Please help me figure out where to start!!!

Having problems figuring out where to start? Let other homeschoolers offer you some advice!

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tnsonshine
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Please help me figure out where to start!!!

Postby tnsonshine » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:24 pm

Like so many others on here I've had to pull my DD out of public school. I started homeschooling her this week and I'm a little overwhelmed. My DD is in fifth grade but was failing math and spelling. I've decided to start her at a 4th grade level in these two subjects but I don't know where to start. I would really like to know if there's a list somewhere on what a child should know when they finish each grade. I've ordered 4th grade curriculum for Math and Spelling but what about everything else?? What is everything else?? Science, Art, English, Reading, Social Studies??? If we get through the 4th Grade work this yr. how will I ever get her caught up to her grade level?? Help!!! I'm so confused!!! Now you see why I would like a list of what she should know and when. I want this to work for her so bad but I don't want her behind year after year.
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ncmom
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Postby ncmom » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:09 pm

Stop and take a deep breath, it isn't as overwhelming as it seems.

First what I would do is really sit down and asses whether or not your daughter was failing because she doesn't know the material or is it something else. Maybe it is the pressure of taking the test. For instance, I am a great speller as long as I don't have the pressure of knowing it is a test. In math maybe her teacher is teaching it in a way that makes it hard for her to understand. I have 4 kids, 2 school aged (1 high school and 1 middle school and the other two are below school age) and so far they have totally different learning styles in every subject. My high schooler excels in math, but learns in a different way than me so I had to find a different curriculum for math this year. My middle schooler learns closer to how I see math but struggles with it until that click and then all of a sudden she gets it. She uses a different curriculum than her brother and I fully expect my other two to use two different curriculum's than their sister and brother. You will have find what works for your daughter.

As for spelling my opinion is...not everyone in the world is a great speller. If it were me I would just do the spelling lists in the 4th grade book orally and not worry about the actual work in the book. Mark the words she misses and then work on those words only. Once you are at the point of working on just the missed words I would add the fifth grade material too and add a few of the missed words to each of the fifth grade lists.

I would do something similar in math. I would give her just the tests in the 4th grade math book. If she scores a 90% or better then move on. If she scores less than a 90% review the material quickly and test again. She should already know the 4th grade material so it should be a quick process. Once done then do the same with the 5th grade material until you hit the place where she is learning new material. This should allow he to catch up without any major delays.

As far as a list of what they should know...I don't know of a universal list. Each state will have one for their schools, but believe me it is not universal to all of the US. We moved across the country and found that the schools we eventually pulled our kids out of, 5 yrs ago, were teaching two yrs behind the state we moved from. Meaning the 4th grade work my son was given in our new state was the work he had done in the 2nd grade back home.

My opinion is as long as they end up at the point where they can read, write, and do the math computations to pass the college courses they need, to get the degree they want, then I have done my job. Not everyone is going to be an ace at everything. As parents we strive to make our kids the "best" at everything they do, but that is just unrealistic. Sometimes they won't be the best one out there, sometimes there will be someone better, and I want my kids to be happy with who they are and what their abilities are.

As far as what "everything else" is. We do math, science, history, language arts, and spelling. Subjects like art, music, library, PE, computers, and reading are part of our everyday lives and are incorporated into our activities throughout the week. We don't have cable or satellite so my kids have lots of time to go outside and play, they love to draw, we visit our library and get books which they then read and occasionally do book reports on, and I teach music lessons on the side so they both get private lessons from me for music. For computers...my oldest designs websites for people and has taught himself 5 different programming languages, so he is good there as long as he continues down that path. My middle is learning to type while she emails and her brother is teaching her some programming so that is her computer course this year. Next year we will learn something else about computers.

In my state I am free to teach the subjects I want to the way I want to teach them so I use this to my advantage. I design my high schoolers history so it is interesting to him and my middle schooler has a math curriculum designed just for her. We use everyday things in nature to supplement our science and don't use our science books a lot.

