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#1 of 7 Old 07-13-2012, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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So I am wanting to start homeschool, not really sure what that means but I don't want to have to much structure - but I really want some ideas - a oplan of attack. I am about to have twins so I feel like having some cirriculum will help me stay on track and teach her in an organzied way, even if we don't do it every day - I just plan on going at our own pace and maybe supplement with fun life activities. 


So I was going to do the McRuffy Science? any thoughts?

I also got the Miquon math?  i was also thinking about saxon or the the math u see but money is an issue and I feel like I have no idea how any of this works. 


I feel sort of lost. With reading/writing I am not sure what would be good - she is interested in learning to write but still lacks the fine motor skills,  her reading is very good but she learned to sightread quite early and her phonics may be lacking though she is very interested in spelling etc.


Any thoughts? We use to do lots of zoo trips, play based educational field trips, but I feel like with the new babies we are going to be more homebound for a while and I want to keep her stimulated. She is naturally curious and I have tried to just follow her lead but I feel like it gets confusing for me and her. One questions leads to another then we are in concepts that are over her head and I can't explain. We have used the library a lot and that helps finding age appropriate books to explain some stuff but I find myself exhausted - maybe it is the preganncy lol.


Anyway is ot okay to mix and match cirriculum? If I start with one can I switch to another or are the concepts taught so differently it will confuse the child? Any ideas are appreciated.

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#2 of 7 Old 07-13-2012, 08:51 PM
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how old is she?

i've mixed and matched curriculum over the years and it definitely has not been an issue. i know the years that i had babies at home, homeschooling was definitely on the backburner and we just did things like copywork, basic math, watched a ton of science videos and then did something like 5 in a Row. but it would depend on the age of your child and your philosophy of homeschooling :)

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#3 of 7 Old 07-14-2012, 04:05 PM
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Mix and match is the way I work!  I also switch programs when it stops working for us.


I don't know anything about McRuffy science, perhaps someone else will.  We have been really loving Science Odyssey.  It uses a LOT of library materials to be the heart of the program and has lots of labs laid out for you to do with your child.  It is a bit more expensive than some, but we didn't feel compelled to write in it.  Lab notes were done orally or on a separate sheet of paper.  If you do that, resell should be simple.


I have heard good things about Miquon math though I haven't used it.  I am assuming your dd is in the early years.  If Miquon fits your budget, I say why not?  You have already mentioned learning through life, but the Miquon will help out when you need something that you can just open and go with. is also a great resource, free printables, etc.  I like playing lots of math oriented games with my kids.  You can do a quick search on this board and find whole threads about math games. 


I would hold off on the writing for now.  Let her fine motor skills develop.  I would still provide a journal, dry-erase board, or something similar for her to explore it on her own.  We used to journal with pictures.  Mazes are fun ways to learn to control a pencil.  Playdough can help with fine motor skills--get rid of the sets and create snakes, worms, noodles, etc.  Combine them to form letters if she want.  For reading, a simple addition could be the Explode the Code series.  The workbooks do require writing, but there is an online version too.  Or, you could skip the pages that write the word for now.  We've used the workbooks and they are inexpensive and good at introducing/reinforcing phonics concepts.


Good luck,





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#4 of 7 Old 07-15-2012, 01:40 PM
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Mix and Match is the only way to go in our house. LOL  I agree with others that you don't need to push the writing.  I would encourage you to listen to whatever she wants to tell you, encourage her to summarize stories she read or act them out, give you directions for how to make things, etc.  The ability to express herself and organize her ideas are the most important.  Once she has fine motor skills she can unite that ability with writing.  Montessori schools have great fine motor activities that might be helpful for her and pretty easy to find by googling.  


A run through a phonics program may be helpful with spelling.  I wouldn't waste much time on it though, and not do anything that wasn't fun for your daughter.  Lots of reading, and word roots exploration when she is older will probably help spelling the most.  I swear spelling has a genetic component and some people just pick it up naturally and others always struggle.  It seems totally unrelated to intelligence and/or practice in some instances. :-)  


For what it is worth, I've been hs'ing our daughter the past 8 years.  She is 13, nearly 14 now.  We quickly moved away from trying a complete curriculum and just mixed and matched and followed interests.  She has opted to take some online classes and has done very well in advanced high school classes without working her way through a complete curriculum.  She self-studied AP Biology last year, I organized labs for her, and she got a '5' on the AP exam.  This would grant her credit for honors Biology at the state University.  She will also start dual enrollment classes at the university in the fall as a 9th grader.  She will do one university class, 2 online classes, and the rest are projects or topics she wants to study and has chosen materials for.   I gave her input on her homeschooling from a very early age, and it has paid off in her having ownership of her learning as a teen.  When we were planning for the next school year, she told me she couldn't wait until summer was over so she could get started!  Of course, in the past her learning wasn't divided into school years and summer, but now that she has outside classes she has to wait. LOL  She's also gone to a summer program 1500 miles away so she can't start on her other stuff yet either. :-)

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#5 of 7 Old 07-15-2012, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I just wanted to say thanks for all the insight. yes my daughter is younger we are just starting so I want it to be fun and play based at the heart but since I come from a traditional school background it is hard to let go of having some structure - for me to keep from feeling like I am doing nothing. But all your insights are super helpful and the links to other sites, ideas etc. very appreciated!!! Thanks

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#6 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 09:33 PM
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When you say "younger," how young is younger? Four? Seven?


You're kind of confusing me in parts because you say you don't want structure but you can't let go of structure.


I understand its hard to not be schooly when you were schooled yourself. Same way here. I'd say figure out what it is that you want...and then find a basic routine that will work for you.

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#7 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 12:02 AM
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Mix and match is totally fine :) you might look into it's not pricey and just enough structure to feel like you're 'doing something' but not so much so as to be rigid.  I've been using it for 3 years and totally love it. It is also really easy to add in more or supplement when you want to but isn't necessary.


I rather like RightStart math myself as it's heavy on manipulative's and that's what my kindy kid needs to really get it.


Hand Writing without Tears is really good for learning to write but not having great fine motor skills. Depending on the age though you might just want to put it on the back burner. Many kids aren't really ready for writing beyond their first name until about 6.

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