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Topic: Homeschooling for the First Time

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Subject: Homeschooling for the First Time
Date Posted: 5/15/2013 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 595
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Hi all, we are homeschooling in the fall due to my gifted son's extreme boredom in school and some bad experiences with teachers this year.  I have joined a couple of Facebook groups but I thought you guys might have some good insights, too, on how to get started.  I have looked into some curricula, but we are still deciding what our style is going to be.  I think we will be somewhere between curriculum-driven homeschooling and unschooling, at least for the first few months.  I feel he needs time to "unschool" to get the bad taste out of his mouth from this terrible 4th grade year that we have had.  After that I think we will want some structure but not too much.  I will be in graduate school and will need a flexible program that he can do on his own sometimes while I study, too.

Has anyone ever used Life of Fred for math, and if so, does it seem to be a good stand-alone program or will we need additional math stuff to do?  Also, any thoughts on Moving Beyond the Page?  It seems really expensive but might fit our style.

Any thoughts on homeschooling while attending school?  I will have class 2-3 days a week with lots of outside reading and some research the first year, and much research the second year with a thesis to write.  After that, I have no idea how to make it work but intend to try, if it is benefitting him.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Date Posted: 5/16/2013 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2005
Posts: 480
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Life of Fred is the math series I have been looking at and wondering about as well.  I also looked at Professor B math which Life of Fred also recommended.  I will be buying the elementary package next week and can let you know what I think after it arrives. I think a supplement will be necessary after looking at the examples given.  Math has always been the most hated subject around here. 

I don't know anything about Moving Beyond the Page but it does look interesting. In looking at it if you have resources available you might be able to just get the curriculm which cuts the price down quite a bit. You could trade for the reading supplement books here and save money or get them at the library.  I actually like this program and will have to keep it in mind as I pare down what we will be or won't be using. 

I think homeschooling your son while you attend school will make things a little more relaxed for both of you considering the issues you have had.  


Date Posted: 5/22/2013 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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Life of Fred is very interesting, but even with my highly motivated and math-oriented son, I don't think it offers nearly enough practice to stand on its own. It explains the concepts nicely (what I've seen), but the author seems to think that having something explained to you, and doing four simplish practice problems, are enough. And it might be enough if you needed to do something tomorrow — but for a skill that you'd like your child to still have ten or thirty years from now? No chance.

When I say he's a highly motivated child, I mean it - by his 12th birthday he was finished with algebra and geometry and well into trigonometry, using a more challenging program than I'm aware of anywhere else - but more reinforcement than Fred would be needed, in my opinion, even for him.

I have very strong opinions about homeschool math curricula, but they're not popular ones. I think math deserves more parent attention than it usually receives. There's a reason that homeschool students tend to do more poorly in math than other students in college (according to the studies I've seen).

(edited for clarity)

Last Edited on: 7/22/13 11:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/1/2013 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 595
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Thanks for the insights.  I had heard others say that Life of Fred would make a better supplement than main math program.  I am also looking at Beast Academy, which is in comic book form but has a bit more practice.  Math is my weak area but I am willing to spend as much time as necessary on it with my son.  I think the important thing with him is to let him work at his own pace, as he could probably be two grades ahead of where he is in math already if allowed to progress.

I am still trying to decide on a main cirricula.  If I had more time I think I would probably sit down and create my own.  For this first year, though, I think we need something already planned out to make things go smoothly.  I do want to make sure he at least keeps up with his grade level peers.

Has anyone ever just looked through the state standards and made their own cirriculum?

Date Posted: 6/7/2013 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2005
Posts: 480
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I did finally receive the Fred books and yep a supplement will be necessary at least for us. I also looked at Moving Beyond the Page again and it is Common Core related if that is what you are looking for so it will be streamlining with what the state standards are, from what I understand.


Subject: Math
Date Posted: 6/23/2013 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2006
Posts: 26
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Not sure what you decided but you might want to look at Athena's advanced academy. They have a beast academy class that is excellent. A friend's daughter took the class. Life of Fred is great for supplement. Moving beyond the Page only recommends 5 problems a day as well so beware. I think Beast would be better than MBTP for an advanced math kid.
Date Posted: 7/1/2013 6:06 AM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,838
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what about khan"s Acadamy? It's amazing! You do need to supervise, but I love it.