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List of open and go curriculum for newbies

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There is a post on my local homeschool group that is asking about all of the online charter school options because they don’t know what is expected and wants a list of what to do......FOR KINDERGARTEN!!!! 

I’m sure you can all relate to this.

I recommended What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know. I give her Cathy Duffy’s website to look up curriculum that fits her needs. After all she’s asking for a list that tells her what she needs to teach and curriculum to do it with. I recommend WTM for curriculum recommendations. After some back and forth I recommend The Three R’s and our school district’s standard overview by grade so she can see for herself what the school district wants because she says she might put her dd back in and she was already behind in phonics. Obviously, this person isn’t interested in looking anything up and finding out for herself. She just wants a list that tells her what to do and what to use. Imagine that. 🙄

I want to reduce the appeal of those recommending T4L, EP and all of the others that promise everything will be done for them by making my own list of extremely easy to use, hand-holding type of curriculum by grade to link.

 I know there are problems with this idea.  But it couldn’t hurt to give them a headstart by weeding through the overwhelming amounts of curriculum. I’d be happy to make the links here so we could all share it and possibly bring some people over to the WTM. What do you say?

Please link if there something already like this. 

I’d need open and go for any or all subjects and grades. 

Phonics

Spelling

Writing

Grammar

Reading/Literature

All-in-One Language Arts - combines all LA subjects in one

Math

Science

History

 

Edited by Plum
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29 minutes ago, Plum said:

 

 

Phonics

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Math

Math Mammoth grades 1-7

Teaching Textbooks online grades 3-12

CTC math online--all grades I think

History

Story of the World grades 1-6, audiobook available

 

These have been the easiest to use open and go, no preparation required curricula for my family.

Edited by maize
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Phonics
PhonicsPathways
Explode the Code

Spelling
Spelling by Sound and Structure (Rod and Staff Publishers, 2nd through 8th grade)

Writing
Wordsmith Apprentice, Wordsmith, Wordsmith Craftsman (Common Sense Press)

Grammar
Easy Grammar

Reading/Literature
Trade books (from the library); Progeny Press study guides

All-in-One Language Arts
I don't know what this means

Math
Rod and Staff Publishers series, first through ninth; Saxon, Math 54 and up

Science

History
Beautiful Feet Books; Greenleaf Press

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Math:

Rightstart (grades K-7, roughly.)

Writing: WWE

Grammar: FLL

Spelling: All About Spelling.

(And presumably All About Reading for reading, we haven't used it.)

Science: Science in the Beginning (Christian worldview.)

 

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VP self paced history is idiot proof.  It works for me.  I would never get around to history otherwise.

I've never used it, but I hear mystery science fits the bill. 

Edited by Elizabeth86
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For kindergarten math - MEP. It really doesn't get any better. It's free. It tells you exactly what to do. And it's a low time commitment - for Kindergarten (Reception) it's only scheduled for 2x a week.

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Most math programs are pretty scripted, but honestly if she isn't willing to do the work, even a script isn't going to help her. She'd still need to read and prep the lessons. That poor kid.

😞

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13 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Most math programs are pretty scripted, but honestly if she isn't willing to do the work, even a script isn't going to help her. She'd still need to read and prep the lessons. That poor kid.

😞

She’s responded back. She’s super insecure about teaching. She doesn’t know how or what to teach. She said she’ll get the Beechick book and she has been talking to other homeschoolers so I don’t feel completely hopeless. She has been referred to the Homeschooling 101 class our community homeschool center holds once a month.

This isn’t just for her though. I’ve (We’ve) seen this type of post many times. I think it might be helpful to have a beginner curriculum list for those that feel a bit wobbly at first. I did the online charter school for 5th grade with my oldest to give me some time to research and feel like I knew what I was doing. I fell into that trap, so I get it. 

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Learning Language Arts Through Literature for an all-in-one Language Arts 

Edited by HazelAnne
Clarity

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6 minutes ago, Plum said:

She’s responded back. She’s super insecure about teaching. She doesn’t know how or what to teach. She said she’ll get the Beechick book and she has been talking to other homeschoolers so I don’t feel completely hopeless. She has been referred to the Homeschooling 101 class our community homeschool center holds once a month.

This isn’t just for her though. I’ve (We’ve) seen this type of post many times. I think it might be helpful to have a beginner curriculum list for those that feel a bit wobbly at first. I did the online charter school for 5th grade with my oldest to give me some time to research and feel like I knew what I was doing. I fell into that trap, so I get it. 

I think someone needs to develop an online video series like these community classes hold. Give an intro free and then charge maybe just a low fee to access the rest of them. I know there are a ton of the Misty Winkler/Brandy Vencel type things out there online, but those are honestly for old hands obsessed with Charlotte Mason who just like that type of encouragement "Boot Camp" thing. The videos I can think of are all very CM specific ironically. 

A Vimeo video series- similar to conference talks for newbies- but on video. In the vein of old school Cathy Duffy and with some current recs would be great, because then you aren't having to look for a local homeschool group (the one here only does it once a year and you have to sign a statement of faith to attend and they're buried in the internet so hardly anyone can find them anyway.) or waiting on a conference. An awful lot of younger people aren't on Facebook anymore, so something that existed outside of FB would probably be widely helpful too. (I think this is why CC is cornering the market- they're aggressive on this type of thing.) 

There are a lot of online homeschool coaches for hire, but you have to know where to look. I think one of you brilliant creative ladies here should do something like this in your copious free time. Film yourself teaching your kids too and show that! Start a sideline business! 

I just checked GoDaddy. Welcometohomeschooling.com is available for .99. One of y'all should seriously take this and run with it. 

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One my long term plans is to work on a really conceptual math app.... one day. One that was totally open and go and was a complete curriculum.

