Hello My name is Laura and I am Mom to 5 children we reside in Carlsbad NM, I am wanting to home school my 3 younger children, My 4.5 yr old DD has Hypothyroidism as do I, and I she has speech problems we are currently in Speech Therapy which is provided by the school district but I have no desire for my children to go to public school.
I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and have no idea what Curriculum to use, I need someone to show me what they have used, I am looking for material that is easy to teach and I don't know where to turn exactly, so if anyone could throw some help my way it would be superly appreciated!!!!
Laura, I do hope you receive some great advice through this website! Sending best wishes . . . anybody have some curriculum tips for Laura? The children are preschool-aged and younger . . . perhaps just freestyle (without curriculum) for a while would be appropriate while you're going through adjustments . . . reading library books, having good conversations, takin' field trips, selective TV&movie viewing, and even preschool-oriented computer games, etc. And hanging out with other homeschooling families in your area so the kids can learn things through their play! A few ideas to offer a simplified approach and take some stress off your shoulders IF the structure of curriculum would be too overwhelming right now.
If you're diggin' the curriculum idea, though, I'm sure there are going to be some great suggestions to follow.
Hi Laura, and welcome to your homeschooling journey!
I have to whole-heartedly agree with Carissa that perhaps curriculumless is the way to go...at least for now.
My son is 5 and while homeschooling him had always been in my mind, it didn't becom a certain fact until about a year ago, and I got hit really hard with the New Homeschooler Jitters. Having never known anyone who had homeschooled before, I didn't know what homeshooling looked like. I remeber being frantic at the thought of finding a curriculum, not realizing that you can homeschool without one. I think there is this prevelant idea about what "learning" looks like, and that image almost always includes desks and textbooks. With some time and investigation you'll realize that learning also happens at unexpected times-constantly. Learning happens in the spontainous rhyming game you play in the car, or in those precious 20 minutes of reading a story before bed, it happens when your child asks why the potatoes turn brown after you cut them, or when they make the realization that if they see steam it means the pot is hot. Please, do yourself and your kiddos a favor and don't discount these learning experiences as invalid. They aren't! At some point, you may indeed decide to go with a curriculum, and that might be the right answer for you. I can't direct you in the "right" direction as far as that goes, but I can urge you to seek out community and support locally. Having friends who are going or have gone through a similar situation is so helpful.
One final thing...Please don't discount the value of learning through play. Your children are young and while I know there are specifically geared "preschool" curricula out there, my personal belief is that especially while our children are young, but extending their whole lives, that play is the most valuable learning tool you or they will ever possess. So don't forget to go outside and make daisy chains out of dandilions (and while you're out there, take a bowl of hot water and a bowl of cold water with you, tear the stems into thin strips and let your children thrill in what happens when you put them in!)
Laura, I agree with what's already been said, as it pertains to homeschooling your younger children. However, are you looking to homeschool your older children (ages 15 and 17) as well? If so, how do they feel about that? High school diplomas, college plans (if any), future career plans, SATs, etc, are certainly something to consider when deciding how to home educate them. Basically, I'm wondering if you're asking about pre-K/K curriculum or high school curriculum.
Pre-school and Kindergarten only, My two oldest are in high school and want to remain their until they graduate which I have absolutely no problem with. Not really looking into doing anything until the 08-09 school year as far as curriculum, just trying to get some ideas of what kind of things I need to be looking at for when I start teaching her in a year.
Carissa Thank you, for the nice words about the kid's names.
and as far as local groups their is only one and DH and I did attend it but they are more into christian curriculum only, (not that I have a problem with that I don't, but we are Catholic) and we just didn't feel like we meshed there so we didn't go back plus they wanted us to join immediatly and pay them 20.00 and we have 5 children and I am a SAHM so money is kinda tight, but I just didn't feel welcome there. So I don't know what to do as far as homeschool families here or groups here.
I thank you all for your welcome and answers, I will be hanging out here if you all don't mind, I am finding lots of useful information!!! Thanks again!
_Five in a Row_ is a great "curriculum" to use. Not too rigid, a great introductory for new to homeschooling grownups It uses children's books as a springboard to learning language arts, geography, science, math, art, etc. THe author uses very well selected books that are mostly found at the library, or a very nice addition to your home library. We used it for my then 6 yr old. He loved it, and it was easy to incorporate the younger ones.
Laura, I don't use a boxed curriculum for either of my kids. There are plenty of them out there, and many people use them and love them, especially when they first start homeschooling. A few you might look at: Abeka, Sonlight, Oak Meadow, Calvert.
That said, our family basically picks and chooses from a wide variety of educational and craft materials and build our own learning environment. For me, personally, the boxed curricula offer too little flexibility and feel overpriced compared to buying comparable materials separately. My absolute favorite catalog (it's HUGE, and also available online) is at http://www.rainbowresource.com. If you order that catalog and leaf through it, I think you might be blown away by the truly vast amount of homeschooling stuff available. You can easily tailor your children's education to suit their learring styles and interests.
