Picking a Christian curriculum

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

I'm wanting to start homeschooling my 2 children. Daughter is in 5th grade on 7th and 8th grade levels and my Son is in 1st struggling in spelling but has brough his grade up 8points since I started doing our own thing for homework with his teachers blessing. We have had the #1 schools in our state (La) for the past 4 years but even so this is holding my DD back in her education and my DS needs more one on one time. So with that which curriculum do you use?

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Kristina - posted on 03/18/2009

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It depends on what you like - for books as a cirriculum i liked Abeka - they are kinda pricey so I had to stop them.  I wanted more computer based work and I found www.k-12freehomeschool.org - they are also christian based and I am really pleased with the work they give.  You are still in complete control of days, times and grading of some assignments.  Hope this helps you out in your journey for cirriculumm.



 



Kristina



Aurora, CO

Melissa - posted on 03/18/2009

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Hello To All!  My name is Melissa and I am new here.  I too am over whelmed, and feel a little frustrated.  My daughter is 9 years old, and is attending a Private Christian School, which I love.  My daughter says that she hates school, and has been saying that from 1st grade on.  She begs me each day to stay home.  She was doing very well A-B Honor R. but now that she is in 3rd grade, (almost finished) it has been harder for her (mostly math).  She is now getting C's along with A-B.  We do expect it to get harder, but she seems so frustrated.  I also believe that she thinks if she gets to stay home that she will not have to do much.  WRONG!  I also know that she is a home body and loves to stay home.  I believe that she needs to have friends.  We do attend church but she does not even want to be in Sunday School Class.  She does have friends that come over and play, and I know that from our church of Home Schooler Moms they do field trips together, which I can join.  I also am struggling with me teaching her and not being good enough.  Is that where maybe the DVD/CD's online would be a good option?  And,  I too have been looking into which Christian Curriculm to choose.  My daughter's school uses Bob Jones, which I have heard no one choosing this one.  Any suggestions to why or any other comments that might help me in deciding. There is no time line for me deciding.  We have all summer to investigate, but I do need to pay her next year fee to hold her spot for our Christian School.  Thank you so much for your help!  I need it!  Love In Christ  Melissa

Ann - posted on 03/17/2009

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I have been homeschooling for 15 yrs. I started with one curriculum and now use several depending on the subject and teaching style of the child. One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can customize the whole thing. Two of our sons couldn't spell and we used two totally different approaches for each. One had a more intensive use of the dictionary, word usage, understanding, etc. and the other we improvised and used a board game called spill and spell with several of our own twists to the game. It worked well for him since he has severe dysgraphia as well. My thoughts are to be creative and trust your gut. If you don't take them out of public school, then continue to suppliment their weak areas at home. That will do wonders.

Christina - posted on 03/08/2009

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your question "can you mix and match?" -I do and will most likely always... curriculum are made for classrooms and I don't have one... I have a child (or 3) that needs to learn how he/she needs to learn. I haven't found a single curriculum that teaches everything I agree with or every subject comprehensible to my children. I will even go so far as to tell you that I won't even use the same books for my next child coming up if I don't think she'll profit from it... I would suggest you mix and match. If you don't want to start out like that, I would almost promise you that you''ll want to suppliment things along with your decided curriculum. I buy year round too, I love to know that I can always change a direction if my children are in a funk, IDK maybe my kids are the only ones that get there and I have to admit sometimes I get sick of the same book too sometimes!

[deleted account]

I would also reccomend Cathy Duffy's book: 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. She also has a website with tons of reviews of various homeschool curriculum: calthyduffyreviews.com.  I've used it a lot in trying to find a curriculum. It is extremely overwhelmin in my opinion.  I'm new to homeschooling (my daughter is doing kinderarten this year). We are going to try tapestry of grace next year.  It appealed to me because eventually I can teach both my girls from it at the same time and it is a literature based unit study that has history taught in chronological order. Also, it seems expensive at first glance, but I am able to get most of the books they use from my library. I also use singapore math, hooked on phonics, and a reason for handwriting.  Next year we will be doing Writing With Ease and First Languae Lessons For the Well-Trained Mind as well (both written by Susan Wise-Bauer of the well trained mind). I think you just pick out what you think is best for your kids and try it. The beauty is that you can change whenever you want. I would check out your library too because a lot of things (like many of the well trained mind books and Cathy Duffy's) are available to preview there. I also frequent ebay and I love yard sales. You would be amazed what you can find there. Hope this helps!

