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warriormom
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Hi,

 

I am new to homeschooling. I started teaching my 5 year old with TYCR100EZ lessons. I am getting ready to start Singapore Math. I am considering the Scrambled States of America and Spelling Power. Can you tell me your FAVORITE curriculum choices and why? I would love to have some recommendations. I am also thinking about using the classical conversations cd as a supplement (not actually attend cc). Advice?:)

 

BTW, I would LOVE to find a great curriculum to teach my child Spanish. I know very little spanish myself, but my DH is Puerto Rican.

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Hooked on Phonics followed by All About Spelling

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind 1/2

Writing with Ease 1

Right Start Math A & B

Singapore Start-Up Science plus library resources

Unit studies using library resources following Story of the World Activity Guide (my oldest didn't care for the main SOTW book)

 

I'm using Spelling Power with my oldest and while it's a good fit for her, it doesn't have the explicit teaching of the spelling rules that AAS does. That's fine for students who are "natural" spellers like my DD, it wouldn't be a good fit for my 2nd child.

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Oak Meadow, because it's very gentle/laid-back/hands-on and not overly academic in the earliest years. One of its main philosophies is that "childhood is a valuable period and nothing is to be gained by rushing through it." It "focuses on the child as a whole" and it's got a really sweet blend of nature, stories, crafts, music and movement, hands on activities for learning the uppercase letters of the alphabet and so on. That type of early childhood really resonates with me. And even in the later years while being more at age level, it manages to continue to be thoughtful and hands on and creative rather than dry and textbookish... my daughter and I loved Oak Meadow last year for 4th grade, and we're enjoying it this year for 5th, and next year I will be doing OM6 with her and OMK with my son.

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Favorites for K:

 

Right Start Math - hands on with very few worksheets, but a lot of fun and taught concepts well. Ariel actually got upset if we didn't do a math lesson from level A every day.

 

Atelier Art - taught on DVD with clips of kids working on their own version of the assignment, very easy on mom and fun for the kiddo

 

La Clase Divertida - also taught on DVD, lots of projects, my child enjoyed it

 

Dancing Bears - phonics/reading program, very simple to use, takes very little time but builds strong readers. Ariel preferred Jolly Phonics (which we also used) because it had more games and worksheets to color, and motions for each sound, which actually helped her recall them better (she learns visually and kinesthetically) until she had the sounds mastered.

 

Sonlight Science 1 - taught with "real" books instead of a text, really maintained my child's interest level and she likes to read some of the books even though we are no longer using them for her schoolwork.

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Guest Cindie2dds

Well, we did Oak Meadow for kindy and had a blast. My dd loved the crafts, stories and art. She could read and do math already, so we weren't using it for phonics or math. It does not cover that at all in K, just so you know. :)

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BTW, I would LOVE to find a great curriculum to teach my child Spanish. I know very little spanish myself, but my DH is Puerto Rican.

 

I would say just add a phrase or two to your day. Start with those things you say all the time anyway- What time is it, Brush your teeth, shut the door, it's time for lunch. Get your dh to teach you how to say them then start using them ;) It might help if you make a poster or list somewhere.

 

The other thing to do is start reading books in spanish. Does your library have spanish books?

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I love Handwriting without Tears Pre-K & K. It is so multi-sensory, fun and gentle and starts with such basic skills that any kid, with or without fine motor issues, can learn to write like a pro. It absolutely can take your kid from zero (I mean not even holding a pencil or making a mark) to writing full sentence copywork.

 

My second choice would be Word Mastery/Classical Phonics. If OPGTR goes too quickly for your child, Word Mastery & Classical Phonics help get the repetition and fluency up like nothing else (and I have tried nearly everything).

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Ok, I'll put my favorites for K-1st but they are a little different and more laid back because I like to lead my children gently to learning. These are my favorites but it is more a pick one from each group sort of thing.