Elizabeth is absolutely correct about Rainbow Resource. Lots to look at & nicely organized web site.
We do not use a boxed curriculum either. We buy workbooks at bookstores, Costco, and on line. Create our own "worksheets" & craft projects. Use the library. And we study whatever we find interesting in the moment.
I've looked lots at the boxed curriculums & have not yet found anything that we would fully use. Seems like there's always some piece that I don't like.
Carissa is also right about learning through life. That is the best part of homeschooling: the kids learn doing things with us that most public schooled kids miss because they are in a classroom all day. We love the back yard the best. My kids have learned so much about nature, bugs, plants, the environment, etc without even leaving the house.
It is definitely overwhelming at first (and even still). Just take it a day (or week) at a time. Especially since your kids are still young & the things they will be learning are easy to incorporate into real life. It allows you time to find your way slowly over the coming months and find materials & a routine that works for your family.
I agree with what Dannie said too. Finding this group is the best homeschooling resource I've found yet! ((Thanks Ladies!!!))
Lots of luck to you and your lucky children!! Most of all: Have fun with your kids.
Congratulations on your decision to homeschool and welcome. My experience was a little different in the pre-k age group. I had read to my son from infancy and he wanted to learn to read write and do math starting at about 2 and a half. I put him off until 3rd birthday and then searched around a bit and found a website and book called The Well-Trained Mind. I lurked a lot and learned a lot. This is basically Classical Homeschooling. I think it is great! In the pre-k ages we used Singapore Math's Earlybird series, Handwriting Without Tears' Pre-k book, Explode The Code's books A, B, & C, Phonics Pathways, and lots of crayons, markers and paper for fun. But he thought all the books were fun too! Additionally, we raised angora rabbits, spun and dyed their wool and wove, knitted and crocheted(he mostly watched, except for feeding and socializing with the bunnys). At the time I was doing the pre-requisite classes for the nursing program at CNM Community College so he learned the chemistry table of the elements with me and other more adult topics.
My basic philosophy is if you don't learn something today, you wasted the day. Learning is a purpose for living. This is just me and my son. I am not saying you should do it the way I did.
Now he is 6 and 3/4 as he reminds me. He is reading Dinotopia novels for fun, and they are on a 5th-6th grade level. He loves science and math. He pines for me to read to him from Story of the World, a chronological world history series for 1st thru 8th graders.
When I had the new homeschooler jitters, finding The Well-Trained Mind gave me a sense of just going one age-grade at a time, and one subject at a time. I have re-read the 1st-4th grade portion of the book so many times, I just about have it memorized now. I really like it because it is a framework that is flexible. Many people who use it are Catholic or Protestant-remember both are Christiaans-I am Jewish and there are a few, some Muslims and some secular folks. The emphasis is on providing the best education for your particular child. There are great discusion pages on their site for all-accelerated, different learning needs, adult learners, elementary, high school.
I AM starting to go nuts. I've been killing lots of time on line and trying to read some books (3 at the moment), because I'm so bored & it is not comfortable to move too much for too long. I feel like I'm going to burst!
Thank you all, I plan on using this web site as my bible for awhile, You have all given me good information, we don't want to spend a fortune on homeschool but believe our children will benefit more from homeschooling. Thank you all again!
Hi Laura . . . hope all is going well! I hope the month has yielded ideas and thoughtful daydreaming about homeschooling - but, most of all, I hope you will be patient with yourself through the process and not expect too much of yourself . . . you have your hands full of sweeties (beautiful kids) and it is something you can all transition into together a step-at-a-time.
Commenting on what granolagirrrl said: It is nearly impossible for a child to go a day without learning something, however indirectly. Kids are sponges and are wired to pick-up new information . . . even if they're just watching you or learning from interactions. So, don't be hard on yourself when you guys have "rest days" because learning each day doesn't mean you have to be hitting the books hard! In fact, sometimes the brain needs to rest and process . . . adults learn this about themselves and kids are no different.
I hear many mamas say that they hit the books sporadically and only during effective times when their kids are tuned in . . . this may mean only 12 minutes/day or more or less . . . depends on your kiddo, the material, the season . . . a thousand factors that NO ONE should JUDGE you for! You get to build the ultimate custom-education for them . . . and god bless 'em because no one else knows them better than you do! WONDERFUL stuff!
Thank you Carissa, and I really am enjoying the pre homeschooling that I am doing, I know she won't learn it all in books and must have some hands on things I also know that they do learn everyday which is totally amazing, Now on the upbeat of materials I have picked up a few Pre K and K-1 grade stuff at the Dollar Store Cheap material with good things to learn. I am just totally looking forward to homeschooling my 3 little ones. Thanks again.