View Full Version : curriculem suggestions/getting started?

06-13-2004, 10:46 AM
I am going to start homeschooling my son this year for Kindergarten and although I have read alot on websites I'm still pretty clueless as to how to get started...Any words of wisdom or advice?

Also, I what curriculem to you use?


06-13-2004, 12:55 PM
To choose a curriculum you need to kind of know a little about your child's learning ability. I did a lot of reading on curriculums and what they offer. I cheat I get a catalog from a lot of companies. Abeka was recommended to me from Lorna. She had been homeschooling her daughter awhile and thought Vicki would do go with Abeka. Abeka is advanced I think. I really like it. Abeka is also a Christian curriculum and I like that. Some people don't.

I know everyone doesn't use the same thing. I hope that helps a little. I know some of these women who have been homeschooling more than 2 years can help more.

06-13-2004, 01:13 PM

There is no hard and fast rule for choosing curriculum. K is pretty darn easy. Learn the sounds the letters make, learn short vowels, easy math (shapes, quantity, SIMPLE addition)

Go to the library and search for all they have on homeschooling. Usually it's all in one place. Check out and start reading. Now you don't have to read every single thing. You will know if you have found a book that you can connect with or not. The ones you don't toss aside and move on. :)

Read you your child, let them cut & paste, write numbers, paint, etc... E.D. Hirsch has some good books. What my _____needs to know. They start at K and go up....not sure where they end. If you find a book at a book store see if you can get it on interlibrary loan. It will save you some $$$$ for the ones that are true keepers.

Mary Pride's book is really a good eye opener for *newbies*. It will be a REALLY big book and you might feel overwhelmed at first. Just take it slow and know that you won't need it all. :) Then when you are feeling brave ;) get a Rainbow Resources catalog. They have everything in there BUT you need to know what you are looking for.

We use Calvert and I really like it.

Oh yes and the biggy....check out your state laws. Each states requires different things. Some states are really strict and others like TX aren't. www.hslda.org

Good luck and just remember read, read, read. :D

06-13-2004, 02:23 PM
We use Bob Jones curriculum and have been very pleased. I also use their Iowa test to evaluate my kids yearly. Many of my homeschooling friends have switched over to BJ after looking over my books and all have been satisfied. But it really does depend on what is good for you and your child ... what works for me might not work for you. I would get catalogs or go somewhere that I could look through the books before I purchase them. Also, you could look over the scope and sequence for K and build your own curriculum!!!! Best wishes for getting started. Bob Jones website www.bjupress.com


06-13-2004, 05:44 PM
She, those E.D. Hirsh books you spoke of are part of a series called Core Knowledge. I was just at their website,www.coreknowledge.org. I used that series with my son when he was entering first grade, and kept on using them each summer until he went into 7th grade. They are nice.

Jimmie Lu
06-14-2004, 05:52 PM
I am with the one who said keep it fun. Basics really. I never used a set curr. for that grade I bought books that were reproducable and made copies here and there. I have been selling off grade K stuff if anyone cares!! I printed bible coloring sheets and used a felt box I made and we had a blast. My dd is in 5th grade ds#1 is in 2nd and ds#2 is in first. I have since gone over to Rod and Staff they do not have a web site but their books are cheep and I like em!!They are Mennonite owned and in the photos the girls wear bonnets and dresses We are not mennonite but I took the oppertunity to teach about that belief since we live in PA and have alot about us it wasnt a bothersome thing. Anyway I am rambling If anyone wants to know what books I am selling off email me!! God Bless!!

06-14-2004, 07:40 PM
My son is will be five in December, and I don't plan on considering him kindergarten until next year. I will be working on his lower case letters (he knows the upper case ones!), letter sounds, numbers, simple adding (probably without any writing of number sentences yet), sequencing, patterns, writing his name, dictating stories to go along with pictures he draws, etc. He will also be involved with science, etc. with his older sisters. I don't do "curriculum" with preschoolers OR kindergarteners, and use one sparingly with first graders. "Five in a Row" is popular with that age, but I don't like it. I think I'm the only one alive who doesn't. You might be able to find it at your local library to see what it's like and if it would work for you.

Regardless, be sure to take her (him? I don't remember!) to the library all the time. We stopped there today because we found a box turtle in the woods. We kept it a few days. My girls drew it, and I found a picture on-line for Phillip to color. Today we were going to return it, and Phillip wanted to get a book about Creek (that's what the kids named her). He's always looking for a book about some topic.

06-14-2004, 09:04 PM
Hi RyanAnn

First Welcome here!:D

I always like to know a little about yourself/chid. It always help imho to steer you in the direction good for you.

Knowing your state would be helpful. Some states like Sheila was saying ,don't require testing or keeping portfolios, others do. So what state are you in?;)

Also, in terms of *level* where does your son fall? Does he know some letters, or not, numbers, shapes, is he reading already?

Do you want something laid out with lesson plans or are you comfortable enough putting it together?

I don't recommend doing unit studies to newbies their first year. I recommend doing them in conjuction with something else for the simple reason that most newbies are wondering*am I doing this right* *will it be enough* ,etc. So I like recommending to newbies to get something 1/2 way put together or all the way depending on their circumstances,energy,time.

Do you have other young ones at homes, a newborn or are you dividing your time between working and teaching?

We don't mean to be personal:p its just that knowing a little more lets us point you in the direction that is most beneficial for you and family.

There is soooooo much out there and newbies are always overwhelmed. Yes Kindergarten is easy, but when I started I didn't feel that way because I didn't have experience;) Confidence comes with experience and you too will gain in.

Keep reading, keep asking questions...and most of all try to enjoy your first year. You are certainly starting at the perfect spot!:D


06-15-2004, 10:33 AM
TinaTX has great questions and suggestions as always. I would add, how does your son feel about school? Is he able to sit still for long periods of time (most five year olds can't.) And what is his style of learning? Little ones love to get their hands dirty, and have fun while they learn.

Kindergarten, should be fun and shouldn't take all day.

06-15-2004, 02:36 PM
Then there are those of us who have kids to LOVE to sit and do something for long periods of time but, can't stand to have their hands dirty. :D

Then there is my "Taz" who has to do everything that brother does but, with so much less fear. :rolleyes: He doesn't want to be read to and if he isn't going then....he's asleep. :D In all honesty he has slowed down a little bit, either that or I've just gotten use to the pace.

It's all an exciting ride, eh?

Another group that you might want to look for in your area is called Smoothing The Way. They are mostly in TX but, do have a few other locations. It is a *course* that you pay & attend once a month for 10 months to help *newbies* get the hang of things, get support and get you plugged into your local homeschooling community. It's a great way to get started. Their website is www.smoothingtheway.com

Good luck and DON'T MAKE YOURSELF CRAZY worrying about it. Somehow, if the will is there...the information & mentors will come. :)

06-15-2004, 10:56 PM
Hi the ladies have given some good advice.
I would like to add as a kind of newbie myself- that is I havn't actualy started as my daughter is too young yet, but I done heaps of reserch. You can do your own curriculum for Kindergarden free of the net using standerds as a goal.
This is a great site which gives standerds for each grade, and ways of meeting them, as well as examples of other childrens work. It is British, and you will find there standerds higher then most American
ones. The site does take some time to navigate.
The mathamatics page is very good

World book standards

Letter of the week is a free curriculum of the net

There are heaps of sites with free fun unit studies, work sheets and crafts. Basicly follow up his interests with books from the libary, read a lot and concentrate on him learning his letter sounds, basic maths, throw in some craft, cooking and any other fun things you come across.

06-17-2004, 05:51 PM
Ummmmm....lets see if I can remember the questions you asked..please mind typos Im holding my daughter and typing w/ one hand...I think that answers 1 question. Yes, I have 1 other child, Lucille who is almost 7 months. My son turned 5 in May. (thinking....) I live in Blue Island, Illinois. He definetly does not sit still in fact he has ADHD. He's doing wonderfully w/ that by the way. :)

I was my mom's aid when she taught Kindergarten for a daycare so I have some materials and idea of what to do, but this is kinda different. When her class got outta K they could read write spell...et to the 1st and 2nd grade level- depending on the child obviously.

im going to go back and see if I missed any questions. If I did Ill post again.

Thank you so much ladies
Take Care~

06-17-2004, 05:56 PM
Actually, you won't find it a lot different. My background was in Special Ed, and my oldest came to me right after her fourth b-day and asked, "Mommy, when are you going to teach me to read?" I was at a loss and wasn't sure, in spite of all my "experience" what to do. So I thought about what I'd do if she was in my classroom. I'd sit down and decide what she ALREADY knew, and what I WANTED her to know by the end of the year. In essence, I wrote her an IEP, LOL! But it gave me enough guidance that first year. Just go with your instincts about what is best for him, and you will find that your instincts will be pretty accurate!

06-17-2004, 07:27 PM
So your after something to teach him to read, write and spell?
You still didn't say where he is actualy at skill wise.
Is this because he seems ready or wanting to learn these things? Or is that because that is what your mum did when she taught Kindergarten? There is no harm in trying, but if he's not ready then I wouldn't push it. If he has ADHD then a sit down, fill in the blank type program is probably not going to suit. Does he know his basic letter sounds? If not I would start there, but make each letter and sound to movment such as snakes for S, elephant for E and so on. You can also make up games for letters/phonics such as twister, bingo, fishing, full size snakes and ladders, follow the trail ect. 'Games for Reading' by Peggy Kayn(sp) I think thats her name, is good and gives lots of ideas.

06-19-2004, 10:39 PM

I was reading through the other posts and they all seem pretty informative.

I have a newly 5yo girl that likes "homework", too, but I haven't pushed letters and such on her. She just recently has wanted to learn those things so I have been getting her some resources off the net. I likewww.enchantedlearning.com. They have tons of printables with cursive and D'nelean (sp?). That sight used to be free, and much of it still is, but I think they have a membership fee now for additional worksheets. I saved all of the alphabet worksheets in both styles to my computer.

You might be interested to know that when my oldest (now 8yo) was in K at the public school, they used free websites for almost ALL of their lower elementary curriculum. In fact, when we pulled him out in 1st grade to homeschool, I just looked at the URL at the bottom of his worksheets and continued them myself. There are so many approaches to educating our children that it is hard to know what to suggest for you to begin.

We are very relaxed here at our house. This year I am going to combine our history so that I am only teaching it once, but the books I am planning to get will have age appropriate activities for each of my kids and will be able to be "cycled" and used every few years again with going deeper into the topics than they were able to the first time around. This will save me money and time and it will use the approach I prefer with my kids--start them on a topic and let them dig as deep as they want to!

I also like read-alouds for history verses textbook work of date memorization and such. A K student would learn a bunch just from listening to the stories and doing an activity to go along with it when appropriate. For my older son, he is the type to sit with a good reference book and read on his own for an hour.

A good place to check out for the various homeschooling approaches is www.vegsource.com. You'll have to scroll down to one of the link boxes on the left hand side to find "homeschooling" cuz the site is full of all sorts of information and discussion boards. They include Charlotte Mason, unschooling, classical, and ???? to name a few. You can read through the boards and post to find out more about each approach.

Being in IL is such a blessing! You'll find that our laws (or lack there of) are wonderful for you to take your time and explore what methods work for you family without the pressure of testing and reporting. Let me know if I can help you with anything state-related!