Hi! I am homeschooling my first grader this year. It will be a new adventure for our family as last year he attended public school. Campbell is 6 years old and Quinn is 3 years old. We would love to meet some playmates! Looking forward to the ABQ Homeschool Coop. I met several of you at the park last week and it sounds like a great group! Thanks Laura
Hi again, Laura! We met at the park. I remember you were asking about what kinds of curricula were people using. After I left the park I remembered a few things I was going to mention about that, but I got distracted. I don't use a boxed curriculum myself, but one of the more popular (at least in our group) is Sonlight. Also, a good place to browse is Title Wave bookstore, they have tons of used homeschooling books there. For the last year or two, our co-op has occasionally sponsored a "curriculum night" where we parents get together and basically do a show-and-tell of the various learning material we've been using or are planning to use.
Hi Laura. We also met at the park. We're new to the group too.
Over the years we have done a little of everything. The first year we were very ecclectic and we did a lot of game play and hands on, very little workbooks (my daughter loved this). The second year we did a box curriculum (being that my daughter is an auditory, kinestetic learner, this did not fair so well for us). I also found myself getting a little controlling on getting things done and checking them off...for us the fun went away. The third year we tried a variety of programs (workbooks, etc.). Last year, I just let go and let my daughter decide everything that she wanted to do. It really surprised me. She picked a ton of local classes, wanted a private math tutor and we were busy every day of the week. This year, she's still in charge, but our theme has come from the book, And the Skylark Sings with Me by David Abbott. We are focusing on community learning. She has chosen several local workshops, and enjoys working on Math U see (she watches the teacher video and then does several pages). She loves to read so she keeps and nature journal and our house is filled with interesting projects. We tend to unit study. For instance, if she attends a small workshop on bats, she will want to spend a week learning everything she can....lot's of library trips, etc. There is also a great science program called The Young Scientist Club. Check it out on line. Sorscha loves it.
Next year, or towards the end of this year, we are thinking of doing the Prairie Primer (loosly, of course). If anyone else is, I wouldl love to know.
Oh yeah, and scouts offer lots of badges to take off from. Sorscha is in Girl Scouts and she has gotten on this kick to complete a badge from every council in the USA. That has been really fun, and also given her the opportunity to learn about each state. FUN!
I guess what I'm trying to say is "the first year is hard, and the second, and the third...." just have fun. Your kids will help you to figure out what works for them. Some love prepackaged curriculum, some love hands-on acitivities, others love unit studies. I thought I had it all figured out through grade 12 that first year....hahahah...was I wrong!
Give us a call if you want to get together. I have lot's of stuff you could check out. Oh yeah, and even though we do not do Sonlight anymore....I would highly recommend their books, both read-aloud and self-readers. Such great stories. We still use their catalog to pull books from. Sweet stories.
We will be attending the parkday next week and would love to hang out again. Hope to see you there.
I'm rambling................ Crystal and Sorscha (7)
PS We're also looking for new buddies since we're new to the area. My daughter is really missing her girlfriends back in CA and so am I.
We tried a boxed curriculum starting last year with my daughter, (4th grade then). We got frustrated with it and decided to Family School last year, which I wish we hadn't. Anyway, we are doing it on our own this year no matter what.
When I went to the Homeschool Convention, the thing I kept hearing was to decompress the kids the first part of the school year after pulling them out of public school. Spend lots of time reading and doing books on tape and take the time to get to know what they are interested in and throw some "lessons" in your days based on their interest. They kept saying to take some time to get a feel for what kind of learner you child is and figure out what will work best for you.
Looking back, I think had we done this, things would have all fallen into place. My daughter was so stressed by the "school" enviroment that by moving it to the home, did not help. We made the mistake of trying to bring school home, instead of truly homeschool. Even though we are not officially homeschooling right now, we have started to homeschool. We "school" everywhere. Homeschooling is not bringing the school home, it is making learning a daily experience, no matter what you are doing.
Since I relaxed, my daughter has found a new love for reading and looks forward to homeschooling. She has started to truly enjoy learning and I know this year will go much better. We are not using a curriculum, (actually a mix & match eclectic curriculum). The difference between this year and last is that I have taken some time to find what will work best with my kids and we have taken some time off from "school". I may not have it perfect... I probably never will, but atleast I am not so concerned with "school" anymore. We are living, learning and having a blast.
Congrats for making this decision! I wish you the best for your first year and the many to follow. There is so much to choose from out there, that it can be difficult to decide what will work best for you and your children. But, you will find it. Only you know what will best work for your children. Just relax and enjoy this wonderful adventure.
Hi. I am new again to homeschooling. I homeschooled my now 26 and 20 year olds for some time, prior to their then joining a private school. I now have a 3 year old and would love to have him meet other 3 year olds. I work in the afternoons, but am off most mornings.
Kim Wagner Troublemaker "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted" Garrison Keillor