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ashlelyb_0827
Nervous about choosing curriculum!
April 11, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Hi! 

I'm a first time homeschooler, we are starting this fall! I've been doing my research trying to find what I think is going to be the best fit for curriculum for us! I will have a kindergartener and a first grader! 
I think I've narrowed our choices down, but I'm still extremely nervous about ordering anything because I don't know what's going to work for us!!!! We're not swimming in income, and if something ends up not working for us, I'll probably just end up using it for the rest of the year because we won't be able to afford to get a whole new set of curriculum!
I HAVE found a second-hand homeschool curriculum store in my area, which is going to be a huge help. I'm hoping I can go there and look at some stuff in person and get a better feel for it than just sample pages online. But, of course, I'm also hoping for some good deals!

Anyway ... what do you do if the curriculum you choose doesn't work for your family? How do you handle that?

I'm also looking for any input on the curriculum I've chosen ....

For MATH, I've narrowed it down between Singapore math and Math U See. 

For READING, I think we are going to do All About Reading and throw in Five In A Row.

For SPELLING, I haven't been able to choose between All About Spelling or Sequential Spelling.

For SCIENCE, I am pretty set on Elemental Science (not entirely sure if I want to do the Classic Series, which would be Biology for the Grammar Stage or if I want to do the Living Series, the Sassafrass Adventures), but I've also been intrigued by Real Science 4 Kids.

Any help, advice, comments are appreciated!!!!! 

 

Replies

  • Kat0038
    by Kat0038
    April 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    It really comes to personal preference. I have a first grader and bought curriculum this year and became frustrated within three months. My daughter became very bored and started not looking forward to her day of school. So I took it and stuck it in a box. I realized her strongest and favorite subject is science. So every week I go to the library pick out a weeks worth of science books. I take her vocabulary, spelling, reading, etc. from these books. The books I choose based on my daughters interests. We do phonics on line with star fall. For math I make our own or use education.com. We are about to purchase a curriculum for us geography. And as we run out of interesting library science books we will probably buy science cuuruculum. But I doubt we will buy a full years of all subjects again.  Just didn't work for us

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    April 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

     hi ashlely!!

    good choices for reading'all about reading' ive never heard a negative comment about it yet

    heard good stuff about both math choices

    same with your science choise, i did use real science kids loved it we did the chemistry book

    if something i choose doesnt seem to be working i trade it for something else or sell it

    have you figured out how your kids learn? hands on,  visual, auditory, or a mix of all? that helps me when i need to choose curr.

    when i first started hsing there was only a couple types of curriculum to chose from and it was expensive, so i made my own, using the library, (no internet then) and once i started teaching them i got to know how they learn and what they like to learn about and then i could chose what curr to use to fit them (a few years later, more curr around then!)

    used curr stores are great!! ours is called exodus and i has brand new stuff and used so i can go and look at it all!

  • romacox
    by romacox
    April 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    asleyb_0827.  My children are now grown, but I still tutor and give home school workshops.  My method has been so unusually successful, that three professors from the University Of North Florida invite me to teach their students (future teachers) my method.   What I do is very easy....anyone can do it.

    When you home school, the whole world becomes your classroom....very inexpensive.  The following article explains whole brain teaching which reaches all the learning styles

    Computer games are great because they are whole brain teaching.  But computer games do more harm that good when it comes to teaching phonics, because they teach some of the phonic sounds incorrectly.  For example:  if the child pronounces d as Du, they sound out the word daddy as du-a-du-y.  If they sound out the letter h as Hu,  and p as Pu, they pronounce happy as hu-a-pu-y making it hard for  many children to blend the sounds  and hear the correct  word.  Most of the children given to me  to help, have this problem.  So it is important for you as the educator to teach  the sounds so you can make sure they are saying them correctly.  It will save you from having to reteach them later.  The following video explains more: (the sounds typically taught incorrectly)

    Hear all the phonic sounds free here. 

  • KrissyKC
    April 11, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    I start their curriculum out slowly.

