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What resources would you use?

 

I have a friend who would like to start homeschooling her upcoming 4th grader and 2nd grader this fall. Her family's finances are very tight, and she works daily from 8am to 2pm. Her dh runs his own business, and he could maybe take the kids with him to work on independent work in the mornings. She should be able to work with them in the afternoons.

 

She's not sure how (or if) the scheduling will work out for homeschooling, but I'd still like to help her find free/very inexpensive resources that won't require a huge time commitment on her part. Any ideas?

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First off give her a big hug and offer to help watch the kids if you can. This is a huge help to working mamas homeschooling kiddos.

 

Then, give her these resources:

 

Swagbucks.com {earn amazon gift cards & use to buy materials}

 

Paperbackswap.com

 

http://curriculumshare.com

 

The Book Samaritan {google it for site}

 

the Free & Free For Shipping ongoing posts here

 

and any local homeschool email lists where you can resell books.

 

 

It is possible to homeschool on next to nothing or even on nothing. This year I've spent maybe $100 out of pocket total. Next year I should only spend $50 tops.

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and there are some FREE websites online where you can print things from- and you can also find some grade level BIG BOOKS of learning or activities for each grade level at book stores or sometimes even at places like walmart

 

 

http://www.first-school.ws/

http://www.kidzone.ws/

http://www.math-drills.com/multiplication.shtml

http://www.tlsbooks.com/scienceworksheets.htm

http://www.abcteach.com/

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Well, you can start here for free options.

 

I would choose content subjects that can be done together. I would also look for ways for subjects to do double duty. For example copywork\dictation and composition can also be a time to focus on neat handwriting, perhaps paying close attention to one or two letters a week. It can also be used to discuss grammar and punctuation. Copywork and dictation can come from history, science or literature reading. Writing can be done across the curricula instead of having a separate writing program (check out SWB's writing MP3s on Peace Hill Press website.) Library books and the internet are more than sufficient for artist and composer studies.

 

As for scheduling...she will just need to commit to teaching in the afternoon and evening. A 4th grader will require between 4 and 5 hours on average, and a 2nd grader will require about 2 to 3 hours tops. If I were in this situation I would do my teaching\lectures\instruction\read alouds in the afternoon or evening and then have them do the practice\seatwork\independent work the next day while at work with dad. I do this right now with my oldest with several of her subjects since I don't have time to lecture\teach and wait for her to do the work then lecture\teach another subject and wait for her to do the work....

 

The 2nd grader might not work well with this method but she should be able to knock out most of that dc's work by 4 if she starts at 3.

 

I think it is very doable for someone who is motivated. Good luck to her!

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For year 1, I'd recommend a Robinson Curriculum type plan. Not the actual books on CDs that he sells, just the method.

 

Start with math that is kill and drill and takes a lot of time to complete, but very little parent instruction. Copywork and journal writing, with very little parent instruction. Independent reading of some good books, with very little parent instruction.

 

Rod and Staff has a worksheet art curriculum that is cheap. Start both children with grade 1. CLE has music workbooks. Start both children with grade 1. These require very little parent instruction.

 

Borrow Writing Road to Reading 5th edition from the library and photocopy the handwriting instructions for her. Don't let her see the rest of the book for now, as it would overwhelm her. Just spend lots of time on copy work using these instructions.

 

There are some cheap and free vintage phonics things available, but I'm not an expert on those as I have time and experience to devote to using Writing Road to Reading. I suggest a "good enough" resource for her though, for her first year not to overwhelm her. I have found that for 10% of the work, you get 90% results. to get that last 10% of results takes 90% work. Go with "good enough" for the 1st year, reaping much for little effort.

Edited by Hunter
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Lots of good information here!

 

I'd also recommend www.worksheetworks.com I have been using this site since last year and it's good for adding to what I have. I often add a math puzzle type sheet to my dd's math, if she's only doing one lesson from MUS. There is all kinds of stuff on that site.