Edited by square_25
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Perhaps she also needs to know that many of us do basically nothing for K. Here is my list:

1) Teach kid to read with Bob books for 20 minutes a day (so you need to buy the Bob Books)

2) Have kid do copy work for 20 minutes a day (I used books like Cat in the Hat at first)

3) Teach kids about basic math by playing shop

4) Read aloud in science and history (get books from the library)

5) Play groups to playgrounds all over the city

6) Field groups to museums, nature centers, the store, etc

The rest of the time is for play. 

Then while the mom is taking it easy in the first year, she educates herself on how to teach grade 1-3, develops her philosophy, and buys appropriate curriculum then. 

Edited by lewelma
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26 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Perhaps she also needs to know that many of us do basically nothing for K. Here is my list:

1) Teach kid to read with Bob books for 20 minutes a day (so you need to buy the Bob Books)

2) Have kid do copy work for 20 minutes a day (I used books like Cat in the Hat at first)

3) Teach kids about basic math by playing shop

4) Read aloud in science and history (get books from the library)

5) Play groups to playgrounds all over the city

6) Field groups to museums, nature centers, the store, etc

The rest of the time is for play. 

Then while the mom is taking it easy in the first year, she educates herself on how to teach grade 1-3, develops her philosophy, and buys appropriate curriculum then. 

That has been said. 😊

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19 minutes ago, Plum said:

That has been said. 😊

The possibility of the Mom thinking of potentially putting her back in and the "she's already behind" mentality probably isn't helping her along is my guess. That's one of the harder mentalities to break imo- especially if they did the PK or daycare thing or she's around super competitive parents. I have a friend with kids in PS who has read John Holt and Gatto and all of that, and even though she agrees with them in theory, when it comes to her actual children, she's can't do it. She just can't let it go. The "they have to keep up" mentality is too strong, even though she's seen the destructiveness it's done to her kids. The school is whole word teaching, kid is struggling- I gave her Phonics Pathways and said "just do 10 minutes a day"- I will help. Nope. Couldn't do it. 

And that is why I could never make the video series and start that website myself. I have lost all patience and sympathy with parents who are too lazy to be inconvenienced to help their own kids. It's one thing to be ignorant but seek out how to improve. It's another thing to be ignorant, and want someone else to fix their problems, but when it involves any work on their part, they come up with a million excuses. 

Has she already pulled the kid out? Maybe suggest she wait until summer and then try out a few things, and then if she's not serious it's no harm/no fail to the kid? She can pop her right back in in August with nothing lost.

Tbh, that's what we did with my oldest. I spend most of her 6th grade year rabbit holing further into the homeschooling world after getting pissed off about the changes in the State Testing and other things......School ended in June, we went to a July Homeschool Conference and came home with a box of Sonlight, some Saxon math and Apologia Science and off we started. I didn't send the withdrawal letter until the first day of school that August. 🙂  Low commitment attempt, and then no one would know if it was a failure except the immediate family! Maybe she can take the Spring to chill out and read some stuff. Send her some Raymond Moore and John Holt recs LOL and maybe she'll hit a happy medium between workbooking the child to death or onlining her to death, but not quite as loose as not teaching anything. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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Also, I applaud what you are doing to help. It is good there are people like you in the world, because reading stuff like all the time on FB that would make me fall into a pit of despair. 

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6 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

The possibility of the Mom thinking of potentially putting her back in and the "she's already behind" mentality probably isn't helping her along is my guess. That's one of the harder mentalities to break imo- especially if they did the PK or daycare thing or she's around super competitive parents. I have a friend with kids in PS who has read John Holt and Gatto and all of that, and even though she agrees with them in theory, when it comes to her actual children, she's can't do it. She just can't let it go. The "they have to keep up" mentality is too strong, even though she's seen the destructiveness it's done to her kids. The school is whole word teaching, kid is struggling- I gave her Phonics Pathways and said "just do 10 minutes a day"- I will help. Nope. Couldn't do it. 

And that is why I could never make the video series and start that website myself. I have lost all patience and sympathy with parents who are too lazy to be inconvenienced to help their own kids. It's one thing to be ignorant but seek out how to improve. It's another thing to be ignorant, and want someone else to fix their problems, but when it involves any work on their part, they come up with a million excuses. 

Has she already pulled the kid out? Maybe suggest she wait until summer and then try out a few things, and then if she's not serious it's no harm/no fail to the kid? She can pop her right back in in August with nothing lost.

Tbh, that's what we did with my oldest. I spend most of her 6th grade year rabbit holing further into the homeschooling world after getting pissed off about the changes in the State Testing and other things......School ended in June, we went to a July Homeschool Conference and came home with a box of Sonlight, some Saxon math and Apologia Science and off we started. I didn't send the withdrawal letter until the first day of school that August. 🙂  Low commitment attempt, and then no one would know if it was a failure except the immediate family! Maybe she can take the Spring to chill out and read some stuff. Send her some Raymond Moore and John Holt recs LOL and maybe she'll hit a happy medium between workbooking the child to death or onlining her to death, but not quite as loose as not teaching anything. 


What does wanting to keep up mean here? I’m definitely a “better early than late” person, and I’m not uncompetitive... but I’m also interested in limiting the time we spend on schoolwork. Is that not a valid model for competitive people?

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Barefoot ragamuffin stuff is very open and go and her tone is very comforting for a newb while introducing the idea that there are educational theories that inform curriculum choices. Plus Kathy jo has started filming videos of her teaching using the curriculum.

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2 hours ago, square_25 said:


What does wanting to keep up mean here? I’m definitely a “better early than late” person, and I’m not uncompetitive... but I’m also interested in limiting the time we spend on schoolwork. Is that not a valid model for competitive people?

At least where I live, Better Earlier Than Early is the presiding motto for most parents with kids in private or public schools. And it only expands time spent on schoolwork- it doesn't limit it, and these are for very, very young kids.

