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  #1  
July 27th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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My 4yr has been using A Beka with a friend (5yr boy). She LOVES school! But we're thinking of switching curriculum. Unfortunately there are SO many options...After looking at some choices I'm so overwhelmed...
My friend who usually does the schooling wants a based curriculum to be sure we're teaching what needs to be taught. I don't know!! ARGHHHHH, I'm about ready to start pulling out hair.
Can anyone make suggestions?
If we switch from A Beka to another curriculum will is cause issues, ei leave them behind/ahead of the curriculum or struggling to catch on?! Or are all the curriculum easily interlaced? How hard is picking and choosing different subjects from different places?!
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  #2  
July 27th, 2010, 12:59 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Welcome to the homeschooling board! It's very overwhelming at first, I agree!

Ok, first, it doesn't matter what you use when you're getting started. You may have to tweak things or switch a couple of times to find your groove, but as long as your child is learning, it doesn't matter.

I started with Abeka as well. First, tell me what you do and don't like about it. Why are you switching? That'll help steer me away from suggesting something similar. What do you want or not want?
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  #3  
July 27th, 2010, 01:06 PM
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I don't do the lessons myself, a friend of mine does. But here are the things I'm looking for
1) I want something that I'm going to be able to use with my younger daughter as well.
2) Something relatively inexpensive yet informative.
3) Engaging for my 4yr

And someone told my friend that A Beka was a watered down version of some of the other curriculums.

Anyone have suggestions on Weaver or LifePac?
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  #4  
July 27th, 2010, 01:18 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Not sure what they meant by it being a watered down version. Abeka is a very, very good curriculum. Actually, it's a little bit accelerated compared to most. The earlier science and social studies aren't all that great for my needs, but for most people who don't want to put much emphasis on those subjects until middle school, Abeka is perfect. (The later grades are wonderful for science and social studies).

Are you looking for a boxed curriculum, or would you want to draw from different sources for each subject? Boxed curricula is great when you're starting out, but most people don't stick to it very long because it's hard to find something that fits your needs 100% of the time.

Look at these for curriculum kits:

Christian Curriculum, Music, Distance Learning, & Books | BJU Press
http://www.clp.org/documents/3201/or..._2009-2010.pdf
My Father's World - Homeschool Curriculum and Christian School Curriculum
Rod and Staff Books - Christian curriculum and storybooks
Sonlight: Christian Homeschool Curriculum, Homeschool Program, Resources, Education, Homeschooling Materials & Books

There are many more...
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  #5  
July 27th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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About the A Beka being watered down, I'm not sure what she meant either. A Beka has seemed to be to be good so far. It's just very expensive.

Honestly, I'm not sure what I'm looking for. *LOL* I know that doesn't help you at all. Eventually I can see me using different things but for now I feel in over my head trying to pick a boxed curriculum. So for now I'll be going with a full set.

I will check out some of the links you sent. Thanks for all your help. Sorry I'm not helping you help me. There are so many choices and typically I get overwhelmed by too many choices. I want my daughters to have a great education with minimal stress for any of us.
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  #6  
July 27th, 2010, 02:37 PM
christianmommato3's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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welcome! I am starting my 3rd year of homeschooling. I really like christian liberty press. It is a school/company that puts together curriculum in a very affordable package.They use many different publishers from Bob jones and Abeka.. I love it!! When my kids get into the middle school years, I will join the school so my kids get a diploma and transcripts. I highly recommend them!!!!
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  #7  
July 27th, 2010, 03:08 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Another very inexpensive option is Rod & Staff. Of the Christian publishers out there, they're probably the ones with the most religion weaved into the books. Some people prefer ones that are very heavy in religion and some prefer those with none at all. Abeka is the type that likes to weave scripture into things and sometimes has religious themed art projects, but for the most part, they're not all that religious. Horizons (from Alpha Omega) has very little religious content at all. Bob Jones is very similar to Abeka. There are online options as well. Switched on Schoolhouse and Time4Learning are both very popular. (If you use SOS, go to the Duggar's website to get a discount code. T4L is secular.)

Last edited by BensMom; July 27th, 2010 at 03:11 PM.
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  #8  
July 27th, 2010, 03:12 PM
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SOS isn't available until 3rd grade but we have Horizons and LOVE it!!

I we weren't do a classical method then I would be using MFW, I have a friend who uses it and it looks great!
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  #9  
July 27th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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We will be doing Sonlight next year and it has everything needed. I like that is has a sort of lesson plans, what to do in each subject for each day. It is expensive it you buy the whole set, but I got most of it used and our library has most of the reading books so I didn't need to buy the whole package. Just the intructor quides for the subjects I wanted and some of the basic books.

I have used other things before this, but I did it piecemeal to what I liked. We tried SOS, but my older dd hated it. We have done Saxon math and older dd loves it but we didn't like it fr younger dd. I have heard great things about Abeka, Bob jones, and My Father's World.
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  #10  
July 27th, 2010, 05:27 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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*duh* I KNEW SOS was 3rd grade. I momentarily lost my mind.
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  #11  
July 27th, 2010, 06:28 PM
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It's okay Chrystal we all do it sometimes, I think having kids makes us lose our minds sometimes.
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  #12  
July 27th, 2010, 07:31 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
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If you can show her that you are covering everything going with mix and match curriculums, would she be that opposed? You may find that you like math in Abeka, but not the language arts and choose another for it. As long as you got it covered I would think that would be ok.
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  #13  
July 28th, 2010, 04:12 PM
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How far behind would she be if I just did the schooling myself, with online sources to print, if I used a scope and sequence from say A Beka or LifePac. Because I don't have to enroll her until next year there's not a immediate rush for me, yet I do want to settle on something for her. I realize because something works for her doesn't mean it will work for my younger.

Does anyone know the return policies for the different companies? Or the selling rate of the books?

@in_mommy: She likes having everything in one place already planned out. I'm not actually sure where she's at with all of this, honestly. I've ordered catalogs through various companies so once those arrive we'll sit down together and discuss it in more depth. We may end up doing it separately, which isn't the end of the world.

@mommyof2: I've looked at Sonlight and I love the way it looks but they are definitely out of my price range. Plus I don't know how well my older will do with so much reading. She LOVES arts, crafts, hands-on...may just supplement whatever we do.

You ladies have been VERY helpful and given me more to look into. As I come across things that I like or dislike I'll let you know. Just please don't let me annoy you with all my rambling. *LOL* Just trying my luck with figuring things out.

Praying that the Lord will show me what will work for us.
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  #14  
July 28th, 2010, 04:21 PM
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IRL I'm the only one that doesn't do boxed curriculum.

Can anyone make suggestions?
If we switch from A Beka to another curriculum will is cause issues, ei leave them behind/ahead of the curriculum or struggling to catch on?! Or are all the curriculum easily interlaced? I switch curriculum a lot. I feel the placement tests are wonderful to judge where to start in a curriculum.

How hard is picking and choosing different subjects from different places?! Mix and match are key for us to get things my son will enjoy. I find it much easier to fill in very small holes then to stress whether there is holes.
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  #15  
July 28th, 2010, 06:28 PM
Sandra314's Avatar Homeschooling Mom
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My youngest is age four and we are using Horizons Preschool. I am adding Get ready for the code for Phonics. Horizons Preschool covers many subjects and the teacher's guide has wealth of information.

Another option is using a free curriculum, we used Letter of the Week with my first son when he was younger. It is a good curriculum and we enjoyed using it.
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  #16  
July 28th, 2010, 08:49 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Can we back up for just a second? I'm really confused about why someone else is homeschooling your child for you.

Quote:
How far behind would she be if I just did the schooling myself, with online sources to print, if I used a scope and sequence from say A Beka or LifePac. Because I don't have to enroll her until next year there's not a immediate rush for me
A 4 year old wouldn't be "behind" anything no matter what. A kindergartener doesn't have to know anything. It's very helpful in a group setting if the child already knows numbers, letters, colors, and shapes, but in a homeschool setting, even that doesn't matter.

Where would you be "enrolling" next year? Public? Private? Do you plan to continue homeschooling into elementary (or longer)? If so, again, it really doesn't matter what you do right now, or even if you do nothing at all.

Here's what I like:

Reading - Explode the Code (there are 3 preschool workbooks and 8 elementary workbooks with an additional 6 that are optional for extra practice)

Math - I like Abeka and Horizons, but both are very advanced. I like Rod & Staff because it's very slow and old school in style. A lot of people use Math Mammoth (or is it Mammoth Math? I always mess that up), with great success. Math-u-see is a great option for a hands-on child, but it's expensive. Good alternatives are Miquon and RightStart. (We'll be using Miquon this year. It's a K-3rd curriculum with higher levels of thought mixed in, so a child would easily move into 5th or 6th in some programs, 4th in others.)

Writing - I LOVE Handwriting w/o Tears for printing, and it's one that you can use only the workbooks, or you can get the whole system. We use only the workbooks personally. If you use Abeka for writing, you'll start with cursive rather than print. There are pros and cons to that. It's up to you. (Read this for more detail on why it's best to start with cursive.) I do NOT like the cursive Handwriting w/o Tears style for 3rd grade. I'll switch back to Abeka when we revisit cursive again. It's the traditional style.

Science - Apologia Young Explorers (easy to use with multiple children, because all 6 books are for any child K-6th)

Social Studies - Do your own unit studies on basic U.S. geography, community helpers, etc. to help your child learn about their surroundings, and then branch out into a tiny bit of world geography with continents and oceans. There's no reason for a kindergartener to know more than this.

Art - Kumon is great. You can use things like Abeka or whatever as well.

Music - can't help you there... I'm a music teacher by trade, so I do my own thing.

Last edited by BensMom; July 28th, 2010 at 08:52 PM.
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  #17  
July 29th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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@Miguels mommy: Thanks for the heads up about switching. Wasn't sure if switching would create problem as the children got older. I do believe I'll end up mixing and matching...

@Bensmom: Initially I was doing the schooling but then my friend picked up A Beka for her then 4yo, so we just combined it. She was doing the schooling and I was doing crafts with them. But now, she comes over and schools both of them together while I watch the two younger kids. So I'm present just not the one that is actually handing her the work.

If I weren't homeschooling I would be enrolling her in a public school because our family can't afford a private school. The plans now are to homeschool K-12.

Thanks for clarifying, I think as a parent (well me being me *lol*) I'm letting it get to me and really there's nothing to stress about. She above where she most children her age are. Reckon I should just be content and let her be 4 while she is. As long as she's being taught to be a God fearing child than it doesn't matter really.

As far as the cursive writing, we started with manuscript so she hasn't been taught cursive yet. The plan was to start that this coming year. Because before she started A Beka I had already taught her most of the alphabet in manuscript.

I will continue to look into some of your suggestion.

Again, thank you ladies for all of your guidance and suggestions, I really do appreciate it!
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  #18  
July 29th, 2010, 02:29 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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It's easy to feel overwhelmed at first. (I think I must have gone bald for the first couple of months! ) You'll get the hang of it quickly, though. Ask all the questions you want, no matter how silly they are in your own mind, because we've all asked them at some point.
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