Homeschool - Need help desparately!

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BobVigneault

Bawberator
We are pulling our kids, 2nd grader and 7th grader, out of public school on Wednesday - it's the end of the quarter.

I have settled on Saxon Homeschool Math 7/6: COMPLETE KIT: 4th Edition for our 7th grader and that is as far as I've got. I need to order materials real soon (today). I've read old threads and searched sites but frankly I'm PARALYZED.

We have homeschooled before with our bio kids but it's been many years. What other materials should I get right away? Mind you, because the year has begun there are no fairs to attend.

Several recommended Story of the World for history but it got a wide variety of comments on Amazon. Apologia for science sounds good. Someone help me. Colleen, where are you? Where is your blog page?
 

Megaloo

Puritan Board Freshman
Veritas Press looks promising, that is what we use. We really like the 3Rs. You can always add to that later.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
I keep seeing Shurley Grammar showing up. Is that pretty good?

Also there is some discrepancy over Math suggestions. Christian Libery suggests Saxon Math 8/7 for those who have completed Math 7/6 but Veritas and Covenant Home go to more advanced books. I was going to order 7/6 to be safe but now I don't know.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Story of the World is fine for History, I mean we started using it with our first 1st graders. Some people just have problems if every single page of a "Christian curriculum" doesn't basically "do all the work" for Mom & Dad, so far as putting world events into an interpretive context suitable to a Christian family. So I guess it doesn't work for every family.

What is relativism? It's NOT writing about a person growing up in a pagan culture that makes THEM sound an awful lot like the way humans grow up in OUR culture. In fact, done right, such an approach builds empathy for people who are different from us, but who desperately need Jesus the Savior.

My wife thinks Apologia is terrific.

The best thing just might be--sit with your children and read to them. Read a little of everything, especially good literature. Teach them to read for themselves, and get interested in all kinds of things, and feed their own hunger for knowledge.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
We, too, are crazy about Apologia Science. I would not recommend Saxon Math, especially if your children do not handle switching from one topic to the next. I found it expensive and frustrating. We switched to Singapore Math a few years ago, and I wish I had done it from the start. It's fabulous until a student is ready for Alegbra. You can go online and have your children tested for free to decide what book to use. If you see LadyFlynt's post a week or so ago on math, they recommend Singapore. You can purchase a year's curriculum of Singapore for about $30-$35.

We enjoyed Story of the World but we switched to American Vision's American History books (you can order them on line for very low cost). We like the reformed focus. I especially liked the discussion questions which encourage the students to think about why things happened in history and the biblical focus. (For instance, we are on the reformation right now, and one of the discussion questions is: "In light of the actions of the radical reformers and the Roman Catholic Church, explain the necessity for sola scriptura). I couldn't have been more pleased to make my child think about these things. Another question in the same unit asks the students to trace the history of the translation of the English Bible and describe historical events surrounding them. It is suitable for 6-8th graders.

Though I've never used Shirley Grammar. I've looked at it, and it's excellent. We also found the Amish Readers printed out of LaGrange, Indiana to be great for our 2nd grader. If you use their workbooks and a good phonics program such as Explode the Code, you really have need to for any other grammar or reading. They are also very inexpensive (about $5 for a hardbound book and $3 for the workbook)

Hope this is helpful.

JBaldwin
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Scottish Reformed Homeschool has some information ;) I went back to Weaver but have plenty of other links.

I highly recommend Unit Study. Veritas Press is good (it just was too much for how many little children I have and caused frustration with the olders...you only have two, you might have an easier time with it). Tapestry of Grace is alot of prep, but people with older children have enjoyed it. Story of the World is very basic and I wouldn't recommend it for the older child.

The reason for United Study is that it takes what they learn in History and Science and concretes it in their writing, language arts, etc.

Math U See is good for younger children (and has videos)...also have heard lots of good things about Singapore. Life of Fred is what we are using for our oldest child. Call the Professor for that...he's a riot to talk with and will fully inform you on the curriculum and his view of teaching math...he's also available for the students via phone.

Rosetta Stone for Foreign Language.

