My 5th grade daughter will be homeschooled for the first time next year. I’m thinking I’ll probably just go ahead and order a complete book curriculum because she doesn’t want all computer. I also wanted to order her extra health, spelling, and penmanship. Public school just doesn’t focus on good cursive anymore and hers, well it needs much work. I dont want to overwhelm her though and my sister says I’m just wasting money, that I can just print her off spelling lists and practice sheets. Thoughts? What electives do you use in yiur homeschool?
At my house, anything that I have to do weekly (like print off spelling lists and practice sheets) doesn’t get done. If I can do it before the year starts and have everything ready to go, then it gets done. One thing to consider is what complete curriculum you plan to purchase. How much you can add to it depends on how much time your curriculum should take. Remember that it doesn’t necessarily need to take 7 hours like a public school day would. If her handwriting needs work, I would certainly add that, as it doesn’t take but a few minutes each day. The spelling and health would depend on what other curriculum you choose to use. I tend to overplan and think I can cram more in a day than we can actually get done. Avoid that, especially your first year.
My 5th grade daughter will be doing Bible, Math, Grammar, Writing, Science, History, Spelling, Vocabulary, Greek (at her request), Poetry, and Art. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask. HTH!
She’ll be doing Bible, Math, Language Arts, Science, and History &Geography, with possibly of the other three electives. I also thought maybe of working on the electives some this summer before school starting and then down to alternating in the fall. I was wondering if I could make up the cursive and spelling on my own that is just as efficient.
You can certainly make it up on your own for less money. My issue is that I have 3 homeschooled kids and 1 in preschool, so if I have to do it during the school year, I don’t have time to mess with it. If I can get it all planned and done during our summer break, it works much better for me. If you have time to do it and need to save money, then I’d say go for it!
I totally agree with @bookerdawg, and i only have one child (for now). If you think you can have everything ready to go then yes, you can do it on your own unless she needs further instruction. However, there is nothing wrong with purchasing to make your life a little easier. Even with a prepared curriculum, homeschooling takes time and energy and brain power from the whole family! There are many great places online for handwriting worksheets and with her age you could assign her the work of typing in a passage or something and printing off the worksheet. With spelling, well, I would prefer having all the lists ready at the beginning of the year. I don’t think any purchase you actually use is a waste of money.
When I first started planning on homeschooling, I thought “Oh! I’m a teacher! I know how to locate stuff on the internet for free and pull it all together to make a great lesson/unit!” and I had all the confidence in the world. Now, however, after homeschooling for almost a full year, I finally had to break down and buy boxed curriculum. It takes so much stress off of me. Granted, I still print some things (daily calendar/morning work, supplements to lessons, etc.), but having something that is already printed (workbooks) and guides that help you move through the lessons (planning/pacing sheets, teacher’s manuals) really help me plan out our units and keep me on track to where the Monk is supposed to be as far as his learning goes. It takes a long time to research, locate, print, plan, and implement spelling lists, practice sheets, etc., off the internet. Buying boxed is actually better in the long run, at the very least, for your own sanity.
I would have to agree with what a lot of these other posts say. I also thought that “I can find this stuff for free, or create it myself!” And sure you can find lots of “free” stuff on the internet - but you have to think of everything involved in doing that as well. 1.) You have to take the time to find it. 2.) You have to take the time to print it. 3.) You have to take the time to organize it. 4.) All the printing takes lots of ink and paper… which costs lots of money. If I buy a $10.00 workbook instead of printing off 120 pages for a spelling booklet… or lang arts booklet…etc I think it is cheaper and easier and less stressful. I think sometimes people who have never done it before have no concept as to what is involved sometimes. Best wishes to you with your homeschooling!
@sgrrrbear I agree 100%, very good points!
A suggestion for Penmanship is this series: CLP (Christian Liberty Press) Penmanship Series. The book entitled “Writing with Prayer” begins with a manuscript review and then starts the cursive. There are two additional titles to continue the series. I really like this as my sons have learned to write really clear, nice cursive without frustration.
For Health I have enjoyed teaching and will continue with the “Horizons Health” Series. It is very nicely done.
Spelling with phonics review can be found in the “Building Spelling Skills” series from Christian Liberty Press.
If you wish to preview these, sample pages and learning styles re available at www.homeschoolingbooks.com
The minimal expense for these three resources are worth it for me rather than trying to find resource from the internet.
I have been homeschooling for 3 years and buying boxed, already prepared is the easy, less stress way to go. My first year I w anted to make, print, laminate everything like when I was a teacher. Well, ain’t nobody got time for that! I still do some things like that but not our core curriculum. I just buy it.
I don’t think it costs that much more to buy a workbook (printer ink is expensive when you print your own!). My kids tended to respect it more when they thought it came from a “curriculum” versus when they thought it was something from the internet (individual papers get lost, crumpled…)
And…what do you want to spend your time doing–finding things online to print and make into units, or spending time with your family?
I agree with @bookerdawg ! If it’s something we do regularly, I prefer to just buy the workbook so I don’t have to make endless copies. Keep in mind your time, ink, and paper costs. It’s much easier for me to pull out a worksheet each day than find one online, print it out, deal with paper jams, all while my student is waiting around for their work.
Just my 2 cents though
For electives we use most of my unit studies. So we do all core things daily like math, reading, English, then we alternate history/science twice a week each. For our electives we use my scientist units, composer units, and artist units.
This past year my oldest did a photography course that was really cool too. You can see what she did here:
Hope that helps!
I would go ahead and buy all three electives.
Schedule-wise I would start with cursive (since you explicitly mentioned that being a problem). Do your main curric+the one elective for about a month.
Then add in spelling IF you feel there is time in your schedule. Live with that for another month, and decide if you want to finish cursive before moving onto health, or if adding the third elective will work in your schedule.
Even if you do not do spelling and health this year, there is always next year.