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Hi everyone,


This is my first post! I have a daughter in public K (half day) and I am thinking about homeschooling her for first grade and beyond. One reason is that she has a medical condition, and another is that I think I could challenge her much more at home than she will be challenged in school and offer so many more opportunities. I work at home as a freelance educational consultant and online teacher, and I have three-year-old at home too.


I have a few questions--for one, how hard will it be with a younger child around? (I can maybe get him in a part-time preschool program if necessary.) Secondly, where do I even start when thinking about curriculum? I have ordered the WTM book and will read it--but reading about all the different materials people on this board are using is making my head spin! How do you ever decide? Finally, how did you make the decision to homeschool, and would you make the same decision if you could do it all over again?


Thanks for your help and any advice you can give me!



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good for you for looking into it.


happy searching.

I've homeschooled 5.5 years, ds is now 10 and in about 5th, dd 8 and about 3rd.

I'm taking a sabbitical while children are in a Montesorri school this spring , then it's back home for 6th and 4th.


Oh, kids attended preschool through K. We had a fantasict Montesorri school through K.


I am very happy we did that, I learned alot from that experience also.


OH,,, look at " Day in the Life " stories.

SWB has a few on her blog.


happy hunting.

~christine in al

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Hi Jessica...


I am fairly new too...We are starting our school year in January, and I first read parts of WTM less than two months ago...More like a month ago...


After reading the parts of the book that applied to me (book is way too big for me to read cover to cover at this time), I began searching for curricula to use...It took me about a month, but I have ordered almost everything I will need...I pretty much know what I want to start with now...Still a few questions here and there that you will see me asking...


I suggest you look through the book first...Then look around here to see what people are using...Go subject at a time...Decide on an English, then Math, or whatever...Do this until you have everything covered...I realized alot from just reading through the book though...You could also ask questions about specific subjects and curriculum here...


This is what I did...

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This is our first year to hs. I will say to you it's challenging but I have yet to wish we hadn't began our homeschooling "adventure". Even though the boys drive me crazy sometimes I do love having them around and I'm in control of what they are learning. I do not have a toddler and I would say that it would make things more difficult but many moms do it. I won't say there aren't days where I've questioned my decision, but as a whole I'm glad I did. An advantage you have is you have plenty of time to wade your way through the vase realm of hs curriculum that I was and still overwhelmed with. I didn't decide to hs until right before the school year began. I spent A LOT of time on the internet looking at all the options and I went to a used curr. sale which helped too. I've been on the forum for a few weeks and like you the reading all the stuff this ladies post about is overwhelming too, but I have learned alot and picked up references that I didn't know existed. At this point we plan to hs for 3-4 years and then move to a private Christian based school for late middle-and high school.

Good luck!

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Hi! Welcome to the board :)


If you are a glutton for punishment and not the type to ease into things gently, read the books listed in this thread ;) http://welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228833


If you're not, don't even look at the thread for at least another year :D


I have a few questions--for one, how hard will it be with a younger child around?


Well I'm only just finishing up 3yo kinder here, and the young fella will turn two the same week we start 4yo kinder, which is the end of January. If the weather is good, he's already outside. If it's not, we feed him, stick a video on and close ourselves in dd's room. But we've only needed to do that for the last month or two, since he's decided he's a big enough boy to "do school." (Which, to him, means he should be allowed to climb onto dd's desk and steal her puzzle pieces.) Before that, he just wandered around, occasionally coming for cuddles, then wandering off again. Since grade one is only an hour or so of academics each day, and not necessarily in one stretch, the three year old probably won't get in the way too much. They are usually big enough to want to do some "school" like jigsaw puzzles, colouring in or something, then when they get sick of that, you can put on a vid with some educational value. My kids like animal documentaries and musicals... But anyway, my advice on this point isn't worth anything because my eldest is 3. I'm just hypothesising :D


Secondly, where do I even start when thinking about curriculum? I have ordered the WTM book and will read it--but reading about all the different materials people on this board are using is making my head spin! How do you ever decide?


