For a variety of reasons, I have left the district that my son was enrolled in (homeschooling). I am now floating with no direction and would love to hear what curriculum you like (or what curriculum you advise me to avoid), and why.
We use The Well Trained Mind. It isn't exactly a curriculum, though- it's more of a guide to planning your own curriculum. It's based on a Classical Education model (heavy on real literature and chronological history) In Classical Education, kids are split, developmentally, into 3 or 4 different age groups, based on what their minds are doing. In early elementary, they're in the grammar stage (learning language) and then, it's the logic stage (learning to make sense of things and put things into order) then, in high school, they're in the rhetoric stage (analyzing things and understanding other perspectives) I like TWTM because Using chronological history makes so much sense to me (jumping around is ridiculous) and because reading the "good books" (Classic literature) teaches not only an appreciation for language and an intimate understanding of historical cultures and ways, but it also helps impart character values and discipline that is missing in so much of life. We're using Saxon for Math grades 4 and up- Singapore and Miquon for Math with the smaller ones. We used Prima latina for Latin last year and this year we're using Latin for Children (I highly recommend this one- it is so much fun!) For history our main text is Story of the World, and we're using the History Odyssey supplements (In each age level), as well as the SOTW activity guide. This is our second run through history (4 year cycles) so we didn't want to only use the SOTW guide, since we did those activities 4 years ago! For Science, we use AIMS materials, we're currently using "Primarily Plants" and Budding Botanist (for different age groups)<br><br>
Anyhow- if a classical education sounds interesting, there's the well trained mind, there's Charlotte Mason, there's a Thomas Jefferson Education, I htrink Ambleside ONline is a classical curriculum (and it's totally free. <a href="http://www.ignitethefire.com" target="_blank">www.ignitethefire.com</a> is also good, and the bluedorn family has a great website for introduction to classical education.<br><br>
This is our 7th or 8th year with TWTM.<br><br>
I hope you find something that makes you as happy as TWTM makes us!
how old are your kids? my daughter is only 5 (almost 6) so i don't know if what i use is what will work for you....or if you would even like it, yk? i'm very pleased with what i use though, and i feel is can be adapted easily to meet the teacher/child needs. i use core knowledge for the bulk of my subjects (<a href="http:" target="_blank">www.coreknowledge.org)</a>. click on lessons. i specifically like the baltimore curriculum project lessons and their scope and sequence. i love that the CK and BCP lessons are free, excellent, and easily adaptable. for example, i didn't like my september bcp science lessons, but i liked the theme. so i went to the CK website (or any of my lesson plan websites will do) and found a different lesson plan with the same theme. for math i use saxon and am very pleased. for phonics i use happy phonics & explode the code, and we use open court reading book 1/1 for reading comprehension (that's my dd's favorite). i also have lots of file folder games, math bingo, alphabet bingo, etc. and my dd loves workbooks so she has MCP math and phonics for whenever she wants to do that kind of stuff. imo, CK is very hands-on learning and there is little seatwork . same with saxon math, she uses manipulatives to learn. which i love. ETC is loved or despised - so i caution you there. i just read that ETC is online now too though - so maybe that's better?? dunno.<br><br>
PS- look at <a href="http://www.homeschoolreviews.com" target="_blank">www.homeschoolreviews.com</a><br>
there are great reviews there that may help you!
we also use the well trained mind, and <a href="http://www.shillermath.com" target="_blank">shiller math</a>.<br>
this is our first year. i also have a program from a place called <a href="http://www.winterpromise.com" target="_blank">winter promise</a> , children around the world. i have not started it yet, been busy with twtm, but it looks fantastic!<br>
mama-r<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
<span>We didn't use a set curriculum - we just picked and chose things from a variety of sources as the need arose. There are wonderful things available from sources that have various specialties. A great resource is the <a href="http://www.fun-books.com/" target="_blank">FUN-Books catalog</a> - you can go through and find things for a variety of subjects, and supplement with the library.<br><br>
Here's a lovely article of reflection by Helen Hegener, co-publisher of Home Education Magazine, a publication that's been around since 1983.<br><a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/articles/helen_hegener.html" target="_blank">What My Children Taught Me</a><br><br>
Here's an article I wrote when I was cleaning out our homeschooling things as my son was going off to college:<br><a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/articles/lillian_jones_materials.html" target="_blank">Reflecting on the Value of Materials and Classes</a><br>
It had just been a post on a bulletin board, but a friend of mine who had had similar experience asked me to please make it into an article so she could link to it from her website.<br><br>
And here's one I put together about <a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/articles/methods_lillian_jones.html" target="_blank">choosing methods & styles</a> - it has links to some helpful websites.<br><br>
Most seasoned homeschoolers I personally know would advise you to put off any big decision about curricula at all until you've had some time to explore the homeschooling territory with your children - I've seen that advise given over and over throughout the years. You'll all be happier if you take time to see how they learn best, what their natural inclinations are, and what kinds of things they thrive on. Because it's ultimately all about <i>them</i> - not about what someone who has never even met them feels is the appropriate path for their learning. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Here's a thread on <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=741484" target="_blank">getting started</a> that leads to some interesting threads here at MDC - the thread started with a question about a younger child, but the posts actually have links to <i>very general</i> information that's helpful for anyone.<br><br>
I think I am going to attempt to use Core Knowledge's website. I am returning my World Cultures/Geography curriculum to Sonlight. I HATE it! I love their readers, read a louds and Explode the Code, but otherwise too Biblical for me!
