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  1. #1

    Default Hello from Albuquerque

    Hi everyone! I'm am completely new to this whole homeschooling world. I'm toying with the idea but sometimes become overwhelmed and talk myself out. I have two daughters, one will be entering kindergarten this coming school year and the youngest will be preschool age.

    I think the most daunting thing for me is picking curriculum. How did you decide? Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2

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    Welcome!

    The biggest mistake to avoid for first year homeschooling is to buy a huge expensive boxed curriculum. You think: I dont want to mess up by forgetting something. I will use it this one year to help me get going. I need a schedule to make sure I do what Im supposed to do and keep on track. If I buy it, I can show other people that Ive done a worthwhile year's worth of work.
    The truth is - thats not true, but box curriculum companies want you to think so and spend a big chunk of money on them this year.

    If you wonder what youre supposed to have your kids know for kindergarten... you can look at a book like *What your Kindergartener needs to know*, or if you're a keen reader of edubabble, you can go to the Common Core State Standards site and try figuring out what they mean for reading and math. (I recommend the former rather than the later - its written in human english.)

    You may want to buy a reading program. (There are lots). You may want to buy a writing program (there are lots). You may want to buy a math program (there are lots). You may want to know what books youre supposed to read to your children (there are lots of lists to choose from!) You could buy everything, and you will probably buy more than you need, but know in the back of your head that you dont really need much more than a library card, and internet connection, and love.
    Your kids and family and situation are unique, so there is no one generic answer for you of what curriculum you should choose. (Another reason to avoid boxed curriculum.)
    With two little ones, you can do most of their *schooling* together. Most of kindergarten is reading aloud to them and doing little fun projects, no reason a preschooler cant do it along-with!

    For picking curriculum, what do envision homeschooling being like? Are your kids wiggly, studious, all about pretend-play? There are reading and math (and science and social studies - which can be covered at this age by child-directed library book and outside explorations) curriculums to fit pretty much every personality and learning style.

    We can help! Tell us how you want homeschooling to go!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

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    A agree with Alexsmom. Take it slow, the everything is a box is really too expensive for what you get and for Kinder it is more about getting ready to learn later.

    If you really, really want to have a curriculum, I would go with the budget route. Get a copy of the book Everything Your Kindergartener Needs to Know* (get from the library or buy used) and maybe some workbooks from the dollar store or the BrainQuest workbook. This will help you feel like you are doing something school related. Go slow and get a feel for teaching. You can get a feel for how you child likes to learn. [*There is lots of debate over what kids should learn in Kinder. so use the book as you see fit. Don't take it as gospel.]

    Here is some advice about Kindergarten Math: Recommendation for kindergarten math curriculum before Math Mammoth

    And while you are buying things have lots of crayons and paper, watercolors, construction paper and appropriate sized scissors for cutting. in other words have fun. Plan for park days and field trips, A Magnifying glass for looking at things close up and exploration. Letter magnets on the fridge. And a library card so that you can read lots and lots of books. Take advantage of library reading days and other community activities.

    Also, take a look at the shows on PBSKids and the companion website. There are lots of things to learn including literacy (Word World, Sesame St.), science (Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid), Math (Peg + Cat) All of these would be appropriate for both of your kids.

    If you decide that you want a curriculum, you will want to be focused about the topic. Instead of considering everything for Kindergarten, think about reading or writing or math separately. This will help with focusing on the most appropriate resources for your kids.

    And lastly, ask questions! We all love to talk about homeschooling, what we used what worked and what didn't work for us.
    A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.
    I also share free and low-cost educational resources at
    http://chooseourownadventures.blogspot.com

  5. #4

    Default

    Thanks! I have been looking at some of those boxed curriculum but didn't know if it was worth it, now I do! My oldest can sit and focus if she's interested and not tired. If it's a challenging task she wiggles and becomes stubborn. I don't really know how i'd homeschool. Sometimes i think oh we could do units that tie in reading writing and math and have it just be a set time. Other days i see it being a through out the day thing where we do math in the morning, take a break, do some reading/ writing, take a break, and then do some science. But I really just don't know how or what would be best for us.

  6. #5

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    You could do both ways, or however you like. I like breaking away from *the usual* and doing some sprinkled unit studies throughout the year... next up is Star Wars week (May the Fourth!)

    Browse the Kindergarten threads, see what sounds sort of fun for you and your daughter. Everyone is pretty much new when they start their kids on Kindergarten (subsequent children somewhat excepted - but every kid is different!).
    Do you use your library already?

    Routines are great, and work better for us than set schedules. And allow yourself to be flexible. See when she is perkiest, pay attention to when she is tired of tablework, or her brain needs a break, practice deciphering her signals between when shes fidgety because she has ants in her pants and when it is because she is bored or the approach to the topic just isnt working for her.

    Your first year homeschooling, you learn a lot about it, you will probably make little mistakes that end in tears (for you or her)... realise its not catastrophic, and its still way better than what it could be.

    Where is she at with reading? writing? math? Its absolutely fine if shes not anywhere that youve noticed with these yet - many civilized countries dont start formal academics until age 7ish. If youre looking for curriculum as tools, knowing where she is at and her proclivities is helpful.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  7. #6
    Site Administrator Arrived Aandwsmom's Avatar
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    Welcome!
    At that age, you can just get a simple workbook and do fun activities and play! You have time to investigate what curriculum would work for you!!!
    For my preschool kids, I use Time4Learning plus worksheets and lots of hands-on play and learning.
    I bet you will get lots of great advice from everyone here!
    If you have any questions, feel free to send me a PM! I will be glad to assist in any way I can!
    Homeschooling Mom since 2008
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  8. #7

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    She knows her letters and sounds but not how to blend them or really any sight words. She knows how to write her first name and sometimes her last. She can write capitals and we are working on lowercase. She can count to 20 by herself and then I have to tell her the next groupings (30, 40, 50, etc) She can do basic adding/subtracting using fingers or manipulatives.

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