 

I also like www.teacherfilebox.com. There is a fee, though, either $12.99 per month or, I believe, it's $100 per year. She might try it to see if she likes it before committing, though. And like someone said, EdHelper is good, too, so I don't know that I'd do both of those sites. Probably just one or the other.

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First of all, hand her your copy of the WTM to read (if she doesn't already have it). That of course is the best place for her to start. If she doesn't want to read that then maybe the whole thing will not work.

 

She also really needs to make sure that independent work would work for her husband and her kids-- 9-2pm is a long time for a 2nd grader and 4th grader to work independently. What kind of work does her husband do? Can he be interrupted? Will he be working in the same room as the children? How well do the children get along?

 

I have no doubt that she could pull of putting together an inexpensive but quality educational curriculum for her children but the main piece that I would focus on first is how to manage the "independent study" at her husband's work and how committed he is to having that work.

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While I don't think it's an ideal way to homeschool, workbooks seem like a great choice. Spectrum, Basic Not Boring, and others cover many topics and are easy to check. Lots of visits to the library will encourage the kids to learn. Tell her to have them choose a biography, science book, folk tale, etc. when they visit. Then they can tell her or dad what they learned.

 

I've never used bookadventure.com, but I think kids can get "points" for answering questions about the books they've read. It used to be free.

 

Have her subscribe to Diane Flynn Keith's daily email. She offers websites w/free content daily. Perhaps the kids could explore those w/supervision from a parent.

 

She can do this and the kids will learn. She will probably be very tired!

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My children are younger but I also work til 14:00 two days a week so often I do some school with my daughter on Saturdays as my daughter works best in the mornings. However when it is a working day I do some reading with her about an hour after I get home and again at bed time. We also get through a little math and some writing but I find she is not up to much more than that after a morning of being babysat. Any projects or hands on activites are left for the weekend or the days I do not work. She could always try teaching the lessons in the afternoon and giving them worksheets to review the work the next day while they are with their father.

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What resources would you use?

 

I have a friend who would like to start homeschooling her upcoming 4th grader and 2nd grader this fall. Her family's finances are very tight, and she works daily from 8am to 2pm. Her dh runs his own business, and he could maybe take the kids with him to work on independent work in the mornings. She should be able to work with them in the afternoons.

 

She's not sure how (or if) the scheduling will work out for homeschooling, but I'd still like to help her find free/very inexpensive resources that won't require a huge time commitment on her part. Any ideas?

 

This sounds very similar to what my DH and I do with our four children. He has them at our cafe during the day and I teach at night. When we started this, I needed something that would help to teach them independence just so we could get off the ground. We use CLE. It's relatively inexpensive and is great for a new teacher. The kids liked it since they knew what to do.

 

In the evenings I would work with each child individually to go over spelling, new material in LA and Math, and read history or science with them.

 

Now that we've been at this four years, we've been able to branch out to other curriculums. I would NOT throw the WTM book at her and say "good luck". That would be overwhelming in every way. She likely doesn't have much time to read right now. That will all come, but this will be a huge adjustment for her and the family. But it can be a really good one.

 

It's worked very well for us. Also, she may want to work 6 days a week year round, because then there is less pressure each day to accomplish everything. We still do that and it is nice when we can take a day off because we have to (due to business needs), we are not behind.

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First of all, hand her your copy of the WTM to read (if she doesn't already have it). That of course is the best place for her to start. If she doesn't want to read that then maybe the whole thing will not work.

 

I do NOT agree with this!

 

There are many reasons for a parent to homeschool, and many ways to homeschool. The idea that all homeschoolers, who cannot do a rigorous version of TWTM, should be in PS is just WRONG.

 

Is this a Christian family? If so, I'd suggest adding the Pathways Readers until the child can read real books independently. I just remembered them last night, after I was unable in my first post, to think of an appropriate early phonics/reading program.

