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Author Topic: New to homeschooling and need curriculum  (Read 7021 times)

vermasswife

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New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« on: September 13, 2005, 10:45:28 am »

I have a 6 year old and am officially homeschooling this year.
I have read Homeschooling for success. And I believe that I would rather do a set curriculum for this first year. I really like having a schedule and I think both of us would thrive.
I am finding it overwhelming to look for a math,reading and writting curriculum. All the books he reads has pictures on them and they distract him from learning the WORDS. But we like the big bubble letters. it grabs his attention. I have not found not one book like that. Does anyone have any ideas on where to look?
Does anyone like a specific curriculum?
Teaching him how to really read is really hard for me since I had a really hard time in school. I guess i would need a curriculum to kind of teach me how to teach him.
I dont know I am just really overwhelmed.
Any advice would be greatly apperciated.
Thanks Vermass wife
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jeanius

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2005, 07:18:25 am »

R e l a x . . .   I don't know that anything will help you more right now, than relaxing. 

I know exactly how you feel, I felt the same way myself once.  Now, I have been homeschooling my now 11 and 9 year olds for four years and I'm starting more formal work with  my four year old.  (Keep in mind you homeschool all the time just by reading to them, talking to them, etc.)

Take a deep breath.  First thing to keep in mind is that a week or two or a month or two are not critical in terms of delays.  I know it's September.  But you will be able to teach your child so much more in an hour than he could learn in a day of school.  On average, most of the homeschooling books agree, that while a public school may take 6 or more hours a day of your child's time, it takes you one or two to do the same work they do. 

If you haven't yet read it find a copy of "The Well Trained Mind, A Guide to Classical Education at Home".  While the authors of this book, since its publication, have also published books that are curriculum they don't point you to one set curriculum.  They do evaluate a number of different education publications and make recommendations, point out pros and cons in each.  What TWTM *does* do is lays out the steps to home educating in a way that makes it easy to get started.  If you can borrow it from your local library read the first version of TWTM.  While both are good my personal preference is the first version.  They're on the 2nd version now.

Many of the homeschooling books say "don't worry, you don't have to do anything other than love your child, they'll do fine".  When I was first starting I didn't buy that.  I was nervous.  Homeschooling them is work, a labor of love no doubt but it is a task that must be done well.  The WTM helped me get started, pointed me at good materials, and made me believe I could do it.

In retrospect, I think the state and its many hangers on have made us think this is hard.  It's far easier than I originally believed.  My kids learn so much without me!  And just by providing them engaging materials - books, science kits, videos, computer activities - they learn so much more.  By providing a little structure and following broadly WTM's plan we're done very well.

There are other options out there.  But honestly, the thing that helped me the most was just getting started.  It really is easier than you think.

Feel free to email me for support and conversation - jalexander@freestateproject.org.  I can give you some ideas of what I started with to get you going.  At six you really just need the basics.  And relax - it will help more than you know.

Jean

P.S.  Check out www.peacehillpress.com for some of the books published by the authors of TWTM.  They have a book on teaching reading - an ordinary parents guide to teaching phonics which might be of interest.  (Great title, eh?)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2005, 08:39:16 am by Jean »
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Toowm

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2005, 02:27:24 pm »

I replied to your post on the NHFree Board
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toowm
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BrianMcCandliss

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2005, 05:25:57 pm »

I have a 6 year old and am officially homeschooling this year.
I have read Homeschooling for success. And I believe that I would rather do a set curriculum for this first year. I really like having a schedule and I think both of us would thrive.
I am finding it overwhelming to look for a math,reading and writting curriculum. All the books he reads has pictures on them and they distract him from learning the WORDS. But we like the big bubble letters. it grabs his attention. I have not found not one book like that. Does anyone have any ideas on where to look?
Does anyone like a specific curriculum?
Teaching him how to really read is really hard for me since I had a really hard time in school. I guess i would need a curriculum to kind of teach me how to teach him.
I dont know I am just really overwhelmed.
Any advice would be greatly apperciated.
Thanks Vermass wife

First, has this child been tested by a professional to determine their strengths and/or weaknesses?  That's the FIRST thing to do.

Second, it's better when you can explain things IN YOUR OWN WORDS rather than showing a book. Books try to be entertaining, since there's nothing more boring than just reading, rather than interacting with a real person. As a result, they end up distracting from what they're trying to teach-- when ACTIVE teaching is the best thing to do, i.e.

