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Would like your opinion please...

Last post 10-31-2008 9:50 PM by Tineyboppa. 14 replies.
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  • 01-16-2008 11:00 PM

    Would like your opinion please...

     Just some background before my question: I'm not really new to homeschooling. I started pre-schooling my oldest and then we jumped right into ACE when he was in kindergarten. When my daughter was old enough we preschooled as well and then tried Abeka for kindergarten. That same year my son started 3rd and we tried Alpha Omega's SOS. He loved being on the computer all day, but he didn't learn well with it. The next 2 years we put them both into a private church school that taught ACE. This year we have moved and I'm trying to get back into the swing of homeschooling. I'm really having a hard time with it this time.

     My children are now 11 and 9. He should be in 6th (though I don't think he's actually there yet) and she should be in 3rd (she's there I think). We are using Draw To Learn - The life of Jesus for our Bible study. Since it's also drawing we are calling it art for now as well. We are using Spelling Power, which we all love. We are using Handwriting without Tears and so far so good. My son's cursive is horrid so this is starting to help. We are using Math U See - My son is in Gamma (his math skills need reenforcement so we backed him up a bit) and my daughter is in Beta. Happy with it.

     My concerns are history, english and science. I can't seem to find something that will work. I bought writing power off the internet, only to discover it was way to complicated for us (me included!). My budget is next to nil so I'm trying to find ways to make things work that are inexpensive. My idea was to pick a subject, such as American History, and teach them both, but do my best to keep it on both their levels. I found a 16 volume set on American history at a homeschool fair for $3! Can this work? I don't want to cheat their education and want to be sure they are getting what they need. I feel very overwhelmed and insecure about it all. We've just moved and joined the local homeschool group, but I still feel a bit alone right now.

    So can I pick a topic in Science and Social Studies/History and we all study that? Or should I be more concerned about specifically teaching them what all other 3rd and 6th graders are being taught? (I'm in Illinois so they don't have to approve lesson plans or anything like that)

     I'd also love to hear any suggestions for curriculum for these subjects. Faith based would be preferred.

    I have many more questions, but I'll save them for another time. 

     Thanks for your time! 

    Amy 

  • 01-17-2008 5:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Hi Amy,  I am not an expert on the subject but I also have an 11 and 9 year old, homeschooling, as well as a 6 yr old and 2 yr old.  We are using ACE for English, Science and Word Building, Math-U-See and then just using our surroundings to cover all the rest.  We started homeschooling 2 yrs ago and have gone from doing every subject very strictly with ACE to just covering the main subjects with book based curriculum.  This is for two reasons.  One, booklet after booklet after booklet all day was killing my kids and me, and two, I have now met quite a few homeschoolers whom all say that as long as you cover Maths, English and Science, the rest comes naturally. 

    You have used ACE before, is there a reason why your not using it for English now?  Personally I would pick subjects that are relevant to you and your family and what your children are interested in.  I wouldn't be following what they do at school, certainly use any ideas you hear but don't try and follow them.

    Are you interested in doing a pen pal thing with our kids as we are in Australia?

    Hope this helps, God Bless!

    Sally

  • 01-17-2008 6:04 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    We are in our second year of homeschooling here in Kansas City, MO. My kids went thru 2nd and 4th grades in the publice system and experienced being left behind. So we pulled them out and have been addressing their weaknesses and playing up their strengths thru Sonlight curriculum. Everything is taught from the natural method, so there's lost of good reading. They have an excellent Condensed American History (from the pilgrims to the present day) core curriculum that you can often buy used thru their forums, and then alot of it is read aloud from one text; and then there's also workbooks that coincide and give them busy backup work. My kids love History, and so do I. (I loathed it in school, all the way thru college.) My kids are 18 months apart and I teach from the same text, I just expect more from my 11 1/2 year old. The used curriculum can be found here...https://www.sonlight-forums.com/. Otherwise, their philosophy is great and can be read on their home page: www.sonlight.com. Science is based on the Usborne books which are full of pictures, and cover many topics lightly in each volume. We are doing Core 5, Fitness and Health, some Anatomy, computer science, and geology, as well as the History of Medicine. Hope that helps.

    Jeanne

    PS It's biblically based curriculum. and not afraid to mention God in any subject.

  • 01-17-2008 8:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

     Hi Sally,

     Thanks for replying. Neither of my children really like  ACE that much. After being in the ACE school for two years they both were behind a bit. I don't know if it's the curriculum or the school, but we decided to try something different. They were excited this year that we were trying new curriculum. We maygo back with ACE on a subject or two if we can't find something else.

    My kids would love to be pen pals! 

     

     

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  • 01-17-2008 8:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Hi Jeanne,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I've heard lots of good things about sonlight. Do they have a test where I can see where to start my kids? I'll go look at the forums. Thanks for the suggestion!

