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  1. #1

    Default New to HS: how to start off on the right foot?

    I am planning to homeschool my soon 6 yo who has not attended ps. I go back and forth between being excited with a plan (Charlotte Mason-esque) to thinking maybe I can't offer all he needs (primarily social interaction with peers-again, I'm new here)

    In browsing this site and others, I'm not sure if I should be following a predetermined curriculum (I'm interested in Build Your own Library) or if I should let my son guide the curriculum based on his interest (is that for older more experienced hs).

    Please help! I am in need of guidance and a confidence boost.

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  3. #2

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    Hello!

    It depends on what you feel more comfortable. I started out expecting to need a curriculum, but as we have moved forward, I use less and less of that and now we are unschooling / child-led projects.

    If I had to do it all over again, I would have not used any curriculum, maybe until age 8 or 18. DS is 9, so I am still seeing how things go year by year.

    You do not need to be experienced to be child-led, you just need to let go of the fear that you will screw them up by not having a curriculum.

    If you want to do child-led there are some great resources on unschooling and project-based learning, which can be helpful in seeing the world as the school and I love to talk about it, so just ask!
    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

  4. #3

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    In my experience, what is right and what is wrong totally depends on your child and you. Some thrive with curriculum, some thrive without, and it can change year-to-year too.

    So, start anywhere, start slowly, keep yourself tuned to your child and your own gut feelings, and let your fears and insecurities go. I do not think there is any other universal truth about homeschooling.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  5. #4

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    Agreed with the statement above. Take it slow and see what you are both comfortable with. There are some home schoolers' that I know that really need the extra struucture of curriculum, while others do just fine without it.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I think a Charlotte Mason-y approach has a lot to offer, even if you want to be child led. I think it does help a kid to have some structure and routine (well, it does mine!) and I love her emphasis on art, music, crafts, nature, books etc. We did way too much when DS was young and, like Mariam, I'm becoming more and more eclectic (maybe not unschool-y). I think if I went back to him being 6 I would make sure that we were reading a lot and had a better math program, but I might wing more other things. For me, the main thing that helps with a curriculum is ideas for things to do, but I worry less about this looking back now he's older!

    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  7. #6
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    I agree, take it slow. Focus on going places and doing things that are enjoyable. Explore your library and local museums for homeschool or after school classes that offer some interaction. You'll start seeing some of the same faces after a while. I'm finding most of the after school educational stuff is populated largely by homeschoolers, lol. Check out co-ops or homeschool groups in your area. I hope you hit the jackpot, but don't be discouraged if you have to try a few different groups or classes before you find a good fit.

    We have loved BYL for Kinder. We've expanded on most of the topics because he is so interested. We've taken it slowly in some parts and skipped along others. If you're thinking of the Kinder curriculum, any of the continent studies could be a stand alone unit, so don't feel like you have to commit to 30 weeks plodding along day-by-day. It's very flexible. I don't think you could do better for the price, really.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at TheHomeschoolResourceRoom.com.

  8. #7

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    So if I'm hearing you correctly I'd be ok to go with the BYOL kinder ( mostly as a starting point for me and to give us some structure) but build some flexibility into our week maybe with field trips to libraries and museums or whatever he's interested in at the time.

    I've been teaching him phonics with a Montessori curriculum I bought years ago but never really put to use until this past November. I'm naturally structured with black and white thinking. For example, my goal is for him to complete 2 phonics worksheets m-f and read the related book m-f. If that doesn't happen i get spun out like we are going to continue to miss "lessons" if we skip just one day not to mention my melt down if we miss two consecutive days. Any tips for a reality check here?

  9. #8

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    I make my plans for the week like that too.

    Having a routine will help, like monday mornings after breakfast you do a worksheet and the reading (or however it works), and you do the other worksheet tuesday morning.
    You wont be so locked into a schedule that you wont be able to get stuff done if the routine is disrupted by an erupting fire hydrant, the neighbors 6 week old puppies, or taking your inlaws to the doctors office.
    Plan perhaps to spend about two hours a day with official schoolworky looking stuff (Im not sure how 15-20 mins per subject comes out to that, but its how it seemed to be for us).

    I wouldnt plan more than the next next week out. So if one of you gets the flu - which shuts down the whole homeschool - or the work doesnt get done, its no big deal. Write it down / plan it for the next week.

    I hate it, too, when work I think shouldve gotten done doesnt, but I try keeping perspective on it. Ive just given my boy the stomach flu I had... this week is an unexpected 0 schoolwork week. Its okay, we will pick up where we left off next week.

    PS: Im totally stealing TFZs BYL expansion stuff for next fall when we officially start K.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  10. #9

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    That is helpful. Thank you everyone!

  11. #10
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    Oh yes, we spend only maybe 30 min - an hour on BYL every day. Plenty of time to learn outside of the curriculum.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at TheHomeschoolResourceRoom.com.

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