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new to homeschooling...HELP!

Last post 06-18-2008 10:09 AM by hsiamy. 3 replies.
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  • 04-15-2008 12:44 PM

    new to homeschooling...HELP!

    I am so new to this homeschooling stuff, We pulled our 13 year old son out of public school back in Feb. We really had no time to think and we went with Zion academy for the transcript that he will receive after all the work is completed in June. I am so unhappy that I have forked out all this money just for a transcript. The curriculum is sooo rudamentary and cartoony for a 13 year old. I am so afraid he is going to get behind especially on the math because he did not do well on the placemant test. Does anyone know of a math out there that I can supplement with? I will probally have to get a math tutor for him to catch up!! Can anyone give me advice on 8th grade curriculum? Also, any advice on how to keep my son from getting so distracted?
  • 04-15-2008 7:45 PM In reply to

    Re: new to homeschooling...HELP!

     The best math course I have found for a middle-schooler who is having some problems with math is the Key to... workbooks by Key Curriculum Press.  They have Key to Fractions, Key to Decimals, and Key to Percents.  Going through these three topics "catches up" anyone who is behind, and generally covers the concepts they need for basic arithmetic.  Key to Algebra is excellent, also, for after they know arithmetic.  There are also Key to Measurement and Key to Metric Measurement, which focus on measurement but provide arithmetic review.  Key to Geometry is mainly drawing geometric lines and shapes, and teaches some basic geometric concepts.  A compass and ruler are used alot with Key to Geometry. 

    For eighth grade curriculum, consider Sonlight's history studies.  I haven't used an entire history package, but I used their book lists to make my own history reading list for middle school.  For science, we really like Real Science for Kids.  It is a curriculum that you mainly read, and do experiments about once a week.  It isn't too "little kids-ish" for middle school, and gives a good foundation in science.

    For one writing exercise, fact hunts are useful.  Middle schoolers like to do them.  You assign a topic and tell them to write down 10 facts about it.  They can use encyclopedias, books, or the internet.  Another good writing exercise for middle school is narrations-- they write about anything that is happening in their life, and you edit it for them, encouraging them to write more details if needed, and then they rewrite it or type it (on a different day).

     For grammar, Winston Grammar is helpful, especially if a child is more kinesthetic.  They learn all the parts of speech with this program, and it takes less than a year to complete it.

    Some kids are easily distracted.  For example, one of my sons found that our electric pencil sharpener was broken, and so he promptly took it apart and had pieces out on the table for about 15 minutes while he fixed it.  He didn't get his regular schoolwork done, but at least this "distraction" was helpful!  If it was me, I would just hunt for a sharp pencil, because I am very task-oriented and would want to finish whatever I was doing at present, before starting something else.  One thing I have noticed is that people-oriented kids are more easily distracted by other people in the house.  One of my daughters chose to study in her room, to minimize distractions.  My second grader chooses to get up early and do half of his schoolwork before breakfast, because it is quieter then.

    Sometimes there are nutritional issues with attention problems:  you might try giving your son a high-protein, no refined-sugar diet, and adding some magnesium as a supplement. 















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  • 06-01-2008 9:22 PM In reply to

    Re: new to homeschooling...HELP!

    I really think that before you get totally bombarded with the multitude of possibilities available, you should take some time with your son and find out what type of learning style he has.  There are many many wonderful curriculums and methods by which you may choose to homeschool, but after two years of fighting with my son about math, I have decided that I needed to stop listening to what everyone else thought was the best and start listening to him.  We have decided to go with "Teaching Textbooks" for next year's math.  He is a visual learner and the pictures on the CD-ROM's will walk him through the lessons and keep him on track. 

    By pulling your child out of the system, you have already gone against the "flow" don't be afraid to keep that up with a few things that may be considered less traditional, even in the ranks of homeschoolers.



  • 06-18-2008 10:09 AM In reply to

    Re: new to homeschooling...HELP!

    Well said Carrie!  Understanding your child's learning style is one of the most important things that you can do when beginning to homeschool and while searching for curriculum.  It generally defines what style of homeschooling will fit your child's needs.  Some children learn via auditory, visual, kinesthetic (through movement) and/or orally.  Some children need a multitude of sensory modalities to fully understand the concept.  Some need a multi-sensory approach.  One type of curriculum may not address the multiple intelligence that varies from subject to subject.  One may need to be eclectic in their approach to homeschooling.  So often it ends up being not what we originally envisioned but what is most necessary for our child.  This may be completely different from how you personally learn.   Therefore, the task is to adapt your thinking, open your mind, and get creative to meet your child's needs.



    ~ hsiamy
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