Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On a different note (or, question for home school parents)

I do have other things on my mind besides getting ready for this baby and doing projects around the house. One of those things is, home school curriculum.

I have mentioned before that we are currently using the K12 program, and that we were thinking about doing something different for next year.  We are now sure that we want to do something different.

Here's why.

First of all, let me say, that the K12 program is great in the sense that it provides everything you need to home school your child - from the computer to the workbooks to the paint supplies.  And because it's a state-funded public school, it's free.

But with the funding from the state, comes a lot of input from the state.  Like what subjects we have to study.  How long we need to spend each day studying, etc.  I have found that I am so consumed with making sure we are meeting all the requirements, that I don't have any leftover time to focus on our own areas of interest.

My desires for home schooling are this.

1.  I want my children to learn a good academic foundation.  Reading, writing, math.

2.  I want my children to have time to explore areas of their own interest.  Art, gardening, science...whatever.

3.  I want to have flexibility to use real-life situations as opportunities for learning.  Like going to the grocery store or baking cookies or playing at the children's museum.

4.  I want to learn about specific subjects in a way that is fun for us.  Like borrowing a movie from the library about Abraham Lincoln.  Or learning about American History through reading novels.

So basically, besides the core subjects, in which I do want a good (yet flexible) curriculum, I want to kind of wing-it in the other areas.

So I need to figure out what curriculum I want to use next year for those core subjects.  The problem is there are a TON of options out there, and I can easily get overwhelmed by trying to figure out what we want.  So I am asking for help.

All you other early-elementary-home-school-moms, what curriculum do you use, and why do you like it?


Our Family Adventure said...

Hi Shana butt!! I'm going to be homeschooling Kylie next year and we bought Sonlight curriculum. The website has lots of info and it can be a complete curriculum that includes everything you will need for the year, or you can customize your order.

Check out their website. There is a place on there where you can read "27 reasons you won't like sonlight" Reading these reasons made me like sonlight even more. :)

Jill said...

I use My Father's World. I LOVE IT! It has a multi-age program that rotates. In other words, I can teach my 2nd grader the same thing my 6th grader is doing...older one just has more work to do to different level. It is all Charlotte Mason style which is learning via reading. A lot of stories about missionaries etc. It is easy to do. Then you just add math to it.

Anonymous said...

Still loving the ACE curriculum here. My 1st grader has about 2 more weeks, and he will have finished his entire curriculum for the year. Flexible, Christian-based, strong education, taught in a way that my kids learn -- it's a win-win! :)

Rachel in Idaho

Brianna Heldt said...

Shana we use various things. For history, we read Story of the World, then I check out related kids' books from the library and keep them in a basket in our living room. Anna LOVES reading them and my boys (not really reading yet) enjoy looking at them. Right now we're studying Ancient Greece.

For math, the boys are using Saxon and Anna's using Singapore (and we get those free through the program they attend once a week.)

Anna also has a spelling book (free).

We try to keep things as simple and inexpensive as we can.

The Sonlight catalogue is great for inspiration with literature but I don't buy anything from them.

Then we read the Bible every morning during breakfast and alternate between a missionary biography and stories about the saints.

I truly believe the key to homeschooling is finding a method/curriculum that work for YOU. Good luck!!! And keep us posted!