View Full Version : homeschool option?
04-25-2006, 02:20 PM
I searched the threads here and couldn't find my question....does anyone homeschool here, or have you considered homeschooling? If so, what materials do you use?
I have an 18 month old and have decided to homeschool preschool. I am not concerned about finding things to do with him now....we are in active playgroups, kindermusik, gymnastics and I have plenty of resources/workbooks for pre-k. But, I am a little concerned about kindergarten with the time comes, as I am considering homeschooling that grade as well. After kindergarten, he will go to public school.
I am not convinced I want a religious curriculum....looking maybe for something more secular....any input?
Sorry for the rushed post, my son just woke up from his nap.
04-25-2006, 04:13 PM
We plan to HS for pre-school, kindergarten and possible longer. Below are some links that might be helpful. My DD is also 18 months old, so I haven't done a whole lot of research yet. These are links that I came across when I did research a few months ago, but I haven't looked into them that deeply. You might also want to check the Mothering.com (http://www.mothering.com/discussions) mssg boards. There are quite a few moms out there who HS.
[URL="http://www.homeschoolfreestuff.com/"]Homeschool Free Stuff (http://www.besthomeschooling.org/)
Home Education Magazine (http://www.homeedmag.com/wlcm_groups.html)
National Home Education Network (http://www.nhen.org/support/groups/browse.asp)
Support Groups & Homeschooling Law (http://www.midnightbeach.com/hs/listlist.html)
You'll definitely want to check the HS laws in your state. I believe the last link will help with that. Best of luck! :)
04-27-2006, 08:48 AM
04-27-2006, 10:45 AM
I homeschool and my DD will be 3 in July. Here are the workbooks we have been using:
School Zone Big Pencil-Pal Preschool Software & Workbook (http://www.schoolzone.com/products.vml?useraction=detail&id=1211&spanish=f)
Home Learning Tools Complete Preschool Curriculum (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1577596218/102-5385722-1812124?v=glance&n=283155)
I bought both of these at Sam's Club and they were nowhere near the price that those sites are asking! I don't think I paid more than $10 for each of them.
We also use "A Complete School Year's Program" by Frank Schaffer.
06-24-2006, 11:26 AM
Try the "a home for homeschoolers" boards. They are great!
06-24-2006, 11:32 AM
We plan on HS through at least Kindergarten. I will probally used "Five in a Row" (www.fiveinarow.com) and some Waldorf-inspired "curriculum" (http://www.oakmeadow.com/)
06-25-2006, 10:27 AM
I have evaluated several homeschoolers portfolios.....by far, the student whose family used the Calvert System's curriculum far surpassed the others across the board. I was totally wowed. I know it is expensive....around $3000.00 per year.
07-04-2006, 08:33 AM
princesse - it is hard to tell from your post if it was just one kid who used that system or a bunch. Please clarify! I'm curious about homeschooling but wouldn't want to invest in an expensive system used by a kid who happened to be brilliant regardless of the system.
07-04-2006, 06:09 PM
Hi ladies! I think it's wonderful that you are considering homeschooling! I am not a mom yet, but I go to church with lots of homeschoolers- most up to high school graduation! We have a large homeschool community in my area so there are lots of resources and parents end up collaberating and getting people to teach harder classes. Anyway, my 2 cents: I would highly recommend the Handwriting Without Tears program (www.hwtears.com). It starts in pre-school with learning letter recognition and formation and goes up to 4th grade with the 2nd book on cursive. I am an OT and I use it for my kids with disabilities/fine motor disorders that have difficulty with handwriting, but it was developed by an OT for regular classroom instruction. It would be easier for you to go to the website than for me to tell you all of the great stuff about this program. It makes teaching writing easier because it teaches it in a developmental pattern and consistent directions. It would be a great way to start pre-schoolers learing the letters of the alphabet. As you can see, I LOVE this program!!!
ETA: I think I may know the Calvert family who developed that program, princesse....not sure, but maybe!
07-06-2006, 06:42 PM
I have evaluated some HSers' portfolios, too, and I wasn't terribly impressed with Calvert. I mean, it's fine, if you like the whole prepackaged curriculum thing, but I don't. I think it was pretty good, as far as those go, though.
I am considering HSing for middle school. If I do, I will probably do a very loose type program, without much actual "curriculum."
07-07-2006, 07:42 PM
My experience was with one child. His family added a ton to the curriculum in the forms of real life experiences. To me, it is just a shame that of the 12-20 I have to see each year that at leat 3-4 of them are pure drivel. I actually sit down with the families and try to talk with the children and their social skills often seem to match the portfolio. It seems their backgrounds are very thin in experience and in curriculum as well.
While I am not a huge fan of the standards movement and what NCLB has become, homeschooled kids are going to have to compete with the vast majority of the population who have mastered (we hope) those standards so IMO any home school family should at least be heavily aware of standards and be working to master them, however they chose.
07-08-2006, 07:50 AM
I am a teacher, so I know I am somewhat biased, but I also know and work with many homeschool families teaching private violin lessons.
The standards are simply good teaching--at least in Indiana. If you haven't taught the standards, you have not covered curriculum well. For music, they are 1) Singing alone and with others 2) Playing alone and with others 3) Reading musical notation 4) Improvising melodies 5) Composing music 6) Listening to and describing music 7) Understanding the relationship between music and other disciplines 8) Understanding the relationship between history and culture 9) Evaluating music and performances.
Those are not hard and fast rules to make your life hard. They do not tell you in what order to teach anything. They are merely guidelines to help you develop an adaquate curriculum. If I didn't address any one of the standards to my orchestra kids, I'd be doing them a disservice. Any decent lesson will touch on several of them. So, you might at least read the standards and check them off as you hit on them because when your child goes to college, it will be expected that he/she can demonstrate knowledge of them.
Yes, standards can often be taught easier in homeschooling. That I do not deny. You often have acess to better resources, field trips, and library books, and your kids are able to go into greater depth. For that, I am jealous. I would love to teach a class of 2 or 3. But, it depends on you. My husband did two years of the American School program strictly on his own (he was living away from home due to ice skating). It was worthless. Honestly, he learned about close to nothing and just mailed in his tests. He finally got frustrated and begged his mom to enroll him in the public high school so he could actually learn.
I also know that many schools will let your child come and audit classes like orchestra, foreign language, and band if you so choose. We have several homeschooled students that live in the district in our band. You paid tax dollars for it! You might as well use the opportunity you have!
02-17-2007, 11:15 PM
Contrary to popular belief, public school kids are not necessarily mastering the standards although they are being required to be exposed to them - all in spite of the testing.
An argument can be made about some HS curriculums being thin and leading to thin experience - but I could easily say the same about many curriculums used in public school.
The standards in OK are very frustrating to me as a student teacher. Many are incredibly vague and others are far too specific in their details.
While it is useful to have standards as a goal to work towards while HSing, I definitely would not say they are necessary for your child to attain a good education. That is, I don't feel they have to necessarily be filled in the prescribed order.
Myself personally, I would shy away from any predesigned curriculum for homeschooling just because you have no idea if that specific plan is going to work out best for your child.
My mom is homeschooling SS for us (DH works nights and needs to sleep during the day, I am interning and will have a job this fall) and has a self-designed curriculum for SS. History is very literature focused, we use Saxon math, science experiments come from various books. We are actually much more structured with him than we'd like to be, but as we have to deal with his bio-mom on occasion, it's a CYA situation for us.
My plans, assuming DH allows SS to homeschool I would like him to go to a co-op for his upper levels of school. I've had several friends 'graduate' from this school and they all loved it.
When my DS gets older, my plans are to have my mom HS him also. Honestly, I don't really want any of my kids in public school. Ironic, because most likely I'll be teaching in a public school ;)
I HSed from sem. 2 of KG through the end of 4th grade, 5th was private, 6-12 were public. DH HSed from 2nd grade to I think 7th grade? SS1 started HSing with his mom for 2nd grade, and we started SS2 HSing in 2nd grade. See a trend in my boys? I'd rather HS from the get-go.
There are many studies that show HSers regularly outdo PSers on the standardized tests, which is frightening if we are supposed to be looking to the PSs as our guides! But I am truly not worried about my kids' education being adequate in comparison to their PSing peers ;)
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