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  #1  
July 15th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 515
Hello all! I'm a bit of a lurker, and I tend to post mostly in the AP board. I'm considering homeschooling my dd, although she's not a year old yet, so I have some time! I'm a teacher myself, and so's my husband, although I took this year off and have found Pittsburgh to be a VERY difficult place to find a teaching job (we came from NJ). I'm seriously considering homeschooling DD when it comes time, although I'm curious about curricula - we're not religious, and would not want a curriculum with religion involved. I know nothing about homeschool curricula, but I know many people do homeschool for religious reasons (or include religion in the schooling). Does anyone have suggestions as to where I can look for sample curricula that might meet my needs? Also, how much do the materials cost; are there networks to buy used materials, and how much can I make up on my own? There's a pretty substantial homeschooling community in Pittsburgh, should I just contact some of them?

Thanks!
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  #2  
July 16th, 2007, 04:21 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, VA, USA
Posts: 3,739
Hey there! Walmart, Chapters/Indigo, and Staples all sell non-religious stuff that is perfect for the elementary grades (there are even all in one books available that cost about $10-15), and the Chapters/Indigo people have some books available for grade 7-12 (not sure the cost of those). There are excellent programs available from people such as Saxon Publishers as well (their stuff is actually used in public schools even). Saxon can be a little on the expensive side, but it is excellent for what you get. For the beginning years, so long as you have a solid phonics and math curriculum, you can pretty much just read a lot-- books on every topic under the sun, and involve them in the kitchen and other daily activities for science and social studies. As they get older, there are books and workbooks available that have everything a kid needs to know in both of those subjects as well. Often you can get old text books from public schools, or even use books the school is currently using. And, it definitely wouldn't hurt to contact the homeschoolers in Pittsburgh.
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  #3  
July 16th, 2007, 04:40 AM
Regular
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Quote:
... I'm curious about curricula - we're not religious, and would not want a curriculum with religion involved. I know nothing about homeschool curricula, but I know many people do homeschool for religious reasons (or include religion in the schooling). Does anyone have suggestions as to where I can look for sample curricula that might meet my needs? Also, how much do the materials cost; are there networks to buy used materials, and how much can I make up on my own? There's a pretty substantial homeschooling community in Pittsburgh, should I just contact some of them?

Thanks![/b]

I grew up educated with a religious/faith based educational format. I learned a lot about religion and a lot about what I shouldn't do and very little about what I should do or how to deal with the world outside of church. I found myself in fear that I would "mess up" or only making decisions that I knew my parents would want me to make because of their faith, that I missed out on enjoying the time and learning from my experiences. When we decided to home school our children this year after many years in the publick school we chose not to follow the trend of a faith based curricula, not because we were opposed to religion, but because we didn't want our children to only look at the world with one point of view.

We follow a syllabus learning style and use much of the Harcourt and Holt Rinehart Winston curricula. We find that they are inclusive of all the standards we want our children to meet. You can get catalogs for their line of educational materials. If I find the material I need and don't want to pay full price I use the follet educational services for their textbooks and workbooks. The same service that our local school district uses for their material.

I wrote an article at www.thehomeschoolexchange.com on how to get started and where to find different curricula. I hope it helps.
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  #4  
July 16th, 2007, 05:28 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
There are more curriculum providers that sell religious stuff, but there are getting to be more and more that don't as more and more people are now homeschooling NOT for religious reasons. If you wanted a complete boxed curriculum there is Calvert School. I know there are others but they are just not coming to mind at the moment. You could put together your own curriculum using things from here and there. For phonics Explode the Code is non-religious, for math Math-U-See is non-religious (the producers are religious but the math itself is just math), etc. Some people use the same textbooks kids in public school use. Homeschooling stuff can be as expensive or as cheap as you want to make it. Some people spend virtually nothing, others spend thousands each year. It all depends on what you choose and how much you want to spend. You can definitely get used stuff though sometimes that costs near as much or as much as new, particularly on places like eBay so you have to be careful when buying used things. You may even find a used curriculum sale near you (definitely contact the homeschooling groups!) and sometimes the school system sells off their used stuff, too. Making up your own can be done with a lot of legwork on-line (just ask Jo - Kitty-Cat - for links if you decide to write your own stuff - she's the link queen!). Writing your own stuff is especially possible at the early grade level.
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  #5  
July 17th, 2007, 07:14 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
I thought I recognized your name from somewhere. I must have seen you on the AP boards.

There are plenty of ways to homeschool secularly. We use Sonlight, and even though it's Christian-based, it's easy to take the religion out of it. There are of course, strictly secular curriculums too. You might find Oak Meadow interesting. It was the first one I was attracted to (still intrigued by it) , but ended up with Sonlight instead and was very happy with our secular version of it.

Have fun researching and learning about homeschooling!
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  #6  
July 23rd, 2007, 07:11 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
How are you coming along in your research? Did you contact the homeschooling group in Pittsburgh?
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~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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  #7  
July 23rd, 2007, 12:28 PM
pattyandthemoos's Avatar Administrator
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 61,635
I don't use any religous curriculum and I haven't had a problem finding books. I think there are a lot of options out there especially for the younger grades. I order from rainbowresource.com a lot.
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