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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to use something structured to HS my DS but not painfully so. I have looked at a few curriculum to start with as a way of guidance my first year (he'll be starting in K this fall). I've tried making my own lesson plans but it is kinda overwhelming. I don't know where to start and it is very frustrating.<br><br>
I am not sure if I should choose:<br>
a boxed curriculum (I have been looking at My Father's world, Sonlight, Calvert, Oak Meadow for example)<br><br>
Enroll him in a online charter (not K12, but there are a couple where we'll be living that have a more varied curriculum and do not require you to be strapped to the computer, only log in once a day and then do the curriculum at your own pace)<br><br>
or then there's putting together my own curriculum. (and where to start on that)<br><br>
My DS is very active (can't sit still!) and learns more through touch and when I spend one on one time with him (rather than he does workbooks, he hates doing alot of workbooks), so that is something I want to take into consideration too. There are so many types of curriculums it is hard to know which is worth it.<br><br>
I am feeling so overwhelmed and I was hoping I might get some opinions : )<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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I wanted the same thing my first year (and still sorta do). A little direction but nothing to structured. This is what I did. I sat down and decided what subjects I wanted covered. For me (my kids are 5 and 7/K and 2nd, BTW) it was Math, Social Studies, Science, Reading, Art, Logic and Mythology. Then I sat down with each subject and decided how much direction I was looking for. For instance, for Social Studies I didn't want to read out of book about historical wars or great civilizations yet because I think it is too much for a 5 and 7 year old to fully grasp. What I wanted was environmental and cultural well roundedness. So that helped me direct my search. I ultimately have found several resources, all free, that I pull from. (50 Things kids can do to save the Earth and heifer.org are two) I also introduce religion in here as well. For math I decided that I wanted more structure. At first I chose Math U See. It is a great program. Later I added Living Math and we alternate days between the two.<br><br>
I did this with each subject. Some subjects I bought a curriculum (or downloaded on for free) others I just fly by the seat of my (theirs, actually) pants.<br><br>
It wasn't really that hard once I broke it down by subject. Doing it as a whole was a little overwhelming but this way you can focus on a little at a time. If you are unsure what is *typical* of a particular age group you can check out the "Typical Course of Study" on the World Book website. There is a link to it on our HS website (see sig line).<br><br>
HTH
 

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Checkout clonlara school (<a href="http:" target="_blank">www.clonlara.org)</a>, its what my parents went through initially, and then what we did when I got to highschool. They have a very loose and flexible curriculum, and are super awesome as far as support teachers go, and dealing with any legal questions/problems when/if they arise. When you get to highschool they even have compuhigh, which is (or at least, was), an awesome program - I did that too. It was a ton of fun.
 

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We are using My Father's World K and 1st. I tried putting my own together with less than stellar success. This is great, since my son is pretty active as well, lot's of activities, reading aloud and it doesn't take very long at all. We can finish our work, then go on to other things like art, fort building, legos' etc. I feel like we're accompolishing something and he still gets to be a very active 5 yo!
 

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I needed some more structure this year. In fact, my oldest requested it. So, we started using Ambleside. I'm not saying you need to use this though. We print out what we need for a few weeks and the schedule. We are all doing year 1. Then I use a highlighter to highlight what we have finished. We sometimes read ahead in certain books. This has been great because the books are amazing and they feed into other interests. We try to do notebooks a few days a week and we do Apologia Science, too. We are taking a Math break right now, but we have used Math U See before. I don't need plans for any of these things.<br><br>
All this to say you might just need a little guidance and not a lot of structure.
 

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Not to confuse you more, but have a look at Sonlight. I've used them for pre-K, 3rd, 4th, and 6th. Next year I'll be using their 1+2 Core. They have all sorts of options - you can get their Core which includes Literature, bible (although I think I read that's a separate program next year), history, geography. You can add to it as you like - english, math, science, etc. What I love about the Cores is that it combines historical fiction with history (I think that starts in the 3rd core - younger grades focus more on good, age-appropriate literature.)<br><br>
Take a look!
 

