first timer....

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
first timer....
Wed, 08-15-2012 - 7:58pm

Hello all :smileyhappy: I am a frist time homeschooling mama!

My DD is 6 and going into second grade. DH and I discussed pulling her out of public school because she was so bored in frist grade. I'm sorry, but you can't be bored in first grade :smileyhappy: Not to mention she was learning how to sit back and let the teachers spoon feed her answers. She is a bright kid but quickly learned how to not think for herself. We joined a charter school in town which is still part of the public school system but I felt it was a good move for me because I have no idea where to start. 

I received her curriculum on Monday and have been working on a lesson plan. I have been stressed out to the max because it is so much mind numbing work. The school is ok if you choose to not use their curriculum, she just has to be progressing in the proper fashion. I am thinking about looking at the state standards (CA) and going off of that. 

I am not a trained general educator. I am trained to teach music so incorporating so many other subjects is daunting. We can do it. I know we can. It will just take some time for me to figure out what is best for her (and me).

How do you all get through the first year? Did you have the same doubts about curriculum? I am not a faith based teacher so most groups I find in my town are very centered on biblical teachings. Not that I am against that, I just don't want to focus on that at this point in time. Any advice or encouragement is greatly appreciated! :smileyhappy:

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Wed, 08-15-2012 - 9:10pm

Welcome.  We also home school through a charter school in CA.  My son is entering 9th grade.  My oldest dd (her family lives in the same city as us) is also home schooling her 3 (entering 2nd grade, Kindergarten, and preschool) but through a different charter school.  What she found out is that there is way too much material.  Her charter school gives many options that the parent can pick and chose from depending on their child's learning style. Here's a website where you can find out your learning style and that of your child.

And here is the scope and sequence (called curriculum framework in CA) for CA.


The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Thu, 08-16-2012 - 12:12am
Hi! I started homeschooling my daughter at the same age for the same reasons! In CA, too. We joined CAVA, which is K12 for 2nd grade.

It was a lot of work that they sent us. I learned very quickly to tailor it to my daughter. Not so many mind numbing worksheets. Math, she only needed a quick explanation, not a huge one and then practice. We did assessments only for stuff that she already knew, things like geography and some beginning of the year math review stuff.

Just because the curriculum was scripted, it didn't mean that I always followed the script. She is your daughter and your student. If she is bored with endless worksheets, skip it. Do the required amount to show your "teacher" at your face to face meetings. Do assessments if they have them. Otherwise do the fun stuff that keeps your daughter interested in learning. Doing mindnumbing stuff does not keep kids interested, it kills interest. If stuff is hard, do slow down or repeat stuff, but otherwise if she shows mastery after a few questions and can remember the next time you do the subject, you are both doing fine. K12 had lots of extra math and language arts practice stuff. We mostly did not do that. Math has changed to be online now, but if she gets it, let her just do the assessments. If she can do two assessments in a half hour, she is doing great. If you are doing K12, scrap the music and teach her yourself. The music did not live up to the rest of the good stuff at that age. It was boring, did not cover any classics, and was, boring. (I know I am repeating myself.)

Mostly, have fun. Do as much of the fun stuff as you can, and as little of the drudgery as you can to get by.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Thu, 08-16-2012 - 12:35am
Thanks for the input and links guys :smileyhappy:
Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Thu, 08-16-2012 - 2:51pm

Hi and welcome :smileyhappy:  I'm glad all of the CA'ians...and charter users...chimed in with ideas for you, and I'm glad to have you here.  I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.  Just curious, since you said you're a music teacher...what instrument(s) do you play?  You'll find several moms (and other family members) here who are musicians, including myself (violin mainly, cello a little bit, and I sing too...but I have a paying job that doesn't involve music, LOL.)  

Try not to stress out of the curriculum you received.  Curriculum is a tool for you to use, not a ruler for your life.  As long as you're allowed to, pick and choose what you do.  It doesn't all have to be done.  That may mean skipping assignments that wouldn't fit her learning style, or only doing half of the problems, or quitting a worksheet when it's obvious she's mastered the material.  And, if the curriculum/charter aren't working out for both of you (because it needs to be something that works for you, too!) dont' be afraid to switch.  You wouldn't be the first to make changes mid-stream.  I still make adjustments as needed, and I've been doing this for howlonghasitbeen now :smileywink:

One other tip, since it sounds like you're making your own lesson plans.  Don't plan too far in advance.  I've found that lesson plans are made to be broken...and then you have to re-schedule everything and re-plan it.  For me, anyway, it's better to just plan a few weeks at a time, or make a note inside the cover of the book that we need to do "x many pages...or chapters...per week" and then be flexible within the week as to how we accomplish that.  I'm a relaxed hsing mom and my style has evolved over the years, from uber-scheduled and doing everything, to making sure what needs to be done gets done and having time for lots of extras along the way.

HTH and again, welcome.  Don't forget to come play at recess time every day!

Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 1:03am
:smileyhappy: I play the flute and am a coloratura mezzo soprano. My DD is learning the piano and is picking it up like a champ. Piano is most definitely not my instrument! LOL!

Yeah, I think I have come to the conclusion to not be so rigid with the assignments. She is an auditory learner so I need to do some work to figure out how to best help her with that.

Thankfully, I am not stuck with the school's curriculum. They freely tell everyone that we can do a combination of their's mixed with ours or do 100% all our own.

Nice to meet you all too!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 10:31am

My son is an auditory learner as well with some visual thrown in.  I, on the other hand, am a tacile learner with undertones of visual.  He does as much work as possible through discussion and videos.  I look for as many documentaries as I can for history, language arts, and even science.  We read together and discuss the textbooks instead of answering the questions at the end of the section or chapter so I can get a feel for how he has grasped the lesson.  As much as possible, his turn in work are projects that we either bring in or photograph and email in before our conferences each month.  Experiements are documented with both writen work and photographs.  I try to tie language arts, especially literature, to history as that is what he is interested in.  He is doing Saxon in math and only has to do 1//3 of the problems for the lesson.  As long as he gets 80% right (and can correct the ones he got wrong), that's all he has to do.  We skip the quizes that come after every 4 lessons.  I use them for further practice in the areas he needs more help.

We actually changed charter schools so he could have more flexiblitiy in textbooks and projects.  He started out at the same charter school that my dd is using for her children.  But by 8th grade, my son needed high school textbooks that we couldn't get through the charter school as the high school was a separate school.  At the charter school he is at now, all the grades are under one administration so it's easier to get the books he needs.  In history, he is at late high school to community college level.  We are also taking history more slowly than is the norm in high school and going into more depth instead of a survey over view.


The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett