Jump to content


New here... need some help! :-)


Recommended Posts

Hello all! I've been stalking the WTM forum for a few days now doing some research for our family. We are new missionaries in South America and have decided we are going to homeschool. There is a "homeschool" for MKs here on our mission's campus, and they use SL for K-2 grade. We're just not sure what we want for our oldest DD. She will be 5 next April and school here begins in March, so we're going to go ahead and start here next spring in K.


Her skills right now include knowing all letters, upper and lower case, counting to 20, writing her name, her sister's name, and multiple other letters, in fact most of them. She has boundless energy but LOVES to read and in fact, that is about the only thing she'll sit still for. She is so eager to learn and that is why we're considering the WTM or Classical Christian method.


I've looked into Veritas Press, TOG, and stumbled upon Memoria Press yesterday. I love Sonlight for the literature base, but I'm hearing what the K-ers are doing this year in our missions' school and it sounds like what I'm doing with DD right now in some PreK stuff. (We are using confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com ABC curriculum right now.) I don't want her to get bored in school next year so we're considering doing our own thing.


My question mainly is what curriculum you would recommend. Our situation is this:

We do NOT have access to a library, so something like TOG would be hard.

We cannot readily ship things here via mail, so we need everything for a whole year at once.

Our internet is spotty and unreliable, so lots of online stuff (listening to composers or reading books online) would be difficult.


I think we need a boxed curriculum, but I'm not excited about EVERY component in EVERY boxed curriculum that I find, so I dont' know what to do. Do I even NEED a curriculum for K? HELP!!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Becky!

Nice to meet you! I have several missionary friends, and there are a few on these boards, too--always interesting to hear about their lives. We are in the ministry, too--my hub is an Episcopal priest (on the conservative end, but still Epis.).


Sonlight is a great way to go--but have you read WTM? It can really offer clarity.


I honestly don't think you need a big curriculum for K. We just did a bible program that my friend wrote, Phonics Pathways and additional books (Bob books, Primary Phonics readers, and some fun Montessori-based activities), and Saxon Math 1. The math uses a lot of manipulatives and is fun, imo (you will get TONS of math recommendations and opinions here...lol). I'd save history and formal science until first grade. Oh, and dd needed to learn to form the letters, so we used HWT w/o all the bells and whistles--just the student book and I bought some of the paper (which we didn't use much of). WE did start SOTW 1 about halfway thru the year, but easily could have waited.


Reading aloud is really important, so I'd spend my money on books you can read to your dd. You can keep a nature book, too--have her take a walk with you every week, find something interesting to photograph or draw, and have her tell you a bit about it. Copy down what she says. Look up info in a good field guide written for your area (so take one of those, too!).


Be prepared for a lot of fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi! Have you looked at CLE (www.clp.org)? It's a curriculum that's entirely open and go workbooks. It's an Amish/Mennonite curriculum, so the pics seem odd to my kids, but it's a really, good, solid program. We use several grade levels of it for a foundation and it seems to hit all the public school benchmarks, so you wouldn't have to worry about gaps and stuff (in case you guys were headed back to ps). There's no computer work and no lesson prep. After 2nd grade, they can work on it independently. If you look at it, make sure you only buy the Sunrise Edition - the old edition gets bad reviews. The Math, Language Arts and Reading are exceptionally good. The social studies never really seems OK to me, so we don't use it. The science is fill-in-the-blank workbooks with some reading, so we don't use it either.


Oh, and we use Sonlight also. It's great. But, I think you would have a really hard time using it if you don't have access to a library. :confused: You would have to pay for the entire core (which is expensive). But, if you can afford it, go for it! We're in the middle of Twenty-One Balloons from Core 2 (awesome!!).


If you're looking at Kindergarten, there's also stuff like Oak Meadow and My Father's World. OM is about 3x more expensive than MFW, but MFW is very religious and OM is secular. Both of these are very artsy and full of "projects". (Yep, I gotta kid who needs to do "projects") These are a lot more hands-on than Veritas Press.


