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pandahoneybee
06-02-2010, 08:54 AM
This is one of the first questions I get from new to homeschooling or curious others, what do you use to teach your kids at home? It is one of things that it totally by personal choice, and in my opinion is an on-going decision in our homeschooling life.

Our is probably "most of the Above", we do online programs (free or not) some we use are SpellingCity, time4learning, scratch, timez attack and alot of other online sources for learning about animals etc.

Then we also use some workbooks/books, Singapore Math, All About Spelling, Life of Fred, Story of the World and some unit studies from School Express. (trying science by the grade~ recommended by a friend of ours BUT the boys can't stand it so probably for not much longer)

Areas that we are still working on improving are well almost everything but math ( we are doing pretty good in that area)

Ok so I showed you mine and now its your turn to show me yours:p

crazymama
06-02-2010, 09:03 AM
When I first started homeschooling, I thought I had to make things look like school at home, had to keep up with the Jones' so to speak. I almost went with a virtual charter, then realized that we would have the same issues we wanted to get away from with the public school.

I then used the Worldbook typical course of study to put things together.. now I don't do that, but it was a start.

Now we use all kinds of things, I don't like to be married to any curriculum(ish thing) ;) Our favorite is learning from life, but we do use some workbooks, some videos, some games.. what ever strikes our fancy at that moment ;)

Riceball_Mommy
06-02-2010, 09:43 AM
We just finished up Calvert Pre-k and really enjoyed it. I did make substitutions and skipped a few things, but I really liked a lot of it and the structure. We've also been using Kumon workbooks to get some extra practice, get ahead and just for fun. I really like how they are laid out, how the concept builds. Also my daughter just thinks they are fun and she loves that she gets a certificate when she's done. She has me put them on her wall.

schwartzkari
06-02-2010, 09:50 AM
For the most part, I piece our curriculum together by using workbooks and picking and choosing information from books. So far, we have only followed one book closely and that is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I am finishing up my degree in early childhood education, so I really enjoy putting together the curriculum. I am thinking though that my daughter would benefit from a more "structured" math course, so I might be buying some boxed curriculum in the near future. :)

inmom
06-02-2010, 10:34 AM
So far, I piece-meal our curriculum together, for the same reason as others do--it fits my kids. However, we do on occasion use texts, such as math texts or our 2-year stint with Easy Grammar (which was just enough, thank you--when the kids started correcting MY grammar, I knew it was time to quit).

However, looking forward to the high school years, we may be doing more online work. It's ever evolving, which is one thing I wish veteran homeschoolers had told me when I started. From the outside looking in at the beginning, it seemed like everyone else had it "all buttoned up."

StartingOver
06-02-2010, 11:12 AM
My first couple of years I did a boxed curriculum, Calvert K -1st ( I bought 2nd but never used it ). Back when I started 22 years ago there wasn't much of a choice LOL. Then I moved to Sonlight and bought the Core only..... not the full package, and added in other things. In 1999 I found TWTM, I have used most of not all of her suggestions since then. I still purchase Sonlight Cores, because I love the books but plug them into a TWTM order. We are rigorously ( neo as some call TWTM ) classical. Great literature, latin, 4 year cycles, etc. Luckily my children have really enjoyed it.

StartingOver
06-02-2010, 11:16 AM
So far, I piece-meal our curriculum together, for the same reason as others do--it fits my kids. However, we do on occasion use texts, such as math texts or our 2-year stint with Easy Grammar (which was just enough, thank you--when the kids started correcting MY grammar, I knew it was time to quit).

However, looking forward to the high school years, we may be doing more online work. It's ever evolving, which is one thing I wish veteran homeschoolers had told me when I started. From the outside looking in at the beginning, it seemed like everyone else had it "all buttoned up."

A child can throw a wrench in your best laid plans at any moment, and send you scrambling back to the drawing board. ;-)

MikeHigginbottom
06-02-2010, 12:01 PM
We have a few different approaches that we run in parallel. We start with the UK government's list of required topics for teaching in state schools; known as the National Curriculum. We supplement that with GCSE (exams taken at age 16) revision guides. That gives us the bones of what other kids will be covering and makes for a good, solid 'todo list' that will last us for the next five years or so. We flesh out those bones with a good sprinkling of general purpose reference books and 'activity ideas' books that also broaden our curriculum to include a lot of other interesting topics. We use the library for detailed, short term, specific project stuff that probably isn't worth purchasing because it will only be of temporary use. But the vast majority of stuff we use on a day to day basis is online stuff that we've found or had recommended to us.

