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  #1  
May 17th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,612
Hi, everyone! I've been researching homeschooling curriculum the past couple of months and am very overwhelmed. I didn't realize there were so many options out there! I have received a number of catalogs (A Beka, My Father's Word, Saxon, Christian Liberty Press, Calvert, Greenleaf Press, and am still waiting on a couple, including Sonlight) that I've read over and over..... I'm sure this question gets asked a lot by newbies to this board, but I'd like to know why you chose the curriculum you did. Also, what has worked for you? What would you recommend? What would you NOT recommend? I know every child is different and we'll probably have to try out some things until we find a good "fit" for us. Thanks for all the help! I appreciate it!
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  #2  
May 18th, 2009, 02:27 AM
Momma Jo's Avatar Monsters Ed
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 880
Welcome to the world of homeschooling. I'm currently using Clonard, which is a South African curriculum. My main concern was that I didn't want to start "bad" habits in spelling (as we use UK spelling) when they start to read and write. I have since decided that we'll be carrying on with this curriculum as its currently working for us.
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  #3  
May 18th, 2009, 05:23 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
Trial and error. We use Sonlight and love it. We've done other stuff before. You can read about it here: Camian Academy All About Us Sonlight was a perfect fit because I can use it with my older two together and then repeat in a few years using mostly the same stuff (very little consumable) with the little two. Ani and Cameron have very different learning styles, but they both love to be read to, so Sonlight works well for them both.
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  #4  
May 18th, 2009, 08:54 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,612
Thank you for the link; I will read it. I've heard mixed things about Sonlight, so I'll be anxious to get the catalog and read through their website some more.
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  #5  
May 18th, 2009, 09:43 AM
Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 406
Definitely trial and error. For younger years I really liked leapfrog videos Starfall, Explode The Code, Time4learning (up to 3rd grade).

Things I love Singapore math, My pals are here science, and my first grammar book (singapore), Pentime.

Things that did not work for us:

Time4learning: He learned to cheat the system. He got really board after grade 2.
Starfall writing: went to fast refused to do.
regular writing books: Just did not work
The complete book of math 1-2: To spirally stressed him
copy work: He copies print style but did not retain anything
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  #6  
May 18th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,933
We use an eclectic mix of things I pick & choose from different companies.

History/Bible we use The Mystery of History.

Language Arts we use Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLATL) and my youngest also does Explode the Code.

Math we use Math-U-See.

Science I've the hardest time with. This next school year we're going to try NOEO Science.

There are few electives that we're going to be doing as well: Galloping the Globe (geography), Write Shop (creative writing), Pearables Home Economics (cooking), guitar lessons, etc.

When we first started homeschooling we used My Father's World. I really liked it, although the last year we used it I wasn't crazy about their geography focused year (ECC). It seemed a little...I don't know...lacking? But really the only reason I stopped using it was because I wanted to try putting my own curriculum together, and it's working for us.
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  #7  
May 18th, 2009, 11:45 AM
4boys
Guest
Posts: n/a
Yup, trial and error. And before buying anything, LOTS and LOTS of online research!!

Since I began homeschooling right from Kindergarten with my oldest, I felt that I could relax a little and not worry so much about actual curriculum. I figured that a bit of math, learning to read and write were the most important, plus reading a lot of great books and doing some crafts. I have used Starfall materials (Learn to Read at Starfall - teaching comprehension and phonics), Handwriting without Tears Letters and Numbers for Me 2nd Edition (007454) Details - Rainbow Resource Center, Inc. and Explode the Code Explode the Code - Product Browse - Rainbow Resource Center, Inc. for phonics. At first I used just a cheap Basic Skills K book for math and then went on to use Horizons Horizons Math - Product Browse - Rainbow Resource Center, Inc.. I have since moved on to Math Mammoth http://www.mathmammoth.com.

The more research I did, the more I added in. Look at lots of online samples and you can always ask us lots of questions!! I've only been at this for two years now so I am still learning what's good and what's not for my kids, but it's a process. A fun one!

Welcome to the board and congrats on your upcoming addition!
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  #8  
May 18th, 2009, 02:12 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
The decision making process is hard for most of us I think. I know it is for me, even though I've been doing this for 3 years. It helps to decide what style of homeschooling you want to do- even though I suspect most end up with some sort of blend of styles. It also helps to think about the learning style of your child/children. If they are a hands on learner, the workbook type, book lover, etc.... and then look at the curriculums that might fit them.

After all that, it will come down to trial and error. So do your best to pick the program(s) that speak to you. And if you decide to switch next year, so be it. The ones you mentioned are all high quality programs so I don't think you could go wrong if you try any of them out.

Welcome to the board. Feel free to keep asking questions. We're happy to help!
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  #9  
May 18th, 2009, 03:09 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,547
It is hard to recommend things. For us Math-U-see is great. My daughter has trouble remembering things so the mastery approach really helps. For learning to read I recommend phonics. We have a few books for that. Alphabet Island Phonics, a Jolly Phonics manual with reproducible sheets, Sounds 42 (Australian programe) None of these has enough practice for my daughter though, so I look up free sheets online to add to it.
Maths and English and Bible is mainly what we are focusing on now. At least until she starts to read better. What with doing the new stuff and the daily revision so she retains the older concepts we don't have time for much else.

I would love to get Galloping the Globe as I have heard so many good things about that. We also have Music Ace Deluxe a music computer program.
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  #10  
May 19th, 2009, 12:43 PM
Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 420
Ours was trail and error as well. For K we started out with My Father's World. DD was having fun and loving school, and I thought "This is just too easy." LOL!!! So we switched to ABeka, which is a good program, but a horrible fit for us. DD does NOT do well with traditional workbook type of curriculum. After 2 years of tears we went back to My Father's World and we love it. (Note to say that there are others on this board who do love ABeka, so it has a lot to do with how your kids learn, and how you like to teach).

This is our 2nd year back with My Father's World and we plan to stick with it, even through High-School - we just like it that much:)

Shannon
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  #11  
May 20th, 2009, 03:31 PM
janaleigh's Avatar Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 38
We love .....
Sonlight,
Excellence In Writing
ALEKs math
Sequential Spelling

Look for curriculum that has a strong return policy. If a company is willing to stand behind their program, no questions asked, then it's probably a pretty good program.

We have also used and liked....
Horizon Math
Rosetta Stone
Beautiful Feet
Chalkdust Math
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  #12  
May 20th, 2009, 04:42 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,231
It really depends on your child's learning style and your teaching/homeschool style. My oldest has always been happy to do worksheets and sit at the table to do his work. We do Abeka Math, BJU Bible, LLATL for language arts, we make up our own units for science based on his interest (although we are going to try a Well Trained Mind method for science very soon) We use Bob Books and ETC for further phonics help and we add in so many other things it's crazy! LOL! He's addicted to science experiments. I swear that's all he would do if he had the choice!

My middle child, however, is turning out to be NOT worksheet oriented. He'll be three in July so we obviously still have time. But even at three my oldest loved doing the Abeka 3's workbooks and Rod and Staff's workbooks for that age. My middle child does NOT like to sit and do paper work (coloring, practice letters/numbers etc). He's more of an open ended activity kid. He responds really well to montessori type activities-again, it could be his age- but I'm already noticing a difference with him. My oldest wanted me to show him how to do it correctly before he would even start something, my middle child wants to figure it out on his own and will ask for help when he feels he needs it.

So, all that was to say that you should really take inventory of what kind of learners you think you have and match that up with what kind of curriculum would work with that. Keeping in mind how much prep work you are willing to do etc. Some curricula sound great but keeps the parent busy for hours at night preparing everything, which is total bummer in my opinion!

Hope my ramblings helped!
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  #13  
May 26th, 2009, 07:12 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,612
Thank you everyone! I appreciate all the comments, suggestions, and advice.
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