Do I have to use a curriculum for K, 1st, and 2nd Grades?

Len - posted on 06/15/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I'm newer to homeschooling. I have a 4 yr old that is ready for kindergarden and 1st grade curriculum and a 7 yr old. He finished K in PS and 1/2 1st grade. We have been working on reading as our #1 priority to finish up the rest of his 1st grade year. I have reviewed all the state standards for each grade and I feel I can teach them with out purchasing a curriculum. Is there any one else doing this? How is it working? When did you start buying curriculim? Feed back would be great.

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Katie - posted on 11/09/2010

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This is the first year that I have homeschooled. I bought the A2 curriculum and I love it. But I have found that I can get most of the same resources included on the cd ( for first grade atleast ) for free online! I don't particularly like the math on the cd except for the worksheet generator so I found a math book I love on 19th Century Schoolbooks.com . My first grader is multiplying and dividing already! I also teach my smaller children ages 3 and 4 with free resources on the internet. All of my children seem to be learning just fine. My advice is don't spend any money till you have to.

Lisa - posted on 11/02/2010

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I started out using a pre-packaged curriculum because I was afraid to "get it wrong." But the truth is that there is no one exactly right way to teach anything. Know what your child should learn in that grade and research books on the internet. Then, pick out the ones you like. If you ever get a dud, don't be afraid to toss it (or hand it on - what doesn't work for you may be a gem to someone else) and start fresh with something new. I've been researching and picking my own books for seven years now. I plan to keep this up all the way through High School.

Also, don't be afraid to take some things like history and science and adapt them to both of your children. You can use the same lesson on Mammals, for example, but show pictures, do a craft and tell a story to one child and ask the other to write a paragraph and make a poster. (Same subject, different level assignments for each child, get it?) It saves on books and the kids have fun learning some subjects together.

Steph - posted on 07/22/2010

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We use an eclectic mix of programs and "unschooling". For K and 1st we used Saxon math, Sonlight for history and some Young Scientist kits for science. At this age, fun is more important than major structure in my opinion.

There are plenty of curriculum options but it boils down to how structured you want to be.

Good luck!

Joy - posted on 07/12/2010

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You can homeschool any using as many/few resources as youe want and by buying a curriculum (or a mix of different curriculums) or by just using the library. As long as your are following your state's standards just enjoy it!

I use a mix of different programs. I have also used Sonlight and LOVED their program. It is very user friendly and my boys still love reading the P3/4 books.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Amy - posted on 07/08/2010

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I pulled my kids out of school in October when they were in 1st. and 3rd. grades. We used the library, cable tv programs, resources that I already had, computer/internet learning sites and purchased workbooks from Barnes and Nobles and teaching stores.
I ordered a cd-rom called "A+++" which listed national standards for each grade/what they should master in each grade. You can also google around the internet and compare these lists off of different sites. That's how I came up with a list of goals for each subject, per child, to meet/teach that year. Then, we took the above materials (from paragraph one) and used them accordingly.
Science and History surrounded what cable programs were showing (i.e. U.S. States-we would watch the programs on The History Channel and complete quizzes on states on internet sites that gave geography quizzes for free). If the Solar System was the main focus of Discovery Channel for the next couple of months, we watched those programs and read about the Solar System, journalling our readings (making outlines and quizzes out of our readings and putting those into our journals).
We have subscriptions to kids' magazines that are science based. I'd have them read out loud from those. We read history stories from books that pertained to time periods that we were learning about on tv. For writing, they would make their own newspaper, writing articles based on their walks & observations around the neighborhood.
Don't forget about learning games, museum trips, outdoor living history museums, etc. etc.
Now they are in 3rd. & 5th. I am buying Saxon Math cirr. and writing cirr. to make it easier and more consistent. We are doing science and history the same way. Art, cooking, daily living skills, music, etc. are all sporadic and to be seen as fun. Gym classes are thru our homeschool gym programs thru the "YMCA" and community sports programs.
Good Luck! I think the older they get, the more important boxed cirr. is. They are still young. Take this year to figure out their learning styles and weaknesses to see what areas you may need & what type of cirr. you may need, before spending hundreds-thousands of dollars.
(I bought a used Sonlight cirr. for $500 and have used only one history book out of the whole thing. A BIG waist, as it wasn't for us.)

Carly - posted on 06/23/2010

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I would look up the laws in the state where you live. Every state is different.

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