really liked them. Lots of learning games and having fun. I tried to schedule an activity at least once a week so we could get out of the house and socialize. There are so many curriculum choices out there it really is hard to choose. I would recommend asking around to other homeschoolers in your area to see what they have used and liked/disliked. If possible see if you can find some used that you try out. With time you begin to figure what works for you and what doesn't.


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