What I read from your posts are you about early exposure, but I do not feel like you are one for age inappropriate exposure/pressure. You don't have your dd glued to a chair for 8 hours a day copying sentences and doing workbooks. That is the difference.

Wanting to keep up is now very much wanting little Ariana to keep up with Brianna and MacKenzie, who probably also have coaches to help them get into the GT program in K and were in a competitive preschool by 3. I mean, when my kids were two it was almost crisis worthy to my friends that I wasn't on waiting lists for Pre-K's around here. The schools don't help matters. They expect  prefer K kids to come in knowing what most of us didn't learn until late K or 1st- that's to make up for the kids who come in and know nothing, so the teachers who are overworked and overloaded can spend what little time they have working with the kids who has never been told "this is a red triangle" before, because of whatever reason. 

So my point was,  if this Mom in question is coming from an area like mine, I can see where she would be conflicted if this is all really new. Or something like what I see people post here sometimes in other states about the crazy PS elementary pressure which is similar to here. 

 A typical Daycare (which are now referred to as "schools" here I guess to allow the delusion they are schools and not just child care) in a middle/upper middle/upper class area here will start assigning "homework" around ages 2-3. To be clear this is largely at parent request. Homework of pages and pages and/or workbooks by age 3-4 is the total norm at any preschool I know of here, with the exception of the few *true* Montessoris. But much like Daycares switching nomenclature to Schools, Montessori needs a Montessori™ to be brought in, as most of the Montessoris anymore aren't pure Montessori anymore. There is a new one partnering with a not too far away school district now for a Charter Montessori/Public school that made me roll my eyes so hard I almost fell out of my chair. 

Anyway, here, private PK is full day (and up until maybe this year I think, any PK was private unless you were poor and qualified for Head Start, but those are typically not in the same area.  But then with those Private PK's,  more than half the kids go to daycare after that making for a very, very long day for a littler person because both parents are working to afford the McMansion and the Private PK. So you're talking 8-3 at school, (possibly daycare as early as 6am for some before school) then a bus ride to the "Day Care School" aftercare, where they spend another 2-3 hours before Mom or Dad pick them up, and then come home and have homework in preschool, wash, rinse, repeat. This is all so they don't get behind. The daycares didn't do this on their own- they did it to please the parents. The parents think cramming skills down to PK will give their kid the head start to be more competitive. If the schools don't offer it, the parents will go to a more "competitive" one. It is INSANE. And the names of these Preschools. Oh I could go on forever. I swear one eseentially promised to turn your 3 year old into a Future Forbes level CIO. Leadership training FOR THREE YEAR OLDS. 

So if you come out of that world and that mindset, it is very very hard to take someone seriously who tells you to give things time; to fathom that what the schools (who most people trust implicitly) are telling you are normal things for certain grades, are indeed not and are very age inappropriate; and that your friends are creating cess pools of high stress and unrealistic expectations on their kids and you are blindly following them......well walking away from that  is the equivalent of popping the red pill or the blue pill. The blue pill tells you you can do copy exactly what the school does at home without a lot of effort, and not let your kid fall behind and you just *poof* pop them back in anytime you want with no issue. The red pill means it's all on you, and that a lot of things you held as sacred might not be so sacred after all. I think a lot of comes down to that, and although "homeschooling" maybe seem sort of rebellious/radical to them, their hearts really aren't in it. Which is why their kids are right back in 3 months. It's hard to take that red pill, especially if you've never seen it done and have no support. That's why I'm saying these people are lucky to have Plum. I had no one. Everyone told me I was ruining my children and they sat back and waited for it all to fail and blow up and they weren't even quiet then- I had other parents stop speaking to me for walking away from our amazing school district. I lost friends!  It can be really, really ugly. I think you have to have a thick skin, a lot of patience, and a drive like a terrier to learn on your own to homeschool well- especially in certain populations. You have to be able to not care about keeping up with the other kids and worry about your own kid. It's hard for some people to divorce themselves from the "my kid crawled at 4 months and walked it 9, how about you?" comparison game. School is no different. 

Andrew Pudewa once said something i thought ws super wise. It was about standardized testing, but I think it holds true for schooling/children in general. He said something to the effect of nothing good is going to come from it (the standardized testing of young children) except Despair, or Vanity. And neither are desirable things. 

Anyway, I went way off the rails there. Sorry Plum. I think I've got some PMS going today or something, LOL. 🙂

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
I shouldn't try to type while on the treadmill LOL
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Why not just a box? Sonlight, Memoria Press, My Fathers World, that secular one (Oak Meadow something?), or in my Catholic world there's Seton, MODG, CHC, and on and on. Just write a check and get everything you need for a successful year delivered right to your house. I think cobbling together your own program is perfect for a certain type of mom (myself included) but I meet moms constantly who would rather all the thinking and planning be done for them, and they do fine with the box.

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17 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

At least where I live, Better Earlier Than Early is the presiding motto for most parents with kids in private or public schools. And it only expands time spent on schoolwork- it doesn' limit it, and these are for very, very young kids.

What I read from your posts are you about early exposure, but I do not feel like you are one for age inappropriate exposure/pressure. You don't have your dd glued to a chair for 8 hours a day copying sentences and doing workbooks. That is the difference.

Wanting to keep up is now very much wanting little Ariana to keep up with Brianna and MacKenzie, who probably also have coaches to help them get into the GT program in K and were in a competitive preschool by 3. I mean, when my kids were two it was almost crisis worthy to my friends that I wasn't on waiting lists for Pre-K's around here. The schools don't help matters. They expect  prefer K kids to come in knowing what most of us didn't learn until late K or 1st- that's to make up for the kids who come in and know nothing, so the teachers who are overworked and overloaded can spend what little time they have working with the kids who has never been told "this is a red triangle" before, because of whatever reason. 

So my point was,  if this Mom in question is coming from an area like mine, I can see where she would be conflicted if this is all really new. Or something like what I see people post here sometimes in other states about the crazy PS elementary pressure which is similar to here. 

