Is T4L all I need?
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  1. #1
    kristielk is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Is T4L all I need?

    Hi, My name is Kristie. I have a 5 year old son that will be starting kindergarten this fall. We have decided to home school him. I found the T4L website and really like everything that I am reading about it. I have 2 questions though. The first one is, will I need to use any other kind of materials to home school him, or will I just need T4L and that be enough to satisfy the school board? The second question is, how will I know at the end of the school year if my son can go on to 1st grade? Will there be any kind of testing to determine that? Any info that anyone has for me will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Kristielk

  2. #2
    Momma Crystal is offline Senior Member
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    T4L is created to line up with most states benchmarks and goals for the given grade. A lot of people use the program exclusively. With my 5 year old I added in some handwriting. Some people toss in some spelling with the older children. Since T4L doesn't have any science or social studies at the kindergarten level you could do some of that if it suits you. In the end it is up to you. It looks like you are in West Virginia? I have no clue what they require there. But in CT T4L would pass muster if one was called in for a portfolio review (which rarely happens).

    As to how will you know if he is ready to move on to 1st grade? You'll know. If you pay attention though out the year to how he does with his lessons you'll know if he is generally passing everything well or if he isn't. It's up to you whether he goes on or not. There is no test. If you start 1st grade work and it is too hard than you can move back to K work and do some review. He can be in 1st grade for Language arts and K for Math or vice versa. Whatever works for you and your child is how it will go.

    FREEDOM! You decide!

  3. #3
    jpenn's Avatar
    jpenn is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Kristielk,

    First, I want to welcome you to T4L! So glad to have you and your son here. I am going to give you a few links that will help you out a bit. The first link is to help you become accquainted with T4L--Getting Started with Time4Learning. The next is a guide book called How to Homeschool. It is comprehensive without being overwhelming. It is geared for new homeschooling families. This link is info on laws and such for homeschooling in West Virginia, and the last one is for the West Virginia state forum here at T4L.

    You might want to add some handwriting to your day and some simple beginning spelling. You will find resources for that at our sister site, Vocabulary and Spelling City. It is a free site.

    There is never one perfect curriculum. You will always want to add something to everything you use. The "records" section of T4L will keep you abreast of your son's progress. You can be as specific or detailed as you wish when you check on his progress. I would move slowly in the beginning, and I would try to work in lots of field trips and hands-on activities at home. Check your local area for a good co-op to join. Not only is a good co-op a super way to have your son take classes you don't want to teach, but he can socialize with other homeschool kids and go on field trips with them. The WV state forum will be of help in this area.

    Best wishes on a fun and very successful year!
    Joyfully,
    Jackie

  4. #4
    katshu2's Avatar
    katshu2 is offline Administrator
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    Hi there! For what it's worth, we use T4L as our core and it's all we need. This will be our 5th year using the program. We supplement with Vocabulary and Spelling City, as Jackie listed above. But other than that, the only thing we really do is reading, science experiments and art projects (of their choosing...nothing set) and field trips. Like Jackie, I would also suggest a Co-Op if you are interested in maybe having him learn something you aren't comfortable with teaching or don't want to teach. We are a part of a local homeschool support group, but there isn't a co-op locally. Our group gets together for play dates and field trips, which is nice. This month they will start at something called Master's Academy. We have been wanting to enroll them for a couple of years, but are just now able to commit financially. It's a fine arts program for homeschoolers. They meet once a week and follow a traditional school year. There are Master's in other cities, and there are other similar programs, if you wanted to see what was around your area.

    Like Crystal said above...you will know if your child is ready to advance. I can't put it into words, lol...but even without testing you will know. When my youngest was in K, he blew through the entire T4L K lessons in less than 3 months. Could I have put him in the first grade then? I could have. Based on the scores he made on the lessons and quizzes and such, he sure seemed ready. But something told me different. I made him start going back through the K lessons. Sure enough, there were several that he acted like he had never seen before, lol. When talking to him, I just knew that he didn't really retain as much as I had hoped, even for just the K level.

    For testing, WV has several options for testing, per the HSLDA (not everyone likes the Homeschool Legal Defense. I don't mind them and I really only hang out on their site long enough to check my state laws and see if they changed) West Virginia Homeschooling Laws. Hopefully that helps a little as well...

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    Katie
    Coffee drinker, gadget addict, proud geek.
    Accidentally homeschooling since 2005!



  5. #5
    Yca's Avatar
    Yca
    Yca is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome, Kristie!! So excited that you're joining us! My third child is starting K this year, too I absolutely agree to everything that the other moms suggested, but I want to emphasize reading and handwriting. You just can't ever read enough. Read to him, have him read to you, read books as a family, find things that interest him. Reading can be a special challenge for boys - and if you get them hooked quickly enough, they'll develop a real passion for it. I'm kind of a stickler for handwriting as well, even though my 11yo son has Asperger's and writing is something like having an IRS audit during a root canal. UGH. We let him type lots of things, but there are still a few things I make him write out. I don't care how old you are, you still have to write a thank-you note every once in awhile. (altho, he insists he's going to be rich enough to hire people to do it for him lol)

    As far as things we've added to this curriculum - we add Bible studies, and lots of special interest projects. My 11yo is a science nut and history buff, so we give him lots of extra work in those two areas - but because he *wants* it. With your little guy just starting out, you'll have a lot more time for fun things, and to really find out what his interests are, and cultivate those interests.

    Good luck with your new adventure - and if there is anything you need at all, please feel free to ask us!
    ~ Yca ~
    (otherwise known as Jess )

    Wife to Dave and Mom to Red - 13, The Princess - 11, Fluffyheaded Diva - 6, and Sir Smiley - 3
    Read about our adventures HERE!


  6. #6
    kristielk is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Thank you Jess, Katie, Jackie, and momma Crystal for all the info. It was very helpful. My son is a bright little boy, so I don't think I will have any problems. Since he will be schooling at home, we have also decided to take him to a discovery museum a few days a week. He will be able to play and learn with other kids there. He also wants to go to a bookstore that has story time for kids once a week. He loves to be read to. I am very excited about getting started with this home schooling. I am sure that I will be getting on here asking alot of questions! LOL. Thank you so much for all your help, I really appreciate it!


    Thank you,

    Kristie

  7. #7
    jpenn's Avatar
    jpenn is offline Senior Member
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    Keep us posted, Kristie and best wishes to you!
    Joyfully,
    Jackie

  8. #8
    Yca's Avatar
    Yca
    Yca is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like a great plan - let us know how everything goes! If you need anything at all, just ask
    ~ Yca ~
    (otherwise known as Jess )

    Wife to Dave and Mom to Red - 13, The Princess - 11, Fluffyheaded Diva - 6, and Sir Smiley - 3
    Read about our adventures HERE!


  9. #9
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Here is some information about using T4L with FIAR. I used B4FIAR with my youngest when he was a little guy and wanted to do school like his big brothers. I have also used selected books from FIAR to supplement whatever we are doing. Just another thought-
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

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