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HEIDISHOPE's Photo HEIDISHOPE Posts: 2,051
8/24/11 10:07 P

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Cathy Duffy also has a website with recommendations! Love her reviews!!

Choosing curricula is so personal--it depends on your view of education, your child's desire to learn and learning style, your personal style of teaching, learning struggles, and the cost.

Read, read, read and borrow some from homeschoolers in your area to look over.

Blessings,
Heidi

Proverbs 3: 5-8 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. "




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YENDUCHAKA's Photo YENDUCHAKA SparkPoints: (50,560)
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8/23/11 9:53 P

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We also began using a boxed curriculum (A Beka) and have slowly deviated from it. The only subject I still use with my oldest daughter (now in 8th grade) from A Beka is their math. I switched to Bob Jones for language arts in 2nd grade. I like the structure of their English curriculum- one chapter is grammar, the next is writing. It keeps it spread out throughout the year so the student doesn't forget. Also, it's very busy-mom friendly. It's easy to correct the workbook pages. If you get the teacher's books used at a book sale or ebay, it's much more affordable.

We used "Story of the World" for the first time last year and loved it! We're continuing with it this year. It teaches history in chronological order (so you can put events in history into perspective- while x was happening in Egypt, y was happening in in India and z was happening in China). It teaches using a story-like text. I definitely recommend getting the activity guide. It seemed that for my kids (grades 7, 5 and 2), that's where the real learning was. The activities we chose to do out of that book made what they had learned much more memorable.

For reading comprehension I would check out guides from Veritas Press. We got one on the Narnia books that is so much fun! It has review questions for every chapter in each book, as well as an occasional game or recipe (we made Turkish Delight!). This week my 3rd grader will be building her own paper model of the ship the Dawn Treader. She's really looking forward to it.

I found The Body Book at a used book sale this past spring. We just started using it this week. You study the different systems of the body by making your own lift-a-flap type body out of paper. It should be a pretty fun Health class.

Don't forget to search for virtual tours and field trips. There is soooo much free educational material on the web. If you have the time to hunt for stuff like that, it may be time well spent.

That's all I can think of for now. Hope this helps!

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ROBINE_30's Photo ROBINE_30 Posts: 218
8/23/11 5:18 P

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I just wanted to recommend the book 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum by Cathy Duffy cathyduffyreviews.com/ . While this book (as the title suggests) gives you what Cathy feels are the best curriculum options, I think it really shines in that it makes you think about how you want to teach and how your kids best learn. THIS is much more hugely important than it sounds. If you know how you want to teach and how your child best learns, you can easily rule out tons of curriculum right off the bat because it won't fit your needs. Not that it isn't good, it's just not good for you. Know what I mean? Anyway, Cathy's book will help you to find what kind of curriculum you are interested in, and that will narrow your choices down so you can more fully research each one.

Edited by: ROBINE_30 at: 8/23/2011 (17:27)
Robin E.
Why rain as ticker? Because where I live rain is something to rejoice in.

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other." ~Walter Elliot


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ROBINE_30's Photo ROBINE_30 Posts: 218
8/23/11 5:05 P

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Is there a word limit on SparksPeople posts? This could get long. I have 5 kids ranging from high school down to preschool, AND I tend to be eclectic in my curriculum choices, so the result is my "what we are using this year" list can be quite lengthy.

Sonlight www.sonlight.com is the biggest part of our homeschool, as we use it for History, Geography, Literature, some Writing, and sometimes Science. Sonlight is based on using lots and lots of great books to teach these subjects. For example, when it is time learn about the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD you read a fascinating and heart wrenching book called Beyond the Desert Gate, and you "see" the events through the eyes of the characters in the novel. This really makes History more personal and pertinent and easier to remember too. Anyway, Sonlight is a huge hit for any family that loves books.