 A typical Daycare (which are now referred to as "schools" here I guess to allow the delusion they are schools and not just child care) in an middle/upper middle class area here will start assigning "homework" around ages 2-3. To be clear this is largely at parent request. Homework of pages and pages and/or workbooks by age 3-4 is the total norm at any preschool I know of here, with the exception of the few *true* Montessoris. But much like Daycares switching nomenclature to Schools, Montessori needs a Montessori™ to be brought in, as most of the Montessoris anymore aren't pure Montessori anymore. There is a new one partnering with a not to far away school district now for a Charter Montessori/Public school that made me roll my eyes so hard I almost fell out of my chair. 

Anyway, here, private PK is full day (and up until maybe this year I think, any PK was private unless you were poor and qualified for Head Start, but those are typically not in the same area.  But then with those Private PK's,  more than half the kids go to daycare after that making for a very, very long day for a littler person because both partents are working to afford the McMansion and the Private PK. So you're talking 8-3 at school, (possibly daycare as early as 6am for some before school) then a bus ride to the "Day Care School" aftercare, where they spend another 2-3 hours before Mom or Dad pick them up, and then come home and have homework in preschool, wash, rinse, repeat. This is all so they don't get behind. The daycares didn't do this on their own- they did it to please the parents. The parents think cramming skills down to PK will give their kid the head start to be more competitive. If the schools don't offer it, the parents will go to a more "competitive" one. It is INSANE. And the names of these Preschools. Oh I could go on forever. I swear one eseentially promised to turn your 3 year old into a Future Forbes level CIO. Leadership training FOR THREE YEAR OLDS. 

So if you come out of that world and that mindset, it is very very hard to take someone seriously who tells you to give things time; to fathom that what the schools (who most people trust implicitly) are telling you are normal things for certain grades, are indeed not and are very age inappropriate; and that your friends are creating cess pools of high stress and unrealistic expectations on their kids and you are blindly following them......well walking away from that  is the equivalent of popping the red pill or the blue pill. The blue pill tells you you can do copy exactly what the school does at home without a lot of effort, and not let your kid fall behind and you just *poof* pop them back in anytime you want with no issue. The red pill means it's all on you, and that a lot of things you held as sacred might not be so sacred after all. I think a lot of comes down to that, and although "homeschooling" maybe seem sort of rebellious/radical to them, their hearts really aren't in it. Which is why their kids are right back in 3 months. It's hard to take that red pill, especially if you've never seen it done and have no support. That's why I'm saying these people are lucky to have Plum. I had no one. Everyone told me I was ruining my children and they sat back and waited for it all to fail and blow up and they weren't even quiet then- I had other parents stop speaking to me for walking away from our amazing school district. I lost friends!  It can be really, really ugly. I think you have to have a thick skin, a lot of patience, and a drive like a terrier to learn on your own to homeschool well- especially in certain populations. You have to be able to not care about keeping up with the other kids and worry about your own kid. It's hard for some people to divorce themselves from the "my kid crawled at 4 months and walked it 9, how about you?" comparison game. School is no different. 

Andrew Pudewa once said something i thought ws super wise. It was about standardized testing, but I think it holds true for schooling/children in general. He said something to the effect of nothing good is going to come from it (the standardized testing of young children) except Despair, or Vanity. And neither are desirable things. 

Anyway, I went way off the rails there. Sorry Plum. I think I've got home PMS going today or something, LOL. 🙂

Love all this. I find this all very true. I'm also in Texas, but Manhattan is like this too. I was at a kindergarten birthday once where the grandmother of one of the kids in this private Pre-K4 program said she was glad they were doing so many hard worksheets to get ahead of the other kids (really?) and that she sends her granddaughter to Kumon after school. I asked, why?? She said, "Andrea wants to be a vet, and I tell her she better get used to all the work now. She cries and cries about the work, but I tell her she needs to get used to it if she's ever going to be a vet." What an odd world. What odd reasoning. By that model, how will she learn to be a doctor if she doesn't stay up for 36 hours straight at 5? How will she learn to drive if she doesn't start at 5? How will she make babies if she.. well, you get the picture. Lol.

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22 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

Why not just a box? Sonlight, Memoria Press, My Fathers World, that secular one (Oak Meadow something?), or in my Catholic world there's Seton, MODG, CHC, and on and on. Just write a check and get everything you need for a successful year delivered right to your house. I think cobbling together your own program is perfect for a certain type of mom (myself included) but I meet moms constantly who would rather all the thinking and planning be done for them, and they do fine with the box.

I +1 the box. 

The advice I found before these boards (which coincidentally SWB herself suggests in at least one of her talks I heard much later) was buy a Box that first year. I did and it was a great way to wade in. I think that's easier said for Christian Curriculum, but SL spun off Bookshark so there's the non-religious version. The main thing to get through to anyone is "don't do it all!!" for most Boxes- they give more than is practical. 

I thought of another Plum. CLE is about as open and go (and affordable) as it gets. 

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:


What does wanting to keep up mean here? I’m definitely a “better early than late” person, and I’m not uncompetitive... but I’m also interested in limiting the time we spend on schoolwork. Is that not a valid model for competitive people?

 

Valid, yes. Common, no. 

Many “better early than late” parents seem to have those kids who are on the cusp of... something. Just right at the cutoff for the gifted program, the entrance tests for private school, or something else seen as desirable. There is than a push to be able to get the kid in, and then more pushes in order for the kid to stay competitive within the program. 

To the original question:

I agree that most math programs are open-and-go. So are most handwriting programs. For a kindergartener with a nervous parent, I would recommend All About Reading, RightStart Math, and any handwriting workbook. (RightStart is only open-and-go if the parent takes the time to organize the manipulatives well to start with, but the program itself is solid.) Not only are they open-and-go, but they’re scripted to the extreme.