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If you are able to attend a homeschooling conference and look at a lot of different resources that may help give you more ideas. Most of the conferences are held in late spring and you could google and find out what might be available for your area.<br><br>
My general suggestions would be:<br>
Play games, do activities, get out and about. Remember your kid is young and enjoy life.<br>
For you: take a look at the Peggy Kaye books - Games for Math, Games for Reading, etc. You can probably get them from the library or cheap on half.com. I think they are worth owning. The games are simple and require little to no prep but they are really engaging and teach important concepts. I learned a lot about teaching from reading these books. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGames-Math-Peggy-Kaye%2Fdp%2F0394755103%2Fref%3Dpd_sim_b_2%2F104-0531737-2479138" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Games-Math-Peg...531737-2479138</a><br><br>
By no means do I think it is necessary to buy curriculum for every subject, but if you want to here are some that are well liked by many folks:<br>
For math: Miquon or Singapore.<br>
Story of the World for history<br>
Five in a Row is a great place to start with literature.<br>
For handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears.<br><br>
Most of these are pretty low cost. Most libraries have most of the books in Five in a Row. If so, you can get the rest of this stuff for probably much less than $100.
 

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I also wanted to mention that one thing I did the first year was to order a ton of stuff from Rainbow Resources and then returned a lot of it. I really couldn't make decisions until I had materials in hand.
 

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Winter Promise has a lot of hands on things to do.<br><br>
We are doing Sonlight K and we are all loving it. There is a quite a bit of reading out loud, and my boys love to be read to so it works well. They usually play with Legoes while I read, or drive a car on the floor. Everyday they are sad when we are done.<br>
They also have a 12 wk guarantee that if it isnt working out you can return it and get your money back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>My Three Boys</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7302923"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not to confuse you more, but have a look at Sonlight. I've used them for pre-K, 3rd, 4th, and 6th. Next year I'll be using their 1+2 Core. They have all sorts of options - you can get their Core which includes Literature, bible (although I think I read that's a separate program next year), history, geography. You can add to it as you like - english, math, science, etc. What I love about the Cores is that it combines historical fiction with history (I think that starts in the 3rd core - younger grades focus more on good, age-appropriate literature.)<br><br>
Take a look!</div>
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I actually have looked at it and liked what I saw, I just completely forgot to mention it in my OP (that's what I get for NAKing my wiggly toddler and trying to type a post <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) the catalog came last week and I like the idea of it being centered around literature and history. DS loves for me to read to him especially.<br><br>
My only question would be would you recommend starting my 5 YO on the pre-k program or the k? I took their assesment and it suggested either. I am leaning towards the prek since we hadn't done a ton with him for preschooling and I can use it later for our younger 2 DS's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Alana</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7303233"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Winter Promise has a lot of hands on things to do.<br><br>
We are doing Sonlight K and we are all loving it. There is a quite a bit of reading out loud, and my boys love to be read to so it works well. They usually play with Legoes while I read, or drive a car on the floor. Everyday they are sad when we are done.<br>
They also have a 12 wk guarantee that if it isnt working out you can return it and get your money back.</div>
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That sounds like my DS, he loves for us to read to him, he usually sits on the floor near me and plays quietly while he listens.<br><br>
I am going to check it out some more
 

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Maybe more than great structure, perhpas you are more looking for some form to your days?<br><br>
We have days where we go to the library, have friends over, knit with friends, have playgroup, etc.<br><br>
Maybe having a bread baking day, a home day, a library day, an art day, a field trip afternoon etc could help give you a bit of structure for comfort, without too much worry? A little form might give you that, while letting your 5 yr old & you have freedom to come up with some ideas for activites that bring the greatest pleasure?
 

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If you consider Sonlight pre-k, you might check out the yahoo group. I think it's SLpreschool. 2 mama's on there have actually written their own really awesome guide (for free!) using the books SL suggests. I've heard that their guide is actually better than the SL guide for pre-k.<br><br><a href="http://www.thehomeschoollibrary.com" target="_blank">www.thehomeschoollibrary.com</a> is another message board where you will get *lots* of feedback about different types of curriculum!
 