    I'm also a fan of history. I find it very interesting! I think all subjects can be exciting and fun, it's all in the way it's taught. I want to find a way to make learning fun for my kids so they enjoy school. (I'd love to hear less griping about doing school work! LOL)

     

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  • 01-17-2008 10:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Hello a really good book that may help u is by Ruth Beechick. You could probably find it used online. It is called You Can Teach Your Child Successfully It covers Grades 4-8 and gives a scope and sequence for each grade and subject. If budget is on a shoestring u could probably get most of what u need at the library, also your children could get so into this 'fieldtrip' once a week you may have to go more often than that. This book gives way more than just the basics, it not only covers the 3 r's,but Science, History, Bible, Art and so much more, a really excellent resource and guide. Hope this helps. Debbie

  • 01-17-2008 11:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Thanks for the book idea Debbie. I'll check into it! 

  • 01-17-2008 8:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    You can definitely pick a subject and go for it!  We have used Beautiful Feet for history and really enjoyed it. Christian Liberty Press has great nature readers for the primary grades.  Both can be purchased used at really good prices. English is trickier (at least in our house!) We've tried several things, but I'd have to say over all I like Abeka.  It is thorough and easy to buy used. 

    Hang in there....and remember it's your school.....you can teach what you want when you want!  Go with what they're interested in.  It is so easy to roll math, writing, science into just about any "theme".  Have fun!

  • 01-17-2008 10:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    HI there!  There are many factors to consider when deciding on curriculum.  One very impt. factor is understanding your child's learning style (i.e is he/she a visual, tactile, auditory learner etc.)  Once you are able to identify how your child learns then you can navigate your way through the options.  There are many options out there and it can be very overwhelming.  Try to review the curriculum before purchasing if possible.  Just like you are doing here in the forums, ask around and see what others are using.  Many homeschoolers are able to purchase quality curriculum on a shoestring budget.  I personally decide what is most impt. for us and splurge a bit in those areas.  Math and Lang. Arts seem to be where I splurge.  Try to utilize free community resources to fill in where needed.  Field trips, co-ops or other homeschool groups and activities are other ways to address the missing links.  Try to keep things in perspective and realize that there is no magic curriculum out there.  With each child, there will be things that will be more appropriate than others - and that's the beauty of homeschooling - we can design a program that works best for you and your children.  But it is important to keep in mind that appropriate isn't perfect.  Almost any curriculum can be adapted to meet your needs. 

     

    Hope that helps!

     

    hsiamy   

    ~ hsiamy
  • 01-23-2008 11:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Thanks so much for all the advice everyone!

     I'll be sure to look at all the resources you have given me so I can make an informed decision.

  • 01-24-2008 9:06 PM In reply to

    • KayeT
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-14-2007
    • Posts 17

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Good evening Sparky's Girl I understand your situation. I started out using Abeka, went to a few different other things then I am now back with Abeka. I was fortunate enough to win most of my books on Ebay. There is a free site for science curriculum and material. The membership is free and this site covers multiple grade levels. http://msnucleus.org/index.html I like Story of the Worrld, My Little Primer and Prairie Primer. Here are a few more free sites you may want to check out Learningpage.com http://www.trutv.com/forensics_curriculum http://www.time4learning.com/science.shtml http://freebies.about.com/od/teacherfreebies/Teacher_Freebies.htm http://msnucleus.org/index.html I hope this helps a little
  • 02-08-2008 9:28 PM In reply to

    • tarck
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-08-2008
    • michigan
    • Posts 3

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Try Apologia science, it really works, and the kids love it. It is so much fun, and with your kids being a little older you can do both of them with the same curriculum most likely. The projects are easy and keep them interested. Best of all, the lessons are easy on you. You help them get through a lesson of reading then ask them questions they have to answer either verbally, or orally. Then with a lot of the lessons you have a short and inexpensive experiment. This is only 2 -3 times per week too! Check it out, I'm sure they would love it if you get it.
    Richard family
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  • 02-09-2008 10:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    I went through all 12 years of school with ACE SO I know what some of it weaknesses are and strengths but with ACE it is meant to build from one year to the next in a subject. I learned from my professor at college when we were in our teachers class and reviewing different school material that ACE is one that once you start on a subject lets say in 2nd grade that you need to stick with that subject till about 7th grade when a you can switch to a different material. He told us that what is taught in 1st grade Abeka might not be taught till 2nd grade ACE and vice a versa. ACE is a circular material when it constantly builds on what was learned the previous year.Sarah

     

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  • 02-14-2008 9:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

    Hi Amy. I'd like to suggest taking a look at Sonlight Curriculum or Heart of Wisdom. I noticed you mentioning your budget and to buy these curriculums directly from the publishers are expensive but you never know what you might find through eBay, Amazon.com or any homeschool sites that sell used stuff. One thing I will say about buying from Heart of Wisdom is that they use the money to develop more Christian materials, so if at all possible it is beneficial to buy directly from them. Also from H.O.W. you can download quite a few samples to get a real good feel of what it is all about.

     Happy homeschooling!

    Momof2kidz

  • 10-31-2008 9:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion please...

     Hi Sally

    Where in Australia are you?  I'll be starting hs next year and don't know which curriculum I should follow.  I want to be fairly structured but flexible.  I don't want to do Distance Ed as I want to go at my daughter's pace.  Do you have dispensation for following ACE?  Where do I find out more about it?  As you can see I'm very new at this.

    Tina

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