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What is/was your Kindergartner doing?

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My daughter is smart but I know there are many way beyond her. I'm curious, what was your kindergartner like? What did you focus on for school? If you could do something different,  what would it be?

 

My daughter just turned 6. She usually is reading 3rd grade books but she just recently read Harry Potter 2 and 3 on her own and loved every second of it. She reads several hours a day. She does some Abeka phonics workbooks because I like their emphasis on special sounds for sounding out new words but she probably doesn't need them. We're working through AAS2 and it is very simple but I like how it lays out the rules and takes very little time. I want to start a heavier focus on writing but I'm dragging my feet. I have the first IEW book, first language lessons, and evan moore daily 6 trait writing 1st grade but I just don't know where to start.

 

For math she finished up singapore 1B and I have 2A to start but we're finishing the Intensive Practice for 1B first. It is easy peasy and I think I'm wasting my time. But we bought it and we're doing it. I have heard of kindergartners way ahead of this in math so I'm curious what the range is for others. I've considered starting BA soon, too. She uses mental math to do double digit addition and subtraction (not super fast though) and can tell time to the minute pretty accurately. She says she doesn't like to do math but its just the workbooks, she loves knowing how to do math. She is always counting out money and figuring out how much more she needs to save up for something and other things like that. Her brain is always working over time but she is not begging me for work or anything like that. 

 

We do sonlight history and she really enjoys it. We don't do formal science because she reads so much about science and occasionally we'll get really into something and learn a lot about it and then back off for a while. 

 

Sometimes I wonder if I should just take a break from phonics/spelling all together and focus on science and writing skills. I wonder why I continue to work on the basics when she's so far ahead and maybe I should just be doing general knowledge stuff with her instead? I don't know! 

 

What are your K kids doing?

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That was only two years ago for us, so you’d think I’d remember more clearly. That was the year that we started out with RightStart C, which unfortunately killed my daughter’s love of math. So after she flew through it in a couple months, we attempted Beast 3, which was a disaster because she didn’t have the frustration tolerance for it. Then we dropped all usual math curriculum for about eight months and played games and did some Hands On Equations and played with logic puzzles and read lots of living math books.

 

We did MCT Island that year, which she loved so much that she cried when we finished it. She read piles and piles of books, but still wanted them to all have pictures. I learned it’s really hard to keep a kid in books if they only want to read ones they can finish in a few minutes, lol. By the end of that year, she was venturing into chapter books, just so long as they still had big print and occasional illustrations. She tested at high school level reading, so it was all a matter of preference at that point. Her handwriting was atrocious and I spent way too much time trying to work on it when, in retrospect, I should’ve just dropped it for the year. My brain had a really hard time wrapping itself around the disparity between input and output ability.

 

We finished all the material in BFSU K-2, which we had started the previous year. We tried to start in on the usual history cycle, but got sidetracked and spent months on Ancient Egypt. Shortly after that, we chucked systematic history and science and haven’t looked back. (Well, ok, I still look wistfully at programs all laid out for me, but I know she’s better off with her interest-based setup.)

 

That was the year she really started being able to communicate in Spanish, and we took our second immersion trip.

 

Quite the trip down memory lane. :)

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My 6 yo is different because she's incredibly smart, but doesn't like to do a lot of stuff that other "smart" kids like to do. So she'll listen to advanced audiobooks, but has no interest in reading them, for instance. Just as a disclaimer. :)

 

Currently, she spends 10-15 min each day on each "academic" area that she does: spelling/reading & math are the only two I ask of her, though. We listen to or watch brief science/history films or books at lunch most days, but that's the extent of our academics.

 

Otherwise, she spends about an hour each day practicing her ballet, in addition to an hour long class several times a week. She loves to cook, and spends around an hour each day cooking - she's getting pretty good at making bread from scratch, which everyone else around here loves (even if she needs help with some of the muscle). She still spends several hours a day doing pretend play with her siblings. She loves learning piano (on and off - some days, she plays for 2-3 hours, and others she wants nothing to do with it). Several hours a day are also usually spent swinging on an indoor swing and listening to audiobooks on headphones. 