Step one: Draw a table on a Word document with grade level down one side and subject across the top. Or a series of tables.


Step two: Read WTM and start filling in the table.


Step three: Begin the never ending process :D of reading more stuff and editing the tables. Under the tables, make very long lists of things you don't want to forget about, but don't fit in the tables yet either.


Or at least that's what's working for me! The exercise directed me through to a pretty good idea of what sort of resources are around and provides a nice, up to date, version of the evolution of my thoughts.


Finally, how did you make the decision to homeschool, and would you make the same decision if you could do it all over again?


The "would I do it all over again" question isn't relevant to me yet :lol: Sure I'd do 3yo kinder at home if I was living it over again!


How did I make the decision to homeschool? Well I tripped over the idea and the more I read, the better it sounded. It is my responsibility to make sure they are educated, whether I outsource it or do it myself, and I'd rather be in charge because it's not very comfortable to have a huge responsibility and only a small amount of power. If I do it myself, I can make whatever changes I think are necessary just as soon as I've finished thinking about them. If I send the kids to school, I'd be up against a virtually unmovable system. Banging my head against a brick wall would hurt.



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Welcome!! :)


I'm new as well, just started to hs my son this year. My suggestion is for you to find some local homeschoolers NOW! ;) There is a forum here to meet others in your area, do a search on yahoo for a group, even a quick google search will probably turn up something. I feel like it was the most helpful for me to talk to some families in person and know that I am not alone. It was also nice to be able to see and touch curricula in person, and be able to see if it was right for my son.


It is also nice to meet someone who is homeschooling in your school district. They can give you the scoop on how the district deals with homeschoolers, if it is easy/hard, what you need, etc. (Of course you will read the laws for your state, but sometimes a local hs-er can give you more specific info that will be helpful). You can also learn of group activities, classes for homeschoolers, etc.


First grade will be pretty easy for you to do, even with a younger child around. You can have some "school stuff" around for your younger child to do while you are working with your DD. Crayons, scissors, glue sticks, coloring books, etc...


I knew that I could do a better job for my son, and also challenge him in ways that he needed it, but I was afraid to take that first step. But I made the decision and five minutes later I swear I started to feel this weight coming off of me. Really. And now I can't imagine sending him back to ps. Ever. I'm not sure what the future will bring for us and his education, but I do know that I made the right decision for us right now. In just a few months he has made amazing progress and every day I just feel like it is "right". I always had an uneasy feeling when he was in ps. I'm glad I finally trusted myself to do this. You can do it, too. :)


Take your time on choosing curricula. Think about what you want to accomplish, what type of learning style your child has, how you want to teach. Do lots of research. Maybe see some things in person, if possible. But you can start slowly with a 1st grader...just read, read, read, do some math, phonics, writing...the rest can come in time.


Please read lots of posts here, there is a wealth of info, and the homeschoolin' moms, dads, grandmas, etc. are so helpful. Ask as many questions as you need to, and good luck!!!!:D

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I think you're getting good advice from the other posters here.


The first thing I'd do is check into your state's laws on homeschooling.


As to schooling with a little one at home: when I started K with #1 I chose a VA because I wasn't confident enough to develop a curriculum for her with a 3yo sis AND I was on bed rest with pg#3. I found the VA a nice way to build confidence and cut my teeth, but knowing what I know now I might have been braver and just done hsing from the start. In either case, we did just fine home with 2 and then 3 kiddos. The younger ones can either listen to stories or have a basket of special toys they only get to play with during their older sib's lesson time.


For curriculum, start with the core subjects and decide one and move on. ;) K/1 are great grades because you really don't have to be as rigorous in all the subjects like upper grades. It depends on your state, but your kid will be doing great if you cover math, reading/phonics, and handwriting and read some stories to cover literature and history. Those can even just be worked into bedtime stories. Get in the habit of asking a few gentle questions about the stories (what was your fav part? Why? What happened first? After that? Do you think X was nice or not?). As you find your rhythm you can always add science or more formal language arts and history at any time. Drawing and playdough can morph into art and music as well.


