I've been homeschooling DS 6.5 for 1st grade after a year of public K. I've pulled together my own curriculum for this year and I've really enjoyed it actually. I make most of our materials like math manipulatives and science experiments and use a combo of literature and the internet for "text". I did end up buying a phonics program, Sing, Spell, Read and Write. We use it loosely and it is working really well for him as he really wanted to know how to read but is the kind of kid who needs that systematic approach. He went from only being able to decode cvc in October to reading at about a 2.5 now.
Anyway, as much as I love the flexibility of designing our own lessons, I am already short for time. I'd really like to take a more relaxed approach. I guess unschoolish, though I dislike the term. But, that doesn't seem like an option for us because, with our financial situation, there is always the possibility that he will have to return to public school . So I'm looking into some boxed curriculums.
I'm hoping someone here has been in a similar situation and can offer some advice.
We were totally unschooly, and my older three kids all entered school at the point of their choosing. It wasn't a problem: they slotted right in, at or above grade level. Just sayin'....
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
If you're concerned about him not being behind if he goes back to school, the only areas you really need to worry about are reading, writing, and math. He's above grade level now for reading, and you can probably assume he'll continue to progress at a pace that will keep him from falling behind other kids in his grade. So you probably don't need to do anything there other than keep him supplied with books.
Some kids his age like to write letters, notes, lists, cartoons, or simple stories, and will do it on their own even if you don't require it. Some don't. If he's in the former group, you could just let him do what he wants in an unschooly way. Otherwise, you might have to set up some writing practice.
Same thing with math. If he likes that kind of thing, you might be able to give him a workbook to use when and if he feels like it, play some math games when he's in the mood, and answer his questions about coins and time telling as they come up. Or you might need to take the initiative and break out the math games yourself or ask him to do some workbook pages or practice counting coins.
You really don't need a boxed curriculum to ensure your kid practices writing and learns second grade math concepts. If I were you, I'd go with the unschooly approach, but with an awareness of what kids in school typically learn in second grade and a willingness to initiate that learning if your kid isn't making it happen. It wouldn't require you to spend a lot of time designing lessons. Pick up a 2nd grade math workbook and make sure your kid practices writing words, then sentences, then several sentences at a time. And do whatever happens naturally for science and social studies. It doesn't have to be complicated.
This is good advice. My kids always had access to workbooks for writing and math if they wanted to use them, and I had an eye to grade-level expectations and was aware that if they slipped so far behind that they began struggling with their self-concept as a result I could intervene to move things ahead. They liked Singapore Primary Math, the Getty-Dubay Italic handwriting series, and the Editor-in-Chief series. The writing ones got used in very occasional spurts, the math a little more consistently.
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
This makes me feel better. I just have other parents asking me what curriculum I use. With portfolio reviews coming up, I see these lovely organized portfolios full of worksheets and assessments. We basically have a photo album, a reading list, and a binder of books made by DS. This is what I wanted from homeschool even though it's different from what many other parents are doing. DS is right on track for age. So I'm going to stop second guessing myself.....at least for now.
What you have seems good provided the photo album covers relevant topics.
Look at the COMAR regulations - I think they send you a copy of them when you declare your intention to homeschool. Anyway they can't ask you for a binder full of stuff … just an overview of what you are doing and maybe 3 samples in each area. I generally write out a summary / bullet points of what we cover each month. Certainly not a daily schedule. Refer to the http://mdk12.org/instruction/curriculum/ if you want to make it correspond to terms that they will readily understand. Not necessary but kind of a shortcut.
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