That's really the crux of our resources. There's so much fantastic stuff available online. The only trouble is finding it. People are constantly posting to mailing lists or forums or blog posts about great resources they've found online but it only ever reaches a really tiny audience. I've started putting some of the stuff I find on a wiki at http:\\www.contribulum.com Feel free to take a look (it's mainly populated with maths and science stuff only at the moment) and/or add your own favourite resources. It just seems daft that there isn't a central repository where people can add this stuff so that we can all benefit.

StartingOver
06-02-2010, 12:30 PM
Mike, Awesome !!! Thanks for sharing, I am sure I will be browsing for a while over there.

Busygoddess
06-02-2010, 01:39 PM
I'd say we use a bit of everything. It really depends on the subject & grade level.
For some things, I want the structure, order, and cohesiveness that comes with using a program. This is mainly for Math & Foreign Languages.
There are some subjects that I piece together in the early years - using lots of activities, projects, Science kits, Notebooking pages, Projects Books, library books, etc. - but then use a more structured approach at the high school level. The main one of this group is Science. We don't buy Science textbooks until high school level. Then, the text is the core of the course, but I also add extra reading, assignments, and labs to flesh it out as a more complete & comprehensive course.
There are some subjects that I won't buy a textbook for & will only use a program if I created it. These include Art & History.

We use some online stuff (mostly free) to supplement various subjects. We also utilize games, crosswords, word searches, MadLibs, and other fun activities to reinforce & review what they're learning. We watch documentaries & educational shows and use software, library books, and various supplemental materials. We do lots of hands-on activities, projects, experiements, tri-fold display boards, posterboard displays, and other similar work. I get some ideas for activities & such from the internet, some form books, and some just come to me.
We have very high standards for their education. All materials need to work toward the standards & requirements we've set for the kids schooling (which are well above what our local district requires), as well as filling the needs & requirements for a customized education for whichever child it is being used.

paganmomblog
06-02-2010, 02:31 PM
We are doing a little bit of everything just to see where we fit since we are so new at this whole adventure. I did purchase some books from one of the gals in my local secular group and my eldest did ask me, in her very panicky sort of way, about being tested and having in short a school day the way they are used to. So since it's a new thing I am going with that sort of structure to help ease them into it. At the same time I am allowing them to have input on what they are learning and doing. My middle child had the brilliant idea of blogging about her homeschool experience and I decided to make that part of her Language Arts. They are enjoying having that control over what they do as I sit and figure it all out. We will see what happens!

Melyssa
06-02-2010, 03:02 PM
I've done all of those at one time or another in the last six years but currently we're using an online curriculum and some occasional workbooks.

StartingOver
06-02-2010, 03:14 PM
My middle child had the brilliant idea of blogging about her homeschool experience and I decided to make that part of her Language Arts. They are enjoying having that control over what they do as I sit and figure it all out. We will see what happens!

I can not wait till mine are old enough to blog. I think it will be an awesome way to do LA !!! They will get so much feedback. ;-)

Closeacademy
06-02-2010, 05:11 PM
I used to put it all together myself using a few workbooks and spines. But after a few years of doing it all from scratch,this past winter I bought Oak Meadow and it has been a relief to have someone else do all the planning for me and I could just add in those things that I wanted to keep from before.

paganmomblog
06-02-2010, 06:18 PM
I can not wait till mine are old enough to blog. I think it will be an awesome way to do LA !!! They will get so much feedback. ;-)

I thought it was cute and I am glad they want to do it. I was a bit apprehensive about them doing a public blog but I will be monitoring the comments to make sure nothing extremely mean or spambots are leaving comments.

StartingOver
06-02-2010, 09:07 PM
I thought it was cute and I am glad they want to do it. I was a bit apprehensive about them doing a public blog but I will be monitoring the comments to make sure nothing extremely mean or spambots are leaving comments.

