Considering Homeschooling

Christy - posted on 02/02/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I've recently decided that homeschooling may be the best option for my children and my family. I would love to teach on a Christian stand. What are some of the best resources for this? Where should I begin? Is it similar to regular homeschooling? Different curriculum?

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Susanna - posted on 02/04/2010

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Hi! I just saw your post about homeschooling and different curriculums. I grew up homeschooled on the A.C.E curriculum using the paces. They are pretty simple and the students pretty much teach themselves with it. I think my mom started off helping us a lot with Kindergarten work and maybe some of first grade but as the child gets older they are more independent of a parents help. So it seemed with us. I guess it was a curriculum that worked well in my parents situation with 7 kids and missionaries on a foreign field. I'm currently a stay at home mother of 3 kids (7, 5, 2 1/2) . I personally do not like the A.C.E. curriculum b/c I think its not challenging enough so when I started homeschooling my daughters with K3 and K4 I used Abeka. I didn't really research a lot of different curriculums. I love Abeka b/c they are very strong with phonics and kids start learning to read in K4. I didn't teach lesson plans to my 3 year old but she would sit in while I taught lessons to my 4 yr old and she learned to read right before she turned 4! I was amazed!!! The first year I bought the books through the school and it was really expensive but then someone told me about ebay and I now order my books off there and its a lot cheaper. Abeka is a Bible based curriculum and has beautiful pictures that goes with their stories and the children have a book they color and etc, in. Abeka also starts teaching Bible doctrine in K4 (maybe earlier ?) and I love that b.c it builds on the childs understanding and knowledge of our faith. They have Bible memory verses as well. Both of my girls are making A's for the most part. The pictures are very bright and colorful and makes it more fun and interesting for the students. I use most of the subjects that they would be doing if they were in a Christian school so that they can have the advantage that other kids going to a private school would get when it comes to learning.
I hope this has helped you out. Hope all works out for you.
Sometimes I get criticized by some of my Christian friends for homeschooling my kids but with only one income we can't afford a private school and public school is not an option to me. I enjoy teaching my daughters and seeing what they are learning and teaching them about God and our faith. They would not be getting that in a public school environment. I don't have to worry about them going off to school and who/what their teacher is or being taught non-christian things.
Have a blessed day!

Alisha - posted on 02/07/2010

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I have am currently teaching two of my kids..The oldest being 5 and the other 3..We used Sonlight which was great but recently switched to My Fathers World...I absolutely love MFW! The 3yr old can join in so much more and it has so many great hands on activites to choose from...Sonlight got a little overwhelming for us but MFW seems the perfect fit! I love how the Bible wound through all that they are learning and my kids have really enjoyed the weekly unit studies and remember all the themes with their letters so far....My favorite is to hear my girls telling each other, "I don't quit! I persevere!" which went along with the letter T.

Gene & Erin - posted on 02/04/2010

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So happy for you as you begin homeschooling. First, remember that it really is a lifestyle - not just something you do. Second, you have asked an excellent question - unfortuantly there is no "right" answer. What works well for someone might not work for someone else. (What worked in history for my older girls was horrible for my middle boys). What works for my friend just won't jive at my house.

I am also a homeschool catalog junkie. I highly recommend ordering a catalog from everwhere you can. Then you can filter what you like and what you don't (plus its fun). I also order most (but not all) of my curriculum from homeschoolingbooks.com (they have a catalog also) because they order in bulk and I save a little.

See if your state has a homeschool website - try hslda.org they could point you in the right direction as far as finding out about your states laws. You can also go to your local board of education office and get a pack of information and possibly talk to someone there who could answer some questions. Stay legal.

Last - keep asking questions! Even after you get started. And find some others near you to talk to.

This year all of mine have studied Science together (Apologia) - next year we'll do science and history together. We make use of a Community Bible Study and do that together for Bible - during the off months we pick other stuff to talk about (virtues, character, memorization . . .) I use Common Sense Press, Learning Language Arts Through Literature, and Alpha Omega, Horizons for Math.
We plan to add Latina Christiana and a typing course for next year (I don't know how we'll get it all done).

I love coming here and hearing what other people say about different things and their experiences. Just remember that God set you on this wonderful journey and gives us the freedom to train-up our children. He will prepare the way and guide you through each day. We just have to let Him. Its not always easy, but its always worth it!

[deleted account]

There are so many options. You just have to pick one and try it. When I first began 17 years ago we began with paces at first but the children hated them. We then switched to ABeka and really liked it. I still use a lot of ABeka but also write some of my own and use a lot of literature based learning. I want to recommend some books for you.

