I am trying to put together my own curriculum for my kids this fall. They will be 2, 3.5, 5, and 6.5. Aka- preschoolers, kindergartners, and a first grader. I am having so much trouble figuring out what they need to know, how long it’ll take for them to learn, and just how to plan it all out. I got a great list of accomplishments from Scholastic online of what kids learn each year. We have used LOTW and the K4 downloads and that’s worked well. But for first grade especially, I am so lost. We are determined to homeschool, but are on a under $100 type of budget, which can just be supplies sometimes! I did pick out the programs I will look for used, but even that adds up quick. So basically, where do you find out what they need to know for each grade/age and how to teach it? Thanks!! breathing!
A great place to begin is with the books What Your First Grader Needs to Know (they have books titled the same for K-6). I honestly think the book is pretty bad (though they have updated it, but I have not looked at an updated version) - but it is a great starting place to see what science and history units to focus on, as well as math, reading, etc. I use their guideline to get me started with history and science - then create my own units. They can be as simple or extreme as you want. Grab some books on topic from the library and choose loads of projects and experiments, or just a few top choices to stay within budget - it’s up to you. The great thing with What Your First Grader Needs to Know (and the other books in the series) is that they spiral back every few years - meaning if they touch on astronomy in first grade, they will hit astronomy again in further detail in 3rd grade. If they touch upon Ancient Egypt in first grade, they hit it again in further detail in later grades… that way kids build upon what they are learning. You can get the books for cheap on Amazon (or most libraries!) and their is also a website - www.coreknowledge.org - I personally think the website is a bit difficult to navigate, but it has lots of resources, including their list of grade by grade suggested topics (I can give you the exact link to that if you want it) - they also have loads of other things you can buy for each year, but I don’t have an experience with these items/resources. I hope that helps.
I think most state education websites have what each grade should learn. Ohio does and it was a great help our first year…which was first grade. We didn’t have a lot of money for curriculum and we pulled out of public school right at Christmas so I found a couple all subject books from Sam’s club and Barnes and Noble and got a few little ones from joanns and the Christian store.the only thing is there is no guide for teaching in thoses books really but we did good…hope this helps
One other idea as far as saving $$ goes: If you have a tight budget for supplies for projects and experiments you can get a spiral bound drawing pad (or any drawing pad for that matter) - each history or science unit you teach (using library books, online videos, etc) - have the kids title the top of a drawing page with the topic, then they draw a picture of something they learned or something about that topic - on the back of the drawing sheet they can write a sentence (or however many sentences are appropriate for that age/grade) - by the end of the year they have a beautiful portfolio of the topics they learned about, as well as a piece of writing. We do this, and it remains one of my children’s favorite things to look at year after year
I know this isn’t quite answering your question but checking out note booking (almost like what @triton17 said) might help keep the budget down. Also check out places like Sonlights book list where you can see the spines and perhaps see if you can borrow them from the library and teach the children yourself using notebooking.
There is also the option of going on rabbit trails while reading. Your children may show interest in a particular topic and you can look up your comp for free or inexpensive worksheets. Pinterest is a good place to look as well as far as your question goes.
Some people use easypeasy which is free and may give some idea of what to teach…. Each state/province is different in what needs to be taught when…… Trying to think if there is anything I missed…
And one other good resource - TeachersPayTeachers - most of the stuff is on there to purchase - some of it is FABULOUS, but you can also use the tab on the left and look up only free items. I’ve scored loads of great resources for free - just look up a topic, narrow it by grade and price (FREE) and see what comes up. Totally worth it as a starting place.
I like Wordbook.com typical course of study. It breaks it down by grade level. I also love teachers pay teachers. Tons of freebies!
I would check out Pinterest. Search by grade and/or subject and you will find lots of information about topics to cover. I am always amazed how many ideas I can find!
@Proverbs31 Thank you for mentioning Easy Peasy–I had never heard of this before and I’ve been homeschooling for 3 years now. I’m not sure how I overlooked this! We purchase our curriculum from different publishers (not a box curriculum) but I am excited to find this even for supplemental purposes and also to recommend to a friend who is interested in homeschooling but concerned about cost. So thank you!
I went online and put in the grades I needed and looked for what subject and added the letters pdf. That has helped so very much and I have found so much free stuff that will keep my kids learning and that was age appropriate. I hope that helps. I put in free kindergarten first grade worksheets pdf and there was a long list of sites to look through. I hope that helps. Best of luck
I know what you mean, I only found it last year so it took me 5 years to hear about it lol but yes I love it for supplementing what we are already doing. It’s great, glad to be of help. Enjoy!
I think you need to take a closer look at your budget. $100 for 4 kids is REALLY low. I do not think you can get supplies for public school for 4 kids for $25 per kid.
Many of the “free” resources may be costing you more than this in printer ink.
There are some really great free/inexpensive options for homeschooling, but you need to find the balance between cheapest possible and giving your kids a quality education.
Which subjects could you spend a small amount and use for all 4 kids?
For learning to read: Phonics Pathways and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons are less than $20, but walk you through teaching each child to read.
For math: 6 years of Math Mammoth can be purchased through https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org for a great discount, but still has to be printed. Christian Light Math allows you to buy 10 books through the year, spreading out expense. For 1st grade math really can be done with more cheaply with a $5 workbook from Walmart that saves your printer ink. Kitchen Table Math is one that shows you how to teach basic mathematical concepts without any worksheets.