On the site listed above are some free spelling list sites. These have a full year of lists for each grade level. You can just use notebooks or I can send you some spelling books (blank...I use them for these lists) from the local homeschool store (it's an anabaptist store and what the local amish and mennonite schools produce and use...they are about $1 a book and each lasts a year...so not a big deal to send these to anyone who wants them).

I have used both Abeka Handwriting and A Reason for Handwriting...liked both.

Weaver has science built in. The others do not. I've heard good things about the Apologia curriculum.
 

Calvibaptist

Dallas Cowboys' #1 Fan
Just getting into homeschooling myself. I am reading up on it a little and will be bringing my son home (he's in 1st grade) probably by the end of this year. Teaching the Trivium is a good book about why and how to do classical education. They recommend "Ancient History from Primary Sources" for history, which looks promising. I am looking into A Writing Road to Reading (Spalding Method) for basic phonics and spelling. Anyone ever try this?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
We used A Writing Road to Reading with my oldest and though I liked it, it did not work for her. I have another friend who used it on 7 children and she loved it, but on child 8, she had to give up and try something else. I used Explode the Code with my youngest, and I was very happy. If your child likes workbooks, I would suggest something more like Explode the Code. If they learn by writing, by all means I would recommend Writing Road to Reading.
 

shelly

Puritan Board Freshman
Easy Grammar is good and basic. You can get a real good idea of each little grammar concept that your kids have or haven't mastered. Nothing gets overlooked.

Rosetta Stone foreign language about $200 for the year or so of language work.

Veritas Press is good for history and Bible. It ties it together very well.

Saxon has an online test to print out to see which book to use. There is also a computer lesson CD called D.I.V.E. for upper elementary and on. I use it with my kids and it's a lifesaver for me. They understand what's taught and they can rewind to review.

Apologia is great for science.

Writing Strands breaks down the writing process and doesn't overwhelm. It's especially good for ones who don't like to write. My "writer" is benefiting from it also. She loves to write but this program teaches her to write well. I would compare it to a child who loves to draw and draws all the time, and yet still needs teaching to draw even better.

If reading is an area of concern then I recommend Phonics Pathways
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Homeschooling help

This from my wife (the resident homeschooling expert):

I have used Sonlight and love it. It is a little expensive and it can be intimidating when you get it all, but it is literature based and you can usually make it work with multiple children. You can use the reading list and go to the library to get the books. All of the Language Arts lessons tie in with the readers, we found that really helpful. I also use Saxon Math with all of my children. It is time consuming, but I have found it is worth the time we spend everyday. This year we are doing a more classical approach with a homeschool group called Classical Conversations and we sing songs and memorize a lot of different things. We meet once a week and the support is wonderful. I don't know if they have any groups in WI. classicalconversations.com Check them out. This program is nationwide.

Unit studies are great, and you can tailor them to whatever your interest are. vegsource.com is a great place to find used curriculum and you can buy it right away. Rainbow Resource and Timberdoodle are the best priced places I have ever found to buy anything.

For Bible we use Teaching Minds, Training Hearts, this is based on the shorter catechism. It is great! For science Apologia has a Young Explorer Series called Exploring Creation. I have used this with all four of my children at the same time and found it was great for multiple levels.

You can always just have your kids doing copywork from the Bible. Copying scriptures is an easy way to get some dictation in. We do dictation everyday.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
We've used Sonlight for years (6 or 7 now) and my wife and the kids love it. When your children complain because there's no school today and read their textbooks for fun, you know you've hit on something good. :2cents:
 
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Puddleglum

Puritan Board Sophomore
Apologia is good.

Saxon is good, it's weak on geometry though (and their calc book isn't that good) & doesn't work to well for some people. But I'd give it a try (I did Saxon all the way through calculus). As far as which one - I know they've got placement tests available somehow / somewhere - I'd definitely give your kids one of those first.

Writing Strands - I hated it. But it was good for me. :)
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
Hey Leeanne,
I was looking at Singapore math for my 2nd grader. There is a pre 2002 edition for 'die hards' and a new edition of the Primary 2 math. Do you have any idea what that is about and which is best. Anyone else feel free to answer.
 

Sydnorphyn

Puritan Board Freshman
We are pulling our kids, 2nd grader and 7th grader, out of public school on Wednesday - it's the end of the quarter.