I have been all over the internet for years, doing genealogy. My father was also a State House Rep., so I figured out a long time ago that there isn't much privacy on the internet. I use our real names and where we live. I monitor the children online. But I dare anyone to come after my children, I am one Momma bear who is packing. LOL

Riceball_Mommy
06-02-2010, 09:15 PM
I have been all over the internet for years, doing genealogy. My father was also a State House Rep., so I figured out a long time ago that there isn't much privacy on the internet. I use our real names and where we live. I monitor the children online. But I dare anyone to come after my children, I am one Momma bear who is packing. LOL

I think my address is actually online somewhere because of my website. They tend to post your info if you have a domain, I also use my real name for branding with art. The Riceball Mommy and Mini Riceball names though on my blog are for the branding gimmick, and a little for the privacy too.

Wilma
06-02-2010, 09:15 PM
During the course of my homeschooling I have done all of the above, although not at the same time, LOL! It really just depended on our situation, the girls' interests, my confidence, whatever. We have done a couple of years of unschooling, a couple of years ago I was battling depression and a self directed boxed curriculum was just what we needed. Now we pull together what we need. I tend to base my choices around the time of history we are studying and science and language arts just flow from there.

StartingOver
06-02-2010, 09:42 PM
If you think you are perserving your privacy head over to http://www.spokeo.com/ and type in your name, or someone elses. I was shocked at the info .

Melyssa
06-02-2010, 10:02 PM
Luckily all my info at spokeo is totally incorrect even where we live, and in fact even better than my reality. LOL I'd rather be that person listed with the graduate degree and a million dollar home! LOL

StartingOver
06-02-2010, 10:07 PM
Luckily all my info at spokeo is totally incorrect even where we live, and in fact even better than my reality. LOL I'd rather be that person listed with the graduate degree and a million dollar home! LOL

My brothers lists everything, when I told him about it he paid for the full report and was totally shocked. He thought he was pretty safe with his info, but he is a broker and his wife a realtor. He was very angry !

amphibology29
06-02-2010, 10:17 PM
I piece stuff together. It works out to be so much fulfilling for me; I really get to decide what we're doing, how we're doing it, when we're doing it, and why we're doing it. I like getting to choose which books I use, and I prefer to write my own lessons. Plus it's so much cheaper than anything I've seen. On another homeschool forum I frequent one woman was asking if $800 was too much to spend for a 1st grade curriculum and the other members were surprised at such a high cost for one, saying they only spend that much if they have two children in different grades. I got all of our books for next year for $113!

Firefly_Mom
06-02-2010, 10:48 PM
In the last 8 years, we've done it most every way. We're much more relaxed now, and typically we piece everything together based on whatever my son is wanting to study at the time. Basically, he tells me what he wants to study, and then I go about helping him find books/DVDs/classes/etc. that go along with the topic.

Snoopy
06-02-2010, 11:19 PM
Luckily all my info at spokeo is totally incorrect even where we live, and in fact even better than my reality. LOL I'd rather be that person listed with the graduate degree and a million dollar home! LOL When I type my name the only result that shows up is another person by the same first and last name (it always freaks me out when that happens) but with a different middle initial and who lives in another state. Nothing on me at all :) Phew.

Snoopy
06-02-2010, 11:45 PM
I got all of our books for next year for $113!
Ahem, although I consider myself frugal usually, I spent a lot more than that for just 1 kid. I don't attempt to keep track of it because it will scare me into sending Noah to p.s., but I just placed a Rainbow Resource order today and it alone was $158 and that was only for the science materials for next year (mind you I had already purchased another curriculum but I changed my mind!) and supplemental stuff like tons of Pr. Noggin's card games. I console myself in realizing how much I am saving by using my library as much as I can, though!

I'm ecclectic so we use a little bit of everything. I made my own curriculum in preK and K (OK, i used a lot of online stuff like Starfall, etc. but didn't follow a particular approach and we made our own lapbooks). Now I use the 4 year-cycle method from TWTM but I tweak the resources that I use for the various subjects a lot.