 

Once a mom gets her feet wet she can start looking at all that is available, but for the 1st year (or at least the 1st few months) a mom needs a DOABLE plan. I strongly suggest keeping it very very very SIMPLE.

 

I suggest NOT using much that is on the internet, and needs to be printed. Printing is expensive and the internet is a time sucker. It's better to use some of the cheaper resources that have already been printed.

 

I agree on the Spectrum workbooks, but I really don't see the necessity for grammar/formal writing/spelling instruction to START. If mom gets antsy about including those subjects, these are a good plan. I think copy work and the WRTR handwriting is enough, and preferable. The Spectrum math might be a little lean as the only math.

 

If mom has a little money to spend, I recommend spending it on math. As I said, TO START, I recommend drill and kill and NOT conceptual, for math. Something independent.

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What about ACE or CLE? It's meant to be used independently and it's not to pricey. Then just supplement with books and videos.

 

In my opinion, ACE would be far better than CLE for this family, but is even more expensive than CLE. Also both of these curricula have controversial world views that I'm not sure are compatible with this family. Hopefully the OP can let us know more about the religious background of this family.

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Hunter said:

I do NOT agree with this!

 

There are many reasons for a parent to homeschool, and many ways to homeschool. The idea that all homeschoolers, who cannot do a rigorous version of TWTM, should be in PS is just WRONG.

 

:iagree: That was the point I was trying to make. The book can be overwhelming to a new homeschooler. It was for me.

 

Once a mom gets her feet wet she can start looking at all that is available, but for the 1st year (or at least the 1st few months) a mom needs a DOABLE plan. I strongly suggest keeping it very very very SIMPLE.

 

I suggest NOT using much that is on the internet, and needs to be printed. Printing is expensive and the internet is a time sucker. It's better to use some of the cheaper resources that have already been printed.

:iagree:

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In my opinion, ACE would be far better than CLE for this family, but is even more expensive than CLE. Also both of these curricula have controversial world views that I'm not sure are compatible with this family. Hopefully the OP can let us know more about the religious background of this family.

 

(Nodding again, Hunter!) That's true. In this case, Spectrum workbooks can still be done independently and are solid. They are also low cost. Everyone has to start somewhere. The free resources online can be daunting because of the time and organization it can take.

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Ask public school if they provide the textbooks/workbooks for grade appropriate classes. They may also provide you with information regarding what you will need to document, testing, and so forth.

 

Do not reinvent the wheel. During first few months determine what student needs to learn and make sure that is taught.

Edited by cfn10
Spellng
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She can do free things but those things take up time to pull together, print etc. I would suggest something like either Christian Light. Ace school of tomorrow or Alpha Omega. I'm not sure if she's looking for secular materials or not. But CLE and Ace have been my saving grace on time and money. You can buy a little at a time , and your not out of tons of money if it doesn't work. She can also look on ebay to find them even less expensive.

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I do NOT agree with this!

 

There are many reasons for a parent to homeschool, and many ways to homeschool. The idea that all homeschoolers, who cannot do a rigorous version of TWTM, should be in PS is just WRONG.

 

 

:iagree:

 

 

I'd recommend buying both children an inexpensive Math workbook, like Spectrum $9.95 each on Amazon~free shipping with $25 purchase. They could possibly a cheap grammar/writing workbook to start, again they could do Spectrum $9.95 each on Amazon~free shipping with $25 purchase. The workbooks have enough content for a whole year and are bought by grade level. The Math I think they really should have a workbook. It would be so much easier for the parents and while there are free sites for printing, ink can get expensive as well. The grammar/writing I'm sure they could do just fine with resources from the library. Their library may even have Spectrum workbooks they could borrow and work from onto a separate sheet of paper if necessary (mine does).

 

Also the What Your *blank* Grader Needs to Know books are probably available at their library. These have quite a bit of content in them. They could be used as a jumping off point for all subjects, especially History and Science which can be done totally free with library books and websites if necessary. She could also do Science and History by assigning interest driven independent projects.

