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I might have posted here last year when we were deciding on homeschooling, but I can't remember. I lurk frequently (here and other boards at MDC) and post infrequently. I am just not coordinated to NAK much, so I have to find the rare moments when dd is out of my arms.

This will be our first year to homeschool. We are starting with 1st grade-ish stuff for my almost 7yo. He did ps K last year. He can read but does not particularly enjoy it. He really likes math and science, which has made it fairly easy for me to choose curriculum for those areas, but I have little in any other areas. I need help! I don't really want a highly structured "curriculum in a box" but I need more structure than unschooling (I tend to not get anything done if I don't have something hanging over my head!) Here is what I have (or plan to get) so far:

Explorers Bible Study
Math U See
Great Science Adventures (from Common Sense Press)
Explode the Code (Book 1 1/2 to start)
Handwriting without tears

I think I am lacking in some sort of phonics/reading program to go along with explode the code, some language arts and history. I could probably wing it, but this being my first year, I am a little nervous about that. In addition, I have an almost-4yo and a 5mo with special needs to care for. I plan on involving the almost-4 in "school" as much as she wants to, but she is high energy and needs quite a bit of attention.

Any suggestions on curriculum that is not terribly expensive, provides a little structure and is interesting to a boy who is a reluyctant reader and is not really into arts/crafts type things?


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I think you are doing well.

As for LA, ETC is what we are using as well as 100 EZ, which is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

If you notice, in the ETC book 1 teacher's manual (that's what we are on right now), they do have suggested activites to compliment the book. Like reading aloud a definition to a word and have the child write the word out on notebook paper. Just stuff like that.

Anyway, as for History, I wouldn't worry too much about. Might I suggest though, that you give Ed Emberely's Drawing books a try or Draw Then Write, by Evan Moor. Just whatever you think he would like to do. On the Draw Then Write series, they draw a picture, copy the title and answer questions about the animal, car or whatever they have drawn. See..this could get him wanting to read, etc. Let me see if I can find that Evan Moor website.. Here I found mine at a local *teachers* store.

I have in the plans to use First Language Lesson by Jessie Wise...whenever I think he's ready for it. But I think we need to get through at least to ETC 3 or 4 before we hit it.

Also, I would check out the National Geographic Website for them to explore.

Oh, another suggestion, but this is more about about Mudpies to Magnets? Have you looked at those books? Your 4yo could really get involved in those also!


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I think that if he is doing fine learning to read and you are planning on ETC too, then the most important part is to make reading enjoyable!

Work on reading book that is at his level together, he reads a page and you read a page. Let him stay up half an hour later as long as he is quietly looking at books. For so many boys reading comes with and almost obsessive interest in something. For my oldest it was pokemon, for your child it might be knights or sharks or baseball or whatever he loves.

My boys are 5 and 6 (almost 7) and we aren't really doing any language arts this year. The younger is doing Get ready for the code and the older is reading with me. We also do Mad Libs sometimes, but for grammar, spelling, writing, ect, I am going to wait another year or so. Right now they like reading and writing and that is more important at this age then that they use commas corectly.

We are studing ancient history using Story of the World 1, but if you go by your schools standards,first grade social studies are easy. These are the ones from World Book, but I am sure you can look up the standards for your state.

First Grade
* Holidays, traditions, and customs
* Our American Heritage
* Different cultures at different times
* Family, school, neighborhood, community
* Farm and zoo
* Neighborhood helpers
* Jobs and careers
* Social skills and responsibilities
* Basic geography terms
* Making and reading a simple neighborhood map
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