What about your Friends of the Library sale? I have picked up some excellent curriculum for $1 at some of these sales. Does your budget include buying picture books at yard sales? Do you have a quality library that can add in great reading in history and science?
I guess my encouragement is mostly, be sure you look at all the costs of “free,” and the older kids get, the more you will have to prioritize which subjects DO need a solid curriculum. I can spend $100 a year just on library fines.
Great point about ink! I bought something from TeachersPayTeachers - I got an amazing deal on it - and the product itself is wonderful - no doubt about it. However, then I realized how much it would cost to print it. Forget that I spent $20 to buy the product. Now that I’ve added it up, it will cost about $100 to print it (most of it is in color!) I have started printing some at home - but large print jobs cost more in ink at home than at Staples. I hate to say it, but I wanted to buy Erica’s LOTW program - it looked so great for my son last year, but then I realized how much I’d spend in ink… just too much.
The library is a great resource (but even with our library routine and schedule for keeping track of books, we’ve owed a lot in fines this year!) There are great teaching resources (at our library) - like an Usborne math book and Usborne reading book for kinder - nothing to print - just need construction paper and other small craft materials to make the little games. There are great resources available that don’t involve printing, but they require a lot of searching
It is hard to do a complete from scratch curriculum for the whole year - but doable - I did it for kinder and first grade so far. I found that if I get a scope and sequence for the main subjects in these grades - PHONICS/GRAMMAR, MATH, WRITING, READING, & SIGHT WORDS. Most publisher curriculum groups them by weeks or quarters, and you can view them for free online by grade. Decide how what your year will look like on a calendar, then group your scope and sequence that fits your calendar. I decided to do a nine month calendar and then wrote the goals for that month - but I just labeled it by numbers that way I could start any month I wanted and if 1 guide took us longer I didn’t feel rushed to finish September - I just completed # 1 then went to # 2 when my child was ready - it makes it easier to reuse when your littles grow into the next grade. i can send you or anyone a sample just send me a message- they are really basic pacing guides and all I have to do is teach it and I’m able to use anything I want - printables, handmade, objects around the house, etc -
For science, social studies, art, PE, etc… You can pick a theme such as spring - seeds, plants, gardening, insects and go from there and all kids can participate as a group making it easier for you!
I’ve also followed a few teacher websites and it helps me get ideas for certain concepts - I like tunstall teaching tidbits and kindergarten crayons.
Your 2.5 and 3 yr old might like the free curriculum version of Gods Little Explorers found @ motherhood on a dime (http://www.motherhoodonadime.com/kids/gods-little-explorer-preschool-curriculum/ )
you don’t have to print much and each week just go online to look at the lesson plans - use the library for books of the weekly theme; also another suggestion if you don’t want to print a lot of things - get a marker and paper and make your own to mimic something you like; - this all has worked well for me.
Oh I forgot to add, it’s hard to get all the materials together for 1 year if your doing yourself, I have found that if you gather things for just whatever is on that # pace guide your on, its a lot less overwhelming!
I have to say that I have found my entire year for 6 kids… yes, my homeschool went from 4 to 6 kids. I absolutely love Easy Peasy and it has so many different grade levels and curriculum… All free, from home… You have to print the things out, but I believe that instead of costing close to $300 a per kid, it is costing me a lot less to print them out. I get a lot printed out for $17 which is my black ink… I rarely print anything in color because it is cheaper in black and white… I just set my print preview window so that it automatically prints in black and white. I am going to check into staples and other places like that to see how much it is too print a lot of things at once. I only printed out one of what I needed and then am going to copy all the copies that I need. I hope this helps… It has only taken me 2 months to find all the curriculum I need for three different grades, for an entire year and more than 90% of what I have is from Easy Peasy.
I know it’s been almost a year, but I just came across this post :). My suggestion for such young ages to take advantage of the library. Read the books, go outside for Nature Walks and draw pictures of what they find. Get a workbook from Walmart, dollar store, or wherever and have your first grader practice writing. Do living math. Do letters and numbers with little ones (Confessions of a Homeschooler alphabet/K looks awesome). www.starfall.com is a free website that helps teaches phonics, math, etc. Leap Frog Videos are great for Alphabet, phonics, reading, numbers, etc… www.allinonehomeschool.com is a free complete online curriculum for all grade levels. If you want to know more about Charlotte Mason’s style of learning www.amblesideonline.com is a great resource and free curriulum guide. www.simplycharlottemason.com is a great resource as well, has some curriculum to purchase and use if want. Rod and Staff and Christian Light Education are excellent curriculums that is priced more affordably. They are mennonite based, you can find Rod and Staff online at www.milestonebooks.com, Christian Light Education (CLE) is www.clp.org. www.homeschoolclassifieds.com you can find stuff used. HSLDA has curriculum classifieds, as well as many facebook, yahoo groups, ebay, and various book sell sites online like www.abebooks.com, www.thriftbooks.com, www.amazon.com. and some good sources are www.rainbowresource.com and www.christianbook.com. I would take this year to determine your style of teaching and learning, and your goals for your children’s education. It will help narrow down and guide you to what you would like to use. Remember that curriculum is a tool, you use it, don’t let it rule you. Oh ya, a couple more sites that may help are www.enchantedlearning.com, www.education.com, and PBSKIDS, lots of great info and ideas.