If I were you I would pay attention to your daughter and how she learns. She is going to be your best guide to what is right or wrong for her. With homeschooling there is no right or wrong way as long as your kids are excelling in a manner you think is appropriate and everyone on this board is going to have a different opinion and a different way of doing it. I recommend trial and error and don't stress, you'll find what works for you.

You may also want to see if there are any support groups in your area. Usually local homeschoolers are going to be your best source of info and support since they know they laws of your state and a seasoned homeschooler will usually know most of the ins and outs or can at least point you in the right direction if you stump them.

tnsonshine
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Postby tnsonshine » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:12 pm

Thanks so much for the support. I really do need to take a deep breath. I'm going to read and reread your advice until I feel better. Being a Mother I know you can symathize with the fact that I just want 2 b sure that I'm doing it right. I love my children more than live itself, and I don't want to cheat my DD out of a good education. :)

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elliemaejune
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Postby elliemaejune » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:25 am

It will be ok. Really. :D

The only things that have close to a grade level are math and...well, math. History, science, and most English skills don't really have grade levels, and you don't need to worry about her catching up. You can just get her grade level and call it a day.

You'll want to be sure that her reading skills are up to par. Also, for math, my recommendation would be Saxon, which (1) has a placement test, and (2) each text can be either of two grade levels. For example, Math 54 is 4th or 5th; Math 65 is 5th or 6th; Math 76 is 6th or 7th...see?
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cm.hl
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New to Homeschooling?

Postby cm.hl » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:08 am

I just wanted to help out some of the newbies out there. I am a veteran homeschooling mom and can wholeheartedly recommend the book To the Shore of a Child's Ocean Part One: Homeschooling from Birth to Age Nine. Here is the website:

https://sites.google.com/site/artisanpacificpublishing

Dee_N
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Re: Please help me figure out where to start!!!

Postby Dee_N » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:05 pm

I agree with nc, just take a breath and it you will figure it all out

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Postby hscoach » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:24 pm

The list that you're looking for is called a scope and sequence or a typical course of study. Here are two of them for you to look over -


http://www.worldbook.com/typical_course_of_study.html
http://www.educationworld.com/standards/state/index.shtml

You can also go to your local public library and check out the book What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch

I would recommend using all of these as a general guideline. You don't have to follow them to the letter. They are helpful for seeing if you are on the right track.j

Hope this helps.

tnsonshine
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Postby tnsonshine » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:04 pm

Thank you all so much for your help. It's been almost 2 months since we started homeschooling and well, so far so good. :roll: I do feel a little bit better about what I'm doing but still not very confident. I've looked at alot of the sights that were suggested and bought the "What Your 5th grader should know book." I know it will all come together in time I just hope I don't have a break down between now and then. I still have the question, "how do you know you are doing it right?"

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Postby Jill » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:33 am

Glad to hear it's going ok. :)

You know you are "doing it right" if you and your DD are accomplishing the majority of the goals you set. That's the "tricky" thing about homeschooling. Everyone's "doing it right" criteria is different.

Best wishes!
Jill

Dee_N
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information

Postby Dee_N » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:05 pm

There is much information out there to help you get started. It's really not as hard as many might believe it to be. Check your state laws first, so you have an idea of what is required and then you make your plan. Dee

Our web site has a lot of useful info. for you too :)

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Guidebooks

Postby selfedukate09 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:31 am

The book, What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch seems like a good read. Glade to have come across this site.
www.topoandfriends.com.au
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aupton9355
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Getting Started

Postby aupton9355 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:17 pm

Once you decide what to do or if you just need help figuring out what step to take, you definately want to find out your state laws first and then maybe get some homeschool preparation guides from your local library or from websites that specialize in homeschool products and parenting resources. You will also find that there are many blogs out there that do a great job in getting you all you need to decide which curriculum, state laws, record keeping, and more such as http://www.nestlearning.com/homeeducator/.

Good Luck! Homeschooling can be very rewarding!

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Postby FastPace68 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:45 pm

You should check out the vschoolz program we've just decided to go with. It's so easy and really takes alot of the guessing and stress out of the process. We're very excited to be using the system


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