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jenifer80</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9063462"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think I am going to attempt to use Core Knowledge's website. I am returning my World Cultures/Geography curriculum to Sonlight. I HATE it! I love their readers, read a louds and Explode the Code, but otherwise too Biblical for me!</div>
i just wanted to tell you there is a CK yahoo group too. janice is the moderator and so helpful! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
i just looked at the winter promise website, i can't wait to dive in- we are so addicted to notebooking, it makes it look like we're doing more "assignments" than we really are- because the kids will independently draw and write things about what we've read and then when they put it into their notebooks, it makes it look like we've done so much "work" When in reality, they're just expressing what they know, in their own ways. Whenever we have company, my kids pull out their notebooks, to show off. I love it! <a href="http://www.ignitethefire.com" target="_blank">www.ignitethefire.com</a> initially got me hoooked on notebooking (Terri is very catholic, her site is awesome even though I am very not caholic) Then, TWTM came along and took our notebooks to a whole new level. I just bought more notebooks today, I love Costco.
I also use Core Knowledge -- my DD (5) and I really love it! We also use & enjoy Saxon math and Singapore math as well. I have Harcourt for reading - it's ok. We have a bunch of science experiments from <a href="http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?sid=1185971258-1612706&id=031662" target="_blank">Rainbow Resource</a> and <a href="http://www.homeschoolscience.com/homeschool_science/products.html" target="_blank">homeschoolscience.com</a> and our local Teaching Stuff store, because DD and I love doing hands-on science stuff. And we do lots of crafts all day.<br><br>
I'm not a seasoned hs'er or anything, seeing how we've been 'officially' homeschooling for only 2 weeks now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> But I wanted to share my experience anyway. I am so glad I went with the Core Knowledge stuff (I know they have free stuff, and I use it -- but I bought some of their products too to make my life easier.) But the reason I knew I'd like it is because when I read about it, it just clicked. Hopefully you'll have the same experience of clicking with something out there (if you end up deciding that you want a set curriculum). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
It would help to know more about your son.<br><br>
We use WTM, but use few of their suggested resources (the problem with books revised every few years is that recommendations can't stay current).<br><br>
Some curricula we use are:<br><a href="http://www.pandiapress.com" target="_blank">History Odyssey</a><br><a href="http://www.singaporemath.com" target="_blank">Singapore Math</a><br><a href="http://www.livelylatin.com" target="_blank">Lively Latin</a><br>
language arts texts by <a href="http://www.rfwp.com/mct.php" target="_blank">Michael Clay Thompson</a> (these are amazing)<br><a href="http://www.noeoscience.com/" target="_blank">Noeo Science</a> (despite appearances, these are secular except for the Introductions)<br>
Monart (though at the local Monart school)<br><br>
DD1 is heavily into language and language arts... I wouldn't recommend her LA materials for younger children.
We use <a href="http://www.sonlight.com" target="_blank">Sonlight</a> as a basis for our curriculum. It is literature based and we like that approach.<br><br>
Here are the things we are using this year:<br>
Math- <a href="http://www.keypress.com/x6252.xml" target="_blank">Miquon Math</a> First Year Program<br><i>We are very pleased with Miquon Math. Dd has been reluctant to do math in the past and she is enthusiastic about this. It is a bright spot in our homeschool day.</i><br><br>
History/Geography- Sonlight Level 1, <a href="http://www.evan-moor.com/catalog/book.asp?CID=14&SID=63&BID=438" target="_blank">History Pockets: Ancient Civilizations</a> (not from Sonlight)<br><i>Dd really seems to enjoy the History Pockets. I don't think they are enough on their own but they make a nice supplement. The company also makes literature pockets.</i><br><br>
Science- various non-Sonlight resources, Usbourne Book of Knowledge, Living World Encyclopedia<br><br>
Language Arts- Sonlight LA2, Wordly Wise A<br><i>This is our first year using Sonlight LA. Dd doesn't want to write and there is quite a bit of writing. I think we can work it out.</i><br><br>
Handwriting- no specific program<br><i>We tried Handwriting Without Tears last year and it didn't work for us. Dd's handwriting improved better with her just doing her own thing and not being specifically instructed.</i><br><br>
Readers- some Sonlight level 2 readers, mostly books from the library<br><br>
Read-Alouds- Some books from Sonlight curriculum and some from the library<br><br>
We are also doing <a href="http://www.homeschoolingonashoestring.com/lapbooks.html" target="_blank">lap booking</a> this year. We'll be doing whatever topic interests dd.