The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond and Dorothy Moore



The Well-Trained Mind by: Jessie Wise (classical education) This is a great book. It is a bit too rigorous for my taste but I have read it many times and glean ideas from it and book suggestions



Educating the Whole Hearted Child by: Clay and Sally Clarkson



Here is what I have done for the past 8 years or so :)



Science: ABeka (plus I supplement with lots of real books)



History: Kingfisher Encyclopedia for younger grades and Streams of Civilization for older ones. I have a long list of books that correspond with each chapter that they are to read.



English: ABeka



Math: Abeka



Geography: Holling Studies for younger kids (Beautiful Feet) and I write my own for the older



Spelling: Rod and Staff by far!



Latin/Greek Root Word Studies: Critical Thinking Company



Thinking Skills: Critical Thinking Company



I also use Eyewitness books and others to make up an Intro/Integrated Physics/Chemistry course

Samantha - posted on 02/02/2010

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This is my first year are we are using My Father's World! It is more hands on then a lot of the other curriculum that I looked at. I love how they include the Bible it to the lessons. I love how you teach everyone together and they do the work on their own level.

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Andora - posted on 04/13/2010

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homeschooling the hardest and most rewarding thing a parent can do with their children. it isn't for everyone, but if you have prayed and you think this is where God is leading you then jump in with both feet. there isn't one right way to do it. the worst thing though is to try to duplicate public school at home. find out how your children learn, find out your teaching style, decide what you think they need to know for a godly life as young people and adults, then consider what the state teaches or if you have any regulations in your state. it can be daunting at first, but you can do it. God gave you the children He gave you knowing who you are and who they will be. Stay in prayer, do your best and try to enjoy yourself and make it enjoyable for your kiddos. peace to you all

Janet - posted on 02/08/2010

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I have been homeschooling for the past 7 years now. We did not start when our older children started school. My oldest was pulled out of high school at 11th grade, my second son was in the 9th grade, my third son was in the 8th grade, and my youngest son was in the 4th grade. We started out using Lifepacs and then we went and just experimented with a wide variety of things. I am not totally concerned with my children learning what the state requires public schools to teach. I am teaching my children a biblical worldview. At this time I have used Learning Literature Through Language Arts, Bob Jones Univeristy, Saxon Math, The Mystery of History, and alot of other extras. Right now I do not use a set program. The only thing that I can suggest is start with something that you think might work. Do not be afraid to scrap it when you realize that it is not working. My son and I started a class at the beginning of last year and it was so bad that we both had our hands on it and threw it in the garbage can. Also, understand that what works for one child may not work for the other child. Be open with them and ask them to be open with you. I have told my children that if they did not like the book that we were using then they could come and tell me that and we could see what we could do. But, careful about them just not wanting to do the course. My youngest is now in the 10th grade and when he told me that he did not like the science we talked about it and then it finally came out that he thought it was too hard. I did not budge becuase I knew he could do the work.
I pray that you and your children will be blessed with your decision and that you will also have fun with this. I know I did and still am.

Christy - posted on 02/06/2010

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I just told my husband how glad I was to find this community! I feel like I've finally found my "sisters" in Christ. The church that I'm a member of (my grandfather's the minister) has mainly older women, aged anywhere from 50+. I only stay at that church to stay as close to my grandparents for as long as God decides that they should be here! I'm so glad I found you ladies!

Jennifer - posted on 02/06/2010

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I'm a homeschooling mom of 6 for 8 years now and I'm currently teaching 4 of my 6 kids from K-7th grade. I've found success from talking with other homeschoolers about what they use and like, etc. I use various resources for the different subjects. Veritas Press is a classical christian company and I use their Phonics program and their history series. Apologia Science is fantastic with teaching from a Christian stand and their books can be used with all age groups at one time. I use Christian Liberty Press for Spelling, Easy Grammar, Bob Jones Math for the early grades and then I switch to Saxon in Third Grade. I homeschool my kids specifically so they can be exposed to sound Christian teaching in the every day of life and routine. Leaning and drawing strength (and patience :) from our Lord and Savior and knowing you've made the right decision for your family will carry you through.

Cheryl - posted on 02/04/2010

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Rod and Staff is great!!! They have the cheapest preschool curric around: 6 workbooks for $15! They are a Mennonite publisher so the pictures are not in color and the stories usually revolve around family and farm life. We also have the readers for K and 1st grade becuase they are very Biblical and teach good character qualities.
If your church's children's program doesn't already have some sort of Daily Bible reading or Quiet Time program for your children, they have a great Bible lessons program that you can start as young as K!!