For math we use mostly workbooks (Horizons Math right now) and games (I have a few math board games and also math folder games from Teacher Created Resources as well as some I created myself)
For science we were using an e-book (Lab of Mr. Q), online videos and games, Pr. Noggin's card games and will be using a workbook (RSO) and Chemistry kit next year (I just settled on Chem 500).
Language Arts has been blogging for the past couple of months, with occasional worksheets from edhelper.com, sporadic spelling from Sequential Spelling, online grammar games, Scribblenauts on the DS.
History has been SOTW with projects found online and project-oriented library books (because I don't like the ones from the SOTW activity book for the most part), games, online videos, DVDs, lots of supplemental reading (using history-themed Leveled Readers from Reading A-Z.com and others for example), videogames (Age of Empires II and III, Civilizations )
For other subjects we use formal classes (PE), workshops (Home Depot and Lowe's for example), software (Typing Tutor), field trips, exploration and more...


For Noah's blog, it's public in the sense that if you find it, its access isn't restricted, but it's not listed in Blogger and I didn't enable search engines to be able to find it. I don't post Noah's photo or information on it and I moderate all comments. It's really only meant for his friends and our family's entertainment although he may decide at some point to try to reach a larger audience.

amphibology29
06-03-2010, 12:10 AM
I'm sure as we get into higher grades we'll spend more, but what can I say? On one hand I'm operating on a military income budget, and on the other hand my depression-era-raised grandmother scared the living daylights out of me about spending too much money on any one thing. Seriously... unless it's a major appliance, if it costs more than $20 I'm going to hem and haw about it until the cows come home and probably just decide it'll be a better use of my resources to make my own version anyway.

Snoopy
06-03-2010, 12:48 AM
if it costs more than $20 I'm going to hem and haw about it until the cows come home and probably just decide it'll be a better use of my resources to make my own version anyway. OK, I've done that too when it comes to homeschooling resources. Recently though, I have started considering how long it takes me to make my own version of stuff and decided to just buy the darn thing because I value my time more than I used to. Callie, another member here, is the queen of making her own stuff to save money, she refuses to buy anything!

My frugality level has fluctuated with our income level. I'd like to think that I would use coupons if we were rich just for the principle of the thing, but we're not rich and I can't even motivate myself to sort the many coupons that I have clipped recently! When I was a single mom, I used to make my own laundry soap. Now I'm a little complacent, I have to admit. I really SHOULD be selling my used stuff instead of just giving it away.

paganmomblog
06-03-2010, 06:54 AM
I have been all over the internet for years, doing genealogy. My father was also a State House Rep., so I figured out a long time ago that there isn't much privacy on the internet. I use our real names and where we live. I monitor the children online. But I dare anyone to come after my children, I am one Momma bear who is packing. LOL

LOL same here! I often have said that anyone trying to harm my babies will be begging for the cops to come protect their rears from me.

paganmomblog
06-03-2010, 06:56 AM
Yea my address is online cause of my site. I got them a free blog site so that I don't have to worry about someone using the Who is Domains site.

paganmomblog
06-03-2010, 06:57 AM
If you think you are perserving your privacy head over to http://www.spokeo.com/ and type in your name, or someone elses. I was shocked at the info .

WHEW! I am not listed....which surprises me to be honest.

I once googled my name and found a lady by the same name had died. It was kinda freaky.

paganmomblog
06-03-2010, 07:02 AM
[QUOTE=For Noah's blog, it's public in the sense that if you find it, its access isn't restricted, but it's not listed in Blogger and I didn't enable search engines to be able to find it. I don't post Noah's photo or information on it and I moderate all comments. It's really only meant for his friends and our family's entertainment although he may decide at some point to try to reach a larger audience.[/QUOTE]

I think that is awesome. I did the same sort of thing although I need to double check if theirs is searchable. I want them to focus on the joy of blogging and doing it for themselves instead of grabbing readers and getting comments. I see some bloggers out there that get so upset if they don't have enough comments in a day or there is a drop in visitors in their stats. Not that getting readers or comments are bad, I just think blogging should be done for the love of writing.

dottieanna29
06-03-2010, 07:08 AM
Right now we are piecing things together. We're still early in our journey so I also consider everything to be flexible - it could change at any time. My signature is very close to being inaccurate already. We're switching from Unit studies to BFSU for science, Mosaic/SOTW/lots of other books for History (after a 6 months study of US history, geography study using Evan Moor and a continents study). We're sticking with MEP for math because that works very well for ds, ETC for reading but I'm also getting AAS since he really wants to know how to spell things and I think it will help him with reading. We do a lot of games for everything, I get worksheets and reference materials from the internet and lots of books for everything.