1. Brief, tell them what about you're going to tell them,

2. instruction, i.e. tell  what you need to tell them, and

3. review,

and then TEST. This shows what they've retained, and what they need to go over again-- however there should never be a reward for remembering correctly-- or a punishment for ANYTHING. This just creates anxiety, when the focus should be on instruction and testing, trial and error-- and beyond that, practice making perfect.

Educational psychology is also a great principle, so basically you have to work on

1. Assimilation-- presenting the information to them,
2. Accomodation, i.e. their adding the information to what they already know, and
3. Integration, i..e. relating the information to what they already know.

Don't count your bad school-experiences as a forecast by any means-- I am quite certain that it's the SCHOOL'S fault, since children simply weren't meant to be taught in that manner, but by watching and interacting with ONE mentor. Even the best teacher in the world, couldn't relay knowledge to 30 kids (whom they never knew beforehand, and haven't even known ONE YEAR), as well as you can to ONE child that you've known for SIX years-- his entire life!

Simply put, you've got even the BEST outnumbered and out-experienced.

In conclusion, the solution doesn't come from having the right book, or the right curriculum, but from INTERACTION according to these basic principles. If you simply teach your child everything you know, you can't go wrong-- this is fundamendal learning, not rocket science: that can come AFTERWARD, and probably will.
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bartmy

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 05:33:55 pm »

You don't need to test.
You don't need to follow a format, unless you or your child need something specific.
RELAX was the best advice you've received in previous posts.
Listen to your child, respond to their natural curiosity.
If educational psychology were such a great principle, I don't think our school system would be failing as badly as it is - although there are many factors involved in that separate issue...
The important thing is that you are DOING IT, and there is not a stranger raising your child for 6 or more hours per day.
Everyday will be a learning, loving experience for you and your child.

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Tracy Saboe

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2005, 06:39:24 pm »

First, has this child been tested by a professional to determine their strengths and/or weaknesses?  That's the FIRST thing to do.

What's with all this "trust the professionals" talk.

You don't need professionals. Nobody knows your kid better then you do.
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bartmy

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2005, 10:29:40 am »

First, has this child been tested by a professional to determine their strengths and/or weaknesses?  That's the FIRST thing to do.

What's with all this "trust the professionals" talk.

You don't need professionals. Nobody knows your kid better then you do.

Unless you are out working 80 hours a week to make alot of money so that you can  be a "success" and "contribute".
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Tracy Saboe

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2005, 10:56:40 am »

:)

I don't have any kids. If, I did you can be sure I'd have different priorities. I want to be able for both myself and my wife to not have to work when we decide to have kids.

Tracy
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We agree that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." --George Washington

Jack Conway

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Conway Supports Abortion
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bartmy

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2005, 05:00:39 pm »

:)

I don't have any kids. If, I did you can be sure I'd have different priorities. I want to be able for both myself and my wife to not have to work when we decide to have kids.

Tracy

I was teasing Brian with that statement. Be prepared to NEED a third job when you have children, unless you have upgraded your earning power from Wal Mart and substitute teaching. Kids are many things, and one of them is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e.
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maffew

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2005, 10:07:49 am »

Amazon has the first few pages of "The Well Trained Mind" avaliable for reading.  Interesting.  We have decided to home school also.
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jeanius

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2005, 07:56:36 am »

I've been thinking about the "tested by a professional" comment.   I agree with Tracy, no one knows your child better than you.  Don't turn over your own power or confidence to a professional.  Don't assume you need one. 

That said the value in the comment is to be open to problems, be aware.  As a new parent I read things like "What to Expect the First Year" and "What to Expect the Toddler Years".   I could have read any book in this general category but these are the ones I had and referred to most.  What they did was indicate benchmarks for development.  If my children had been significantly behind in something I might have talked to their pediatrician, found more books on the subject, etc.  NONE OF THIS MEANS YOU TURN POWER OVER TO A PROFESSIONAL.  When it comes to your children you need to be in charge.  What constitutes a "professional" is subjective as is what type of problem requires treatment and what sort of treatment, etc.  As long as you are open to issues and informed you should be in great shape.

I suspect my eldest would have been classified ADHD by a public school system and some systems can require medication.  In talking to his pediatrician I found out about some "occupational therapy" techniques that work wonderfully for us.  They mostly revolve around providing structure and minimizing distractions.  That, and waiting for more maturity have done wonders.  I suspect much of ADHD is just youthful male normalcy.  :)

I think the school systems and the state have made us believe that we are not capable in many ways.  Think of Katrina victims.  Waiting for the state to solve their problems?  You DO know your child best.  Don't begin to believe rhetoric that you don't.

