Making your own curriculum? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-01-2002, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi! My son is almost 18 months and i am due with # 2 in November. I am definately going to homeschool. I am not into unschooling at all (just not my thing) but I am also not into canned curriculums. I want to have set school time each day and bookwork but I want to pick and choose from different resources what I think will work for us. Does anyone else do this? Whenever i tell people that we are planning to homeschool they ask what curriculum we'll use and when I say none, we'll just buy stuff here and there they think we're nuts. Doesn't help that MIL works for the school board! : The more I look around the more I think I would find it very easy to come up with our own school program. What do you think?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#2 of 9 Old 07-01-2002, 11:19 PM
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That is eaxactly what we do. There is so many fun things out there it would be a shame to overlook them because it isn't what a particular package offers. If you are intrested in making others feel comfortable grab a few names out of a catalouge and go with that. it is so siily that people are already asking you what cirriculum you are using. Your children are still babies You can always just say that you haven't decided. Chances are thats the truth. We are a year into it and have only decided on what we will do for math. (and it will be done in a couple of years).

Good luck finding what works for you and your family and have fun shopping around. The rainbow resource Guide and Love to learn bith offer a great fun selection to get started with. Perhaps you can give a copy or the RRG (its huge) to inquisitive family and ask for thier advice. That should keep them busy for a while

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#3 of 9 Old 07-01-2002, 11:42 PM
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This is exactly what we do as well, but we use the "classical method" to guide us. I love it and it works really well, especially since most kids are not at the same level in all areas. You may want to read The Well Trained Mind to see what you think of her methods. We don't use it as our homeschooling Bible, but have taken what we like (ie the theory) and fitted it inot our lives.
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#4 of 9 Old 07-07-2002, 11:41 AM
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I didn't start hs until my son was in the 1st grade, and we used "what every 1st grader needs to know" as a guide, then did our own thing; we went on tons of field trips and mostly studies dinosaurs, and we played tons of games.
Before 2nd grade I found the Well-Trained Mind, and fell in love! We started it right away, but quickly adjusted it to our lifestyle. Now we follow science and history as outlined in TWTM, and play with the other subjects as we see fit. You can visit

It is too structured for me, but it is a great guide to education if you are not going the unschooling route and want to school.

I definitely reccommend using your 'own' curriculum. This way it will fit your lifestyle and your child's needs exactly. As for your school board mil, she needs to remember you are giving one on one instruction to your child whom already trusts and loves you!
Have fun, is my best advice!
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#5 of 9 Old 07-07-2002, 10:13 PM
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Hi! We also are using a blend : the well trained mind, five in a row,what your kindrgardener needs to know, some waldorf philosophy and some montessori philosophy. I tend to try to follow my childs interests and build from there. So we love reading stories - so FIAR is great. I do a coop hs with my neighbor were i make lessons from "what you kinder...". Charlotte Mason also has interesting ideas where we take a nature walk and then write down what we see daily. But we start things off with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer - routines from TWTM. It can be overwhelming trying to put it all together and feel confident. So far it's working!

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#6 of 9 Old 07-08-2002, 02:03 AM
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We are going this route too. I love it because if something isn't working, we can just ditch and do something else. I also find if very freeing because my kids can really move at their own paces for math and reading rather than having to master certain things every week or being "behind." Right now we are using Five in a Row (which my kids love and ask to do on weekends) Explode the Code (phonics) and Singapore Math. It is simple, inexpensive, fun and my kids are getting a good education.

We tried unschooling for a while and my kids did not like it. They fought a lot and seemed unhappy much of the time. They like to me have a plan. For a while I tried coming up with activities all the time for them, but that got to be a pain after a while, so we tried Five in a Row.

Different things work for different families.
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#7 of 9 Old 07-19-2002, 09:41 AM
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Gosh, Rachel, I thought I had a unique mix of homeschool techniques (FIAR, Well Trained Mind, Waldorf, Montessori and a bit of Charlotte Mason thrown in on the side) and here you are doing the same thing as us!

Right now I have a book from the library entitled Real-Life Homeschooling: the Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home by Rhonda Barfield. The families range from unschooling to fairly rigid curriculum; from single-child-families to those having 11 kids. It's been fun to read. It's helped me to see the range of what works. Seems like the important things are to love your kids and not burn yourself out. Other than that there's no set formula.

Heavenly, are other homeschoolers questioning your Eclectic Method? I've noticed nonhomeschoolers think there's a handful of options available. They're blown away by the variety available. Maybe you could come up with a set answer to trot out for these folks, like, "We plan to use the Eclectic Method. This means that we will be selecting individual items from a wide variety of sources in a way that best fits the ever-changing needs of our growing children. We were attracted to the Eclectic Method by its dynamic nature...blah blah blah." (It helps if you can speak in caps and include alot of lingo from corporate mission statements. People then assume you are Speaking on Authority.)
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#8 of 9 Old 07-21-2002, 09:22 PM
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I always buy some kind of curriculum and use it as a guide or order, but then we take off from there. This year I purchased Tapestry of Grace after looking at Year 2 -- however upon receiving Year 3 I decided there is NO WAY we are going to follow it except as a guide. She moves too fast through the subjects, however we will need to keep up with a co-op with whom we are going to do the unit end festivals.

The problem with that is I am now faced with doing my own lesson plans and blending things together. I had thought this year would be less planning and juggling. Ah well
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#9 of 9 Old 07-21-2002, 11:52 PM
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How about responding, "I am soooo lucky, I get to pick and choose materials that fit my child instead of taking what I'm given by any ONE publisher!" Mention the mom on the school board thing, the naysayers will back down.

~diana google me: hahamommy. Unschooling Supermama to Hayden :Super Cool Girlfriend to Scotty . Former wife to Mitch & former mama to Hannahbear
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