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:


What does wanting to keep up mean here? I’m definitely a “better early than late” person, and I’m not uncompetitive... but I’m also interested in limiting the time we spend on schoolwork. Is that not a valid model for competitive people?

It is not for most.  There have been some parents on this board (especially the accelerated board at times) who are clearly pushing young kids, especially in math.  (I know this is not you even though your kid is ahead). I and others have tried to show them that a laid-back model for little kids can still be a part of a high-end education when viewed over 12 years.  My ds *invented* algebra at age 6.5, and at the time we were still playing shop. It was only at that point that it occurred to me that I should get a curriculum. I hung out with unschoolers back then and didn't have this board, and I didn't know what I was doing. But clearly it did not impact his long-term math education.  But if I had been surrounded by competitive parents pushing young kids, I'm sure I would have ended up finding a curriculum for him for Kindy rather than just letting him be. Would that have been a better approach for him?  Would he have been so creative mathematically? Who knows. But my point has always been that the laid-back approach worked and is a valid model for young kids.  You don't *have* to do tons of school work in K-3 to create a well-educated kid (or competitive as some people perceive of it). 

Who you hang out with seriously impacts your views when you are a newbie homeschooler. 

Edited by lewelma
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51 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

At least where I live, Better Earlier Than Early is the presiding motto for most parents with kids in private or public schools. And it only expands time spent on schoolwork- it doesn't limit it, and these are for very, very young kids.

What I read from your posts are you about early exposure, but I do not feel like you are one for age inappropriate exposure/pressure. You don't have your dd glued to a chair for 8 hours a day copying sentences and doing workbooks. That is the difference.

Wanting to keep up is now very much wanting little Ariana to keep up with Brianna and MacKenzie, who probably also have coaches to help them get into the GT program in K and were in a competitive preschool by 3. I mean, when my kids were two it was almost crisis worthy to my friends that I wasn't on waiting lists for Pre-K's around here. The schools don't help matters. They expect  prefer K kids to come in knowing what most of us didn't learn until late K or 1st- that's to make up for the kids who come in and know nothing, so the teachers who are overworked and overloaded can spend what little time they have working with the kids who has never been told "this is a red triangle" before, because of whatever reason. 

So my point was,  if this Mom in question is coming from an area like mine, I can see where she would be conflicted if this is all really new. Or something like what I see people post here sometimes in other states about the crazy PS elementary pressure which is similar to here. 

 A typical Daycare (which are now referred to as "schools" here I guess to allow the delusion they are schools and not just child care) in a middle/upper middle/upper class area here will start assigning "homework" around ages 2-3. To be clear this is largely at parent request. Homework of pages and pages and/or workbooks by age 3-4 is the total norm at any preschool I know of here, with the exception of the few *true* Montessoris. But much like Daycares switching nomenclature to Schools, Montessori needs a Montessori™ to be brought in, as most of the Montessoris anymore aren't pure Montessori anymore. There is a new one partnering with a not too far away school district now for a Charter Montessori/Public school that made me roll my eyes so hard I almost fell out of my chair. 

Anyway, here, private PK is full day (and up until maybe this year I think, any PK was private unless you were poor and qualified for Head Start, but those are typically not in the same area.  But then with those Private PK's,  more than half the kids go to daycare after that making for a very, very long day for a littler person because both parents are working to afford the McMansion and the Private PK. So you're talking 8-3 at school, (possibly daycare as early as 6am for some before school) then a bus ride to the "Day Care School" aftercare, where they spend another 2-3 hours before Mom or Dad pick them up, and then come home and have homework in preschool, wash, rinse, repeat. This is all so they don't get behind. The daycares didn't do this on their own- they did it to please the parents. The parents think cramming skills down to PK will give their kid the head start to be more competitive. If the schools don't offer it, the parents will go to a more "competitive" one. It is INSANE. And the names of these Preschools. Oh I could go on forever. I swear one eseentially promised to turn your 3 year old into a Future Forbes level CIO. Leadership training FOR THREE YEAR OLDS. 

So if you come out of that world and that mindset, it is very very hard to take someone seriously who tells you to give things time; to fathom that what the schools (who most people trust implicitly) are telling you are normal things for certain grades, are indeed not and are very age inappropriate; and that your friends are creating cess pools of high stress and unrealistic expectations on their kids and you are blindly following them......well walking away from that  is the equivalent of popping the red pill or the blue pill. The blue pill tells you you can do copy exactly what the school does at home without a lot of effort, and not let your kid fall behind and you just *poof* pop them back in anytime you want with no issue. The red pill means it's all on you, and that a lot of things you held as sacred might not be so sacred after all. I think a lot of comes down to that, and although "homeschooling" maybe seem sort of rebellious/radical to them, their hearts really aren't in it. Which is why their kids are right back in 3 months. It's hard to take that red pill, especially if you've never seen it done and have no support. That's why I'm saying these people are lucky to have Plum. I had no one. Everyone told me I was ruining my children and they sat back and waited for it all to fail and blow up and they weren't even quiet then- I had other parents stop speaking to me for walking away from our amazing school district. I lost friends!  It can be really, really ugly. I think you have to have a thick skin, a lot of patience, and a drive like a terrier to learn on your own to homeschool well- especially in certain populations. You have to be able to not care about keeping up with the other kids and worry about your own kid. It's hard for some people to divorce themselves from the "my kid crawled at 4 months and walked it 9, how about you?" comparison game. School is no different. 

Andrew Pudewa once said something i thought ws super wise. It was about standardized testing, but I think it holds true for schooling/children in general. He said something to the effect of nothing good is going to come from it (the standardized testing of young children) except Despair, or Vanity. And neither are desirable things. 