Christine - posted on 03/06/2009

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I have been homeschooling for 3 years. We usually use whatever we are able to aquire. Abeka for reading, School specialty for everything else (Sams Club). Next year I am considering Switched on Schoolhouse from Alpha Omega Pub. I have talked with a couple of people who love it. We have made no final decisions as we would need to acquire a couple more computers but check it out.

Lori - posted on 03/04/2009

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I  have been homeschooling for three years with abeka and I love it...that being said, it is very hard to jump into abeka math and language as well as history if you have not always used it.  I think your older ones would struggle with abeka.  As far as reading for the first grader...if he is struggling, abeka would be great, but it does tend to move kind of quickly, so make sure you just do it at your pace...and make sure you purchase the Handbook for Reading...it really reinforces the phonics

Stephanie - posted on 03/02/2009

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This is our first year of homeschooling our son who is in 5th grade. We decided to go with Liberty University's online program. It has been a real blessing for us. The curr. is Switched On Schoolhouse and Andrew is doing wonderful. We were tired of the hassle w/ our county school and what he wasn't learning. For instance, last year, he had enough Science for the school to give him a grade but because it wasn't on the SOLs, his teacher could only take a few minutes here and there just to give the kids a grade. We were mortified when we found out. We now have to prayerfully consider what to do w/ our 5 year old who will be starting K in the Fall.



Online programs seem to be more expenisive but for us it was worth the cost. Now we don't dread doing classwork, we instantly know what he makes on classwork and quizes, etc. and do not have to take care of transcripts because its through LUOA.

Christina - posted on 03/01/2009

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hey Tiffany,



I am a mother of three, 1st grade, 4th , and 5th-all have been homeschooled from day one...I grew up a struggling reader and was in a private school(and homeschool) that used ABeka... saying that, I would not recamend it for a struggling reader already in 1st grade. They are aware that they are struggling already and ABeka moves quickly.



Personaly, I would say start with Explode the Code, along with Primary Phonics, which work together great-my 1st grader also uses Rod and Staff phonics book, they are all very repetative... I also would say shop until you find what YOU are happy with- buy used until you are sure it will work don't sink yourself into a years worth of curriculum until you're possitive! After you spend the money it will make you feel obligated to use it. Homeschooling is wonderful because you have the option of saying if it works or not with YOUR child or homeschooling schedule... in the end it is your decision what and how you want to teach your children. GOOD LUCK, GOD BLESS, many happy years of homeschool...

Angela - posted on 02/26/2009

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Tiffany - I know it seems overwhelming to start with !! First, I would recommend that you check out the book (it's usually available at the library) " The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. The book is large, but you only need to look at the areas that are for your childs current level. They tell you all about different curriculums & the $s, too.



Now, I've been HSing for 4 years now. I have 2 DD's 10 & almost 8..so 2nd & 4th grades. I started homeschooling for many reasons, but one of them was the same as your reason w/ your dd. She needed the teacheer to suppliment her reading w/ a higher level, but the teachers are just too busy.



I usually spend between $800-$1000 a year for a full curriculum for both of my kids. It's not as cheap as public school, but definitely not as expensive as private school!



Here's what I have found works the best for us!!



Science: Noeo Science, www.noeoscience.com

History: The Story of the World, www.peacehillpress.com

Math: Horizons Math, (put out by Alpha Omega) www.aoe.com

Language/Grammer: First Language Lessons, www.peacehillpress.com

Writing/Composition: Writing with Ease, www.peacehillpress.com

Logic: Logic Safari



Don't forget to price shop!! You don't have to order your books from the original websites! www.pennywiselearning.com, www.amazon.com, etc... I always shop around & see who is offering not only the best prices on materials, but shipping & handling too!!



Don't give up! It gets easier & you gain confidence as you go!!