 

Amazon does sell used textbooks as well. I have found used Math and Science textbooks there super cheap, say $6.00-$11.00 with shipping paid. I'm sure there are History texts too. With History and Science she could pick a middle ground grade, buy a textbook, and teach both children from the same book, adjusting requirements and assignments to each child. They could work from the textbooks and use notebook paper for assignments.

Edited by ThreeBlessings
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Thanks for all the input so far! I haven't taken the time to look up all the links yet, but I will. I am seeing a lot of things that I'm not familiar with.

 

 

Well, you can start here for free options.

 

I would choose content subjects that can be done together. I would also look for ways for subjects to do double duty. For example copywork\dictation and composition can also be a time to focus on neat handwriting, perhaps paying close attention to one or two letters a week. It can also be used to discuss grammar and punctuation. Copywork and dictation can come from history, science or literature reading. Writing can be done across the curricula instead of having a separate writing program (check out SWB's writing MP3s on Peace Hill Press website.) Library books and the internet are more than sufficient for artist and composer studies.

 

As for scheduling...she will just need to commit to teaching in the afternoon and evening. A 4th grader will require between 4 and 5 hours on average, and a 2nd grader will require about 2 to 3 hours tops. If I were in this situation I would do my teaching\lectures\instruction\read alouds in the afternoon or evening and then have them do the practice\seatwork\independent work the next day while at work with dad. I do this right now with my oldest with several of her subjects since I don't have time to lecture\teach and wait for her to do the work then lecture\teach another subject and wait for her to do the work....

 

The 2nd grader might not work well with this method but she should be able to knock out most of that dc's work by 4 if she starts at 3.

 

I think it is very doable for someone who is motivated. Good luck to her!

 

I knew I had seen the free thread around before, thanks for linking it. DF and I were both thinking that having the 2nd grader working independently would be a challenge--my 2nd grader is only just starting to work independently in some subjects, and with his fall birthday he could probably be called a young 3rd grader. On the other hand, a 2nd grader doesn't need as much school work, and could get it done in an hour or two of working with mom...

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First of all, hand her your copy of the WTM to read (if she doesn't already have it). That of course is the best place for her to start. If she doesn't want to read that then maybe the whole thing will not work.

 

I did lend her my copy. I stressed that no one can do everything in that book (I certainly can't), but she was very concerned about having a plan and knowing that she is covering "everything". TWTM was the reason I started homeschooling. I needed to know that someone had a plan for me. ;)

 

She also really needs to make sure that independent work would work for her husband and her kids-- 9-2pm is a long time for a 2nd grader and 4th grader to work independently. What kind of work does her husband do? Can he be interrupted? Will he be working in the same room as the children? How well do the children get along?

 

I think he runs some sort of computer sales business. He has a back room that he can clear out for them, and he would be available to answer questions for them, but not so much to sit and teach during that time. The kids seem to get along pretty well. IMHO, they won't be able to be doing actual work for that whole time--coming up with ideas for them to avoid boredom will probably be another challenge.

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I think he runs some sort of computer sales business. He has a back room that he can clear out for them, and he would be available to answer questions for them, but not so much to sit and teach during that time. The kids seem to get along pretty well. IMHO, they won't be able to be doing actual work for that whole time--coming up with ideas for them to avoid boredom will probably be another challenge.

 

Ideas (what my kids do besides independent work):

- board games (Sorry, chess, checkers, trouble, Simply Catan, Monopoly Deal, Lego Robochamp, mancala, uno, LCR, etc.) <-- these we switch out all the time, they bring some home to play, bring some to work to play, these are always moving :001_smile:

- building lego sets (youngest DS)

- journaling (our DD)

- reading fun books (all)

- ongoing bigger projects (all)

 

Don't forget that meals will reduce the amount of time spent looking for something to do. Breakfast and lunch are about an hour combined. The best thing her husband can do is establish a routine that they stick to: 9am eat breakfast, 10am do math practice, 10:30am do handwriting, 11am play a game with sibling, etc.

