View Full Version : New to forum and to homeschooling!

06-19-2010, 11:56 AM
Hello everyone!
I have been researching homeschooling for over a year and have finally decided to take the plunge with my 7 yo daughter this August. We will be starting second grade. I would love any guidance that can be provided as it can get very overwhelming trying to figure out a curriculum and books. I am trying to get all our books ordered as I am due with our second baby next month. I am so happy I found this group!

06-19-2010, 03:40 PM
Hi welcome to the group! I am new as well. We are starting with our 4 year old this fall, so I cannot be of too much help, but I cant wait to hear about your adventure as we are going through ours! Congrats on the baby too! We have an 8 mo old who will be a year in September but I'm still a little nervous to see how this will work with a little one in tow!

06-19-2010, 04:15 PM
With a new baby take the time you need. Keep it simple. Trust me when I say that over the years I have taken days, weeks, months, and even a complete year off, and it didn't harm my older children at all. Life lessons can be very important. Homeschooling doesn't take near as much time as public school does.

Welcome to the group.

06-20-2010, 11:16 AM
Welcome to the group. Relax and enjoy the ride-this has been my first year homeschooling, and though a bit overwhelming at times, it has been a great experience. I'm sure you'll find a lot of great ideas for curriculum here, and a lot of good people for advice and support.


06-20-2010, 12:03 PM
Hi! A hearty congratulations on your impending arrival. :)

After a year of public school. we went back to HSing when my eldest daughter was in 2nd grade. I have to be honest & admit, though, that we did hardly ANY "real" school work, as I'd just had a baby, too. The arrival of M3, now 2, completely shut down Mommy's Awesome School of Fun & Learning for pretty much a whole year. She read books & books & books, helped me cook, grew a garden, played a lot. M1 is a bit behind public school peers in math, but that's the only area in which I feel like we're trying to make up for that year. And, really, she did so well with math up until timed tests in PS completely freaked her out & she lost all confidence that I don't think our year off hurt her as much as PS did. All that to say, if we're any proof, taking it easy when a baby comes around isn't so terrible. :)

As for curriculum, we're on a serious budget, so I put together what we use. I call it the Half Price Book curriculum. :) I use the What Your _____ Grader Need to Know" books as a spine & fill out from there. I generally use the grade she's at, plus the one above & below, based on her interests & abilities. So for fourth grade we've got 3rd, 4th & 5th. I have workbooks & activities to correspond & fill out.

I also recently found this book: http://www.amazon.com/Third-Grade-Homework/dp/1574715372/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277049377&sr=1-2
which has so many fun activities &most of them are easy enough that they don't require much planning. I did look to see if Amazon has a second grade version, but the price is $480 for a used copy. WTF?! The third grade activities aren't difficult, though; infact, I'd say first graders could complete most, if not all. For instance, gluing popsicle sticks around a can, decorating it, then planting a bean in soil in it. Easy & fun & kids love to see things grow, right?

Good luck fiding what works for you & yours! And don't be afraid to call yourselves unschoolers for a bit when the baby comes. :)

06-20-2010, 01:30 PM
We are going back to homeschooling after experimenting with public school for nearly a year. My dd is also 7. I have to agree with pps that it really is okay to slow down and take some time. She will be learning many, many valuable life lessons when she becomes a big sister, priceless things no school can teach her. Your dd might need some time to "deschool," too, so it could actually be beneficial to her to relax for awhile. I know that's hard to do, though, because that mommy guilt is ever-present, not to mention the hovering in-laws,right? If you feel like you must do something, I'd keep it to the three Rs (reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic), and find some things that don't require a great deal of your time. Some suggestions: Go to the audiobook section of your library and pick stuff that your dd might like, things that are above grade level but would interest her. Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Tale of Desperaux, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Dr. Doolittle, anything narrated by Jim Weiss,...you get the picture. I would not have survived after my son was born if not for audiobooks!These are also available at audiblekids.com and most of them are very reasonably priced. Let her listen to those and maybe give you a summary of what she's heard periodically. She'll be getting vocabulary and rich language lessons listening to good children's literature. See if you can take her to the library once every week or two. Maybe Dad can babysit and you two can go together and pick out some books on her reading level, then ask her to tell you about the book she's reading during the week. I got into the habit of reading to my dd every time I nursed my son, but my dd was much younger. Perhaps you could have your dd read a book to the baby at those times? That might help her feel more involved, too. For math perhaps consider Math U See. This comes with a DVD: you can let Steve Demme teach your child math. These are often available used, too. Horizons math is also fairly independent, depending on your child. Spelling Workout and Spectrum Spelling are two programs that are fairly independent but if your child needs more help in that area, honestly, I'd just pass on it for a little while until you have more time. Truly, she'll catch up next year. To keep her writing, why not have her keep a journal? Maybe buy a fresh new one and let her decorate it. Ask her to write something interesting that is happening or that she did about three times a week. With a new baby in the house she'll have lots of creative fodder! Another idea is to pick a sentence from one of her favorite books and have her copy it in a notebook in her best handwriting a couple of times a week. Many people teach cursive this year but you really can pass on that, too. Others may faint, but I'd just pass on all the other stuff, too. You really can catch her up on history and science later.( Blasphemy coming from a history teacher, I know. Don't tell anyone I said that.) At least for history you could order the audiobook of The Story of the World and let Jim Weiss read some history to your child...but it really will be alright if you don't.

