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palmettomom2609

New to Homeschooling!

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palmettomom2609

Hey everyone! I am seriously considering homeschooling my soon to be kindergartener next year and would love some starting out advice. I was thinking about getting a curriculum kit which would have everything I need for the first time so I wouldn't miss anything. I guess that's my biggest fear, forgetting to teach her something. It seems like kindergarten is more relaxed in terms of what you have learned. She has been in excellent pre-schools since she was 2 and has an amazing foundation but our area schools aren't that great. So basically what I am asking for is advice on starting out, how everyone figured out which curriculum was best for their child, and just the best way to start out on the best foot.

 

Thanks! 

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Maria B

I chose the sonlight curriculum, mainly for the same reason you are looking for a boxed curriculum, so I wouldn't leave anything out.  With 4 little kids, I also didn't want to spend a ton of time planning and Sonlight comes with a lesson plan each day for 36 weeks.  You could just open the book and go.  Now, I have found that I still do some planning, and I don't do EVERY assignment/activity they plan.  My kids are ahead in some things and if I look at the plans and think some of them are silly or they'll be bored, or even "that's too much for one day," I skip it or move it to another day.  Also since I'm homeschooling two levels right now (K and 1st), I sometimes modify someone's assignment to fit both kids and scratch one.  I've also had to go find supplemental material (mostly free stuff on the internet, or things I make up) when we hit a stumbling block and just need to see it a different way.  So I do have to make the boxed set work for me.   A lot of folks don't like Sonlight because they say it has too much sit down time, too much to read aloud, too much scheduled per day.  I can definitely see how that would be the case for some.  I chose the 4 day schedule and spread it out over 5.  Most of our read aloud material (some great novels, bible stories, poetry, etc) is done by Daddy before bedtime.  My kids have about 1 hour to 1 and a half hours of sit down time, and then we read history and/or science material in the afternoon.  So it really has fit well into our day.  And unlike a lot of other boxed curriculums, you can customize your set with the specific math and writing curriculum, and even level of language arts.  All that to say, we are really enjoying Sonlight and will stick with it next year. 

 

When I was trying to figure out which one I wanted, I just talked with friends who homeschooled and then researched their recommendations.  Sonlight seemed like a good fit for us, and I haven't regretted it.  They have a great return policy, so I took a chance.  Also, there are homeschool conventions where you can look through an exhibit hall at curriculum samples, I'm not sure where you are but there is one in Greenville in March.  Also, you might be able to find a used curriculum store (there is also one in Greenville) where you can browse different curriculums. 

 

Good luck!

Edited by Maria Bassett

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Dianna

Also, read through past messages here for ideas for both school-in-a-box curriculums, to more relaxed and child-led resources. It may give you some ideas you weren't considering.

 

Warmly,
Dianna

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kohlby

We prefer not to use curriculums in kindergarten.  I don't worry about my child missing something - a pretty public school checklist really doesn't matter.  What matters is what my kids are wanting to do and developmentally ready for.  So, they learn fully by playing and exploring their world, the same as when 4 or younger.  I do start a formal math curriculum at first grade age.  And I do make sure the other subjects are covered starting at first grade age t since I have to meet legal requirements for first grade.  (In kindergarten, I sign the waiver so I don't technically have to do a thing!)  My 5 year old is currently reading on about a first grade level - with zero curriculums and zero formal instruction.  He likes to draw cards like Pokémon so he's getting a lot of practice on his fine motor skills.  He likes to make up random real world math problems and quiz us.  So, I'm fairly certain he makes the pretty checklist stuff naturally anyway.  My eldest would not have at that age - but he caught up and more when he was ready.  He had his strengths and they weren't the traditional things they test for.  I'm so glad I could follow his lead and not have to do things the way public school does.  You've taught your child quite a bit so far, just by being an active parent.  So don't stress - you've got this.  

That being said, there are some parents who want more structure.  Though I haven't used the curriculum myself, one that I've looked at and is developmentally appropriate is Five in a Row. I have many friends who use it who enjoy it.  (Do note that if you're a secular homeschooler, that it was written for both religious and non-religious people to be able to use it.  I have heard that there may be a small amount of adapting needed for secular homeschoolers - just in a couple spots, not most of the time).

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palmettomom2609

Thanks everyone! I feel like until I have some experience under my belt that it might be better to have everything already. I do have a super silly question. I saw the SC laws say that children need to learn reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Are history and social studies the same thing? I feel like they are but I just wanted to make sure!

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