We're doing a semi-classical style but we're easing into slowly.

Busygoddess
06-03-2010, 08:03 AM
I got all of our books for next year for $113!

I spend way more than that per child. I create a good portion of their supplemental materials & we use the library for a lot of resources. However, I still need to have lots of materials for hands-on projects and arts & crafts projects, Science tools, materials for Science labs, and that stuff isn't cheap. Plus, some subjects (Math & Foreign Language) are worth any cost to have the best materials for my kids. The price per kid will be going down in the next few years. A good portion of stuff that I buy for Dea will be used for Jay as he gets older. So, there's a lot of stuff we won't have to buy for him in later years, which will lower the per year spending. However, I have never spent $800 on just one kid for a year, and that's including buying big items like the telescope & microscope.

schwartzkari
06-03-2010, 09:11 AM
If you think you are perserving your privacy head over to http://www.spokeo.com/ and type in your name, or someone elses. I was shocked at the info .

I searched for myself and found...myself. lol.
They have most of my information completely wrong. It says I live in a "below average" neighborhood and that I'm basically poor. It also says that I enjoy sports and have only graduated highschool. Perhaps this is my evil twin!

Riceball_Mommy
06-03-2010, 09:41 AM
I searched for myself and found...myself. lol.
They have most of my information completely wrong. It says I live in a "below average" neighborhood and that I'm basically poor. It also says that I enjoy sports and have only graduated highschool. Perhaps this is my evil twin!

I searched for myself and found a completely different person. Though they did live in Florida which is where I want to move, so it is a bit creepy.
It seems odd that I didn't find me considering that I have my name on a blog and website.

StartingOver
06-03-2010, 11:28 AM
I searched for myself and found...myself. lol.
They have most of my information completely wrong. It says I live in a "below average" neighborhood and that I'm basically poor. It also says that I enjoy sports and have only graduated highschool. Perhaps this is my evil twin!

Good !! I wouldn't mind an evil twin, then I could blame everything on her !

MikeHigginbottom
06-04-2010, 03:50 AM
How do we know you're NOT the evil twin, just pretending to be the good twin so that we all think you're good when you're really evil. That would be an evil thing to do as well so it all fits; YOU'RE the evil one. In fact even if you ARE the good twin, wanting an evil twin so you can blame her is evil too, so that means you can't be the good twin. And if you WERE the good twin then you wouldn't have anything evil to blame on her. No way young lady. You've been rumbled. You'll have to get up earlier than this to catch us out you evil twin you.

Snoopy
06-04-2010, 09:06 AM
How do we know you're NOT the evil twin, just pretending to be the good twin so that we all think you're good when you're really evil. That would be an evil thing to do as well so it all fits; YOU'RE the evil one. In fact even if you ARE the good twin, wanting an evil twin so you can blame her is evil too, so that means you can't be the good twin. And if you WERE the good twin then you wouldn't have anything evil to blame on her. No way young lady. You've been rumbled. You'll have to get up earlier than this to catch us out you evil twin you.
ROFLMAO :) It's good to "see" you back, Mike.

BPier12
06-04-2010, 10:02 AM
How do we know you're NOT the evil twin, just pretending to be the good twin so that we all think you're good when you're really evil. That would be an evil thing to do as well so it all fits; YOU'RE the evil one. In fact even if you ARE the good twin, wanting an evil twin so you can blame her is evil too, so that means you can't be the good twin. And if you WERE the good twin then you wouldn't have anything evil to blame on her. No way young lady. You've been rumbled. You'll have to get up earlier than this to catch us out you evil twin you.

LOL!!!! Great logic lesson first thing in the morning, Mike!!

StartingOver
06-04-2010, 10:58 AM
How do we know you're NOT the evil twin, just pretending to be the good twin so that we all think you're good when you're really evil. That would be an evil thing to do as well so it all fits; YOU'RE the evil one. In fact even if you ARE the good twin, wanting an evil twin so you can blame her is evil too, so that means you can't be the good twin. And if you WERE the good twin then you wouldn't have anything evil to blame on her. No way young lady. You've been rumbled. You'll have to get up earlier than this to catch us out you evil twin you.

LMAOOO ! Busted !