You could always piece together your own curriculum, but that takes a lot of research also. Good luck! Maybe other parents will have some more recommendations!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am nutso for curriculum and have often pondered what I would do if I we were a missionary family. I always come back to SL. I have tried SL and it wasn't the "perfect" fit for ds; however, I don't have a doubt that a child who only used SL from K - 12 would be VERY well educated.


You definitely need a boxed curriculum. What about SL for 1st graders? What about calling SL, telling them your dd already knows x, y, and z and ask them to help you put something together? You can still go with their readers and read alouds + whatever else works and throw in your own phonics, math and handwriting.


SL is expensive but they offer payment plans, as well as discounts for missionaries. I love the book choices that come with the SL cores and that's exactly why I'd use it. Every year I get their catalog and ask myself "Why do you have to be so picky and make things so hard on yourself!?":tongue_smilie: SL offers a great package.


FYI I have VP Phonics Museum. It's beautiful but geared toward teaching a classroom. I loved the looks of it, liked the program but it was total overkill with lots of "extras" we never used.


Customize your own at SL. You could even do the K core and choose to do different basics. The core is the IG, History/Geography, Read Alouds, and your choice of readers. Then do Math, HW, and whatever phonics you want.


Math for K - we used Saxon 1 (skip K) and Singapore for fun

HW - Getty Dubay Italics

Phonics - We used PM but are going to finish with OPGTR


Even though I don't use SL, I would if I were in your situation. If I put together my own entire lesson plans (without the "cushion" of a library, internet, bookstore, and ordering whatever I forgot online), I would be afraid I'd forget something. Sonlight will cover your bases. Dang! I may have talked myself into using it for DD for next year:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang! I may have talked myself into using it for DD for next year:lol:

:lol: You're so funny!


IF you're interested in Sonlight ~ Here is Sonlight's web page for Sonlight with their contact information. I'd say it wouldn't hurt to contact them & ask questions. Then you can make decisions from there.


Would you still have access to books thru the MK "homeschool"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ladies, this is some great advice! Thank you so much!


m4given, there is a chance I'd have access to the books, and that's a good thought... but there's also a chance that we're going to move on to a new city where our mission is beginning a new area of ministry. I'm trying to find "our own" stuff, PLUS I'll have DD#2 right behind her sister so I'd rather get our own set and use it for a while.


elfinbaby, GREAT advice. THANKS! I started with SL as my 1st choice but I'm looking at all the options and suggestions to follow a more Classical vs. just Literature based education. I DO love their IG and Core read alouds/readers, so that was a great suggestion to use those and go from there.


DH is/was a chemist, so a strong science program is important to him, although I know science isn't generally taught until 1st, right? Anyone know of a good science program that is classically minded but geared for younger children? We are planning on using Math-U-See as a good friend gave me 2 copies of the 1st book (she's a dealer) for free. I just need the manipulatives. I also have the complete set of McGuffey readers, so I'd like to incorporate those as well... SO much to consider!!! Thanks for the great help! Keep it coming! :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are just finishing K, and Grasshopper started K with about the same skills as your dd. Here is my blog that tells about what we did this year. The absolute best thing that we have done is FIAR. If I had known about CSMP math, I would have done that for K.


I wouldn't recommend TOG for K. We will start TOG in the fall. I think that FIAR gave us a very good basis in geography, along with some unit studies thrown in. I would have to agree that without a library, SL is probably a pretty good choice. But if your dd is already reading, you will have to make some adjustments in the program to account for that.


It sounds like your dd is advanced, so you will need to be very careful in ordering boxed curricula. Most advanced children are not equally advanced in all areas. You might want to get Cathy Duffy's book and check out her website in case you need to choose different curricula for different subjects, according to her varying abilities. You can check out this blog post for some additional resources. I wanted a boxed curriculum when I first started, and it quickly became clear that it would not be a good fit. It was very intimidating to research each separate curriculum. But we did it. Some of it we loved, and others we tweaked or changed entirely. And next year we are starting some new things that we are very excited about.


Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...