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I don't like the books that my district uses, but they will give us free copies of the books to use with our students. Some states will also pay for things if you sign up through a charter school or K-12.

 

Honestly, Charlotte Mason is a great way to go. She can rely on library books for the most part.

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I do NOT agree with this!

 

There are many reasons for a parent to homeschool, and many ways to homeschool. The idea that all homeschoolers, who cannot do a rigorous version of TWTM, should be in PS is just WRONG.

 

Is this a Christian family? If so, I'd suggest adding the Pathways Readers until the child can read real books independently. I just remembered them last night, after I was unable in my first post, to think of an appropriate early phonics/reading program.

 

Once a mom gets her feet wet she can start looking at all that is available, but for the 1st year (or at least the 1st few months) a mom needs a DOABLE plan. I strongly suggest keeping it very very very SIMPLE.

 

I suggest NOT using much that is on the internet, and needs to be printed. Printing is expensive and the internet is a time sucker. It's better to use some of the cheaper resources that have already been printed.

 

I agree on the Spectrum workbooks, but I really don't see the necessity for grammar/formal writing/spelling instruction to START. If mom gets antsy about including those subjects, these are a good plan. I think copy work and the WRTR handwriting is enough, and preferable. The Spectrum math might be a little lean as the only math.

 

If mom has a little money to spend, I recommend spending it on math. As I said, TO START, I recommend drill and kill and NOT conceptual, for math. Something independent.

 

You have some great points here. Thank you.

 

She (and I) are LDS. Her dh is not. I'm not sure if he has any religious leanings, or if he would be uncomfortable with Christian materials. We do consider ourselves Christian, and I'm personally okay with some Christian materials (as long as they are not too pushy about specific doctrines that I don't agree with). I tend to go with secular materials, because it's easier to add in my own religious beliefs than to edit things out. I'll ask her how she feels about it and get back to you.

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She can do free things but those things take up time to pull together, print etc. I would suggest something like either Christian Light. Ace school of tomorrow or Alpha Omega. I'm not sure if she's looking for secular materials or not. But CLE and Ace have been my saving grace on time and money. You can buy a little at a time , and your not out of tons of money if it doesn't work. She can also look on ebay to find them even less expensive.

 

I've never looked at these before, because I am a little shy about using Christian materials, but I will. Helping someone else research curriculum is almost as fun as researching it for yourself ;)

 

 

Honestly, Charlotte Mason is a great way to go. She can rely on library books for the most part.

 

I have been doing a lot of research on Ambleside Online, and I'm starting to incorporate CM into our day, and I love it. I actually just found a great website for using LDS-friendly resources in following CM. It's already streamlining our day. But it's a big learning curve for mom...

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I think if I had to spend money on only one thing, it would be math. That said, it sounds like having a somewhat independent program might be helpful. Teaching Textbooks for math might be a good way to go -- as long as she makes sure to place her children in the appropriate levels. Some say they run a grade level behind. At the end of the year, she might be able to re-sell her CD's for the younger child's level and save the higher level for re-use with the younger child.

 

Also, I've heard AHA Science is a decent program, and is only about $15.00 per year. Something to consider as it is online.

 

Growing with Grammar/Winning with Writing -- both are solid programs that are fairly inexpensive. Perhaps she could even throw in Soaring with Spelling - I don't know if there is a cheaper program out there or not.

 

History can be done with lots of library books and maybe some unit studies from homeschoolshare.com. Science can be rounded out with library books and maybe also some unit studies from homeschoolshare.

 

Reading/literature: read-alouds from the Ambleside online list/Sonlight lists/Memoria Press lists....get books from the library and read, read, read.

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I need to go run some errands, but with the new information you posted, ACE and CLE are NOT appropriate for her.

 

Have you seen Rosegate Harbour? It is LDS style Robinson Curriculum, and everything is free. I strongly recommend this for HER. It doesn't matter what MY home education philosophy in GENERAL is. This is what my recommendation for HER is.

