I finally made up my mind to homeschool my 14 year old. I've been on the fence about it for a long time. My daughter is excited and so am I.
Can anyone help me with curriculum?
What sort of curriculum are you looking for? Religious? Secular? A full program? Or select individual programs/texts for each subject or each year? Any special needs? All computer based? Do you have any public/private/charter options for schooling at home in your state? You might also ask your daughter what she'd be interested in and have her help you research.
You might check out American School (American School of Correspondence). They're a general ed kind of program that a lot of child actors and such use, because they provide the books, score the tests, give a diploma in the end. You can also take just a single course if you wish to try it out.
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What sort of curriculum are you looking for? Religious? Secular? A full program? Or select individual programs/texts for each subject or each year?
Secular. What are the advantages for a full program? I was thinking about getting books for math and English. I'd like to teach her biology this year as well.
Any special needs? At public school she is on an IEP. She is behind her peers in Math and English. Her reading comprehesion is close to grade level, but she does have a bit of a tough time with "big words". She tends to guess at them instead of sounding them out. She recently finished reading the first to books from the Hunger Games series and understood it quite well in my opinion. She has trouble with reversals with writing, mainly with b and d. I am thinking about getting her formal testing. At school, they wanted to put her in a "Life Skills math class" which is mostly everyday math skills. Only about 50% of the kids in that class have a shot at graduating high school. She was having a hard time in her regular ed math class (algerbra 1a), but I think that is largely because she does not like to ask for help in front of her peers and because it is a big class.
All computer based? I have given no thought to this. I'd be happy to do some computer based things, but I think we will use pen and paper for Math. I plan to have her write on paper, but will have her use the computer for that too.
Do you have any public/private/charter options for schooling at home in your state? I don't know. I've never heard of this. We are in Massachusetts.
You might check out American School (American School of Correspondence). I just found and bookmarked their website today. I am going to email or call them to see if this is a good fit for my daughter.
Okay, this is one of those situations where I would approach the choice of curriculum as the first curriculum. In other words, I would heavily involve your dd is investigating and choosing her learning course. It might require a lot of legwork and research, but that's fine: treat it as your first month's worth of homeschooling.
Your dd is at a great age for taking an interest and an active role in discovering her learning strengths, her preferred learning style, identifying goals and ambitions and areas of interest. Beginning homeschooling is a great chance to really examine all that stuff in depth. The bonus is that she will be far more invested in making stuff work if she's the one who helped choose it.
She could take some learning styles quizzes on-line. VARK-learn has a pretty decent one. She could investigate on-line demos of various technology-assisted learning programs. There are some that are focused on on-line lectures, like the history and science stuff as www.khanacademy.org . There are some that are whiteboard demonstrations and self-paced interactive software, like the math offerings at khanacademy (free) or the ALEKS math program (demo available) or the Plato CyberEd high school science courses. She could design her own "courses" based on her interests and a project-oriented model. She might have unconventional learning interests like ... oh, psychology or film studies or music theory. She might like to explore some areas of learning through field trips or volunteer work. She could research textbooks and online schooling options, taking into account cost and accountability and restrictiveness.
Obviously she's unlikely to manage all this completely on her own. She'll likely need lots of facilitation and support from you. I would start out with a brainstorming session where you identify the things she wants to learn this year, and begin talking about the range of options that might be available and ways that the two of you could research them together.
Personally I would suggest that with her asynchronous skills you should stay away from "complete curriculum" offerings. She's likely going to need flexibility in terms of level and pace to have her needs met properly in various different subjects.
One quick specific thought. If she's struggling in Algebra 1a but doesn't want to bail on higher math, there's an old program from Key Curriculum Press called "Key to Alegbra" which might be the ticket. It's an introduction to algebra which is good at building foundational concepts, is presented unintimidatingly in a series of slim workbooks which typically give students a confidence boost and might help fill in any gaps. It can be completed in just a few weeks by a motivated student (or might stretch out over half a year) and might be a great "bridge" for your dd.
Totally agree with moominmomma (as usual!) Take your time, no need to dive into anything too quickly (a deschooling period is usually a good idea anyway), and use that time to research options with your daughter's input.
If she's still having reversal problems at age 14, it's probably worth looking into dyslexia. If you can identify that as a defined issue, then it will give you lots of guidelines for helping her and tailoring her learning to suit her needs so she can finally excel!
For biology for this age, you could look into NOEO -- their level 3 biology, for ages 12-15, isn't out until this summer, but if you can wait until then it might be a good fit. Or you could try their physics or chemistry level 3 programs.
There are lots of options for math. She might enjoy Life of Fred, or LiveOnline, or TenMarks, or VideoText. That's just off the top of my head, I know there's lots more than that.