I will be starting the homeschooling process in the Fall. My son will be finishing 2nd grade but is at 6th grade reading and 4/5th grade math. He doesnt fit the cookie cutter 3rd grade level programs so i will have to piece together different subjects and ive found it a little overwhelming which programs are best and affordable?
Have you ever thought of building your own curriculum? I remember when my daughters were 3rd grade and reading at 6th grade level I bought a whole load of 6th grade books for them to read where the content was light enough for me to not worry about it. However they found the books boring, didn’t understand some of the words and it went right over their heads. We were not happy that year. Fast forward to now, they are 5th grade and they reread those same books, but now they enjoyed them and understood what the books were about.
There is Charlotte Mason (see ambleside online www.amblesideonline.org) which is a free curriculum and you just buy the books.
There is Bible Based Homeschooling (see Heart of Wisdom website www.heartofwisdom.com) and the book is awesome- also as affordable as you make it as you build the curriculum yourself.
Last but not least check out Kerry Beck- Raising Leaders not Followers Package she teaches you again how to teach at your own cost and according to your child’s needs.(http://howtohomeschoolmychild.com/resources/for-moms-teachers/raising-leaders-books/)
I hope these resources can help you when it comes to making decisions
Thankyou so much, this is exactly what im looking for!
do you have any recommendations for math sites?
I haven’t tried these programs but maybe this link can help with math.
Hi @EHmum! I wanted to mention some math programs you might try too. Beast Academy is for advanced math students in grades 2-5. I have looked into it myself, and from the samples it does look challenging. Also, Life of Fred is great as it is ungraded and you can move at your own pace. It teaches math via a story line and introduces accelerated concepts (like algebraic functions) at the beginning levels alongside traditional math concepts. This is what my 2nd grade son is using. It goes all the way through the high school level. If I think of more resources, I’ll post them here. Good luck with all of your planning!! Like @Proverbs31, we also enjoy the Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online programs!
Thank you for your ideas I greatly appreciate it! What is your thoughts about doing a assessment tests weekly/monthly etc. Im hoping to set up a weekly quiz on Friday. Im thinking of having Friday be our test day assess math and spelling and time leftover my son will get to choose the topic of study but not necessarily introduce new information just reviewing.
Hi @EHmum! You are so welcome! We have also found a review day at the end of the week useful! And there often seems to be more on my “planned list” than on my “accomplished list” at the end of the week, so catching up a bit is helpful too! I will say though, that as far as assessments go, you might notice early on that you may not need to assess these subjects regularly (depending on how your curriculum is designed–some materials do require this step).
One of the great things about homeschooling is that your child is basically gaining a one-on-one tutor 100% of the time. And one of the added benefits is that you will find you probably don’t need to assess how he is doing on most things, at least not too often. Being the one teaching and communicating the concepts to him, you will likely notice right away if it is something he is struggling with or if he has mastered the concept and is ready to move on. That certainly isn’t true in every subject (spelling especially needs this type of check system), but a lot of the time it works out that way.
In the beginning it will probably be nice for both of you to have a day planned each week or every two weeks to regroup, exhale, or press the “reset” button a little bit as this type of change in schedule typically takes some getting used to. I know many families who come out of a school system and into homeschooling tend to find some deschooling time very helpful. We have been homeschooling since the beginning, so that hasn’t been something we’ve experienced personally, but there are others on this site who can give wonderful advice on that aspect.
One of the things we’ve added this year that has been really nice is a “presentation” day every 6 weeks or so. Our curriculum calls for this, but I have found it to be very helpful and a good marker for how we are doing in general. My kids each get to choose a few things to share from each subject they’ve been studying over that period of weeks. They prepare the papers they’ve completed, show and tell about the books they have used, and in this way we get a “recap” of what we’ve been learning, and I can see how much they are retaining and how enthused they are about the subject matter. Having them give these “presentations” in front of other family members has been nice! In our case, my husband doesn’t typically see a lot of what we are doing/learning, so getting him involved every so often excites the kids and also helps communicate to him how much we really are accomplishing. He can also see their level of excitement over their milestones. I hope this helps a little!
I love the idea of presentations!!! I think it is a very valuable to have the skill of public speaking…Our public library has a storytime for kids, I’m thinking my son can volunteer to read one of the many books the librarian usually reads to the group. I am really excited to get started with homeschooling and be able to capitalize on subjects or projects I feel are necessary compared to loads of “busy work” that ends up bogging the student down.
Thanks again for your ideas
Have a blessed day!
@EHmum That would be great if you can be involved at your library in that way! Our local library offers a program called Tale to Tail so that students can come and read to a therapy dog (such as a seeing eye dog). The kids get experience reading out loud and fluently for a set amount of time and the animals get experience being around children in the relaxed environment. I’ve tried to sign up my children several times but it is always full because so many people participate in the program!
I’ve heard teaching textbooks are really good for upper grades, but they can be expensive, so buying used would help. Their website shows samples to check out. Checkout teachers pay teachers to help with ideas or maybe some worksheets/games to reinforce concepts since your child is still at a young age and might find it fun while learning. You can get a lot of free stuff here.
We use Practical Arithmetics by Strayer-Upton ( https://www.rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?subject=Mathematics/10&category=Strayer-Upton+Practical+Arithmetics+Series/9224 ) for Math, and (what I am going to start using as a supplement) Math Lessons for a Living Education ( http://www.masterbooks.com/math-lessons-for-a-living-education-level-4 ). The first is very affordable and non-consumable. The latter is consumable but they also offer a downloadable version.
The highest level available for MLFLE is 5th grade although next year they will be coming out with the 6th grade level. I like this series a lot. They are gentle, Charlotte Mason style, and I can just use it as a review or to reinforce a certain concept. The pages are quick and to the point.
Practical Arithmetics is excellent for us as it allows us to work right on the level of each child, moving forwards or backwards as needed. The thing I like most about it is that it teaches to do math the easy, non-painful way. (Even I am doing math differently now!) It introduces the concepts in a more orderly manner than most curricula I have checked. (You work with each number at a time, learning how to add, subtract, multiply and divide it before going to the next number, as an example).
Both of these are similar in the “practicality” of math, using real life problems and stories. Neither need any supplement and are complete on their own, although I like to supplement most of the time with something.
Hope this helps some!