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Angela Armstrong

Curriculum questions

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Angela Armstrong

Hi,

     After having my son in public school for 3rd grade and looking at the 4th grade homeschool curr. I was going to use (either Abeka or Lifepacs) I have discovered he isn't ready for the material.  Even the 3rd grade stuff looks difficult!  I guess that show what a great job pub. school did : (.  Can I build my own using the workbooks they sell at the teacher's supply store? They have a ton of stuff and I like the Spectrum workbooks as they are very straight forward.  Any advice would help as I am kind of getting panicky here......

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Dianna

Angela, if you want to use textbooks and workbooks, you can use whatever materials that work for your son. If you want to try other types of resources, consider library books about different science and social studies topics (based on his interests), children's magazines, documentaries (on television and NetFlix), field trips to museums, zoos, etc., experiment kits, etc.

 

Hopefully others will also jump in with their recommendations.

 

Warmly,

Dianna

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kohlby

So, he just finished public 3rd grade?  I would not jump into a formal curriculum yet then - give him time to deschool.   I'd go interest-based for a while, let him love learning.  Give him whatever he needs, don't worry about grade levels.  As for the workbooks, yes, it is fine to use those.  I'd just have them hanging around right now, in case he wants to use them though and try to be very flexible about how school is done for a bit.  Once you've both adjusted out of the public school way, then it's fine to go more formal if that works for the two of you.  It also doesn't have to be all-or-nothing.  You could use a workbook for math if he's a workbook type kid but let him decide what to learn about for science, etc.

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Angela Armstrong

Thanks, they have a ton of stuff at the teachers spot on woodruff road. Very colorful science, s studies etc. I looked at time4learning ( an online thing) and it looked kid-friendly. I guess I'm just stressing too much, but I just want to get him what he needs to reach his potential. I may need to de school as well!! :) do you know of any good internet sites?

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Beth62442

A lot of people told me to go with the "curriculum in a box" when starting out homeschooling.  Unfortunately, what I found I liked in one subject area, I disliked in another (Lifepacs).  We use a mishmash of stuff from different publishers - some secular, some Christian.  Personally I really liked History Odyssey by Pandia Press because they integrate composition and literature with History.  Just about all of the books on their reading list can be found at your local library.  I'm going to use their REAL Science Odyssey for my 10 year old this year - it just looks so fun!  And their "labs" are based off things you probably already have in your pantry.  Their website has a "try before you buy" option which I found helpful (printed out the first lessons and the kids seemed to like it).  The one subject I really fight with my kids about is math -- my oldest two (13 and 10) absolutely HATE math. I tried Teaching Textbooks last year, and the fighting stopped!  It's still not their favorite subject, but at least I don't have to fight them to get it done.  TT is expensive, but since I plan on passing it through three kids, it's worth the investment for me.  I still obsess about curriculum, but that's just me.   ;)

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Angela Armstrong

Nothing wrong with obsessing a little : ) it just means we care!

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kohlby

 I'd focus on what your child wants to do.  Let your child look at Time4learning.  I was going to use it as just an extra thing for fun so my two eldest did the free trial - but neither liked it.  Many websites have free trials, so let your child try them out.  Your child's interests and learning style will be more apparent as you go along - and may change at times too!  Even experienced homeschoolers  switch things up.  One website that is a good resource is Discovery Education.  Last I knew, homeschoolers in SC and GA could get it for free.  I'm not sure if that's still the case, as I haven't had to do anything special to keep mine.   Khan Academy is free and good for math.  Again, my two eldest didn't like it, but many absolutely love it.  And it's free - so nothing lost trying it out!  Netflix has some great documentaries on it.  But teaching happens outside of what you plan too.  My daughter's math lesson today in Life of Fred talked about the main character having to pay 40% tax on his contest winnings.  She only knew about sales tax so the questions began. The conversation with her - an 8 year old - and my eldest, who is 11 continued from there.  The converstaion went on to saving for retirement, investments, social security, baby boomers, the Great Depression.  Conversations in our house often end up not where they started.  So much learning naturally comes about.  (And many kids are still willing to ask their questions at elem age - so take advantage of it!)