 

Our biggest success with her so far was figuring out that - unlike her older brother, who really liked bookish stuff - this child needed other activities, but with the same intensity as he did the bookish stuff. So ballet and piano have been huge hits over her, especially because she can go at her own pace and practice however long she'd like to. She does a lot of physical stuff (like learning to swim last summer), but it's less about the physical activity (for her), and more about the focus and challenge involved.

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Hmm I really like the idea of Spanish and Piano. Why can't these things be free!?

 

My daughter also still loves to read chapter books with pictures in them and big text as well :-) Harry Potter was very motivating for her though, she was really into it! She is not motivated to read other similar texts, thank goodness. I'm thinking about doing Singapore 2 before I start with BA 2 which is just sort of coming out now... I'm hoping that will help her build up her frustration level. Otherwise I can just shelf that until she is ready. 

 

And yes, she also plays with her siblings most of the day, plays with lots of toys, loves to do art, and plays outside a lot. That is the majority of our day! 

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My kindergartener (nearly 6) spends most of the day playing with his brothers. We read books, do some art projects, and go to the library once a week. He spends two hours a day in quiet time designing/building with Legos while listening to audio books (Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, etc). He dictates stories to anyone who will scribe for him or he will sit and write himself as long as someone will spell the words for him. Occasionally, he will ask for a workbook but he would prefer to play a board game for math and spelling. He's starting to read but gets frustrated because the books he can read are much too simple than what he wants to read (he will spend hours pouring over science, engineering, or architecture books). He also likes to knit. ;-)

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I should've added this above, but my oldest child was completely different at 6 than my current 6 yo. I think part of it was that I had more time with him, since I only had two other kids, and both of them still napped (as opposed to now when I often feel like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to stop kids from beating on each other... but that's another story... ll). But he probably did math for 30-60 min most days, because he really enjoyed it. I don't think we started BA until we'd finished Singapore 3B though (there was no BA2 at that point, and I'd heard that it's often better to do BA a level behind singapore), so I think at 6 he was still working on Singapore 2 & 3. We started cursive around then, and he greatly enjoyed that. And near the end of 6 is when he started learning how to read in German as well.

 

We also did a lot more structured art and science projects at that age. We did the (free) inquiry in action program, and he really loved it.

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Hmm I really like the idea of Spanish and Piano. Why can't these things be free!?

 

My daughter also still loves to read chapter books with pictures in them and big text as well :-) Harry Potter was very motivating for her though, she was really into it! She is not motivated to read other similar texts, thank goodness. I'm thinking about doing Singapore 2 before I start with BA 2 which is just sort of coming out now... I'm hoping that will help her build up her frustration level. Otherwise I can just shelf that until she is ready.

 

And yes, she also plays with her siblings most of the day, plays with lots of toys, loves to do art, and plays outside a lot. That is the majority of our day!

My daughter didn’t fall in love with Harry Potter until first grade. Now, in second, it’s a full-blown obsession. She’s reread the entire series multiple times, watched all the movies, and wants to see Fantastic Beasts next. This is a kid who was too scared to watch Disney movies six months ago, lol. Things can change fast!

 

You can start Spanish with Salsa Spanish from Georgia Public Broadcasting. It’s a good, solid, creative intro. And free! You could also try DuoLingo, though my kid didn’t love it. Hoffman Piano Academy has their videos online for free. You would have to pay for their lesson plans and sheet music, but you can get away with just the videos for the first chunk of lessons. None of these options will take you very far for free, but I prefer to introduce subjects for free/cheap and spend the money once the interest is already confirmed.

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Hmm I really like the idea of Spanish and Piano. Why can't these things be free!?

