Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Calling All Homeschool Families!

This is the year. (gulp)
For three years now, I have felt God calling me to homeschool and each year I tell God, "Not this year, there is no way I can do it. I'm not capable. We have so much going on." And every year May-Aug I have that same feeling and I give the same response. I finally got scared enough that God would quit asking. That I would feel His prompting no more, and if I ignored Him in this area of my life, what other areas do I tell Him,"no" in.
So this is the year. Even with the chaos of our new bigger family, I'm jumping in.

Jace is starting his second year at Heritage Academy. He goes to school 3 days a week and is home schooled the other two days. This is a great fit for him. I would eventually like the girls to go as well. They have classes for k-12. It is a heavy academic program that requires a lot of self motivation. I know the girls aren't ready for it yet. I also think school should be fun and creative, at least until 6th grade. It should set a foundation for a desire to learn and that learning not only comes from text books, but the world around you. Filled with things to explore, take apart and discover.

Here is where I need help. What curriculum do you recommend? What has or hasn't worked for you? I need suggestions for Faith(2nd grade) and McKayley(4th grade). They are both incredibly creative girls. Faith is still figuring out reading and McKayley struggles in math. Faith excels in math and logical reasoning. McKayley is an excellent writer and artist. Also, what curriculum works with a lazy mother? A mother who does well enough to figure out what's for dinner. A mother who waits till the last moment to wake up and go to sleep. A mother who flies by the seat of her pants most days. Do you have advise in how to keep 3 toddlers occupied while working with the older kids. What's worked for you?

Please Help.


Laura said...

Read Beyond Survival by Diana Waring. It was a great read to get my feet under me in the beginning. It talks about learning styles, teaching styles, etc. It was a confidence booster for me.

Also understand that you will try curriculum and some will work and some won't. The beauty in homeschooing is that you can switch it up if you feel they aren't getting it.

Math U See might be a great place to start your math. Apologia Science is great. The Switched on Schoolhouse computer programs are good too. I would suggest this for Bible for sure. Learning Language Arts through Literature is good. For your struggling reader...let me think about this one for awhile. We'll talk more about it later. Hope this helps a bit.

Whew...you'll be busying googling tonight! ;)

crispy said...

I was just thinking about you and homeschooling today. We are diving in and trying to get a good start so we can take a break when we do sell and need to move.

For starters, you are going to do just fine. It seems a little overwhelming at first but you will do fine once you find a grove. God will honor you stepping out in faith to follow where He has called you to go.

On my blog I have a label for homeschooling. It lists a few of the things that work for us and how I started doing it in the first place.

One of the easiest things I have learned to to pick up books by Evan Moor (I link to their site on one of my posts) I have used the phonics for Tissy, and this year I am using a science one, and a few LA/grammar ones. You can flip through them at a teacher supply store. I photo copy them with my printer each day. That way I know they are getting some basics as we also want to do the fun things.

I also love Pathway readers (made for Amish schools) and Math-U-See. I find I need something that keeps me going. We do a lot of fun hands on stuff, but I also need to do worksheets (that is why I like the Evan Moor books). If we don't have things like the worksheets, I tend to leave things out.

I will try and post on this one soon to give you some ideas.

Praying for you as you jump in.

Melinda said...

We are starting our first official year of homeschooling. We just did a semester this year so we used the curriculem they had in private school. For this school year we are using Math U See,Apologia Science and Tapestry of Grace curriculem. I considered using Konos and My Father's World as well, but really like Tapestry from what I have seen. Good luck in picking a curriculem that works, I will check in to see what you decided to do.

Laura said...

What about Saxon Math? That is what the kids use at The Master's School. I agree with a phonic approach to the reading--has helped David to learn the sounds each letter and group of letters use. You will be surprised at what you can do and what the girls are capable of.

Kim said...

good for you.

I am doing a virtual academy with the K12 program they may have on in your area. Check and see. Free. I am looking for a bible curriculm as well. http://www.k12.com/ it is public school you are in charge of,but.... there is a lot of accountabilty, structure and it just takes the stress away for me. You get a free computer, internet, free curriculum, and if you have a science or art project they send you the materials, microscope, etc. I like the fact it cost nothing, the K 12 is 2 years above states standards as well and it has all the benifits of homeschool with flexibility and so forth. It keeps you on track. plus they do community things as well. For instance we are going to a pizza party to meet other K 12 families in our area. pretty cool.

Kim said...

In the past I have built my own curriculum, I like Apolgia Science, and Saxon math. Didn't lke ABEKA. Spell to Write and Read and Cursive first. I also heard switched on school house is good and Sonlight. Just some suggestions.

crispy said...

If you are looking for a good Bible program, I can't say enough great stuff about Precepts for kids. We love it. The girls love it.

I ordered mine from their web site and we are using "How to Study the Bible for Kids". It was about $10 each. They have learned so much with the Precepts for Kids books.

Those books, about 20 min. and set of colored pencils is about all they need.

Laura said...

I just thought of a good penmanship book for both of them. It is A Reason For Handwriting. The levels are A, B, C, etc. I can help you figure out where each girl would fit. They practice their handwriting with Scripture verses. Each day they do a certain letter/word (depending on level) and then the last lesson they write the verse out on pretty page that they can color the border in. We end up hanging them up all over. I know how creative your girls are...and I think they would enjoy this for their handwriting. :)

Saxon Math is a strong Math program. We use it for some of the girls. It is just that it is not for a struggling math student. It is pretty rigorous...but a very strong program. Highly recognized.

Joyce Herzog has some good material for struggling readers. Also the Explode the Code workbooks can be helpful.

Stephanee&Zach said...

Sonlight is amazing - love the creativity and the wonderful literature. Easy to use from what I hear. Look at their website and look at the 10 goals that they shape their curriculum.

We are not homeschooling right now and when we did before we were in a coop and could not choose a curriculum. Hand down though after all the research we have done - if/when we go back to homeschooling we plan to use Sonlight.

Hope that helps - there is lots of great stuff - it makes the choice even harder! Good luck in the first year - it may be hard at first but I'm sure it will be a blessing for you all!!

Laura said...

Just wanted to add...YOU WILL DO A WONDERFUL JOB!!!!!! You are a great mom, and have your children's best interest at heart. You desire for them to grow in knowledge and love for the Lord. I know you, I know them...you are all going to be so blessed in this endeavor. I'm proud of you!

Candace said...

My friend has her kids in an Christian based, online program that they all love. They all go at their own pace and RAVE about it. I will send you more info when I get back from Utah!

Anonymous said...

How exciting!!!!

Jen said...

I know I'm a little late on commenting here, but I would HIGHLY recommend reading "The 3 R's" and "You can teach your child successfully" by Ruth Beechick. I would also recommend "Educating the Whole hearted CHild" by Clay and Sally Clarkson. The Beechick books are invaluable to any homeschooling mama.

I am a "lazy" homeschooling mama (although I prefer to call it "relaxed!") and my best advice is to NOT try to replicate "school" at home - after all, it is not school, it is HOME and learning can happen at HOME without it looking like a public school.

Praying for a great first year!