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4th Grade Son; First Year of Homeschool--Help!


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#1 kaymom

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

Hi there. I am bringing my son home beginning this fall for 4th grade. He has been attending public school all of his previous years--mostly in Southern NJ and one year in Texas. He is a high performer in school and we are bringing him home because I think he needs more challenge (but not too much as to not stress him totally out). Anyway, I like many other newbies, am overwhelmed with our choices. I have met 2 homeschooling moms who have at the core wanting a better education for their children and they both use the WTM ideas. I had thought we were going to use Sonlight for World History (condensed into one year since he hasn't been exposed at all) because I loved all of the readers. Now I am having second thoughts after starting my read of the WTM. My son seems to enjoy creative writing, is above average in math (not a genius, just at the high end of normal) and is reading at the end of 5th grade when he's at the end of 3rd (just had an evaluation). We live in the Nasa and science driven area so science is a big deal to us. I am not sure where we'd start if we wanted to implement using the ideas in the WTM since we'd be on the last year in the grammar stage. I so want to study world history because frankly he's heard plenty about the US but very little about the rest of the world. Should we just pick up on the plan and do the modern age or can we start at the beginning. Sorry that this is wordy, but I figured lots of information might be helpful.

#2 kalanamak

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:00 PM

There is another thread on the first page of K8 called Just Starting Homeschooling. Look there.

#3 Momto2Ns

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:13 PM

We started homeschooling when our kids were in 5th grade. It is hard to come into classical homeschooling in the middle. I'm not sure what Sonlight you were thinking of using, but they really don't have a one year world history that would be the right level for a 4th grader. Their younger world history would fit 1st-3rd and the older one is middle school. My dd was in 6th when we did Core G and it was perfect. Both of my kids tested at a high school reading level when they were tested in 3rd grade, so they are not behind where you son is.

If you want Sonlight, you would probably need to start in their American History cores, either doing it over 2 years or doing American in one year. If you want to start into World History, SL isn't the place for you right now. Try looking at MFW or just using WTM as a guide.

#4 5LittleMonkeys

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:25 PM

Hello and welcome!

As for history, you could go ahead and start your 4 year world history cycle now then in 8th do a world geography and cultures study, which would set him up nicely to either continue with another deeper sweep through 4 years of world history OR the more traditional sequence of high school social sciences.

#5 snowbeltmom

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:39 PM

Hello and welcome!

As for history, you could go ahead and start your 4 year world history cycle now then in 8th do a world geography and cultures study, which would set him up nicely to either continue with another deeper sweep through 4 years of world history OR the more traditional sequence of high school social sciences.


:iagree:
Congratulations on your decision to homeschool.

We started homeschooling when our kids were 7, 9 and 11. I found the vast amount of options to be overwhelming that first year, and I bought way more stuff than I could possibly use because it all looked so good. Homeschooling is like being at a huge buffet - it all looks great, but you can only fit so much on your plate.

These boards are a great resource to help you on your journey.

#6 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:23 PM

Hi there. I am bringing my son home beginning this fall for 4th grade. He has been attending public school all of his previous years--mostly in Southern NJ and one year in Texas. He is a high performer in school and we are bringing him home because I think he needs more challenge (but not too much as to not stress him totally out). Anyway, I like many other newbies, am overwhelmed with our choices. I have met 2 homeschooling moms who have at the core wanting a better education for their children and they both use the WTM ideas. I had thought we were going to use Sonlight for World History (condensed into one year since he hasn't been exposed at all) because I loved all of the readers. Now I am having second thoughts after starting my read of the WTM. My son seems to enjoy creative writing, is above average in math (not a genius, just at the high end of normal) and is reading at the end of 5th grade when he's at the end of 3rd (just had an evaluation). We live in the Nasa and science driven area so science is a big deal to us. I am not sure where we'd start if we wanted to implement using the ideas in the WTM since we'd be on the last year in the grammar stage. I so want to study world history because frankly he's heard plenty about the US but very little about the rest of the world. Should we just pick up on the plan and do the modern age or can we start at the beginning. Sorry that this is wordy, but I figured lots of information might be helpful.


Welcome! I'm just finishing my first year of hsing a 4th grader, so I know how overwhelming it feels. You are in a good place, you will get lots of suggestions and answers here, and *lots* of opinions! Just remember the one that matters the most is yours! You are the one who knows your son best, and who knows what will work for your family, so focus on your goals for his education, and what he needs, and try not to get too buffeted by the many opinions you will read here.

Just so's you see how someone did it, here is what we did for the 4th grade year:

Math - I researched a lot of curricula. The main question, I think comes down to what style of curriculum will serve your son best: will he learn better with a mastery-style curriculum, where subjects are taught incrementally and focused on for a relatively long period of time? Or do you think a spiral curriculum would be best, one that introduces a new topic in each lesson, but also reviews everything that came before in each problem set? Some examples of more mastery-type curricula are Math Mammoth and Singapore Math, a couple of spiral curricula are Saxon and Teaching Textbooks (these are just 4 among many!!). Once you decide on a style, go to the website and have your son do a placement test. This is really useful, because not only will it tell you where to start, but it will let you know where his holes are. We did placements for TT, Singapore, and MM, and ended up going with MM. We've been *very* happy with it. We supplement with Life of Fred - you should google this and check out the website to see if it appeals to you. Some love it, some hate it.