I have settled on Saxon Homeschool Math 7/6: COMPLETE KIT: 4th Edition for our 7th grader and that is as far as I've got. I need to order materials real soon (today). I've read old threads and searched sites but frankly I'm PARALYZED.

We have homeschooled before with our bio kids but it's been many years. What other materials should I get right away? Mind you, because the year has begun there are no fairs to attend.

Several recommended Story of the World for history but it got a wide variety of comments on Amazon. Apologia for science sounds good. Someone help me. Colleen, where are you? Where is your blog page?

We have been using Story of the Word for several years and LOVE it; we have five girls, three of which are "school" age, we cover the same material with the three older ones, they really enjoy it.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hey Leeanne,
I was looking at Singapore math for my 2nd grader. There is a pre 2002 edition for 'die hards' and a new edition of the Primary 2 math. Do you have any idea what that is about and which is best. Anyone else feel free to answer.
Bob,

I have the Primary 2 book in front of me, it is a 2003 edition. The editions after 2002 are more "American" friendly, and I have been very happy with them.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
A book that took the paralysis out of our thinking (and we aren't even homeschooling yet!) is the best one-stop resource for telling what's out there, and how to teach kids in age-appropriate ways. It's called _The Well-Trained Mind_. Highly recommended.

I was home-schooled from 4th-12th grade. Saxon math is the best until calculus. A Beka grammar is an absolute battle-axe, although I have heard great things about Shurley's grammar.

You should teach them Greek and Latin sooner rather than later (the book linked above will help greatly with this, especially if you don't already know those languages), so that they will remember more of it, and be immersed longer.

A Beka literature is really good, as well, although I like the look of the omnibus books by Wilson and co. I haven't used them, so I cannot say for sure how it is. Wilson has some of the best thoughts on education of anyone I know (even if some of his other theological statements are a bit more questionable).
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Another recommended source for Parent/Teachers is A Charlotte Mason Companion. That combined with The Well Trained Mind will give a balanced view. Charlotte Mason classically educated on a more natural level keeping a child's heart and soul in mind.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
You should teach them Greek and Latin sooner rather than later (the book linked above will help greatly with this, especially if you don't already know those languages), so that they will remember more of it, and be immersed longer.
This certainly sounds good in theory (and I plan to do it with my own children!) but I have yet to meet homeschooling parents who are teaching their children even Latin successfully, much less Greek! (I haven't met any who are teaching their children Greek.) It's somewhat discouraging. Most seem to be using really cheesy-sounding texts with condescending titles like "Latin's Not So Tough" and the kids are learning little at best. Many of the homeschooled children I know are generally intelligent and thoughtful but what happened to the kids who could read Latin and Greek by age 7?? Has anyone seen this successfully done with young children? It happened in the past so it must be possible.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
I am taking Latin with my kids and we use Latin for Americans. It is for older children so our teacher did an intro to Latin last year as a starter because my kids are 9,11, and 13. I actually had Latin's Not so Tough and it was really wimpy but it was for young children so I cannot say how the higher levels are. I cannot claim to have successfully taught it at home and I wonder if it is possible. It's really involved and technical with tons of endings for every noun and verb. I think a co-op class with a teacher who knows what they are doing is the best bet.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
We are using the Bob Jones curriculum. We cannot use HomeSat because we do not have a view of the Eastern sky but it looks helpful.

We don't like Saxon math but then again not many others seem to be much better. We are currently using Math-U-See which is neat because it uses manipulatives all the way through middle school!
 

shelly

Puritan Board Freshman
Artes Latinae is what I'm using for the kids to teach them Latin. It's computer-based and reminds me of the style of teaching that Rosetta Stone uses. A friend of mine who is a classics major said it looked pretty good.

My 2 middle kids, 10 and 12, are using this. They go around spouting off Latin sentences and telling the other one they aren't pronouncing it right.
 

moral necessity

Puritan Board Junior
In reply to Davidus, I agree.

We started Greek with our oldest last year when he was in forth grade. We did half a year of Greek then and will do half a year this year. The program we are trying is Elementary Greek - Koine for Beginners by Christine Gatchell. We learned the alphabet and a few words, and took it slow.
 
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