Questions regarding Homeschool
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  1. #1
    DavesDad is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1

    Default Questions regarding Homeschool

    Hello Everyone,

    New parent here. I wanted to reach out and seek some advice. My wife and I are considering homeschooling our son, and I have a couple of questions:

    1) What is the best place to look for curriculum?
    2) For scheduling, do you follow a traditional model, Sept - June, or do you school year-round? (I know some cases depend on each situation, but just wanted to get some general feedback)
    3) When do you typically plan for the year (when do usually plan what courses your child is going to be doing)?

    Thanks and look forwarding to hearing all your responses!
    DavesDad

  2. #2
    Jenn71832 is offline Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Questions regarding Homeschool

    Hi DavesDad! Welcome to Time4Learning and to homeschooling!

    I wish that there was one simple answer to at least one of your questions :-\ , but homeschooling is so individualized that it is difficult to pin down one answer to any question. First off, before I tell you what we do, I want to say that you should be at peace with the decisions you make because you believe they will work for you. If it means doing it in a completely different way from everyone you have spoken with about it, you should still do what works for you.

    My answers to these questions are different now than they would have been last year, 2 years ago, 5 years ago or at any other time you may have asked me. As life changes, as the kids get older, as my other responsibilities become heavier or lighter, the way we do things changes. So, I will give you the answers "for now". But they might be different later.

    1. The best place to look for curriculum depends, in large part, on what you are looking for and on what you mean by "best". If you mean cheapest, and are willing to buy used, (and if you have an idea of what you are looking for) then ebay and vegsource.com/homeschool are very good places to look.

    If you mean the most complete curriculum source, try Rainbow Resources. You may consider ordering a catalog. They carry an overwhelming variety of curriculum to choose from and you could spend a very long time at the computer trying to browse through it all.

    If you are looking for recommendations for curriculum, it may help to have some kind of an idea what you are looking for. Secular or Religious? Unit Study or Traditional Schooling or Classical or Whole Book? If you don't know what your style might be you could do some checking around and see what might fit your family. Try this site for an overview.

    2. We personally do most of our schooling during the Sept.-June schoolyear. We do a lot more hands-on learning in the summer and don't worry as much about using a language arts curriculum or formal math lessons. Instead we go on a lot of field trips, read out loud, write letters and email to family members, etc. But, I know people who do school year round and others who take all summer completely off.

    3. We plan our school year in August. In pencil.

    It will absolutely not go the way I planned it in August. That used to cause me no end of frustration until I figured out that life happens. In a public school, when your child is sick, lessons go on just as if they were there. If a child falls behind or doesn't understand something, you send work home and keep going with your original plans. In homeschool, you change the plans because they were written for that child. If they don't get long division, you don't move on to the next concept and hope your child catches up somehow by themselves. You go over it again, and again, until they get it.

    But at the same time your language arts, history, etc. keeps going as planned. So, you either throw the baby out with the bath water and rewrite the whole lesson plan for the year or you use an eraser on the parts where you planned math.

    Sometimes we finish our books for the year early, sometimes on time, and sometimes we finish them over the summer. But that is the great thing about homeschooling. It doesn't really matter when they finish them. And you will know that they truly "got it" when they do.

    I am sure that many others on here have fantastic suggestions to offer you. And they are probably more concise and less longwinded than I am! I am glad you found us and hope that we can help you out as you search for more information.
    Jenn71832

  3. #3
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: Questions regarding Homeschool

    1) What is the best place to look for curriculum?

    We use T4L as our primary curriculum, and you've found it! I also shop at my local parent-teacher store and online. Rainbow resource is a great place to find stuff.


    2) For scheduling, do you follow a traditional model, Sept - June, or do you school year-round? (I know some cases depend on each situation, but just wanted to get some general feedback)

    We school until we need a break, then we take it. I usually have the kids take one when we feel like travelling or get done with a chunk of work. For example, this year, we were done with 180+ days and all of our curriculum in April, so we took a month off to travel while PS was still in session.

    3) When do you typically plan for the year (when do usually plan what courses your child is going to be doing)?

    I don't plan an entire year out in detail in advance. I find something I think the kids want to learn or a place I think they'll want to go and build from there. As long as they have all of their requirements met, I no longer stress out about the details. If they're each a year or two ahead in Spelling, does it matter if they skip a week here or there? If they're excelling in learning, does it matter if I'm not forcing them to adhere to a rigid schedule? I was very strict for a while, but now we just focus on taking advantages of the opportunities that come our way.
    Melissa.

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