 

Core:

A Little Garden Flower's K and 1st grade materials

Oak Meadow

Five in a Row

just doing lapbooks from Homeschoolshare and reading good books

 

Math:

Rod and Staff 1

Gnomes and Gnumbers

A Little Garden Flower's math lessons

 

Phonics:

Spell to Write and Read-but I adapted it to include key words, pictures, physical movements and stories each week as you learn the phonograms and spelling rules

 

That is pretty much it. For this age, I like to concentrate on math and learning to read with a little bit of fun stuff thrown in. They still need a lot of free time to play and explore the world around them naturally.

 

I usually encourage lots of outdoor time and have arts and crafts material on hand for them to be creative.:001_smile:

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By far the best part of our day is FIAR! :001_wub:

There is so much fun in learning with that one. And it keeps my wiggly dd's attention. She learns well from it because of the repetition.

 

For Bible I use various readers.

 

Phonics- neither of us like so we just use a nice *getter done* curriculum that doesn't require me to rob a bank to purchase it. Phonics Pathways.

 

She reads from various materials. McGuffey is one of our favs.

 

The Rod and Staff ABC wkbks are lots of fun while working on motor skills and more.

 

For math we just have lots of fun with hands on manips . We use a play clock, number line, domino card math, word problems, etc. Dealing with a wkbk right now would be a nightmare.

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By far the best part of our day is FIAR! :001_wub:

There is so much fun in learning with that one. And it keeps my wiggly dd's attention. She learns well from it because of the repetition.

 

 

:iagree: FIAR is our fav to. It covers social studies, LA, art, science and applied math. For math I've used MUS love it and my kids did as well. It's hands on and fun and easy for littles. Now we are using MEP (free) and they like that just as much, and MM.

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saxon math - it's very very gentle for grades K & 1. starting in grade 2, i like to use CLE math.

 

handwriting without tears - perfect for teaching a child to write. very gentle, easy & includes lots of fun hands-on activities.

 

CLE Learning to Read. i am using this with my son in first grade now. i wish i had known about it with my daughter. in grade K, we used hooked on phonics K, but for first grade, i think CLE is fabulous.

 

all other subjects I have no preference on.

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I like A Beka for the younger primary years and this is why...

1) It is very structured and I am a very structured person. The TM is scripted and I have very little prep to do.

2) It is a solid program. My boys have learned to read and read well. People comment on how well they read for their age (and my boys are not overly brilliant or anything, they're just normal little boys). Their math program is solid, too.

3) It's a complete program. You don't have to order from this company for phonics and from that company for math.

4) It's relatively inexpensive.

 

A lot of people don't like A Beka because it is very workbooky. As my kids are getting a little older, I am slowly moving away from A Beka. They are weak in the content (science & history) areas, esp. if you are Classically minded. But, for K4, K5 and 1st grade, I feel that A Beka is a very strong curriculum, esp. for a homeschooler just starting out.

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K

-Phonics Pathways (look at Ordinary Parent's Guide instead if you want something scripted), supplemented with BOB books, http://www.starfall.com and Leapfrog videos

-writing tablet

-pile of blocks

-library card

-great outdoors

-chunky workbook from Costco for workbook lovers

 

Why? It's simple and effective. Very gentle, yet adequately prepares them for a formal first grade.

 

First grade

Grammar: First Language Lessons 1

Spelling: none until they no longer need separate phonics instruction, A Reason For Spelling level A after that

Writing: simple copywork, 3x/week, slowly growing as the child's ability grows (aim for more complex sentences, daily, by the end of first grade)

Reading: Phonics Pathways if it's still needed, literature lists from Veritas Press for kids who are reading

Math: Rod and Staff

Science: library books, videos, jumping into experiments with big sibs (a big collection like 501 Science Experiments)

History: I did SOTW when my oldest was in first grade. The rest of mine have jumped into Veritas Press with their older siblings. The latter is aimed at 2nd-6th grades, but it's easy to tone down for a first grader.

 

Why? These curricula have already proven themselves with my older kids. I've homeschooled three kids through first grade now. This load will stay gentle, and do it's job well.

