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getting ready to homeschool my kids..overwhelmed

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:13 pm
by momsworld
I have decided that its time to homeschool 2 of my 3 children. They are ages 10 (5th grade) and 12 (7th grade). I am seeing a variety of books and websites...its very overwhelming. Please help me choose whats best for my children. I dont have a lot of money to invest in a whole year worth of books. I am looking at secular (I think thats what its called) at the moment. Also, how do I know what grade level to buy? Do I buy 5th and 7th grade level books? What if he/she is beyond or behind in certain areas? How do I find out if they are behind or advanced? How do I know what they I just teach them science, history, math, and english? Is there anything else that they need to work on? At PS they also work on music, spanish, art, and computers, should I also be teaching them these electives? I am hoping someone can help me answer these questions. Thank you so much for any advice you have for me, very much appericated!!!!

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:12 am
by hscoach
When you first start homeschooling, it can be very overwhelming! There are so many questions and decisions to make.

You can buy a pre-packaged or "boxed" curriculum. That means everything you need for an entire school year for a certain grade level comes in a box.

Or you can put together your own curriculum by buying a certain book for each subject.

Sometimes boxed curriculum is pretty expensive. Personally, I prefer to put my own together because I think it's fun and it can really save you money. But it does take time.

First you can look at something called a scope and sequence (can also be called a typical course of study). It is a list that tells you everything your child needs to know for a certain grade level. Here are two. ... ndex.shtml

Then it is a good idea to read reviews of curriculum before you buy anything. Here are some links where you can do that.

As far as knowing whether or not your children are on grade you know if they were taking any achievement tests while in school? Do you have the results from those tests? Or end of grade tests? If they were doing well on those, then they are probably okay. Here is a link that has a few placements tests online that you could use to evaluate if needed.

Since you are just starting out, I would recommend that you only teach the basics -- math, english, history and science, as you said. Then you could add the other 'extras' later when you feel a little more comfortable. Take it slow so you don't get discouraged.

For math, I highly recommend a curriculum called Teaching Textbooks. (It does all the teaching for you!) We have been using it for years and we love it! It comes with solutions cds so when your child misses a question, they can always find out why. Here is the link. (It is expensive, but worth it)

Teaching Textbooks was on the list of placement tests (above) so if you choose to use it, your children could take the test and you would know if they are on the right grade level.

My favorite place to order curriculum from is a company called Rainbow Resource. They have a huge selection and low prices. They also have great reviews.

There are lots of ways to save money when buying curriculum. You can use your public library. I like to check out books for science and history especially. (then you don't have to buy a curriculum for those subjects - it is free!) Also, there are so many free resources online! For example, if your child needed to study the Civil War, you could google "Civil War for kids" or "civil war lesson plans" and find so many useful sites. You can also search for used curriculum to buy online. Here are some links for that.

Hope this helps some. Best wishes!

thank you!!!!

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:46 pm
by momsworld
Thank you soooo much!!! Kinda freaking out here. I just dont want to fail my know what I mean. The math is expensive but looks well worth it. I think that my best bet is to invest in math and english for now. I didnt expect to home school at all. My kids are having issues in school for different reasons, so this was very unexpected and new to me. I have a few friends that might have some books to loan me so that will be a huge help. I was leaning towards a book set, but like you said putting one together seems like a lot of fun. I know that my daughter is a little behind in all areas, but I almost feel like with that one on one she will improve quickly. My son received all D's last year, but they insist he will be fine for 7th grade. He is very book smart so I am sure he knows the material, he just doesnt care. I am going to start them testing on that site you posted right away. I dont want to miss anything or skip any steps. If you have any more advice or tips...please dont hestitate to post...will gladly take everything and anything...LOL. Thanks again!!!!

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:03 am
by hscoach
It sounds like your son is just a typical boy. :) I'm pretty sure if my sons were in school, they wouldn't care about what grades they made, even though I know they're smart.

I definitely think your daughter will catch up quickly with you teaching her. One-on-one is drastically different from being in a classroom of 25-30 students.

You're welcome for the advice. I wish you all the best!

ok so I have another question

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:39 am
by momsworld
I am still searching and searching..ugh!!! LOL!!!! I am leaning towards Switched on Schoolhouse for Math and Language Arts and then putting my own thing together for Science and Social Studies. Then I thought maybe I should do SOS for just Math and Lifepac for Language Arts. I still dont know..nothing is popping out at me. Whats your input? I feeling like jumping right into it is overwhelming and would have been different if I had started when they were really little. I almost signed up for an online thing...cant remember what its called but it was really cheap...but then read some reviews and it made me nervous. I really like that Math thing you sent me the link for, and that would make life easier on me, cuz I hate Math. I have to think about what we can afford at this time. LOL..I think I am just thinking out loud, really.


Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:35 am
by ptcbass
I am also new to the homeschooling idea and would love to see more post to this thread to help. There is so much info out there it can be overwhelming. :?

Teaching Textbook looks good. My son is in 6th grade so that does that mean he would need to do Math 6 or is that just the name for that math program?

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:17 pm
by hscoach
Yes, Math 6th is for 6th graders. If you are not sure whether your son is on grade level, you could have him take the placement test that Teaching Textbooks provides. On the home page of their site, click on "Placement Tests" on the left side near the bottom.

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:45 pm
by ptcbass
I in no way want to take over this post but one question. My son has always tested 98% top of his class and is in advance math classes. Do I need to only teach what is on the end of year test the state has him take (the 6th grade stuff) or advanced stuff? I would hate for him to forget the state mandated stuff by the time the test gets here because he was learning advanced stuff. :lol:

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:33 am
by nickklein
@ momsworld

I noticed that you are running a tight budget and for that reason I totally understand at this point in time.

Maths - Is a pretty handy maths site that I found which is free to use. Using it enables your children to gradually improve their maths skills at their own pace. This free program is for Year 7-12 however I think your 5th grader will benefit from it too. It allows you to track your child's progress as well which is great if you are wanting to help tackle problem areas.

Language Arts A nifty site filled with worksheets ranging from beginners and working your way through to advanced language.

Science - ... mentebooks - Is great for science related experiments teaching your children about magnetism, electricity, chemistry and different aspects of science. *These experiments on the site are given to you for free with video tutorials.* ... nceLessons - This is an excellent free resource for science which categorizes different sections of science for years 1- 6 - Good for introduction to biology, physics and chemistry. You can obtain one of the books for free but then the others you can buy for a low cost. **PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT affiliated with this website, I just think it's a good science curriculum**

Cant help you out here since I don't know which country history you want hehe :lol:

Music: - Although a lot of children do learn music, I'm never fussed with it and most of the time don't teach it.

Arts - Is for free art resources. You will have to look around the site and find what you are looking for. A vast range of lessons on this site.

This is what I have found so far and will continue to find free helpful resources for you, however I am rushed to go to work now but I will keep posting later tonight.

I wish you goodluck in your homeschooling success ! :)