 

 

 

Piano can be free or super cheap! We did Hoffman academy and my kids loved it!! The lessons themselves are free, but we paid for the printables (not the monthly subscription, though) and they've been totally worth it. It's kept one kiddo busy on piano for over two years and another kid for almost a year, and the sum total we paid was less than what we would've paid for 4 lessons. It helps that I have some basic piano understanding and that I have a friend who plays piano who agree to watch my kids periodically and check for any bad habits developing. She had never heard of Hoffman academy before and was super leery of "online piano lessons" but has come right out and said the program seems great and my kids have great habits, great posture, great enthusiasm, and are generally very good little pianists. I did the whole first unit without printables, just because I wanted to see if they'd stick with it before investing any money in it. We've never looked back, though!

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We did "Stories and Games" for our K year. We both read to each other, and played lots of games.

 

We also got started with handwriting lessons, as well as doing lots of fun stuff to strengthen DS' core and upper body, so that he wouldn't fatigue so quickly while writing. In addition to letter formation, we also spent time on mazes and dot-to-dots.

 

Audiobooks are our friends. I read The Hobbit to DS when he was 5, and he loved it so much that he wanted to listen again, immediately. I don't enjoy rereading, so I got him the audiobook instead. He used to play with Lego or playdough while listening. Occasionally I'd print out a colouring sheet related to whatever he was listening to.

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We didn't do a lot for K. DD finished up Sonlight core A, and started B.

She did Singapore 2A and B.

We started AAR 2, but ended up doing our own thing.

And, that's pretty much it!

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I haven't done much for kindergarten with any of my children. My goal with seat work was to keep the length of time age-appropriate while working on their academic level. So every child has spent about 30-40 min regardless of where they were working academically. The rest of the day was for free time and playing. I do read aloud to my kindergartners, and we do lots of field trips and projects. But the field trips and projects have been very traditional kindergarten-type stuff (pumpkin patch, children's museum, strawberry picking, making butter, planting seeds, finger-painting, etc). We waited until 1st grade to start science, history, or a foreign language. We waited until 2nd grade for piano lessons.

 

My very verbally advanced kindergartner spent several hours a day reading and looking at books. She also spent hours in the backyard with her fairy puppets telling elaborate make-believe stories. My very mathematically advanced kindergartner spent hours playing with a calculator he swiped off one of the older kids. But I also had a kindergartner who just wasn't ready for much academically and spent most of the year playing with Legos. 

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My oldest was not-quite-5 (October birthday when the state cutoff was 12/2). She did a condensed version of FLL 1/2 (the old combo book), SOTW V1 with the activity book, Right Start B, and life science using books from the library and Janice Van Cleave's experiment book. 

 

My 2nd was also not-quite-5 (November birthday). I started him in FLL 1/2 and he had ZERO retention (he's not an auditory learner) so I ended up just using Ruth Heller & Brian P. Cleary books and Mad Libs to teach the parts of speech. I tried Right Start A but didn't like the spiral format so we ended up switching the MEP Reception and then 1A. I did end up having him do RS B but that wasn't until the following year. History he followed along with his big sister's American History using books from the library. Science he did Singapore Earlybird Start-Up Science. He also did Song School Latin.

 

They both did a lot of field trips to museums, zoos, aquariums, historical attractions, etc.

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DD#2 is in K (turned 6 in December). I think we tend to do more academics in K than most people around here. Academics give structure to our days (not that the kids don't have play time - they do!), and I meet the kids where they are as far as what they are ready to learn.

 

So, for DD#2, most of her texts are intended for kids in 3rd-ish to 5th-ish grades, I believe. When DD#1 was in K, hers were 2nd-ish to 3rd-ish. 

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I'm considering this year Kindy for DS. He'll be 5 next month. We are doing the 3 R's plus "continents & cultures".