Only other advice would be relax and enjoy! :) You know your child and that will make you her best possible teacher! Have faith in that. ;)

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curricula: Reading - we went w/OPGTR and LOVE it - can't imagine doing anything else (cheap and GREAT for non-writers - mine read before they learned to write)

Math - been more of a struggle for us - try to figure out how your dc learns math...mine excels in reading but needs more time and practice w/math so we decided to go with Saxon. Others who have children who excel in math and do not need much repetition, enjoy Singapore. Then there are plenty of threads about using multiple math curricula, which is a popular idea.

I'll only comment on those two since those are the most important to me for younger grades.


homeschooling w/youngers: there are a couple of things I do - 1. have younger children have roomtime (play alone w/special toys in their room for 1 hr) while older child does difficult/teacher-intensive subject(s) with you; 2. special 'school' toys for one while you work w/the other 3. one does independent work while I work with the other one 4. school while other takes nap (only for a little while)


I don't regret it AT ALL (mine are all young but I'm just saying...) :)

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I have a few questions--for one, how hard will it be with a younger child around? (I can maybe get him in a part-time preschool program if necessary.) Secondly, where do I even start when thinking about curriculum? I have ordered the WTM book and will read it--but reading about all the different materials people on this board are using is making my head spin! How do you ever decide? Finally, how did you make the decision to homeschool, and would you make the same decision if you could do it all over again?


Hi, Jessica.


We've been homeschooling for 2 years and are in for the long haul (I plan to homeschool thru high school). I have a 3rd grader, 2nd grader, Kindergartener and a 3 yro. You can definitely teach lots of kids at multiple levels and WITH a toddler - lol. :lol:


First, check your state laws (like the other parents said).


Second, read TWTM and also Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Homeschool Curricula Picks - she talks about learning styles, different methods of homeschooling, etc. Choose a style of homeschooling that fits YOUR family.


Third, start planning out your year - write out some goals...I would write out some long-term educational goals also.


Fourth, start looking at curricula and get a library card. Do some organizing at home. The more organized the better - in our house. :tongue_smilie:


Just so you can see an example...I'll be teaching 1st grade in the fall (to our now-Kindergartener). I'm not totally committed to this schedule, so bear with me...


Sonlight Core 1 Read-Alouds and History (sounds ominous, but it's really not)

Math: CLE Math 100's

Reading: Hooked on Phonics 1st grade, CLE Reading, McGuffey Reader

Spelling: All About Spelling

Language Arts: Writing with Ease 1, First Language Lessons 1

Science: Interest-led and lots of library books

Map Skills 1 (it's a little workbook), and maybe some unit studies throughout the year, lapbooks, etc.


I also plan to skim through the Core Knowledge Sequence for poetry, some art projects, science topics to get library books from, topics I'm completely forgetting about, etc.


YOU CAN DO IT!!! :coolgleamA:

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I agree with what several others have already said: Join a local Homeschool Group if there's one in your area. That will be your plug in to what's going on in your community of area homeschoolers and what classes, field trips, etc. are being offered. I would also check your particular State for what is required.....it varies widely from State to State, so be sure you know what will be expected of you where you are.


For curriculum reviews, check here but also these sites:


http://www.grovepublishing.com/ (Cathy Duffy reviews)


Cathy's book is also great for those just starting out: http://www.amazon.com/100-Top-Picks-Homeschool-Curriculum/dp/0805431381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1292350851&sr=8-1'>http://www.amazon.com/100-Top-Picks-Homeschool-Curriculum/dp/0805431381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1292350851&sr=8-1'>http://www.amazon.com/100-Top-Picks-Homeschool-Curriculum/dp/0805431381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1292350851&sr=8-1'>http://www.amazon.com/100-Top-Picks-Homeschool-Curriculum/dp/0805431381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1292350851&sr=8-1




Once you know what you want to purchase, check the For Sale board here for good deals as well as this site: http://homeschoolclassifieds.com/


Another great book to check out: http://www.amazon.com/100-Top-Picks-Homeschool-Curriculum/dp/0805431381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1292350851&sr=8-1


Good luck!

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