What We Use to Homeschool pt. 2

April 29 · 0 comments

in Homeschooling

A little over a week ago, I talked to you about our homeschool schedule.  I gave a brief description of what we do during the day.  Today, I wanted to share with you our one and only curriculum choice and why I plan out everything else myself (without the help of a curriculum).

stack of books

First up is Phonics.  I am currently using ABeka’s reading/phonics books and workbooks.  I purchased the Reading, Writing, & Numbers Lesson Plan; the Letters & Sounds teacher book & the student book; and the Think & Learn student book. They have an overload of “support materials” and additional materials to go with it, but I just stuck to my guns and bought the minimum.  It’s quite easy to get carried away in getting the extra stuff, but if you aren’t careful, you could get sucked in and spend A LOT more money than you planned.

I admit, I was initially unsure on this.  My kids are little, there shouldn’t be a need for a boxed curriculum. It’s just basics. But here’s why I chose it.  When we first started homeschooling, I had my planner printed out for each week, I filled in activities and crafts to help teach my kids the alphabet.  Plain and simple.  I went in alphabetic order introducing a new letter each week. Then they got a hold of a video and learned the latter half of the alphabet in a week.  So long planned out crafts and down the hole I went since all my planned stuff was pulled out from underneath me.  What do I do next?  Phonics, they have to learn blends and such.  I don’t know how to teach that. Someone taught me, but I don’t remember how they did it.  Phonics is a big part of reading and I don’t want to be the cause of his developmental delay in learning to read.  I starting asking around.  I heard a lot about Abeka (nothing but rave reviews), but I didn’t want a boxed curriculum. What if it didn’t work? Abeka is expensive. Cue the uncertainty and the questions within myself. I got caught up in the worry that I may fail him.  My worry got the better of me and then it was a domino effect.  I was drowning and I needed help.  I was introduced to someone who was a veteran homeschooler; she was even paid to homeschool other peoples’ kids.  Somehow, as inspiring as she was, I left her house feeling like a puddle of jello. Insert sad momma. I moped for a bit; I felt like I had lost something, like something inside of me had been taken and I had no idea what it was.  The closest word I could use to express it is MOJO but even that didn’t quite feel right. My husband being as amazing as he is, listened to my woes and saw the root of the problem: he aptly pointed out how well I function with structure and since I was stressing out about how to do phonics why not purchase the one curriculum that seemed promising.  Then again the wise-ness of my husband came forth:  something will be paid for, we’ll either have to pay someone to teach him or pay for a curriculum to show you how to teach him.  I couldn’t argue with that logic, so I bought it.

My initial perspective of it once I started looking through the Lesson Plans? Wow, it’s so organized and it tells me what to do!! Yay!!  Ironically, now that I’m getting used to it, I find myself moving away from it.  I don’t plan on giving it up because I’m using it as a guideline to teach and using ABeka’s printables to assist where needed.

Next up is Math!  One of my favorite things about homeschooling, is that we are never tied down to just one company & curriculum.  While ABeka does have books and workbooks for teaching kindergarten Math (it’s called Numbers), I chose not to use them or any other company.  I chose to create my own. Yes, you read that correctly, I make my own.  Here’s why….

First, I know my kids better than any boxed curriculum. I would hate to spend the money on something, then find out my kids don’t like it. There may actually be a perfect fit out there, but there are a zillion choices & I don’t want to waste my kids’ time or my time searching for it.

Second, my kids are still little (5 and 4) and really don’t need a boxed curriculum with tons of assignments and worksheets and charts.  They enjoy playing and learning through doing it themselves and seeing the outcomes and how it relates to them on a daily basis.  I do have them do some table work, but it’s nothing difficult and only means to add practice to concrete the things we’ve been working on. I purchased the Pro Membership on Education.com (while it was 50% off) and I use their worksheets on a weekly basis.

So for now, while my kids are learning the building blocks, I’m writing out lesson plans myself (I’ll show you how in the next post).  It may seem taxing, but I love planning, creating learning aids with index cards, and looking on Pinterest for fun activities, isn’t that weird?  Maybe not for those who know how organized and quirky I am, but I love writing lesson plans.  I’ve actually been considering putting them together to be shared here so others can download them and use them too. Isn’t that exciting?  What do you think? I’m not quite sure when I’ll get the first one up (I’m still trying to figure out a few issues to make it a standard and stream-lined download).  But until then, pray for me. The computer isn’t really my friend.

In a nutshell, I use ABeka for phonics and I make up my own lesson plans for math and any other subject we add in. Well, I hope that helped. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.

What curriculum are you using for your children?

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: