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Topic: Getting started!

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Subject: Getting started!
Date Posted: 8/16/2012 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 112
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After one year of kindergarten in public schools and many tears and feelings of remorse on my part, we decided that public school is not for us! So, this year we will be homeschooling and I have a lot of relief in that decision. The only problem is, I don't know where to start! I've got a math curriculum, and that's it. I think science and history should be fairly easy to come up with, espeicially since a lot of that will be hands on. I'm overwhelmed when it comes to English/Reading/Phonics/Writing/Spelling. Where do I even start? She can read level 1 books that aren't too long, and occasionally gets stuck on some of the trickier words. Do we need phonics?  Is there a curriculum anyone can reccomend? Is this the age she should be learning to write in cursive? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated! 

Date Posted: 8/17/2012 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2009
Posts: 196
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Congratulations on your decision to homeschool.  It can be so hard to get started.  The book that helped me the most when I suddenly started homeschooling is 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy.  It helps you explore you and your kids learning styles and then recommends curriculum for each of the styles.  It also rates curriculum for how much prep time, teacher ease and grad levels.  She has a website also.  She just came out with an updated book.  Homeschool Buyers Co-op has electronic versions for sale pretty cheap right now.  The only bad comment I have heard about it, is it reviews mostly Christian curriculum.

If you can get to a homeschool convention, that would be helpful.  You can thumb through alot of curriculum and get a better feel for it.

I am not sure of your situation, but I would do a phonics curriculum.  When we pulled my son out of public school in Kindergarten, they had only been doing site words.  I thought he got good grades in reading, so we would just speed through the phonics.  Wrong!  He had no clue and we found ourselves stopped on page 1. 


Date Posted: 8/23/2012 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2010
Posts: 576
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We absolutely LOVE Hooked on Phonics & Learning Language Arts Through Literature. That would cover reading, spelling, grammar, phonics, writting and punctuation.


I TOTALLY agree with your posters :)

Last Edited on: 8/23/12 9:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/24/2012 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 112
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Thanks!!! We completely missed the convention in our area this year, but I definitely plan to attend the next one! 

You're right about the sight words. That's exactly how they were teaching in her K class. I'm looking forward to taking the time to teach her the right way.

I did as much research as possible with a short amount of time, and decided to go with Learning Language Arts Through Literature for the first year, and I may get Hooked on Phonics too, for my younger daughter.

I'm going to check out the book by Cathy Duffy, for sure. I've got two very different little girls and I have a feeling they'll have very different learning styles as well. The books we are using for one, may not work for the other.


Date Posted: 9/30/2012 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2009
Posts: 466
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My daughter has been homeschooling for 13 years and she has a fantastic blog/website that give lots of advice and free materials. Her site if  www.Fivejs.com. 

Date Posted: 10/1/2012 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 1,518
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My son is 8 and has never been to a regular school. ..He has always been homeschooled. Abeka works for us just fine. There are plenty of options out there..you will find what us right for you and your kids... phonics is very important. ...more to it than you would think. They suggested that I teach cursive in Kindergarten but I thought he should write print first. But I did teach him cursive in the 1st grade and it was very easy for him to learn. He is in 3rd grade this year and doing great. He has also prefered to write cursive since he learned it. He thinks it is easier than print. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with homeschooling.
Date Posted: 10/3/2012 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 351
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Holly, I would first suggest to you, ENJOY!  Don't stress yourself over which curriculum to buy and where to start.  This is the perfect age NOT to use curriculum.

My girls are now 13 and 15 and have always been home educated.  I wish I had listened to the many seasoned homeschoolers that told me to relax when I started.  I was so worried about "keeping up with the school."  Now I can look back and see how crazy that is.  I didn't like what the school was doing so why would I bring a "school system" into my home? 

In NH we need to test or evaluate our children each year to show improvement.  I  test my girls because it is cheaper and easier for us.  The year that I dropped all workbooks and curriculum from my "school" my youngest daughters test score went from 70th percentile to the 90s.   (my oldest has always been in the 90s)

Also, stress levels went WAY down. 

Reading is the best thing you can do with you child.  Have her read to you and you read to her.  Bake with her.  Craft with her.  Have her make up stories to tell you.  Garden with her.  Walk outside and check things out.   The simplest of activities can lead to great learning experiences that your daughter will remember forever!   Let your daughters interest lead the way.   It could change day to day, it could be weeks or even a month on the same subject.  Now is the time to teach your daughter to LOVE to LEARN not to be educated.  There is a huge difference.  If she learns to explore and let life fascinate her - the sky is the limit! 

Baking cookies can have a math lesson (measuring, fractions, counting), a science lesson (matter), kitchen safety and of course a great snack and a lot of fun!

If you didn't do anything but read (even if it isn't labeled as history, science or math)  with your child for the next year, she would learn a LOT!

I just can't stress enough to take it slow and easy and have FUN! 

Best of luck!



Date Posted: 12/2/2012 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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Try readingeggs.com My son loves it so much! Well worth the cost because he is reading! They know how to keep things interesting!
Date Posted: 2/7/2013 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2007
Posts: 59,977
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There is a wonderful site called Easy Peasy - All in One Homeschool. They have some wonderful resources.

There are also sites with free printable packs for PreK and K. 

I also happen to have a blog and I regularly put up themes that we are getting ready to do. The link is in my sig line. 



Date Posted: 2/27/2013 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2013
Posts: 2
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www.homeschoolhowtos.com is a great website with helpful "How-Tos" that are quick reads that make your homeschooling easier and more effective by nightfall. Highly recommend anyone who is just starting to homeschool check out their free ebook on that topic.