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I think I may go with this list. Seasoned home schoolers please encourage me or dissuade me over any of my choices. Is this too much "to tackle" or too little? Please be opinionated :bigear: BTW, I am close to completing TYCTR100EZ lessons.

 

Spelling Power :bigear:

Singapore Math :bigear:

First Language Lessons :bigear:

Leading Little ones to Christ :bigear:

Handwriting without Tears :bigear:

Classical Conversations Memory Work CD Cycle 1 (at home not in the co-op) :bigear:

Living books for history and science :bigear:

 

Ok I know I added a lot of the big ear pictures but I really want to hear your opinions

Edited by cabreban
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I'll add another vote for OM K! I also really like the books used in Sonlight's P4/5 Science, SSRW K (but not 1), WWE, Saxon K (but not 1, 2, or 3 and we never tried anything above that), and McRuffy Color Math.

 

I think I may go with this list. Seasoned home schoolers please encourage me or dissuade me over any of my choices. Is this too much "to tackle" or too little? Please be opinionated :bigear: BTW, I am close to completing TYCTR100EZ lessons.

 

Spelling Power :bigear:

Singapore Math :bigear:

First Language Lessons :bigear:

Leading Little ones to Christ :bigear:

Handwriting without Tears :bigear:

Classical Conversations Memory Work CD Cycle 1 (at home not in the co-op) :bigear:

Living books for history and science :bigear:

 

Ok I know I added a lot of the big ear pictures but I really want to hear your opinions

 

Is this line-up for K or 1? I definitely wouldn't do this much for K. Maybe some people would, but it just seems like too much to me. I'm sure that's more of a personal philosophy thing. I don't know enough about any of those programs to have an opinion for grade 1.

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I think I may go with this list. Seasoned home schoolers please encourage me or dissuade me over any of my choices. Is this too much "to tackle" or too little? Please be opinionated :bigear: BTW, I am close to completing TYCTR100EZ lessons.

 

Spelling Power

Singapore Math

First Language Lessons

Leading Little ones to Christ

Handwriting without Tears

Classical Conversations Memory Work CD Cycle 1 (at home not in the co-op)

Living books for history and science

 

Ok I know I added a lot of the big ear pictures but I really want to hear your opinions

* Spelling Power: I would wait until dc is reading well before introducing a formal spelling curriculum.

* Singapore Math: I have no experience with this curriculum, just make sure YOU love the math program you choose! :001_smile:

* First Language Lessons: I would recommend starting with OPG (Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading) and wait on grammar until 1st or even 2nd grade.

* Leading Little Ones to God: a lovely book! :001_smile:

* Handwriting Without Tears: a good choice (for most kids) in teaching the mechanics of writing

* Classical Conversations: I have no experience with this at all, but it SOUNDS fun! :001_smile:

* Living books for history & science: always a good choice!

Oh, just saw that you are almost through TYC100EZ, so forget the OPG rec.. I'd still just let dc read and read and read before doing formal spelling or grammar. Just my humble opinion! ;)

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I think I may go with this list. Seasoned home schoolers please encourage me or dissuade me over any of my choices. Is this too much "to tackle" or too little? Please be opinionated :bigear: BTW, I am close to completing TYCTR100EZ lessons.

 

Spelling Power :bigear:

Singapore Math :bigear:

First Language Lessons :bigear:

Leading Little ones to Christ :bigear:

Handwriting without Tears :bigear:

Classical Conversations Memory Work CD Cycle 1 (at home not in the co-op) :bigear:

Living books for history and science :bigear:

 

Ok I know I added a lot of the big ear pictures but I really want to hear your opinions

 

You might consider looking at A Reason for Handwriting (just as another HW program to consider).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok you asked what my fav. curriculum for K-1st was and why?

 

Well hmmm..

 

I'm gonna say.

 

  • FLL - My K5er and 2nd grader love this. We do it verbally.
  • Hooked on Phonics - Love that it's not only reading but it's also alot of review. Fun kid friendly and kid sized books for them to read, a reward chart as well as a little spelling!

 

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