History - start whenever you want. really. If you use SOTW for history, you can do the Ancients now with lots of supplemental reading, then do Medieval in 5th grade, and be back around to Early Modern and Modern in 6th and 7th. The books are all fine for those grade levels, and you can supplement so he's getting extra readings at his level. We will only go through the cycle twice, but we'll spend 5-6 years going through it the second time, so we'll "go deep" when she's a bit older.

Science - at least check out Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. It can be a little intimidating at first, but it's a really amazing conceptual science program that can cover you through 8th grade. Lots of other good options out there, but you should at least check this one out.

Congratulations on beginning this amazing journey! And welcome to this great community! But you are the boss of your family, so take what we all say with a large block of salt! :grouphug:

#7 kaymom

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:52 PM

We started homeschooling when our kids were in 5th grade. It is hard to come into classical homeschooling in the middle. I'm not sure what Sonlight you were thinking of using, but they really don't have a one year world history that would be the right level for a 4th grader. Their younger world history would fit 1st-3rd and the older one is middle school. My dd was in 6th when we did Core G and it was perfect. Both of my kids tested at a high school reading level when they were tested in 3rd grade, so they are not behind where you son is.


I actually have the core B+C (one year condensed world history) which says it is appropriate for up to 4th grade. I figured since we'd only be doing it for history and bible, and since the Child's History of the World is a 4th grade book and most of the history readers seem good. Maybe we'll just use it as a spine and do a more in-depth study if we are whizzing through it. I have been given books 1-3 for SOTW. Do you think this would be way out of the question?

Edited by kaymom, 07 May 2012 - 10:46 AM.


#8 kaymom

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

[quote name='kaymom'][quote name='Momto2Ns']We started homeschooling when our kids were in 5th grade. It is hard to come into classical homeschooling in the middle. I'm not sure what Sonlight you were thinking of using, but they really don't have a one year world history that would be the right level for a 4th grader. Their younger world history would fit 1st-3rd and the older one is middle school. My dd was in 6th when we did Core G and it was perfect. Both of my kids tested at a high school reading level when they were tested in 3rd grade, so they are not behind where you son is. [/Quote]

I actually have the core B+C (one year condensed world history) which says it is appropriate for up to 4th grade. I figured since we'd only be doing it for history and bible, and since the Child's History of the World is a 4th grade book and most of the history readers seem good that it would be ok. Maybe we'll just use it as a spine and do a more in-depth study if we are whizzing through it. I have been given books 1-3 for SOTW. Do you think this would be way out of the question?

#9 kaymom

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:44 PM

:iagree:
Congratulations on your decision to homeschool.

We started homeschooling when our kids were 7, 9 and 11. I found the vast amount of options to be overwhelming that first year, and I bought way more stuff than I could possibly use because it all looked so good. Homeschooling is like being at a huge buffet - it all looks great, but you can only fit so much on your plate.

These boards are a great resource to help you on your journey.


I like your analogy. :) Thanks for the support!

#10 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:15 AM

I would start with the last year of grammar stage rotations in history and science, and then you could jump into your full first rotation for 5th grade starting the logic stage.

So I would go with whereever he needs for math and English and spelling. I would do SOTW4 (yes, it will have some American History, but it includes world history for the moderns, something he probably has not had in P.S. elementary 3rd grade. ) I would do the reading from the A.G. SOTW 4 has beginning outlining instead of sample narrations. I would skip that, and spend the year teaching him how to do narrations since he hasn't had that yet. I would do the physics for 4th grade science as laid out in WTM. I would start him in Latin. I might go for LCI if you are up for it, since he is a strong student. I had 5th graders doing it with me this year that had had no prior latin though my 4th grader who did it this year had had a year of PL first. But you may want to go gently and start with PL.

WTM is so fun and pretty easy with a strong student. Enjoy!

#11 iamrachelle

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:11 AM

You've gotten a lot of great advice so far. I just thought I'd chime in and mention that you don't have to start every single subject at the same time and on the same day... start with your core subjects (math, reading, writing) and then add in spelling, history, science over the next couple of weeks.

And don't be afraid to tweak or ditch a curriculum if it's not working for your son. One of the biggest mistakes I made my first year of homeschooling was continuing with a math program (that I loved) but was clearly not working for my daughter. We finally switched to something else half way through the year and finished our first year of homeschooling with less tears and many, many more smiles. I intuitively knew it wasn't working but didn't want to "waste" the money purchasing something else. If you ask me, it's always money well spent if the curriculum gets done, increases knowledge, and is implemented with a happy heart from both mom and student.

Welcome!!

#12 jayb842

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:35 PM

I just brought my ds home last year. He is the same age and about the same learning speed as your son. We use Calvert as our spine. What I love about it is planned out daily for you and i add on as needed to challenge and add depth. We also supplement with Saxon math. He will take a science and Latin classes next year from the co-op.

My best advice is to take it one day at a time, relax and enjoy the journey. You will do awesome!

Edited by jayb842, 07 May 2012 - 08:43 PM.


#13 kaymom

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:56 PM

I just brought my ds home last year. He is the same age and about the same learning speed as your son. We use Calvert as our spine. What I love about it is planned out daily for you and i add on as needed to challenge and add depth. We also supplement with Saxon math. He will take a science and Latin classes next year from the co-op.

My best advice is to take it one day at a time, relax and enjoy the journey. You will do awesome!

Thanks Jenn. I posted my idea of what I'm thinking of doing in another post for ideas. I looked at Calvert and liked it (even talked to them) and then Sonlight. I went with Sonlight because of all of the literature, but now want to add in things from TWTM. Too many choices!


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