Anyway, I went way off the rails there. Sorry Plum. I think I've got home PMS going today or something, LOL. 🙂

 

Yikes. That all sounds very silly, and completely non-evidence based. I've never found it necessary to do more than 30-40 minutes of work per day of work for a little one. We did about that much in reading lessons between 3 and 4, and we did nothing else; I think we started formal math lessons with my older girl at 4.5, which would last half an hour, and then we'd do a bit of writing practice (I think we used fill in the blank books we bought at the local bookstore, since it was just supposed to be letter practice) for maybe another half an hour a day. And I have to say, she progressed way more using those methods than she did during a full day kindergarten the next year. I like to say that she learned a negative amount in kindergarten, because her writing seriously regressed despite all the writing they were doing: her letter formation and spelling got worse and she lost all of her joy in it, too. 

We're in Manhattan, actually, but I think we're insulated from it: we send the 3 year old to a half-day play-based preschool, and I think the parents that choose this option are pretty grounded. I actually really like that kind of preschool! She gets to socialize with other kids from 8:30 to 12:30, I get to teach my older girl without interruptions during that day, and during the rest of the day, we hang out and play (and also ferry my older girl to all her activities, lol, which is maybe less optimal.) I've definitely seen the rat race to get into the fancy schools, though... although I can never decide whether that's better or worse than teaching your kid nothing at all :-/. Honestly, both approaches seem wrongheaded. 

 

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3 minutes ago, lewelma said:

There have been some parents on this board (especially the accelerated board at times) who are clearly pushing young kids, especially in math

 

Interesting. What's the difference between what I do and pushing one's kids? I do think I "push" them, in the sense that we work consistently on our math, we do written math lessons, and we move forward regardless of grade level. But I'm very well aware of what they can actually handle. 

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All-in-One-Language Arts: Logic of English (especially true of Foundations)

Math: Rightstart

I used that pair our first year & definitely felt more confident branching out afterward - even beginning to pull my own things together because I had been able to see how well it could all work.

ETA: After K, she could look into Pandia Press’ for science & history (REAL Science Odyssey & History Quest). They require that you gather materials in advance, but are still pretty clearly aid out. Day 1: Complete ABC, Day 2: Complete EF & either G or H, etc. 

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Just now, square_25 said:

 

Interesting. What's the difference between what I do and pushing one's kids? I do think I "push" them, in the sense that we work consistently on our math, we do written math lessons, and we move forward regardless of grade level. But I'm very well aware of what they can actually handle. 

Boy, if I had the time I would find you the threads.  People pushing for ALL of their 7 kids to get to university by age 12, coming here and trying to *tell* us how to do it.  Or people who have kids crying over 2 hours of math that is clearly at the wrong level but whose parents think that they must do it to be at level compared to their peers, even though their peers are a couple years accelerated.  People who have tried to push their admittedly average kids into AoPS because it is considered the "best" program.  That kind of stuff.  There have been people who don't understand that you must ADAPT to the kid who sits on the sofa next to you, not some kid that you think they should be.  

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11 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Boy, if I had the time I would find you the threads.  People pushing for ALL of their 7 kids to get to university by age 12, coming here and trying to *tell* us how to do it.  Or people who have kids crying over 2 hours of math that is clearly at the wrong level but whose parents think that they must do it to be at level compared to their peers, even though their peers are a couple years accelerated.  People who have tried to push their admittedly average kids into AoPS because it is considered the "best" program.  That kind of stuff.  There have been people who don't understand that you must ADAPT to the kid who sits on the sofa next to you, not some kid that you think they should be.  

 

Oh, yuck :-(. How disappointing. This is exactly why I've gotten leery of suggesting early academics, even though that's what I do myself. I'm simply not interested in teaching the kid I *might* have had. I'd rather teach the one I do have, especially since I find successfully communicating ideas one of the most inspiring and satisfying things in the world :-). And you can't do that if you're trying to get a kid to work at a level they can't handle! 

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Anyway, here, private PK is full day... more than half the kids go to daycare after that making for a very, very long day for a littler person because both parents are working to afford the McMansion and the Private PK. So you're talking 8-3 at school, (possibly daycare as early as 6am for some before school) then a bus ride to the "Day Care School" aftercare, where they spend another 2-3 hours before Mom or Dad pick them up, and then come home and have homework in preschool, wash, rinse, repeat. This is all so they don't get behind. The daycares didn't do this on their own- they did it to please the parents. The parents think cramming skills down to PK will give their kid the head start to be more competitive. If the schools don't offer it, the parents will go to a more "competitive" one. It is INSANE. And the names of these Preschools. Oh I could go on forever. I swear one eseentially promised to turn your 3 year old into a Future Forbes level CIO. Leadership training FOR THREE YEAR OLDS. 


This is PRECISELY why we began homeschooling while living in Hong Kong. Three years of formal Kindergarten (beginning at age 3) and this is exactly what it was like... with the added pressure of admissions interviews for Primary 1 / 1st grade.

Nope. Nuh-uh. Wasn’t happening.

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25 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

Interesting. What's the difference between what I do and pushing one's kids? I do think I "push" them, in the sense that we work consistently on our math, we do written math lessons, and we move forward regardless of grade level. But I'm very well aware of what they can actually handle. 

From your posts, it seems you respect your dd's preferences. Iirc she doesn't like puzzley type things, so you don't make her. You just come up with original ideas- like the teddy bears and the clothes matching, right? And go with the flow. She's going over advanced concepts but in an approachable way. You don't have her doing the AOPS books for 7th grade right now iykwim.

These parents would force the puzzles. They would force it all. I think there is a fine line between pushing vs encouraging vs challenging and a lot of people don't respect that line and it can really impact kids on down the line. 

There is a valid reason that the mental health of college freshman is in an alarming state and Uni's are having to take on a role they never before did- and although I do think they largely contributed to it, I think a finger should be pointed at an awful lot of parents (and I know which finger I'd point too) for pushing kids in an unrealistic way educationally. I don't think anyone Gen X or older dealt with anything near the pressure the younger gen has here in the US- at least in certain economic stratas when it's come to school in general. 

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7 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 early academics, 

I did early education, not early academics.  I carried my kiddies until they were 3 (and got too heavy!), and I would talk to them as we walked around town.  I taught them all the letter sounds by the age of 2, and then we started on words. Education, but not academics, if that makes sense, because it was just fun being together stuff.  We did a ton of reading on the sofa and a documentary every day. We went every week to playgroups, the zoo, museums, etc.  We just lived a very active engaging life.  We only left natural-led learning when older was 7ish when it became apparent that he was going to need more than I could provide by just strewing and learning through life. 

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5 minutes ago, lewelma said:

I did early education, not early academics.  I carried my kiddies until they were 3 (and got too heavy!), and I would talk to them as we walked around town.  I taught them all the letter sounds by the age of 2, and then we started on words. Education, but not academics, if that makes sense, because it was just fun being together stuff.  We did a ton of reading on the sofa and a documentary every day. We went every week to playgroups, the zoo, museums, etc.  We just lived a very active engaging life.  We only left natural-led learning when older was 7ish when it became apparent that he was going to need more than I could provide by just strewing and learning through life. 

Yeah, I put my kids in a carrier until age 3, too :-). They'd go on my back and we'd talk and talk. The fact that we could talk was why I loved using a carrier. I actually have a wrapping YouTube channel, lol! 

I did do formal reading lessons and formal math lessons, which is why I say it's academics. My older girl preferred her lessons to be contained in a small part of the day (we did 100 Easy Lessons every day) and then to never have to think about reading when I was reading out loud. My younger girl doesn't catch on to letters easily at all (she hasn't quite learned them by 3.5, despite practice), and she prefers formal lessons on weekends and mostly practicing on words in books we read together during the week :-). 

Edited by square_25
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16 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I think there is a fine line between pushing vs encouraging vs challenging 

You are so right. I have really struggled with this with my younger.  I have had to work through my own issues as to what kind of education does ds *need* vs the education I *want* him to have.  We have worked for years to come to a meeting of the minds.  He does 3.5 days a week of 5 hours a day.  Plus 1 hour reading with is day about 4 days a week.  That is the most he is willing to do even in 11th grade.  I work within these requirements. 🙂 

 I don't think anyone Gen X or older dealt with anything near the pressure the younger gen has here in the US- at least in certain economic stratas when it's come to school in general.

Interestingly, people who are trying to get their kids into an elite school don't realize that if they really shouldn't be there, they are likely to be in the bottom of the class.  There is currently a thread on the parents' MIT FB page about the emotional/psychological ramifications of the struggling kids.  UG.  It is really horrible to read about.

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6 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Yeah, I put my kids in a carrier until age 3, too :-). They'd go on my back and we'd talk and talk. The fact that we could talk was why I loved using a carrier. I actually have a wrapping YouTube channel, lol! 

We used a didymos sling then switched to a 20 year old backpack from dh's sister that was pretty barebones. 🙂  Boy was I strong back then!

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So I have a question for those of you on Facebook who see these requests. Are the moms asking these questions about easy, non-engaged free curricula like EP the same ones who are so set on the rat race for their children? I mean isn’t there a disconnect there if that’s the case? Why do people pay thousands of dollars for fancy private schools if the same results can be accomplished by sticking your child in front of a free screen? I think I must be missing something or getting my threads confused. Either way it makes me really happy to not be on Facebook.

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

From your posts, it seems you respect your dd's preferences. Iirc she doesn't like puzzley type things, so you don't make her. You just come up with original ideas- like the teddy bears and the clothes matching, right? And go with the flow. She's going over advanced concepts but in an approachable way. You don't have her doing the AOPS books for 7th grade right now iykwim.

These parents would force the puzzles. They would force it all. I think there is a fine line between pushing vs encouraging vs challenging and a lot of people don't respect that line and it can really impact kids on down the line. 

There is a valid reason that the mental health of college freshman is in an alarming state and Uni's are having to take on a role they never before did- and although I do think they largely contributed to it, I think a finger should be pointed at an awful lot of parents (and I know which finger I'd point too) for pushing kids in an unrealistic way educationally. I don't think anyone Gen X or older dealt with anything near the pressure the younger gen has here in the US- at least in certain economic stratas when it's come to school in general. 

 

Yeah, you're right about that. And I don't have much sympathy for pushing kids though things they are confused by and aren't the least bit motivated by. 

However, I've seen more of the opposite approach for some reason -- parents who've decided that all learning must be fun and that anything boring or hard must be useless. I'm pretty mindful of not having years and years of unrewarding slogging, but I do think sometimes you need to put in some hard work before you reap the rewards! 

Ugh. Why is it so hard for people to settle in the balanced, well-thought out middle?? 

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I'm smiling at the posts about carrying kids until age three--I'm guessing y'all didn't have ginormous babies like mine. I always liked the idea of baby wearing but actual practice was limited, mostly because my kids got really big really fast--I had one who weighed in at 24 lbs at his four month checkup 🙂

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2 minutes ago, maize said:

I'm smiling at the posts about carrying kids until age three--I'm guessing y'all didn't have ginormous babies like mine. I always liked the idea of baby wearing but actual practice was limited, mostly because my kids got really big really fast--I had one who weighed in at 24 lbs at his four month checkup 🙂

No, I have skinny kids, lol! However, I do know lots of serious babywearers who did wear heavy toddlers until older ages. I don't know if I would have been able to or not, though, since I never had to to test it. I've worn my kids up to 35 pounds or so, I think, although that feels a lot lighter at age 3 than it does in the "bowling ball" phase before age 1, when babies don't support their own weight. 