 

For reading & writing he has completed Logic of English Foundations C & is working his way through D. We participated in NaNoWriMo with him dictating his story to me, then using it as copywork for the next couple of months. He reads aloud to me 20min a day, & DH or I read aloud 30-60min each night before bed.

 

In Math he is working through Singapore 2A & pieces of RightStart C.

 

Continents & cultures is world geography Organized into week-long country studies. It includes life science (landforms, animals) & art (handicrafts, painting / drawing, music) at least once a week.

 

He also participates in sports; soccer & gymnastics.

 

Overall he is working on a 1st-2nd grade level.

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli

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My DS#1 did only the 3 Rs his kindergarten year.  He started with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and when he finished that he just read aloud to me every day for a short period of time from whatever he wanted.  For math he did Right Start levels B and C (he did A in a month before K).  He had a fine motor delay, so he didn't really write much that year.  We did finger strengthening and fine motor activities every day, letter and number tracing, and worked on writing his first name in all caps.  He was *very* motivated to write numbers because he loved math so much, so he started free-writing numbers before he could write letters.

 

DS#2 sort of did K twice and then moved straight to 2nd.  The first time in K, when he was 4-almost-5, he did Right Start A and B, read aloud to me from books, and wrote in a HWOT printing book.  That was it.  The second time, the year he turned 6 in the fall, he read books aloud to me (including the first couple Harry Potter books, the third he deemed "too scary"), did Right Start C and D and the first half of Beast Academy 3, and worked out of HWOT books for print and then cursive and started typing with KWOT.  He also did FLL 1 and then 2, WWE 1, SOTW vol. 1, and iirc that's the year we started Mystery Science.

 

My current just-turned-6yo's age-grade is K, but he's been skipped to 1st.  Last year he was in public half-day preK, so he doesn't technically have a K year to describe.  He's more accelerated than my older kids were at this age, and I don't know how helpful you'll find his list of curricula.  Still, it gives you an idea of the broad range that is "normal" for the gifted/accelerated crowd, even within the same family.  

 

For math DS#3 is finishing up Right Start D and will start level E next week, Beast Academy 3, and an assortment of supplementary math like Algebra Lab Gear and a pentominoes book I got from Didax.  For ELA he did MCT Island level, which he finished today.  I don't intend to move him into Town level until the fall, so I'm going to fill the coming months with IEW's People and Places.  He did Spelling You See level B and moved on to level C.  He's also doing IEW's Fix It level 1.  We started the year with BFSU and like 10 other things for science, but we switched to Real Science Odyssey Biology 2 at the beginning of this month.  He still likes to do an occasional activity from Mystery Science, too.  We're following the history, lit, and reader schedule in Build Your Library level 5.

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DD turned 6 in December. She's in a Spanish immersion school, so we don't do much at home other than her reading aloud to me daily and some math on Prodigy. In reading she is similar to your daughter. She still prefers chapter books with pictures, but is transitioning to smaller text (still not small adult book font). She has read some of Harry Potter and some other middle grade fiction books that I have gotten for myself from the library. She mainly reads chapter books that are in the late 2nd to  4th grade level due to her interest and the content. I don't want her reading books with themes that are a little too mature (dating, flirting, peer issues, etc.).

In math she is not as advanced as your DD sounds. Although in prodigy she did do addition with 3-digit numbers (ex. 267+325) after I explained it to her. We haven't focused as much on math at home due to her learning spanish this year. We will do more prodigy and right now she is flying through the 1st grade level of that. 

DD is in a spanish immersion school and this has been excellent for her. It's provided her with a challenge and has allowed her to be more academically on par with her peers. She's solidly on a late K level in Spanish immersion. Her reading fluency in spanish is far ahead of her comprehension. 

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When my advanced dd turned 6, she was in the middle of 1st grade at b&m school, but I will talk about what she did in KG.