 

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Angela Armstrong

Hey, I checked out "the learning cycle" on woodruff road (sc). They sell used curriculum. Good place to browse and get ideas. The owners are homeschool parents and really helpful. Great for us newbies! : )

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Dana

  One website that is a good resource is Discovery Education.  Last I knew, homeschoolers in SC and GA could get it for free.  I'm not sure if that's still the case, as I haven't had to do anything special to keep mine.  

 

 

Here's the link to ETV Streamline (how you get access to Discovery Ed in SC). There is a link to the right for homeschoolers.

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Gina

There is a website www.allinonehomeschool.com Easy Peasy. We are doing zoology for science and ancient history. It is broken up with L for lower grades and M for middle school. Each week I look through the content for both and pick what we will do, copy and paste it to a word document and print it out for our plan. The links on her site take them to the reading, games and sometime quizzes or worksheets you can print. We use you tube, ETV and National Geographic to find a documentary to go with the lesson one day history the next science and watch them during our lunch if we are indoors or at bedtime. (If it's long we do it in 2 days) I am using K12 independent study for Literature, Math and Spanish. We use Brain Pop too.

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Lorietta Purpura

There is a website www.allinonehomeschool.com Easy Peasy. We are doing zoology for science and ancient history. It is broken up with L for lower grades and M for middle school. Each week I look through the content for both and pick what we will do, copy and paste it to a word document and print it out for our plan. The links on her site take them to the reading, games and sometime quizzes or worksheets you can print. We use you tube, ETV and National Geographic to find a documentary to go with the lesson one day history the next science and watch them during our lunch if we are indoors or at bedtime. (If it's long we do it in 2 days) I am using K12 independent study for Literature, Math and Spanish. We use Brain Pop too.

 Wow- and yet another site I can use for my son :)

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Gina

We really like it! There are tons of classes to choose from and she has years of curriculum posted.

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Lorietta Purpura

I looked at it- my son is starting Kindergarten next year so I am excited to  see so many sites to  pick and choose from. I decided to go with the 3rd option. He is  4 1/2 years old now but I am only doing a lot of reading- writing some math and we do some fun nature. The site is also very organized/ :)

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Jen

My oldest just finished 4th grade. Are you in Greenville area? If you would like, we can get together and I can show you all of our stuff. I might have a few things to part with but at the very least you can get some ideas and touch some curricula. I have stuff ranging from grades 1-6 right now. We will be doing 2nd and 5th this year.  :D

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ShadanJem

When my DS was that age, we used the American Story from Winter Promise.  (note: WP is Christian, but American Story is easily adaptable to secular).  Ultimately, I didn't really use the course guide or the note booking that much (DS hates note booking, but some love it), but instead their selection of books.  It was a read aloud couple of years and we really enjoyed it and he learned a lot.  If your pulling him home, something relaxed may be helpful.  Many of the books were available at the library, and this was before SCLends.  Story of the World is another easy history program.  I can't stand reading the book out loud but enjoy listening to it in the car.  There is an activity book if you like those types of thing (we don't) and you pair with a DK or Kingsfisher History Encyclopedia.  Add in historical fiction if you want.  Plenty of time for rabbit trails if you find something of interest at the library.  

 

Math - we've always used Math U See, and it works here.  Language arts - I'm all over the place.  Mostly piece together what works for each at the point in time we need it.  However, I'm currently using Writing and Rhetoric from Classical Academic Press with DD and I've been very happy!  It is a nice, gentle introduction to the classical ideas of writing.  I wish it had been around when DS was that age!

 

We have had little formal science - we live on a farm so science is real life.  And regarding formal writing.....I've honestly pushed it off until they were older.  I think our education system tends to push kids to do too much too early.  And really, a standard book report is boring, whether in 3d, 5th, 7th, or 9th grade.  Mine don't want to write it, and honestly I don't want to read it.  

 

No matter what you choose, be prepared to adapt.  The curriculum needs to work for you and your kiddo, not y'all become a slave to the curriculum.  Even when you *know* this, it is still tempting to worry...oh, we didn't do the project, we didn't complete the book, we didn't XYZ.   Good luck.

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