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mdriver
10-04-2010, 02:33 PM
Hi, we have homeschooled in the past, have tried a public and private school and are now doing K12 with our 2 boys (5 and 9). K12 does not seem to fit with us. We would like to return to a homeschool curriculum, secular and structured like the Saxon math and grammar books we have used in the past. We would like an academically challenging but structured approach, again like Saxon, for all courses like math, grammar, reading, vocabulary, science and history. Also, we would like foreign languages, my kids were raised bi-lingual but we would like formal curricula in German, Spanish, French (and or), Latin.

We don't know if there is a comprehensive program already out there or if we need to piece it together as we have in the past. Comprehensive, book-based (with little if any computer use) would be preferable. Also, our State (CO) has mandatory standardized testing so whatever we choose has to be able to address that as well.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

Michelle

mommykicksbutt
10-05-2010, 09:06 AM
I've found that most comprehensive programs don't give you any wiggle room for customizing to the needs or desires of the child (or parent). These programs are based on what is being done in brick and mortar schools and their homeschool program is just an extension of that.

For what you are describing you should put together your own customized curriculum. There have been a number of threads here listing curriculum materials that posters are using for the students. Perhaps these lists would be helpful. I'll search the posts and if I find them I'll posts the links to them here for you.

Wilma
10-05-2010, 09:30 AM
The complete secular programs that I know of would be Oak Meadow, which may be too informal for you, Calvert and Moving Beyond the Page. You may do better putting something together yourself like mommykicksbutt wrote.

Mosdos Press is secular. They have a very good literature/reading program that is challenging. I like that their anthologies use excerpts from well know works even at the younger ages. They sell to schools and have homeschool packages. Lightning Lit is another secular lit program but it is for older children. It used complete works as opposed to anthologies. It is sold through Hewitt.

For a challenging science program I would look at CPO science. I have considered using this. I really, really like the layout. Also, Rainbow Resource is now selling McDougall Littell science.

For foreign language, French in Action may be a good choice. It is a college text but I have seen people over at WTM use it for younger kids. We are using Cambridge Latin in co-op. And, of course, there is always Rosetta Stone, but it is obvisously computer based. The Learnables does have an option that is not computer based.

It sounds as if you will have math and language arts covered with the Hake/Saxon program

mommykicksbutt
10-05-2010, 09:41 AM
mdriver, Here's a link to curriculum choices some of the members here have selected for their students...

http://www.secularhomeschool.com/threads/220-2010-2011-Curriculum-Choices

Hope this helps

dbmamaz
10-05-2010, 11:38 AM
Just want to mention singapore math (which i didnt mention in that other post for some reason) which is structured, challenging, and totally secular. I love michael clay thompson language arts, but its designed for gifted kids 3rd grade and up, so certainly not useful for the younger one

SunshineKris
10-05-2010, 02:08 PM
We use Calvert. My daughter tried Oak Meadow but she found she preferred the Calvert structure. My son has loved Calvert since the day we started. As MKB stated, it is a bricks and mortar extension. Calvert is from the curriculum of a private school in Baltimore. It is quite structured, and it does follow along as a regular school would, but that's what we wanted. And it does come with access to online encyclopedias and Brain Pop, among other things. We've been happy with it. As for Oak Meadow, when the husband gets home he will be teaching the kids art using the Oak Meadow curriculum. We found it to be great. I am not in any way artistic, unlike my husband and kids (I thought we lefties were supposed to be arty), and I found the OM art to be great!

mdriver
10-05-2010, 03:08 PM
Thanks so much for the very useful information! We'll look into all of this and then if we have follow-up questions, I'll post again. Certainly, sounds like there are lots of options both for us to put something together or to try a comprehensive program.

Thanks again,

Michelle