  • Attended b&m charter KG, which covered the usual stuff plus Spanish and French (each language once per week).
  • During the school day, she had piano and guitar lessons once per week, and practiced most evenings.
  • During the school day, she had a coached physical activity each day - soccer, dance, karate, gymnastics, all sports.
  • Each evening we usually read for about an hour.  We had many good nonfiction books - biographies were the favorite.  Also rich fairy tale books with pictures.  We usually read a math story or did some mental math.
  • She had art, swimming, and Spanish lessons on Saturday.
  • We went to museums weekly, and to the zoo on Saturdays when the weather allowed.
  • Read-alouds were done when they fit in, usually Sunday.  The Hobbit and the Little House books were some that were read at that time.  We hadn't discovered audiobooks yet.
  • We attended live performing arts when the opportunity arose.

 

Edited by SKL

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For her K year, DD did the following (some along with DS who is 2 years older)

 

- Singapore (2 and parts of 3) and Miquon Math (Green, Blue, and Yellow)

- BFSU science

- Worked through units on the history of timekeeping, landforms, and attended a number of workshops at a local historical site

- Started with Rosetta Stone French (I worked with her on it)

- MCT Island books

- Handwriting (HWOT) and lots of self-selected writing projects like letters, lists, stories, etc.

- Logic books (lollipop, Wakeruppers, Primarily Logic)

- Tons of art projects

- Started piano

- Read a ton -- My Father's Dragon was (and still is) a favorite

- Read alouds including Mrs. Frisby, Alice in Wonderland, and the Birchbark House. Listened to audiobooks in the car

- Swimming, biking, playing outside, attending local concerts, etc.

 

It sounds like we did a ton of work, but really, our days were short and the kids spent a lot of time playing, building, and creating things.

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My K boy is doing Spelling You See D, MCT Island, The Sentence Family, Singapore 3 with CWP 2, BA3b and BA2a with Times Tales. Science, Spanish, piano and violin is more unschooling type stuff. We do lots of general and history read alouds. We rotate resources and I only insist on one LA and one math a day. He doesn't ask for school and spends most of his day playing Legos and action figures with his brother, reading graphic novels, and playing video games.

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We did a lot of learning through play.  MEP was mostly done orally/hands on, with transitioning to the worksheets toward the end of level 1.  He learned how to write, slowly working through the alphabet after I grouped letters by stroke and then on to words.

 

He did a lot of puzzles, playing outside, going to museums and festivals, storytimes at the library, reading whatever he liked, and basic geography/cultures.  He did Mystery Science, and art/music.  Once a week we did Wee Folk Art, and once a week we met with others to dive into classic childrens' books with crafts, acting, and play.

 

Our focus for K was to preserve childhood while allowing him to work at an appropriate level.  That was it.  If he worked on math, it was the level he needed, not "Kindergarten Math Skills".  Same with everything else.  But it was more important to me that he develop foundation skills during our "school" time: a strong core, fine motor work, gross motor work, learning how to play with others, creative play, independent work, how to use tools from various crafts (woodworking, clay, knitting), exposure to other places, following a routine, and a centering of who he was.  I deliberately kept the goals off of academics, though academic subjects were introduced.  I just wanted to set a good foundation for a classical education later.

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I wanted to keep things simple and short because I work from home. My 5yo reads pretty widely, and she has been reading the Let's Read and Find out series and Story of the World- along with lots of fiction- on her own for a while now. So I thought we only needed to do math together. But despite her love for math, she would find a way to draw it out so one sheet of Miquon green would take 90 minutes. It took a while for me to realize that what she's really wanting is individual attention. So we added in The Human Body book and Japanese,(Human Japanese and Youtube videos) and she's finishing it all in the 90 minutes (including jumping jacks, headstands, and dances in between!) we had been spending on math. And we’re both much happier!

 

Yesterday, while we were talking about her older sister helping tutor at an elementary school, she piped up, "Oh, can I volunteer and teach the little kids multiplication and fractions?"