For Math for junior and senior high we use Life of Fred www.stanleyschmidt.com/FredGauss/ind
ex
2.html
(they have recently come out with elementary level books, but I haven't seen or used them yet). Don't let the funny storyline fool you; these books are vigorous, challenging, and advanced. For elementary years we use Singapore Primary Math www.singaporemath.com/Primary_Mathem
at
ics_US_Ed_s/39.htm
along with the Singapore Challenging Word Problems. For the primary years (K thru 3rd) we use Miquon Math www.keypress.com/x6252.xml and for preschool we use Singapore Earlybird math. All of these are available from many different curriculum suppliers in addition to the places I linked to. I usually buy them from Rainbow Resource rainbowresource.com/index.php .

For Spelling and Phonics review we use All About Spelling www.allaboutlearningpress.com/all-ab
ou
t-spelling
. I could write a dissertation on this alone. This is the best research based, comprehensive, teacher and student friendly spelling and phonics curriculum out there. It is also available at Rainbow and elsewhere.

For Grammar I use Winston Grammar www.winstongrammar.com/ . It has the philosophy of hitting grammar hard for a year or two in junior high or so, which I love. I am strongly of the opinion that there is no need to do the same old grammar year after year after year, but rather to focus on it heavily and in depth for a couple years and then move on. It is also available at Rainbow and elsewhere.

For Handwriting we use Handwriting Without Tears www.hwtears.com/hwt . It was developed by an Occupational Specialist and uses techniques and forms that set the kids up for neater writing. Some people don't like it because it looks different, but that simplified look is what makes it more successful and besides every child will put a bit of themselves in it anyway and that will show in their writing. The samples look odd, but when the kids write it looks neat and nice. Anyway, it is also available at Rainbow and elsewhere.

For Science for junior and senior high we use Apologia www.apologia.com/prodas.php . For elementary we have used Apologia some years, Sonlight some years, other curriculum some years, and unschooled Science some years. Science is one area I feel very comfortable with, so especially in the elementary years I don't mind just doing our own thing. Anyway, Apologia is available all over the place.

For high school Foreign Language we are using Rosetta Stone www.rosettastone.com/ .

Oh, while we are using Sonlight for History, I am changing it up a bit and using Mystery of History volumes 1 through 3 as our main History spine books instead of the Story of the World books Sonlight schedules. Story of the World isn't bad, it's just that I LOVE Mystery of History www.themysteryofhistory.info/index.s
ht
ml
. Many people use it as their only History, so that's an option for you too.

For other Writing resources, in addition to Sonlight's Writing (not because Sonlight's isn't enough, it is, but because I like to pick and choose so I only use some of Sonlight's Writing) I use Brave Writer materials such as The Writer's Jungle and Help for High School www.bravewriter.com/ .

Really, I could go on. There are other things I use for supplements, for just added fun learning, for elective subjects, and so on. However, this list is what we mainly use, and should get you started.

Edited by: ROBINE_30 at: 8/23/2011 (17:08)
Robin E.
Why rain as ticker? Because where I live rain is something to rejoice in.

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other." ~Walter Elliot


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SWAYDE's Photo SWAYDE SparkPoints: (40,644)
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8/23/11 4:39 P

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I absolutely love Apologia for sciences and Saxon for maths. Bob Jones University Press is great for Language Arts and Social Studies, albeit a little pricey. We use Alpha Omega Lifepacs for most electives, and using their Switched on Schoolhouse for Spanish. Bear in mind, I am a Christian and do prefer Christian based curriculum. I've been home schooling my son since 5th grade. We just began 10th grade this week.

~Barb~
Florida - Eastern Time Zone

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I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26


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MRDARCYFAN Posts: 75
8/23/11 3:50 P

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Hi Ladies,

This is my first post on the board and I am seeking help with my homeschool curriculum. I will start homeschooling my 9 year old daughter in October (that's just when we start) and in the past I have always gone with a "all-in-one" curriculum. This year I want to mix it up a bit. She will be in 4th grade. So what I am asking you all for is some ideas. What do you do for homeschooling? What curriculum do you use? Any help is appreciated.

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