Another option is to look into Time4Learning.com. Several members here use that and there was just a thread about it a few days ago.

Welcome to the group and to homeschooling!

06-21-2010, 01:45 PM
Thank you all for the warm welcomes:) I know I will have a full plate by the time we begin the school year. We are very relaxed so we'll just take it one day at a time. I'm in Florida so all I have to do is teach 180 days. I don't have to do a specific number of hours/day so that will help tremendously! I already have the idea in my head that whatever we don't finish this year we can always catch up on it next year. I think having that mentality will help out tons. Also thank you all for all the great links. I will research all those options:) Once I've got my curriculum set up, I'll post it on the curriculum '10-'11 so that I can get some opinions or thoughts:)

06-21-2010, 04:46 PM
Welcome! This is my second year homeschooling with my daughter who is 6. The first year I spent searching for companionship via forums in my area and even set up a co-op that I ran to help meet people. I have not finished reading it all yet, but The Well Trained Mind comes highly recommended as a guide for homeschooling. I did what someone else on her mentioned and put a bunch of stuff together myself and just read to my daughter all the time. I've gone through one library and am working on another one this year:) Try to relax and get to know yourself and what you think will work for you and your child. That's the best advice I can pass on. Don't get caught up in thinking you have to have a "class room" in your house because you don't.
Good luck!

06-21-2010, 05:10 PM
Hi Ali, and welcome! Floridians are finding this site very popular these days it seems. We live on the Treasure Coast and are starting homeschooling with our 12 year old son. I've just spent the better part of the last two months trying to narrow down curriculum choices so I understand where you are coming from. You'll find this site full of helpful people and information. Good luck with the new baby!!

06-21-2010, 06:03 PM
Hey Ali, I'm new here too but not new to hsing. Welcome, always nice to be around other like minded people (even if it is virtually)

06-22-2010, 01:42 AM
Hi Ali! I only just joined this site myself. We just finished HS our daughter in 2nd grade this year so I'll be happy to help in any way I can, although this was our first year and it was certainly full of good days and bad days! Congratulations on the soon to be new addition!! What an exciting time for your family!!

06-24-2010, 03:53 PM
I think it is so Great that you are taking this on especially with a new baby on the way :)
I can tell you that I can totally relate as in my daughters Kindergarten year I had my son and I was soooo overwhelmed..So the following year we switched from "Book" curriculum to a "online" program (http://www.time4learning.com)and that made so much of a difference for us :)
So my biggest piece of advice is try to be aware that the 1st yr may be a bit stressful and try not to be too disappointed and or defeated if you are unable to do it all...and realise that it may take a while to a schedule & a Curriculum that will work for ALL of you ;)

06-25-2010, 07:43 PM
Thank you all for the warm welcomes:) I know I will have a full plate by the time we begin the school year. We are very relaxed so we'll just take it one day at a time. I'm in Florida so all I have to do is teach 180 days. I don't have to do a specific number of hours/day so that will help tremendously!

you don't even have to do 180 days. there is no time requirement at all in FL. We are in the Orlando area and this will be our second year hsing. Where are you located? here's a link to the states HS page - http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/information/home_education/

There's also a Florida group under the "Groups" section, if ya didn't know!