Edited by Mutabilis

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Ds5.5 is finishing Singapore 1a and doing Beast Academy 2a, working through OPG and reading picture books independently and Harry Potter with a parent, just finished HWOT's pre-K level, cello lessons, piano independently with Hoffmann, working on a science fair project on how people's pulses change when listening to different kinds of music, working with charcoals in art class, SOTW 3, and just finishing BFSU 1. These last three are done as a group with older sisters, and he usually, but not always, chooses to participate.

 

We could be said to be "unschooling" kindergarten, in that it's all optional/kid-directed. I just make the time and materials available--though we do have an agreement in place that if we provide the cello lessons he wants, he will do the practice, and I have sometimes reminded him that if he doesn't keep his end of the agreement, our end is void. Also, I will occasionally make him do a little handwriting practice if he hasn't done any in a week or so.

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Hmm I really like the idea of Spanish and Piano. Why can't these things be free!?

 

 

We are in a charter that provides funds for educational activities.  These are way more common in some states than others, but if you search, you might be able to find something. There are very few in my state, so we were on the wait list for a year and a half before we got in, but it's been awesome for my kids to be able to do things like cello lessons and German tutoring since then.

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We are in a charter that provides funds for educational activities. These are way more common in some states than others, but if you search, you might be able to find something. There are very few in my state, so we were on the wait list for a year and a half before we got in, but it's been awesome for my kids to be able to do things like cello lessons and German tutoring since then.

Tangent : how do you find these? When I look for homecoming charter schools, I either get homecoming stuff or charter schools, but they don't seem to be the same thing... At least, I don't seem to find any they also give you freedom to choose your own curriculum.

Edited by 4kookiekids

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My kindergartener was in public school first semester, which was a bust for us. She went in and came out at the same level, academically speaking. For math we just finished Beast Academy 2a, and now we are circling back and doing MEP 2, which is pretty much perfect for her at the moment. We are doing 2 lessons a day right now, but I plan to slow way down when we hit multiplication. For writing/spelling, I loved the idea of Dictation Day by Day, but it was just too outdated, so I made something very similar that is working really well. She also plays lots of games that involve writing menus, maps, signs, etc, so I don't feel a need to make her wrote a lot for school. She reads really well, so we just make sure to read some every day. School made her kind of resistant to this, but if it has mermaids, she loves it. For science we read, do Mystery Science, play with science kits and Snap Circuits, and visit the local natural history museum where we are members. For history/social studies we read a lot and do read alouds like Story of the World and What your First Grader Needs to Know. Plus my husband is a police officer and National Guardsman, so we have community helpers down! For music she songs in a choir and I'm teaching her a little on the recorder, mostly to practice reading music. For art we look at imagines of famous art and discuss, and she occasionally works on a project. My husband also gives her drawing lessons occasionally. We get lots of literature though read alouds. For example, my husband is reading them from The Children's Chaucer for bed time, and I'm reading The Secret Garden at breakfast.

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Tangent : how do you find these? When I look for homecoming charter schools, I either get homecoming stuff or charter schools, but they don't seem to be the same thing... At least, I don't seem to find any they also give you freedom to choose your own curriculum.

 

I just searched online.  I googled for homeschool charter oregon, and then read through lots and lots of different pages.  It was on a mommy blog that I found a list of charters that work with homeschoolers and what degree of control they allow.  There were several that chose your curriculum for you or allowed you to pick from a short list.  The one we signed up with was the only one with total freedom, including being allowed to use curriculum from religious publishers (we just can't use the school funds for religious curriculum; we have to pay for it ourselves).

 

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Tangent : how do you find these? When I look for homecoming charter schools, I either get homecoming stuff or charter schools, but they don't seem to be the same thing... At least, I don't seem to find any they also give you freedom to choose your own curriculum.

It is going to depend on geographic location. California has lots of these charters but a lot of other places only offer K12 and Connections, which use their own curriculum

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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