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31 minutes ago, maize said:

I'm smiling at the posts about carrying kids until age three--I'm guessing y'all didn't have ginormous babies like mine. I always liked the idea of baby wearing but actual practice was limited, mostly because my kids got really big really fast--I had one who weighed in at 24 lbs at his four month checkup 🙂

Well, I have 110 steps to my house, so I wasn't about to bounce a stroller up the steps! Also, I have bad wrists so couldn't push one even if I wanted to, and parking is expensive in the city.  So it was either carry them or convince them to walk.  And convincing a 2 year old to walk 2 miles each way is probably not in the cards!  I got strong! 

Edited by lewelma
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2 hours ago, lewelma said:

You are so right. I have really struggled with this with my younger.  I have had to work through my own issues as to what kind of education does ds *need* vs the education I *want* him to have.  We have worked for years to come to a meeting of the minds.  He does 3.5 days a week of 5 hours a day.  Plus 1 hour reading with is day about 4 days a week.  That is the most he is willing to do even in 11th grade.  I work within these requirements. 🙂 

 

 

Interestingly, people who are trying to get their kids into an elite school don't realize that if they really shouldn't be there, they are likely to be in the bottom of the class.  There is currently a thread on the parents' MIT FB page about the emotional/psychological ramifications of the struggling kids.  UG.  It is really horrible to read about.

Ds had some friends in early college that really shouldn’t have been there and ended up with a semester of failed college classes and a semester behind in high school. Free community college classes were too appealing.

2 hours ago, mms said:

So I have a question for those of you on Facebook who see these requests. Are the moms asking these questions about easy, non-engaged free curricula like EP the same ones who are so set on the rat race for their children? I mean isn’t there a disconnect there if that’s the case? Why do people pay thousands of dollars for fancy private schools if the same results can be accomplished by sticking your child in front of a free screen? I think I must be missing something or getting my threads confused. Either way it makes me really happy to not be on Facebook.

Not that I can tell. They want out of ps because of the rat race and their kids have ended up with anxiety issues or had other bad experiences like bullying.

The problem is so many describe EP as free and open and go. We know there’s more to homeschooling than that. I’m sure the posters are questioning it themselves. But if so many people are telling them “this is homeschooling” they are going to believe it. 

It makes me of how online charter schools sell themselves flexible when all that really means is you can do it from home at all hours......but you still have to be present for live lessons and stay on track and mark attendance with enough hours or they start hounding you. And if you start mid-semester, you have to work your way through from the start, which shouldn’t be a big deal because it’s just review, right? So many fall into that trap and realize it’s not worth it. They see their kid working every day until 6 and still falling behind on their schedule because it’s just not a good fit for most kids. Free and flexible is too tempting to not give it a shot. 

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3 hours ago, square_25 said:

 

Yikes. That all sounds very silly, and completely non-evidence based.

 

People don't care about scientific evidence.  They care about the "evidence" of where they stand compared to their friends and co-workers. 

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I'm just going to list our favorites (because there are just so many).

Phonics:

  • Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading
  • All About Reading
  • Phonics Pathways

Spelling:

  • All About Spelling
  • Sequential Spelling

Writing:

  • Writing with Ease series
  • Writing with Skill series
  • Wordsmith series
  • Copywork, narration, dictation (free and doesn't need a curriculum)
  • Royal Fireworks Press writing books

Grammar:

  • Easy Grammar series

Reading/Literature:

  • Progeny Press Literature Guides

Math:

  • Dimensions Math
  • Mathusee

Science:

  • Apologia Science
  • Janice Van Cleave series
  • Mudpies to Magnets series

History

  • Story of the World series
  • History of the World series
  • Beautiful Feet History

Packaged Curricula/Boxed Curricula (that includes everything or multiple subjects)

  • My Father's World
  • Sonlight
  • Ambleside Online

 

 

Edited by Evanthe
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You know this thread reminded me that I once bought a few copies of Bonnie Landry’s booklets and printed/bound a few copies of Ella Frances Lynch’s Bookless Lessons for the Teacher Mother to give out to new home schoolers. Those books are very cheap and especially the Landry booklets are not at all overwhelming. I need to do that again.

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2 hours ago, square_25 said:

No, I have skinny kids, lol! However, I do know lots of serious babywearers who did wear heavy toddlers until older ages.

And then there’s my kid, who SCREAMED in every sling, wrap, or carrying device ever created. We tried so, so many. He would only tolerate being in someone’s arms, or a stroller / shopping cart seat (for short periods and only if there was lots to see). He vastly preferred to be down at all times. Thankfully he was in his feet pretty quickly so we didn’t have to “argue” about it 😅 

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Saxon Math

Hake/Saxon Grammar

K12 (independent)

SOTW (without supplements or activities beyond coloring pages)

Explode the Code

Primary Phonics

REWARDS

The library (seriously, just check out nonfiction books that look interesting and read them aloud)

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15 hours ago, Emily ZL said:

Why not just a box? Sonlight, Memoria Press, My Fathers World, that secular one (Oak Meadow something?), or in my Catholic world there's Seton, MODG, CHC, and on and on. Just write a check and get everything you need for a successful year delivered right to your house. I think cobbling together your own program is perfect for a certain type of mom (myself included) but I meet moms constantly who would rather all the thinking and planning be done for them, and they do fine with the box.

 

A lot of people around here use Abeka. Sometimes they branch out, sometimes they end up in public school. But they are all doing well. They're all doing multiple sports and Abeka is kind of the done thing. It seems to work for them. We started with Sonlight and I feel nostalgic about it. 

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13 hours ago, Evanthe said:

Packaged Curricula/Boxed Curricula (that includes everything or multiple subjects)

  • My Father's World
  • Sonlight
  • Ambleside Online

See, it would never occur to me to refer to these as "packaged/boxed," especially since each one is a completely different kind of method: unit study, literature-based, Charlotte Mason. To me, that means a box of books from ABeka, or CLASS.

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Nm

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