Angela

Christina - posted on 02/24/2009

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Tiffany: probably the hardest thing you will have to do is actually pick the curr out.  There is just so much out there!  For your daughter, (if this is your first year) you may want to consider teachingtextbooks.com (Teaching Textbooks).  Unfortunately, they are more on the expensive side, but.......they have every lesson on cd, every step to every problem on cd, and every step to every test problem on cd.  That way, if you or your daughter gets stuck, you can both or either, look it up and see where you went wrong.  For upper level math (unless the parent is a math major) it saves alot of teaching time, correction time, and helps your student master problem areas on their own.  I also love Beautiful Feet literature based approach to history, it is cheep.   You can buy the guide, and most libraries have all the books in the guide.  (my kids and myself included hate reading dry history textbooks).  We have 10 children and they all have different learning styles and personalities, likes and dislikes.  We have used 5 diff math curr alone.  Lastly, I feel strongly that you and your hubby need to be together on this, it makes a huge difference.  Hope this is helpful, and yes, we use some Abeka, and lots of this and that to accomodate childrens' likes and needs.  If you have any other questions just holler.   :)

Linda - posted on 02/24/2009

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Are you looking at their video school? Because even if you buy the books brand new, it's not that expensive! We have always just done it on our own--you don't have to do the video. And you certainly can mix and match curriculums. We now use a different company for many subjects. Also, see my note above--there are many opportunities for buying the books used.

[deleted account]

I have found out that ABeka is pricey. 750 a semester per child.  Can you mix and match curriculums? Sorry I'm so lost lol. My cousins use Abeka and I have got to find out how theyre affording it. One has 3 kids in school. I'm hoping I'll find the right one for our children. Thanks so much for everyones responses!!!

Linda - posted on 02/23/2009

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Just a note: Abeka can be expensive brand new, but you can usually buy books on ebay or from homschoolers who are done--or sometimes Christian schools (many of which use Abeka) sell old books.

Iris - posted on 02/23/2009

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I have a son in first grade we are using ABC With Ace and Christy. My son has dislexia and is doing good with that. A Beka seemed too expensive and I looked at it I didnt like it as well.

[deleted account]

I've been using A Beka for past two years and I really like it. My ds is in 2nd grade. For spelling I use SpellingCity.com where I post his spelling lists to practice or play games with them. I also supplement math using Math-U-See (MUS).

Linda - posted on 02/21/2009

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I used Abeka in elementary school for phonics, reading, and math. I think it's the best out there for those subjects. For my struggling spellers, however, I found Spelling Power worked better. Also, I found Abeka's science and history curriculum to be a little repetitive in elementary school--they just seemed to add a little more information every year, but basically teaching the same thing. Reading real books is much nicer for history--such as Sonlight.

Be careful using a curriculum too much higher for your daughter. Homeschool curriculums are generally more advanced than public school ones. I would suggest that you examine the one you are thinking about purchasing--or borrowing one from someone and look it over. For junior high, I like Saxon math and Apologia science--though I really would NOT start Apologia's 7th grade science book until 7th grade--it's a lot of work.

You should really try to attend a homeschool convention in your state and talk to those around you. The more input you get, the better decision you can make. Just remember, we've all tried things that haven't worked, and purchased things we've never used. If something doesn't work, you can always try something else. However, you really can't go too wrong with Abeka.

[deleted account]

ABEKA is 1st on my list. I have 2 cousins who use it. One uses the standard teachers manual version and the other uses the dvd program. I dont understand why phonics arent used anymore either. I recently was talking to him about short and long vowel sounds and how if e is at the end of the word the vowel in the middle was long. He had this blank look on his face so I had to explain short and long vowels. Something that should have been taught the 1st month of school. Ahhhh My DH isnt on board but ABEKA is having a seminar next month in our area. Thankfully one of my cousins informed me of that. So I'm planning on taking him so he can see for himself and also hoping he'll talk to my cousins to get their feedback.

Tepreene - posted on 02/20/2009

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I used a couple of different ones (Weaver) this one I liked because you caould teach three kids at once and they were all learning the came thing but at there own levels and Saxton math was awesome too they learn Geometry at a young age and then understand it later when they get into high school Abeka is a good reading source too
Tepreene

Christina - posted on 02/17/2009

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Hi Tiffany,



I am currently using the ABeka curriculum. I too have a 1st grade son. (As for your daughter, I don't know, haven't been there yet). But the Reading, Phonics, and Spelling in ABeka are phenominal! Kids my sons age are struggling in the PS and I always ask, do they teach phonics? The answer is usually no. ABeka provides these great charts for learning letter combinations. So, when my son was trying to spell a word like "ray" he wrote "rae" I was able to say, "ay as in pray" and he knew how to correct it. I do that a lot when he asks how to spell a word. And he KNOWS all the rules, so it is just a matter of starting to apply them.



So, I recommend ABeka for your elementary child. Although I am switching the math curriculum because that is not challenging enough, but the rest of it I am very pleased with and will probably order it for 2nd grade, minus the math.



Christina

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