MamaB
06-06-2010, 05:04 PM
I am currently engaged in setting up the curriculum for my 10 year old and my 4 (almost 5) year old. I love the luxury of choosing curricula as challenging as my children can accept. The science studies we are doing is far more advanced than 5th grade for my 10 year old. Math we are about at grade level. We have been studying ancient history for a year now and started American history recently. I didn't want to teach her American history first as I felt that she needed to learn about America's history in context with the history of man and the rest of the world. I am using some curricula guidelines for our state because she'll be continuing with taking the standardized tests. I was lucky to find some great resources for free at when our AEA had a 'garage sale' of sorts. Altogether I snagged about $200+ worth of material for this year. And of course the Internet. We find lots of resources and material there too. For my son it's all pretty ad hoc and easy going.

schwartzkari
06-06-2010, 10:48 PM
How do we know you're NOT the evil twin, just pretending to be the good twin so that we all think you're good when you're really evil. That would be an evil thing to do as well so it all fits; YOU'RE the evil one. In fact even if you ARE the good twin, wanting an evil twin so you can blame her is evil too, so that means you can't be the good twin. And if you WERE the good twin then you wouldn't have anything evil to blame on her. No way young lady. You've been rumbled. You'll have to get up earlier than this to catch us out you evil twin you.

Alright, you got me!
LMAO!

Shoe
06-07-2010, 09:14 AM
. There's so much fantastic stuff available online. The only trouble is finding it. People are constantly posting to mailing lists or forums or blog posts about great resources they've found online but it only ever reaches a really tiny audience. I've started putting some of the stuff I find on a wiki at http:\\www.contribulum.com Feel free to take a look (it's mainly populated with maths and science stuff only at the moment) and/or add your own favourite resources. It just seems daft that there isn't a central repository where people can add this stuff so that we can all benefit.Thanks Mike. That looks like a great resource you've got started there (I may have mentioned that in another post, because I've seen your site before).

mommykicksbutt
06-09-2010, 03:13 PM
We've done it all at one point or another, learning along the way the pros and cons of each and also what works best for us. DD needed strict structure. DS requires flexibility. Having one child that was bright but had learning disabilities then the other child who is profoundly gifted has been a challenge! So, yeah, we've been there and done that.

For example, this is a mishmash of all the above but it works for DS... for next year's studies, we'll be doing teaching textbooks algebra (CD-rom and workbook) on a near daily basis, Plato Learning Biology (on-line web based) on a near daily basis (hands-on labs I'll supply), modern world history using a great variety of sources but our spine is "Western Civilization A Brief History Comprehensive Volume 2nd ed." by Spievogel - done at will, Analytical Grammar (workbook) done for just the first couple of months of school, Writing Strands level 6 about 2-3 lessons a month, etc, etc, etc as DS's interests move us.

firefly
06-12-2010, 10:29 PM
Thanks for this poll Michelle. I fluxuate between being confident & terrified as to my upcoming "choices". In the end I want want happy well educated adults who aren't hampered by whatever wrong choices I may make today. I want to use "boxed" & online learning for the required basics with as many hands on / real life lessons as possible. Thank you all for contributing your time & thoughts to this site!

Angela Smither
06-14-2010, 03:38 PM
We do different things for each of our children, because each of them have their own learning style. My son responds better with more structure and kenestetic activites. My oldest is more self modivated, so we allow her to have more choices as far as the structure of her day goes. She sets her own reasonable goals to when she is going to finish a particular subject. Also, she helps in choosing her curriculum. As far as curriculums are concerned, we piece ours together. For example, we chose Apologia science because it was hands on and we liked the content. We do not always use the same curriculum with each child, because what works for one, is not always what works with the other. We couldn't find a Highschool English Curriculum that we liked, so we wrote our own, which is a much more extensive one that goes by a time line. We believe that early world literature should be learned first, because that is where all modern literature originates from.

KrysWalker
07-06-2010, 10:36 PM
We are planning on unschooling until the kids each reach about 8 years. Right now my daughter is 3. We have what I call "table time" in the morning before we have our activity (play date, karate lesson, story time, ect.). We go over the day and the weather, review our ABC's, and practice a skill - right now it is writing her name. The rest of the day is every day life and play. I just try to work a little bit of learning into every thing - colors, numbers, shapes you name it, they are everywhere so I don't feel like we need to sit down and do it off a worksheet.