Donna Marie - posted on 02/04/2010

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My daughter's hairdresser told me that she uses a curr called Rod and Staff. I haven't seen it, yet, but plan to look it up. Her girls are 9 and 10 years old.

Cheryl - posted on 02/03/2010

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If you like that style, there are several programs similar to it: My Father's World, Weaver, KONOS, Tapestry of grace and even some families do Sonlight together if some of your children are close in age. All excellent, Bible based, awesome curriculums!

Cheryl - posted on 02/02/2010

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Welcome to the road less traveled!! While your families may not seem supportive now, it's only a matter of a time before they will be convinced too!

homeschoolreviews.com is great but you need to know which ones you want to review first... and like they said- there's TONS!!! Really, you need to know what style of teaching you want to do and what style of learning your child/ren has, then you can figure out which currics you want to compare...

I always recommend Cathy Duffy's website and book 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling. I'm sure you could find it at a local bookstore, library or interlibrary loan (a homeschooler's moneysaver!) In it she has a few workpages to help you sort all that out and then has a chart telling you what currics may work for your family. That's the big thing- you have to find out what fits for YOU! Lots of people will post and say ABeka's awesome, My Father's World is awesome, Sonlight is awesome, Charlotte Mason is awesome... but each of those four are structurally VERY different.

I think in your question you had also asked about the Christian aspect. I think it's harder to find a nonChristian curric then a needle in a haystack... most of them will CHristian- it just depends to level and if you have a denomination preference (like there are a few Catholic programs out there).

Good luck and God Bless you in your endevor!!!

Christy - posted on 02/02/2010

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Unfortunately, my church is extremely small and my kids are the youngest ones there at 10, 11, and 13. My grandfather's the minister. I'm just glad I've found all of you to help walk me through this, and honestly for a little support!

[deleted account]

Christy

I understand!! My family is not to keen on the idea either. However, you have to do what you feel the Lord has led you to do! It is worth it, trust me!! I recommend finding an awesome group of homeschoolers to help you out, check yahoo groups or facebook to see if there are any near you. Our church is VERY home school friendly so I am blessed in that regard!

Shirley - posted on 02/02/2010

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Yes, there are soo many options! It might start to feel overwhelming if it hasn't already. :)

I would recommend looking at each of the curriculum's goals or focuses or whatever they call their "Statement of Purpose". And then line them up to your reasons for homeschooling and your thoughts on how to do it best for your children. I know you're just starting, but you probably have an idea (or will when you start looking) of what you really don't want to do - or things you really would like to include in your school day.

I'll plug Sonlight as the above poster mentioned. We've used PK thru 3rd grade and I'm absolutely in love with it! (okay, that's a mild exaggeration... ;) but my kids love it and my husband and I do as well.) It most closely fit us and we've had no reason to look elsewhere ... though I still do. -- I can't help it! I'm addicted to homeschool catalogs! ;D

I have plans to mingle in some Lifepacs/switched-on-schoolhouse electives in future years. We use a Character Education book from ACSI. (2nd and 3rd grade) I don't think I'll be getting it for 4th grade. (She can just listen in and review it as the younger one goes through it again.)

Homeschooling is an amazing adventure! You and your family will figure it all out. Have fun looking!

Christy - posted on 02/02/2010

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God Bless you Misty! That was exactly the kind of email I needed right now! I've had a hard day to begin with and my friends and family aren't exactly keen on the idea!

[deleted account]

Get ready for curriculum to rule you life!! This is our first year "officially" homeschooling, and we are loving it. My oldest daughter is in Kindergarten, and my youngest is 3. Some things I tried when I decided to home school was going to the local library and checking out any and all books related to homeschooling. Then I jotted down ideas I liked, and those I did not. As far as curriculum goes-good luck! There are so many out there. We went with Christian Liberty Press's K curriculum and haven't been to thrilled with it. I wish I would have tried My Father's World, but it was more expensive at the time. We love the math book from CLP, and the science (detail of 7 days of creation, with lots of hands on activities) , but were not to thrilled with the history or phonics. We are currently using Hooked on Phonics and love it! We also bought the HOP workbook for K, and PK. As far as the Bible curriculum goes, we read a story from the Beginner Bible,and also study a Character Quality weekly that I downloaded from the Duggar family website. I have heard a lot of good reviews on Alpha Omega's Lifepacs and Sonlight, but both were kind of pricey for me. A great website full of reviews is www.homeschoolreviews.com

Good Luck!

Misty

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