I am new to this board, and would love to have some insight about homeschooling. I have decided to homeschool my 4 year old. I have been reading up on homeschooling, but really dont know where to begin. Where can I get the curriculum, do you all have a certain area of the house used to homeschool, or is the kitchen table good. Any suggestions or insights would be greatly appreciated.
We don't use a boxed curriculum (ie, one covering all the subjects from one supplier). We just buy random stuff that works from different places. My experiences have been different for my son and daughter, and every child is so different it would be hard for me to offer you good advice, except to say that it does tend to fall into place, overwhelming as it may seem at first.
Do you think your daughter is ready for "curriculum" yet? My daughter is 3, and because she really wants to do "schoolwork" (as opposed to just reading books and playing learning type games with mom), we recently bought some activity books. Costco, Walmart, Borders, etc. all have cheap & comprehensive PreK and K workbooks. My son never really cared for workbooks. For him, we currently have Singapore math & science, Writing Strands for language arts, and we do a few software programs for typing, science, and Spanish.
Best of luck to you, and welcome to the message board!
Welcome to the world of homeschooling. It is nothing short of an adventure, with many challenges and rewards. There is so much out there to explore. You still have time to get a feel for everything available. There is everything from unschooling, (no curriculum) to total curriculum packages. There are tons of resources on the internet. The best thing to do is search online and see what you can find. You will find things on all different types of homeschooling. When you find something that sounds like it could be a good fit for you and your daughter, research it some.
The good news is, there is really no wrong way to homeschool. The bad news is, the first decisions you make on what to use for curriculum with most likely be changed as you get more comfortable with what you are doing. Don't feel you have to stick with a certain curriculum because you started with it... even if everyone said it is the best thing out there. What works for one child may not work with yours. Just know that this takes time and you will find what works for you.
As for me, we are pretty relaxed. We are very eclectic homeschoolers. We take a little of just about everything. We get everything covered somehow without really trying. My daughter reads a lot of books about historical figures and events and we research them further. We use Saxon Math for my 5th grade daughter, but besides that we seem to avoid textbook/workbook style instruction. We use of the Charlotte Mason ideas in reading a lot of whole books and doing nature walks and such. We also do Unit Study/Hands on type learning activities. We do a lot of reading as a family and are considering beginning Five in a Row with my twins in January. I am also hoping to begin Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons with my twins then. We have tried in the past, but they weren't interested enough then.
We stay active with feildtrips and outings whenever we can. We keep a very flexible schedule, so we can work in any activity that we are interested in. The kids always take more in when it is not being shoved down their throats. Often they learn more on a basic feildtrip then they would have sitting in a classroom all day. As far as classrooms go, we have a special room in our home as a classroom. When we moved here, we were just about to begin homeschooling and it was one of the reasons we chose this house. But, now that we have gotten started, I find that it is used mostly as a storage room. Even when we do book work or Hands on Activities, we tend to end up in the kitchen. For reading, we often curl up on the couch or on the floor in the living room. There is no need for a classroom, but for us it is useful for the extra storage becuase chances are you will have plenty of homeschool materials to store.
Best of luck to you as you begin this adventure. Our family has found homeschooling to be the best available option for educating our children. I have seen my children grow in so many ways, but most importantly I have seen our family grow closer as a result of this decision.
We stay active with fieldtrips and outings whenever we can. We keep a very flexible schedule, so we can work in any activity that we are interested in. The kids always take more in when it is not being shoved down their throats. Often they learn more on a basic feildtrip then they would have sitting in a classroom all day. ++++++++++++++ Oh Jess, I so agree with you on this one. Everything I so-called taught Sorscha, she has pretty much forgotten. Everything she learned...
EX: Animal Planet, Fieldtrip, Money at the store, topics of interest, music / educational music cds, computer games, etc.
She KNOWS. If I could give any advise, (and believe me, I'm no authority here...still working on our journey...haha) I would say to try and really pin-point your childs interest and go from there. Just let them lead you along, string you along, come along for the ride. It sounds crazy....did to me at first, but I wish I would have been on Sorscha's agenda and not my own from the beginning. I just thought that it had to be the way I learned....and then I realized almost everything I learned was incomplete or really worth nothing.
We had the schoolroom. After a few months I noticed that crossing the threshhold of the doorway became a no turning back thing. Both of us changed, like learning in THAT room was the only time to learn. When we were Complete with the daily lessons....we were done. Our relationship really suffered. It took time for her to trust me again...that I wasn't going to force something on her that she did not want to do. It drove me nuts when people would say to me, "elementary school is so basic that you can grasp it by doing nothing but living". I could not get that one in the beginning.
In the past 5 years, we've gone from Classical Education to complete radical unschoolers. For us, it has been the best ride.
Kila...just have fun with your darling 4 year old. You will know the path is correct if you are both ALWAYS smiling. Try everything, if there is a slight complaint or dislike from your child....drop it. You will find your families path will end up quite different from everyone elses. That's the great thing about this group. Complete inclusivity.
Here are some of my favorite sights. (NOTE: 5 years ago I could have never comprehended these....it about trusting your child. So just check them out, maybe it will spark an interesting path down the road. It has taken me years to deschool myself...take the time to reevaluate your education and what are your true wants for your child)
Have a great journey and we look forward to meeting you soon. If you ever have any questions regarding unschooling, deschooling, etc. you are more than welcome to call.