Homeschooling Help

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2012
Homeschooling Help
7
Sat, 12-29-2012 - 4:14pm

Hello, I'm new to this board, but I'm wanting to find out what programs are good for homeshooling. I have a 3 year old and a 18 month old, we are wanting to homeschool them. We don't have the money to pay a lot for a program, so any information would be helpful. We live in Michigan, I don't know if that would make a difference.

Thank you for some help!!

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Sun, 12-30-2012 - 8:24am

Homeschooling doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg...especially for little ones.  If you have a library nearby, you can pretty much do it for free...and that's what I'd do with little ones, for sure.  Check out http://www.letteroftheweek.com for awesome free resources.  I also like the book Picture Book Activities by hsing mom Trish Kuffner, and the Magnets to Mudpies series of science activities.  Singapore Earlybird Math is inexpensive and just about right for preschool math activities, if/when you need to add that in (but I wouldn't push it). Follow your little one's lead and you won't go wrong.

You can be researching other options as your kids get older.  Keep in mind that Michigan does have the virtual school option now, which uses the K12 program (you can visit their website to see samples, etc).  Some hsers don't consider virtual schooling to be "really" hsing, but as far as I'm concerned, whatever option works best for your family is the one that you should pursue.  I know of many hsers who have started out under the virtual umbrella (for older children) and when they were more confident in their abilities as a hsing family, became independent hsers.  There are lots of ways to do it and I'm sure you'll get other good advice here.

Enjoy learning with your little ones!


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2012
Sun, 12-30-2012 - 10:44pm

Okay, thank you! I've looked into the k12, but I have also read a lot of reviews where parents claim it didn't challenge their kids enough. I've also found a public school from home, connections academy, do you know anything about that program? I want something for them with structure and that will look good for colleges.

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 9:04am

Hmmm, I've heard that K12 is very vigorous and in some cases, too much.  I guess there are lots of perceptions.  Your kids are little...you have a very very long time before they even need any kind of structure or rigid academics, if they even need it at all.  One thing you're find about homeschoolers is that we tend to not like to duplicate the "school experience" at home, since in most cases, the "school experience" really isn't the best way to learn, unless you happen to be in the small minority that is a round peg trying to fit into a round hole.  The beauty of homeschooling is that you can customize your child's learning experience to fit them perfectly, which a school can never do.  The more you delve into this, the more you'll learn that colleges actively recruit homeschooled kids, and it doesn't matter what curriculum they've used.  The colleges value them because they have good study habits and a good work ethic, and generally they've received a very very well-rounded education...even those who used no formal curriculum whatsoever.  But, as I said, I wouldn't worry about academics and college now (I know, that's a hard habit to break).  Let learning be fun for your kids.  Follow their lead in what they want to learn about and how they want to learn it.  You absolutely will not go wrong if you do that.


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 9:50am

Vegiemama is right.  I homeschooled my preschooler just by following his interests.  We read a lot, played games, etc.  When he asked questions, I answered them instead of blowing him off.  If I did not know, then we looked it up. PBS is amazing.  SuperWhy, Curious George, Sesame Street, Dragon Tales (social), and Cat in the Hat are all amazing shows.  We also did LeapFrog DVDs (Letter Factory, Word Factory, and Word Factory II as our reading curriculum.  PBS dot com has a number of really good games for children as well. We would sit together and play those.

For math, we counted balls, how many times we rolled to each other, parts of sandwiches, and green peas during lunch.

A lot of preschool stuff is basic living type things.  How to push a shopping cart, how to organize a pantry (sorting), how to spread peanut butter or jelly on a sandwich, how to pour water out of a container.  DS's treasure trove was our recycling bin.  How many half cups does it take to fill a quart container? 

Best curriculum item we use - still use on a daily basis - BEANS!  Dried kidney, lima, and pinto beans work best.  Clean them before giving them to a little one.  They can be scooped, measured, counted, sorted, items can be hidden in the beans for a scavenger expedition, etc.

I would recommend going to a local homeschool convention to learn more and review the curriculum personally.  It is an amazing experience and one of my favorite trips to make.  It really does open your eyes quite a bit.  I purchased a DVD on art classes and invited the neighborhood hs'ers over once a week for 6 weeks.  BEST "school" experience of my son's life.  I was reluctant to let classroom school go.  DS attended a transitional kindy.  This year we do a classroom school/ homeschool blend.  He's begging to stop going to school and come back to homeschool full time.  But it's been a process for us.

Enjoy!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sun, 01-06-2013 - 12:09pm
Okay, after a rigamarole to FINALLY get to a place where it will let me reply, let me reply! Find the book "Homeschooling the First Year" It gives a great overview of different schooling styles and what it looks like for a specific family. Then go to the library and check out every book they have on homeschooling and read them. See what you like best. As your children get older, be aware that your style and their style may not mesh, and you may need to change styles. As to college, it is all about record keeping as they get older. Don't sweat that too much when they are young. K12 is the style of schooling at home. It is rigorous. I have been told by college professors that his 7th grader is better trained and knows how to write essays than his college students.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2012
Fri, 01-18-2013 - 5:38pm
We use Time4Learning for our dd in elementary. Would love to find something similar for our high schoolers. My dd loves the interactive learning. I love that we have 3 grade levels to choose from for each subject, since she is weaker in some subjects (math). I also appreciate the record-keeping. Makes life easier. We recently found Time4Writing and we're going to try that, which is for all grade levels. Would love to hear any suggestions on virtual high school homeschool without being under an umbrella school. Thanks.
Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 2:30am

K12, which is what the online charter schools use, is also available independently.  I believe Alpha-Omega has an online component now, in addition to their computer-based curriculum.  There are others but I'm not sure what they are since that's not the direction we choose to go.  We do use an online math curriculum www.mathonlineus.com.  I'm not sure how to navigate to the homeschooler page but they do offer a homeschool package...you might have to email and ask as it's been a while since we signed up.  Both of my kids use it and we've been very happy with it.


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

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