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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of loosely planning for this September (we don't follow school terms, but it is the deadline I have given myself to get sorted.)

I am adding more direction from me, whilst still respecting and following my dd's lead. I found the day just went by and the things I wanted to do never got done and it made me sad.

So this year I am planning topics to cover over the weeks, maybe do termly blocks. Read lots of stories (plan some that I definitely want to read).

I lean towards Mason, Beechick, Waldorf, Rebecca Rupp and some of the Well Trained Mind for ideas. I love Sonlight and it is not the money that is the issue but more that someone else has planned the study and I just have to follow it. I want more control than that.

For reading we are doing Reading Reflex, reading/word games and reading lots. We are also doing lapbooks and notebooking as it looks such a fun creative way to get information down.

I will be using Story of The World. Plus looking up crafts to do based on the books we are reading.

The only doubts I am having at the moment is regarding Maths (UK spelling hee hee). Can you teach your child maths to an adequate standard without a set curriculum?

I also mean paper maths here, as well as everyday maths. I want my dd to know how to write numbers, how to understand maths concepts using manipulatives first.

I looked at the Horizon Math Sonlight sell and it looks good, but I am wondering- Is there another 'mom created' way I can go with this?

I can look at web sites to see what standard I am aiming for , so if my dd 'gets' a concept we can steam on to the next. Maths has been a bit neglected and I kind of want to catch up. I have a book of what we call Key Satge One which is concepts children aged 5-7 here learn, it doesn't look that hard.

The other doubt is regarding Handwriting. The course Sonlight sell looks great and I know of loads of home educators here who use Handwriting Without Tears. But when I looked at my neighbours Grade 1 book, it seems the children here learn to write by copywork. Is this as successful do you think?

I could just think oh what the heck and splurge on a Curriculum, no planning on my part then, all done for me. Will it take up too much time to do it all myself? Does anyone else do this or do you use curriculums?

Thanks Mammas xxxxxx

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I found Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist to be very helpful in this regard, particularly for the younger years. She uses many very gentle resources that I've found to be quite consistent with Mason and have been easily adapted by me to include more Waldorf influence.

Berquist writes from a Roman Catholic perspective and includes many religious facets, too. Because we are neither RC nor educating from that viewpoint, I didn't pay them close mind. Doing so did not take away from the larger message of the book, in my opinion. The religious content is easily skipped to no detriment.

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My boys are 5 and almost 7 (about K and 2nd grade math levels). I largely design our own curriculum. I would hate feeling like I have to do what someone else decided. Besides being flexible is one of the best parts of homeschooling (and I like planning and looking at curriculums

We are doing
SOTW with lots of books from the library.
R.E.A.L. Science Life (we love this)+ lots of books from the library
Reading 5yo Get ready for the code 7yo reading with me
Geography this web site is my basic list of things to do +blackline maps from the site posted earlier
Spelling/grammer/ect. I am not worried about yet(we do madlibs
We have an art book (Doing Art Together), and check out books on artists and some music things-- recorder, rhythm insturments, check out cd's and books on composers
Handwriting comes and goes, but usually only for something real
--we try to write several letters every month (b-day cards, ect)
--during quiet time they are can read, rest or write in a journal
--lined papers and examples are available

After all that rambling I'll answer your question

For math we have math lab.

An abacus, geoboards, balance, compass, rulers, yardsticks, protractor, geometric solids, dominos, cuisiare rods, counters, 100 board, caculator, base 10 set, mathwrap ups, fraction squares and circles out of foam, a lentil kit from TOPS and assorted activity books for these. I also picked up some old textbooks/workbooks at our library book sale and we have Ray's and Miquon. I also have an idea of 4 or 5 things we can do in the car or waiting in line (skip counting, or estimating something we see, or I'm thinking of a number).

Instead of actually having math this year they will have math lab while I do my own math (long story but all I need for a AA degree is college algebra so I am taking that this fall). Sometimes I check a standards list so I feel better, but they are doing just fine.

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Well, we use Sonlight- that is, we have the books and the instructor's guides- but we still do it at our own pace. Right now we're not really using the IG, because I've tweaked and modified the schedule so much. I don't think that using the instructor's guide is really neccesary, although it can be helpful for parents who want some handholding.

Math- we use Miquon math labs, and my DS just picks out a lab sheet to do each day.

Handwriting- we started using handwriting without tears, and quickly abandoned it. My oldest (6.5) learned to write by doing copywork. I'm teaching my 4.5 and 5.5 yos how to write by having them do copywork as well. I'm starting out by teaching them how to write their names, address and phone number, and going from there...

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I too am interested in replies to this post. Until recently I have been unschooling but am not completely happy with the results though my kids are fab

Can someone explain about madlibs? Is there a math version? Is it on the internet or can you do it with pen and paper? How do you do it? I have heard about it before on here and I'd like to give it a go.
Looking forward to your replies Mammas xxx

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have no problem with curriculums, if you find one that works for you that is great and I understand just how much time they can save you in the planning stage.

It just seems to be that where I read about homeschoolers, the majority seem to use a program for math, then handwriting and for reading.

Even The Well Trained Mind (likes Saxon) and Rebecca Rupp seem to suggest math programs. (Though Rupp does have a lot more other suggestions)I think how basic elementary maths (5-11?) and think there must be an easy hands on way to teach it. Counting Cheerios anyone? Or am I asking too much? Is it too much work to go it alone?

Does anyone know what Christopherus and Oak Meadow recommend for math?

Has anyone here used Sonlight's Horizon math and what do you think of it?

Thanks xxxxx

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Madlibs- we buy books of them buthere is a trial online, I am sure I have seen other online sites too. Get your kids to help, the more people the more fun!

I think how basic elementary maths (5-11?) and think there must be an easy hands on way to teach it. Counting Cheerios anyone? Or am I asking too much? Is it too much work to go it alone?
I've decided it is so easy I am not even going to teach it. We have no set lessons, they just play with our assorted math things and learn and learn and learn. Many of the things were very cheap. And the ones that were a little more expensive I just wanted because they are fun (like the balance and the TOPS kit).

Practically Free
Counters- we use dried lima beans, paper clips, pennies
100 chart, both 1-100 and 0-99
Number lines
Clock- I made with construction paper and a brad
Fraction circles and squares- I made from sheets of craft foam
yarn, string- for measuring, guessing, comparing, ect.
We had dominoes, and dice
Very Cheap
yardstick (wait this was free from the bank
books from used book sale
calculator (the $1 from wal-mart)
A Little More, but nothing is too expensive
base 10 blocks
cuisiare rods
math wrap ups (because I couldn't let go of some kind of drill
Games for Math and Family Math (two books)
I did buy activity books for some of the manipulatives we have.
One Expensive Thing
TOPS Get a Grip

Even if you just gathered the first two lists you'd probably spend less then $20 and you could set up your own math lab and see how it goes. And even if you decided to use some other curr. I don't think the things in the second list would be a waste of money.

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I went over and over this exact question this summer. Premade curriculum... make my own. I decided to do the same as last year and supplement. I want to largely be in charge, and I dont want to spend oodles of money on boring curriculum that we wont use. Id rather spend hte money on books, and crafts, and field trips, and things that open her mind and help her explore this world.

I have all of September planned out, by that I mean, I have the themes we are doing, and books I want to read or were suggested. And crafts and fun activities as well as some field trips.

I will buy Learning to Read in 100 lessons, and I am going to look for some math curriculum, I want to get some fun -- lost my train of thought -- for math. Ive looked at the Evan-Moor for math, but read that there is busy work, and so I dont know yet.

No clue on curriculums on handwriting, we always learned by doing it, so thats how we do it. She makes a theme book and writes out the words, and works on her name, and she LOVES her dry erase abc/activitiy book.

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this is the first time we have used someone elses guided curriculum and it is still so loose it is about to fall off. up until now we have pretty much just focused on reading writing and math. now we are jst getting a little more organized.

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A good resource for fun math is "Family Math" by Stenmark, Thompson and Cossey. It is not a curriculum but rather a bunch of cool ideas for fun things to do related to math. Very fun and open ended -- good for several years for all your kids.
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