Jean

« Last Edit: September 20, 2005, 08:26:11 am by Jean »
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vermasswife

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2005, 11:22:30 am »

I couldnt agree more. Thanks for all the responses. I too have a child that would be labeled as ADHD with out a doubt. I consider that to be a crutch. Do you know that people (adults and children) In Ma.  would be eligible for disability benefits. A check for free because the school could not teach them to live everyday life alittle differently than others.
ADHD is not a free card to not live like a human being. They are not stupid they are portrayed to be. Actually the exact opposite.


Thanks

Vermass wife.
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Tracy Saboe

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2005, 10:27:52 pm »

I think it's sick how we take the most creative and intellegent amoung us and then drug them for being nothing more then board because they're smarter then the teacher.

Bart: I thought you were refering to my two full time jobs.  Actually my earning power is about twice that of subbing and Wal~Mart now. I'm not doing either. I have a full time job making over $12/hour now, and another part time job making around $10. That's pretty high earning for entry level job around South Dakota. At Wal~MArt I was only making ~ $6 and subbing is so erratic (plus I was the biggest hypocrit while I was doing it) that I'm probably twice as well off as I was at the time those articles you've read on my website were written.

McCandliss is an OK guy. For all of my disagreements. Anybody who believes in the complete abolition of government schools is OK in my book :)

Tracy
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We agree that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." --George Washington

Jack Conway

Conway Supports Obamacare
Conway Supports Cap and Trade
Conway Supports Abortion
Conway’s Utilities Rate Hike Scandal
Conway is in Bed with Big Pharma
Conway is Backed by Wall Street Bankers

BrianMcCandliss

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2005, 01:54:12 pm »

Schools-- or lack thereof-- is up to PARENTS. However there's no disputing that the SPREAD of public schools in the US, began in Massachussets shortly prior to the Civil War, when statist sentiments were at near ciritical-mass; this began with heavy resistance by many parents, eventually ending in children being marched to schools by militia.

With the Civil War, the statist-takeover of the states was completed, and thus the scourge of statism-- first in the draft, then in the appearance of compulsory-attandance laws-- was only a matter of time. I honestly don't know where anyone gets the idea, that one has the "right" to demand that another be "educated--" and according to arbitrary standards no less;  likewise, the term "education" defies definition so much, that it's no wonder that illiteracy-levels are higher than ever.

It ALL comes down to freedom vs. statism-- which in turn, comes down to state sovereignty vs. US national authority OVER them, by which a mob-majority or power-elite fiat can void ANY freedom or rights.

 I don't know how the FSP thinks that a state can be free, WITHOUT being sovereign-- particularly when the Founders themselves equated the terms "free and independent states" (Declaration of Independence) with "retaining sovereignty" (Articles of Confederation).
Howver the fact remains that the Constitution revoked neither freedom nor sovereignt of ANY state-- and in fact such was specifically retained by three states upon ratification OF the Constitution.

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BrianMcCandliss

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Re: New to homeschooling and need curriculum
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2005, 02:26:56 pm »

:)

I don't have any kids. If, I did you can be sure I'd have different priorities. I want to be able for both myself and my wife to not have to work when we decide to have kids.

Tracy

I was teasing Brian with that statement. Be prepared to NEED a third job when you have children, unless you have upgraded your earning power from Wal Mart and substitute teaching. Kids are many things, and one of them is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e.

Kids aren't expensive-- STATISM is expensive. Kids learn by MODELING-- i.e. living under adult direction (and in PRACTICE, not hypocritcal THEORY); this was the system prior to the industrialization of education, by the uber-state.
However the state now supplants indivdual initiative and choice in these areas, usurpring the role of the parent, and leaving the bill with the tax-collector; not exactly a "customer is always right" situation.
As a result, it now requires a 2-income family in order to live at the same leve which once required only one-- and this is DESPITE the productivity-increasing developments we now have such as computers, cellular, fax-machines etc. This points to an increase in WASTE-- which likewise accrues to statism, due to lack of any competitive element in the economy.

Under statism, the customer is NEVER right-- the STATE is; and thus it's little different from the USSR in terms of cost-effectiveness.
As Ben Franklin said, "the King's cheese is nine-tenths wasted; but no matter, 'tis made from the people's milk."
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