 

The Rod and Staff art and CLE music SHOULD be fine, but...I have not seen the grade 1 materials, so cannot say for sure. I wouldn't buy the Pathway readers without checking them out, but they might be good for her. Amish, unlike Mennonites don't teach religion in their curriculums. Of course their worldview affects what they teach, though.

 

But really...I strongly think you should make contact with the LDS branch of Robinson Curriculum.

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I agree with every point Hunter made. I just wanted to point out that printing materials is not always expensive. If--if-- a person has a laser printer, printing is far cheaper than buying even used when using booklet settings. However it does take a lot of time, so I still would not suggest it.

 

But does your friend have an e-reader? If she is willing to use the schedules at A/O or Old Fashioned Education she can downloads these books for free and very quickly. If she doesn't have an e-reader she may want to consider one (if she can afford it) if she doesn't have time to go to the library. It will still be cheaper than buying a lot of books or workbooks for 2 grade levels.

 

A math book that is only about $15 is Strayer Upton Practical Arithmetic. Book 1 is for grades 3 and 4, book 2 for grades 5 and 6, and book 3 for grades 7 and 8. They are text so can be used for both her children. They are self explanatory and have answers in back. The test are also in the books. One book covers it all for 2 grades. You can't get any cheaper than that.

 

I also agree with the suggestion of using copywork for handwriting, grammar and punctuation. Taken from science or math it can also be a content lesson reinforcement. And to make it fun she can get some of those cool composition notebooks from Walmart that have the blank upper page with the lines on the bottom half. This way the kids can illustrate what they write about.

 

If your friend has a little time to spend with the kiddlets she may want to consider Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons. Again each book is used for 2 or 3 years and is VERY inexpensive. These are by Serl. Unless she feels she needs help in this area the TG are NOT necessary.

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I need to go run some errands, but with the new information you posted, ACE and CLE are NOT appropriate for her.

 

Have you seen Rosegate Harbour? It is LDS style Robinson Curriculum, and everything is free. I strongly recommend this for HER. It doesn't matter what MY home education philosophy in GENERAL is. This is what my recommendation for HER is.

 

The Rod and Staff art and CLE music SHOULD be fine, but...I have not seen the grade 1 materials, so cannot say for sure. I wouldn't buy the Pathway readers without checking them out, but they might be good for her. Amish, unlike Mennonites don't teach religion in their curriculums. Of course their worldview affects what they teach, though.

 

But really...I strongly think you should make contact with the LDS branch of Robinson Curriculum.

 

You've been really helpful. I've used R&S English for my oldest and it was ok. We rolled our eyes at some of it, but we didn't come across anything offensive.

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She could use the What Your X Grader Needs to Know books and library with a math program (MM is inexpensive and doesn't require a lot of time) or some of the subjects could be done with Head of the Class.

 

This looks like a good idea! Practical, and easy to implement, and inexpensive.

 

I work out of the home M-F from 8 am to 1 pm. Homeschooling is for us an afternoon/evening thing. The kids stay with my mom while I'm at work, as dh is also at work during those hours and then some.

 

We make it work because we really want it to work. Money is always tight, but homeschooling can be pretty cheap. We use an eclectic approach, with LOTS of library books. Tell her also to look in her library for the book Homeschool Your Child for Free - tons of good things in that book!

 

Best resources I have found, and that we use regularly:

 

  • Brave Writer Lifestyle, and The Writer's Jungle (TWJ is still on sale at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op)
  • Math Mammoth (also on sale right now I believe, same place)
  • Core Knowledge Sequence - free download

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Doesn't FL have a virtual academy they could join?

 

Yes, but there are several different ways of using it. AFIAK, there's only one free option for elementary school--they would still be public school students, be under the oversight of a school teacher, and be required to complete all the work that they give you. I think they also have to take the FCAT every year, which is part of the problem for her dc. I had another friend who was using that option last year with 2 or 3 of her kids, and she hated it, because the requirements were so onerous.

 

I know there are more homeschool friendly options at the middle school level, but that's a long ways off for her.

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Virtual school is a lot of work. To much if the poster's friend wan't something easy.

 

As for CLE. We are Catholic and use it. I only use the LA and Math, these two have very little if at all religious content in it. You might find a word problem like 4 missionaries brought Bibles to Africa, type word problems, but these are rare. And I"m sure LDS has missionaries. LOL Anyways I know of Atheists on the board here and on the Christian Light Families yahoo groups that use CLE. They just look through it, and mark out anything they might feel offended by. Even then I don't know of to many people that do that either.

 

As for ACE , I again use it in my home. I do have to look through it and cross out items I may not want my girls to read or do. But I will use what keeps me sane and my children learning. ACE is totally opposite of CAtholic. LOL

 

Anyways, I would then look into Alpha Omega. They are Christian but not at all affiliated with any type of Christian denomination. Their religious content is pretty much limited to their Bible and maybe science. Though it maybe God created the world type of info and not specific denominational doctrine. If she wants to add in her own Bible study then that's fine. She could easily get the other subjects.

 

I just find with any curriculum I've ever used, albeit Christian or secular, other than Catholic. That there are times when I have to explain something to my children. That's a part of learning as well. I am not afraid to let my children know that , No, that's not what we believe. But there are other people out there who do believe X Y and Z.

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You've been really helpful. I've used R&S English for my oldest and it was ok. We rolled our eyes at some of it, but we didn't come across anything offensive.

 

Okay, then, I recommend the Mennonite art and music. Shekinah has the older art version for just $3.95. http://www.shekinahhomeschool.com/art-with-a-purpose.html It is totally open and go, and just one worksheet a week. I think the CLE music is just a page or two a week.

 

I am hesitant to suggest math, as I think the LDS Robinson people might be better equipped to advise. But I REALLY like Strayer-Upton in GENERAL. I find it much easier to use, if the books are torn apart, scanned and printed out as worksheets. BUT...if she is hesitant to pick and choose and tweak, she might feel a little overwhelmed when some outdated material appears. Strayer-Upton covers grade 2 topics in the grade 3-4 book, but quickly. To use Strayer-Upton Successfully with grades 1-2, I supplement with this free Waldorf PDF from Africa which is obviously written for lower income schools. So I am very tentatively recommending SU for math, but...there might be something better for HER.

 

ACE might be okay if she were teaching the boys herself. It makes me very nervous to think of Dad encountering certain things in it, and mom coming home tired feeling like she needs to defend her use of it, when even she isn't so sure. Combined with the price, I don't like this option. I'm a big fan of ACE for OTHER families, just not THIS one. Alpha Omega can be too lean. Unlike ACE, AOP is based on a private school scope and sequence and then tries to cram that into a public school amount of pages. Sometimes it doesn't work. ACE is more successful, because they set lower standards, but provide the resources for the student to MEET them. Academically I really like ACE.

 

I love WRTR in general, but do NOT recommend it for this mom, except for the handwriting. I'd love to be able to see Pathway reading grade 2. As I said, the Amish do things differently than the Mennonites. They do not teach religion in their schools. The Amish maths and English are good and cheap, but I think this mom would be better off focusing on handwriting and copy work to begin with, unless these boys have mastered handwriting in PS, which I very much doubt :-) Both Amish and Mennonite English are quite advanced and unnecessary. The 90-10 thing really applies here. To have the boys learn just a little more, the parents will need to expend a lot of energy, that it doesn't sound like they have.

 

After mom and dad have a working schedule and some confidence and opinions, I would advise further, especially when it comes to spelling, grammar and writing, but not yet. For now, seriously, just copy work and journal writing is enough, along with math and good books. The first 90% is this easy, it really is. And that 90% is usually above most PS schools.

Edited by Hunter
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