    For example...  I have a decent phonics program for the K-1st grade and something cheap but hands-on for math.   Everything else is just exploring, reading, etc... I use the library, online games and printables, cheap workbooks, etc..   I also focus on handwriting and other motor skills both fine and gross.    We try to do lots of fun hands on stuff like baking, field trips, simple experiments, etc.

    In the second grade, I switch them to a decent math.... continue with phonics and reading...  still doing the above stuff.

    Third grade, I add Rod & Staff english (I love rod n staff english)... and continue with math and everything else as above...

    See... I add a little more actual "curriculum" slowly, and I get a chance to explore more of what I like or don't like without having bought all of it at once.

    Plus, I believe in a strong foundation in reading before moving the kids onto other stuff.


  • ashlelyb_0827
    April 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    These are all really awesome suggestions! Thank you for all the help and reassurance. 

    I have read "The Way They Learn" and have been trying to determine learning styles. I feel awful because I can't figure it out just by reading about it because I can see aspects of each style in both of my children. I feel like I need a test or something to figure it out! LOL. I think as we begin homeschooling, I'll become more aware of that. I hope. 

    Love the library suggestions if something doesn't work out. Also love adding things little by little.

    Thank you! 

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    April 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM

     hey ashlely what about this site will this help you with how your kids learn?

    http://www.homeschoolviews.com/quiz/quiz.html

    Quoting ashlelyb_0827:

    These are all really awesome suggestions! Thank you for all the help and reassurance. 

    I have read "The Way They Learn" and have been trying to determine learning styles. I feel awful because I can't figure it out just by reading about it because I can see aspects of each style in both of my children. I feel like I need a test or something to figure it out! LOL. I think as we begin homeschooling, I'll become more aware of that. I hope. 

    Love the library suggestions if something doesn't work out. Also love adding things little by little.

    Thank you! 

     

  • ashlelyb_0827
    April 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Thank you oredeb!!!!!

    According to that quiz, my oldest is evenly strong in visual & kinesthetic and my youngest is pretty equal in all three! 

    Now ... what to do with that information???? LOL. 

    We will obviously be doing a lot of hands on stuff! :)

  • mommy4lyf
    April 13, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I bought different workbooks first and tried it on my son while he's still in ps. Since he's autistic we have to gradually introduce it to him. I signed up for http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/ which is the best decision I made. It's affordable!

  • lifesadream83
    April 13, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    For Math I suggest Math U See

    All About Reading is a great Phonics program.  

    Five in a Row is a complete curriculum.

    If you are going to do all about reading then read their suggestions about All About Spelling.  You may only want to do the reading first and then the spelling we use All About Spelling it is great. 

    Real Science 4 Kids is ok.  I had issues this past year with experiments not working in the Astronomy book however, next year we are using Sonlight and it uses their Level 1 Biology book which looks good but again the experiments will be recommended by Sonlight and not RS4K.  Elemental Science looks cool I have looked into it before never used it.  Another  one you may be interested in trying is RSO Science from Pandia Press. You can buy it pretty cheap from Rainbow Resources.com and then Home Science Tools sells the KIT.  

    Can I make this suggestion to you for your first year

    Go ahead and get All About Reading or check out The Ordinary Parents Guide to teaching Reading and put off spelling until next year or 3rd grade even is when lots of people start.  

    Get Math U See

    and Get a SINGLE Homeschoolers Subscription to BrainPopJr.  & a Library card.  Let your kids choose a video.  Pick 2 videos each week print the notebook questions and watch the video every day for a week (1 social studies and 1 science) and do the different activities and take the associated books out of the library and read to them.  It will be $ well spent I promise you.  You can get a week free sample if you want just go to the website and let your kids try it for a week.  There are even lesson plans if you are not confident you could pull it together on your own.  And if the library does not have those specific books available you can always pick out others on that topic.

  • ashlelyb_0827
    April 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Thank you for all of these suggestions! I have a huge notebook I'm working on filling up full of research! Haha. I will definitely write this stuff down and check it out. 

    I appreciate all the feedback!

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