So many choices...

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

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Sandy
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So many choices...

Postby Sandy » Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:58 pm

Ughhh!!! I've been ordering curriculum catalogs, and my head is absolutely spinning!!! I love the idea of real books, like Sonlight offers. I love the Weaver approach, unit studies based on Scripture. I love the thought of classical education. All I really know is that I'm not too fond of using textbooks and workbooks. How do you decide!?! How many times have you switched curriculums? How many of you bought something you thought would be perfect, only to find out your child didn't like it at all? I probably won't buy anything for a few years, until my dd turns 4, or maybe even 5, but I'd like to have some idea as to which way to go. I suppose going to a curriculum fair or homeschooling convention would narrow (or widen?) my choices. I think I'm rambling, but any comments would be greatly welcomed:) :lol: !

momo3boys
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Postby momo3boys » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:43 pm

Since your scholdren are young, try something small. Order a book to read to them from one company, handwriting from another, and so on. Most people i know mix and match quite a bit. You can also get some free materail to try out. CHeck out the websites and see what you can find. Yes a convention/fair helps. YOu see a lot of stuff, but there is something about holding it in your hand and seeing all the pages.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

summersmom34
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Check this one out

Postby summersmom34 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:11 am

Check out the Ambleside Online Curriculum based on Charlotte Mason's way of teaching. It uses real books, it has tons of classics, you do bible study and hymns to name a few. Between their website and yahoo group you get tons of help and advise.

Check the FAQ section out first than slowly read through other areas. Their are a lot of people who tried Sonlight than switched to Ambleside. I'm going to start homeschooling in the fall and this is the one I like the best. They even have suggestions for books to read Pre K (or as they call it Yr 1).

http://www.amblesideonline.org
Linda

su
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Postby su » Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:25 pm

I love the idea of real books, like Sonlight offers. I love the Weaver approach, unit studies based on Scripture. I love the thought of classical education.
That sound like me! But because of limited funds, and my own disorganized ways, I've just used a little of this and a little of that.
How many times have you switched curriculums?How many of you bought something you thought would be perfect, only to find out your child didn't like it at all?Because I have been pretty eclectic, I've tried a number of things. I find one program for a given topic, try it, and if it works, use it; if not, it gathers dust! Sometimes it even sits on a shelf or in a box for a while before I even try it out! Used book stores (or the used sale at a curriculum fair) make this test driving of a program more affordable!
Someone just recently told me about Ambleside Online too, and I have gotten sooooo excited! I just may be able to teach the kids the way I have wanted to for years (10 years, to be exact), but just haven't found the right helps to do so. I highly recomend you checking this site out!! :D

groovyhsmama
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Postby groovyhsmama » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:13 pm

I think I will mix and match until we figure out his learning style.

Groovy

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Postby Calla_Dragon » Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:45 am

groovyhsmama wrote:I think I will mix and match until we figure out his learning style.

Groovy


That's what we did. It took us about a year to find our groove and I had some supplies we didn't need to sell at the end of the year but we got a good taste of a lot of different curriculums and found the ones that worked for us.

Good luck!
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

easyhomeschooling
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To "Confused" ;)

Postby easyhomeschooling » Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:33 pm

You really do not have to spend tons of money trying all kinds of different curriculums. You have the general idea of what you like, so just use them. All you need is a simple plan, choosing subject areas and topics to cover, then read and write or narrate on what has been read. You can even use the library or etexts.
Lorraine Curry
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http://www.easyhomeschooling.com

Randigale
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Re: So many choices...

Postby Randigale » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:06 am

Sandy wrote:Ughhh!!! I've been ordering curriculum catalogs, and my head is absolutely spinning!!! I love the idea of real books, like Sonlight offers. I love the Weaver approach, unit studies based on Scripture. I love the thought of classical education. All I really know is that I'm not too fond of using textbooks and workbooks.


I'm with you on ALL of that! Something to consider: What will your kids prefer? For example, while I would LOVE the Sonlight approach my son would hate it and it would make him want to read even less than he already does. My daughter loves to read but, as I learned through a recent curriculum, if she has to read for school it turns her off. She will do it, but then she won't ever read for fun. So, while I adore Sonlight in theory, it won't work for us.

Sandy wrote:How do you decide!?!


I read curriculum reviews at http://www.homeschoolreviews.com. Something to consider, however, is that every child is different, every mother is different, and every family dynamic is different so you have to take the reviews with a grain of salt. What you should look for in the reviews are things that would bother you/your children also. For example- if someone complains that a curriculum requires too much time in front of the computer, but that doesn't bother you and yours... well, I'm sure you see what I'm saying.

Another thing to look at is your child's learning style. That seems like a huge thing to deal with, but just don't worry about getting books and taking tests to find out. An internet search will give you a quick and dirty list of various learning styles and I would imagine you will recognize your children. My son is kinesthetic, but I can't deal with constant projects so I am going to sign up for time4learning. That way he feels like things are very interactive, but I don't have a huge mess to deal with.

Sandy wrote:How many times have you switched curriculums?


I have homeschooled my children for 1 1/2 years and used 3 different curriculums and I intend to change again soon. Switching curriculums is normal because you have to find what works for you. When you feel the need to beat yourself up over it, just think of my cousin who bought a new curriculum every month for 2 years before she found the one that she uses now.

Sandy wrote:How many of you bought something you thought would be perfect, only to find out your child didn't like it at all?


I just did that, actually. My husband really LOVES that. ;) Really, there is nothing you can do about it. There is no way to know if something works until you have it. One thing you could do is to be sure that you can get your money back if it doesn't work out. Alternatively, you could sign up for something that you pay for monthly. Either way, I'd tread lightly on buying over the internet at first unless you've actually had your hands on the curriculum prior to your purchase.

Sandy wrote:I probably won't buy anything for a few years, until my dd turns 4, or maybe even 5, but I'd like to have some idea as to which way to go. I suppose going to a curriculum fair or homeschooling convention would narrow (or widen?) my choices. I think I'm rambling, but any comments would be greatly welcomed:) :lol: !


A curriculum fair would both narrow and widen your search. You will probably find a few things that you thought you'd love are not any good for you, but you will find new stuff also.

I recommend that you not wait to start. Obviously, don't buy a curriculum for your toddler but you should pick up some books, crafts, workbooks, ect. and do "school" because it will help you know what your child likes and doesn't like. Not to mention that it will keep you focused on right now so you won't go so nuts planning for a few years from now.

When my daughter was 2, we would get up in the morning and review our letters and numbers, watch between the lions, do crafts, play on the computer, and then read together. Once she was able to draw a line, she had workbooks. What that did was make it so that when the time came to look for a curriculum I knew that she likes chapter books, workbooks and computer games. That doesn't sound like a terribly exciting revelation, but it knocked out a lot of curriculums because I knew not to get textbooks or programs that are too "crafty" because she likes crafts but not guided crafts.

I did the same thing with my son. It is time now to buy his first curriculum and I know that he likes short stories, learning shows, crafts and the computer. So, in order to simplify my life, I'm going to get something that they will both like- a computer program- for their core, purchase short stories and chapter books for history, and get a hands on science.

If it weren't for those first few years, I'd be flying blind because, while I know my children, without purposefully looking for it I would not know how they learn. Make sense?


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