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  1. #1

    Default New and need help guidance

    My names Amanda I’m from circleville Ohio just south of Columbus Ohio. We moved here last December for my husbands work. My kids had a hard time transitioning from their old school to the new school. My 9th grader is shy and quiet and does not do well with change. She went from a-b student to c-d student. We even had to put her in counseling. Our 12 year old is a straight a student and he also hated the new school. COVID was kind of a blessing because we didn’t have to deal with a crying teenager every day. Don’t get me wrong the online was a bit of a mess because half the teachers had no clue what they were doing.
    We have decided to switch to homeschool this fall but I don’t want to use the schools curriculum (Even though our district offers online this fall). I’d like find something that works better for my kids. I feel public school is a lot of busy work. My youngest gets so bored he’s definitely not being challenged enough.
    I’m hoping to gain some guidance. I’m not religious so bible study is not for us. I need good curriculum to help make sure my kids are college ready. My daughter loves photography and art. She’s a hands on learner. My son is higher than normal IQ who loves space, science and math.
    I think I have read more blogs and websites over the past month but I still have little confidence in my skills to pick out the right curriculum. I just don’t want to screw up their futures. Any help would be appreciated.

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  3. #2


    I hink its a pretty universal worry when homeschoolimg that we may be failing to educate our kids right.... the worry fades for me as I see more and more kids whove gotten through homeschooling, and onto college. Funny that parents assume whatever happens in public school is fine, though!

    I believe online is a mess anyways, even if the teachers had planning and ideal circumstances. I think teachers felt they had to look busy and essential, they couldnt justify saying “well shoot, lets just take a few months off, its not gonna hurt the kids”.

    We can offer a lot of suggestions for curriculum, and how to manage 5e transcripts, and stuff like that. Do you think you would be able to, or would you want to, teach hem both together for subjects like science, history, or literature? Sort of based on your older daughter’s high school “officialness” needs, softened up for your son?
    Do you want to follow along with the course titles that your daughter would be taking at a local high school (like US history in the same grade its taught there)? Do both your kids have a burning passion to learn Japanese? (thats very trendy in my neck of the woods.)
    Does your local community college offer enrollment options for younger students? (I would suggest science with labs through the CC.)
    You could probably design an art / photography class as her “art elective” if its something she would need for high school. Work out a scope (what topics you will cover) along with a sequence, and see how far you get.

    Is the local district offering “no strings attached” borrowing of textbooks? For many subjects, those books would suffice, and you could use them as a guide for how you do it.

    I didnt give any specific recommendations, because I think youre still trying to figure out your options. Keep sharing, and asking!

    Take the summer to dabble and experiment with schooling styles, it will make starting “full time” in the fall so much less stressful if youve already had some success playing school in the summer.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    I didnt give any specific recommendations, because I think youre still trying to figure out your options. Keep sharing, and asking!

    Take the summer to dabble and experiment with schooling styles, it will make starting “full time” in the fall so much less stressful if youve already had some success playing school in the summer.
    Exactly this^^^. Also, rather than feeling that you have to pick everything at once, choose one subject at a time, adding it slowly to the mix. It's ok if this goes on into the start of a "normal" school year in terms of timing.

    Since you have a high school student, you may want to spend some time reading the threads on Homeschooling Middle/High School and College Prep.

    This is probably somewhere on one of those forums, but if you are concerned about transcripts, Lee Binz (while a little bit churchy) has some good ideas on how to put one together, based on how you school. I did transcripts for my two, and they worked fine.

    Ask questions here as you go along. There are many people with lots of experience and advice. Some of it is bound to resonate with you and your family.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  5. #4


    You might check out while you're pondering the many options you have. They've got quite a few different topics: Math, Science, Grammar, Computer Programming, Art History, History, etc. Free online.
    Welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by outskirtsofbs; 07-08-2020 at 04:01 PM.
    --Kelly--Atheist/Accidental/Alternative Homeschool Mom to one great daughter in southern Iowa since 3/1/10. Tenth Grade: TT Algebra 2, Holt World Geography, Holt Biology, myPerspectives-10/Creative Writing, BtB Spanish, and Computer Science.

  6. #5


    I'm also new to homeschooling. I've got a rising 5th grader, 11 years old. I felt like I needed a more planned-out curriculum to get us started, so I went through all the secular curricula I could find and did as deep a dive as I could into each one. I read a ridiculous number of reviews and inspected the websites and went over the samples they provided with a fine-toothed comb. I'm happy fine-tuning lessons to my kiddo, and I even agreed to put together a middle-grade-level Astronomy unit because that was the science my son most wanted to learn this year (and I couldn't find a unit about the universe for middle grade kids). But I didn't feel like I could cobble together a whole entire year of all subjects from whole cloth on short notice over this summer. And I *am* a former middle school teacher!! But it was just too intimidating for me at this point. Though I can understand why the people here with years of experience under their belts are proponents of keeping things less-planned.

    It's definitely worth reading through older forum posts here to get ideas, and ask questions, too - everyone who's active here has been both kind and helpful.

    But if, like me, you'd like to start off with curricula that plan out your lessons more or less concretely, you might want to have a look at some companies that provide that sort of product - I was impressed with Build Your Library, Moving Beyond the Page, and Pandia Press's options for ELA/Social Studies/Science. I've seen a lot of posts here saying that Brave Writer is the way to go - that's just ELA, but I dove into that as well and was really impressed by what I saw. Math curricula I liked the look of included Beast Academy, Right Start Math, Math Mammoth, and a few others I don't remember the names of right now. If you want to go a bit looser in structure, you can look at individual unit studies, either from some of those companies, or on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers, where you can purchase lessons and unit studies written by actual teachers.

    It helped me a lot to consider what kind of learner my son is - in particular, he's a voracious reader who's more or less turned off by textbook reading, so I wanted options that were literature-based, to catch and hold his interest. For his sake, I also wanted a mix of typical written assignments and hands-on activities to bring the learning to life, so I looked for lessons that had a good balance of activities and output options. Not every lesson needs to yield a written page, even in high school!

    I think what's key for me to remember is that if something isn't working out, I'm not stuck with it. We have flexibility here at home that my son wouldn't have in a classroom setting with 25 other kids. We can make changes mid-stream, if necessary. I keep telling myself, like a mantra, that I won't screw up my kid's education as long as we get through the year with his enjoyment of learning intact. I think especially since you said the last year was such a struggle for your daughter, this can be a great opportunity to reset and find a new balance for her, emotionally and educationally.

    Best of luck deciding just what to do this year. It's overwhelming, but you will ultimately put it together and choose what's best for your family at this time.

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