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I did similar to frogguruami when my kids were approaching 4th grade, but prior to that it was only math & piano that was a daily requirement.<br><br>
One thing that I really latched onto was from "A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver DeMille is to structure the time, not the content. Meaning that you block school out from say 9-3 everyday, and just have lots of quality things available for your dc to pick & choose as it suits him/her. This philosophy really carried us in the early years.<br><br>
I also concur with UUMom that you might be wanting a rhythm to your day, not necessarily structure (ie math is from 9 to 9:42). I have found rhythm (as in everyone knowing what to expect in general from one time of day to the next) is very valuable for any at home parent.<br><br>
As a guide towards your later homeschooling years (although you can start younger, it just seems a bit over the top to me) I really like the philosophy and guidance of The Well Trained Mind.<br><br>
But I would also suggest that you read any books by John Holt (I think it's John) and Linda Dobson as I think they really helped me focus in on my goals of homeschooling.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>leah martinez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7304122"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">the catalog came last week and I like the idea of it being centered around literature and history. DS loves for me to read to him especially.<br><br>
My only question would be would you recommend starting my 5 YO on the pre-k program or the k? I took their assesment and it suggested either. I am leaning towards the prek since we hadn't done a ton with him for preschooling and I can use it later for our younger 2 DS's.</div>
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If your ds likes to be read to, he'll really like Sonlight - especially at the younger levels. It's just such a gentle program.<br><br>
I used the Pre-K, but not the K program. Pre-K is really very sweet. Lots of books about the seasons, the earth, poetry.etc. The other pp who posted that the IG is lacking is right. There aren't suggestions for crafts or activities to go along with these books. That would definately make the program stronger.<br><br>
The people at Sonlight are wonderful if you call them and tell them about your child. They will help you come up with the correct Core.<br><br>
I do have to say that Sonlight works VERY well for someone like me - very type A personality. I like to cross things off to know that I'm done. I like it that someone else has put this all together for me so I'm not skipping something (I would obsess about it otherwise). But, if you're someone who gets bogged down with "schedules" or likes putting things together yourself, then this may not be the program for you.<br><br>
Enjoy your journey!!
 

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We have used Sonlight in the past but I am really glad we switched to WinterPromise this year. It is a lot of fun and the kids are learning a lot about American History.
 

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LOL! Im Type A too, and love checking everything off!<br><br>
We are using K with my 6.5yo and my 4.5 yo. It is a bit challenging for my younger one, but he is doing really well with it. Mainly it is the read alouds because some of the concepts may be a bit over his head. If my oldest were 5, I would go with Pre-K.<br><br>
We had been doing K12 through a VA, and it was such a nightmare. Sonlight has been beyond awesome, and has restored the joy of hs'ing back for us.
 

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<a href="http://www.homeschoolreviews.com" target="_blank">www.homeschoolreviews.com</a><br><br>
you can browse reviews by subject, curriculun, etc. all reviews are by homeschool moms so it's well worth checking out before you spend money on something you wish you hadn't.
 

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<i>My DS is very active (can't sit still!) and learns more through touch and when I spend one on one time with him (rather than he does workbooks, he hates doing alot of workbooks), so that is something I want to take into consideration too. There are so many types of curriculums it is hard to know which is worth it.</i><br>
From this description of your son, I <b><i>wouldn't</i></b> recommend Sonlight. Sonlight has NO hands on activities at all; it is only reading (and some workbooks) and from your description it would be miserable for your son. We have experience with this as we switched from Sonlight to My Father's World. Don't get me wrong; Sonlight is a good program, but more for auditory learners. My kids are visual/hands-on learners and we've been much happier with MFW which provides more of that.<br><br>
If you are new to homeschooling, I feel there are definite benefits with going with a complete curriculum. It really takes the pressure and stress off. Of course, I'm saying this as a person who really doesn't have any desire to try to create my own. I don't have the desire or creativity to pull it off in a well-rounded manner like some of these established curricula can. That's just me. Good luck with your decision.
 

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i love "hands of a child" website for lapbooking!! it's so fun and very hands on!! plus lapbooking can be used with whatever style of teaching you prefer. for us, i use core knowledge related unit lessons and materials <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">)
 
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