"New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!"
Homeschool Section

Subject : New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!
Posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

My husband and I have been praying for months about our decision for me to homeschool our 5yo son. I was blessed to have a great friend at church who really encouraged me to do this and even gave me a lot of the curriculum, books, tools, etc. that she used when she started homeschooling her boys. She and her family recently made an unexpected move due to her husband getting a job transfer and I guess I feel like I have lost my "homeschool mentor" before I even got started. Anyway, I'm just a little overwhelmed with all the choices and teaching styles there are out there. Along with several other things my friend gave me, I received the Horizons Math Curriculum and the Sing, Spell, Read & Write Curriculum. Anyone who can offer tips and/or advice on these curricula or even homeschhol in general, would be greatly appreciated!!!
Sorry to keep going on and on but I'm also a little unsure how to approach my son in regards to a teaching style. He is very bright and usually picks up well on new things. My problem is that he is extremely hard on himself and if he doesn't "get it" right away, he gets VERY frustrated! I'm not sure where he gets this and I really am not sure how to deal with it. I have tried to explain to him that many things take practice to get but it doesnt seem to phase him.
Thank you so much in advance for any help you can give!

God Bless,

Subject : Re: New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!
Posted by Briva on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 7:54 a.m., in response to New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!, posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

May I suggest a good investment. Cathy Duffy's Curriculum Manual. [chfweb.com note: You can buy this book through Our Favorite Books Bookstore's. *Order Now!* ] She discusses learning styles and reviews the curriculum available for homeschoolers. She has a listing of publishers with 800, etc. where you can order stuff direct. This helped me save $$$ when 1st homeschooling because I wasnt buying blindly, and I was able to buy workbooks, etc that were best suited to my daughter learning style. Also, ask away, the ladies on this board give great tips and how-tos.

Subject : Re: New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!
Posted by Deborah on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 8:46 a.m., in response to New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!, posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

I am no expert...just a fellow blunderer. By the sounds of your son, I would look into curriculums that move slowly as opposed to the high acheiver kind such as abeka. Not to say abeka is bad... it just is a fast paced, very full currriculum suited for that kind of child. I have been really impressed with Sonlight curriculum and the pure enjoyment of learning built into it. Cathy Duffy's book could help you find similar low impact curriculums that would help to build your boy's confidence. That's the great thing about homeschooling, you can move at your son's pace and tailor to his learning needs instead of having to compare him to all others. I have one very high acheiver who flies through abeka. One of my others would die if she had the same books.

Subject : Re: New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!
Posted by Kim Hart on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 9:34 a.m., in response to New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!, posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

As already stated, ask away because these ladies give great tips and how to's. One practical thing you will want to do is to contact the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). They will help you with the legal aspects of hs'ing in your state. My 6yog sounds like your son and that was one of the hesitations I had in hs'ing her. Right now she is in ps and I am very disappointed with it. Listening to God's voice will be the best thing you ever did (as it always is:-)!) A book I used to help me in getting to know my dd's learning style was "The Way They Learn" by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias(ISBN1-56179-414-7). [chfweb.com note: You can buy this book through Our Favorite Books Bookstore's . *Order Now!* ] I hope this helps. You are going to have a blast getting to know your child in a way that you would not have had you put him in ps. All our prayers for you on this journey.
In Him- Kim

Subject : Re: New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!
Posted by Peggy K on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 9:50 a.m., in response to New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!, posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

Hi Sunny,

Best advise you've gotten so far...RELAX!

Spend a ****LOT*** of time reading to your son!! If he is so inclined, let him try reading to you, but if not...don't worry about it, now. Have him "narrate" (retell) the content of the material read, a paragraph at a time.

Introduce him to arithmetic concepts.

Teach him to recognize and write his letters.

Introduce him to social studies through the holidays and the Old Testament.

Find a good book on Science Experiments and have fun doing some of them.

Go outside and study the nature around you...have him keep a sketch book with him to draw what he sees (mom can do the same...it's a fun activity to do together)

Go to museums and parks and zoos go on all kinds of field trips.

If you do all those things he'll have an excellent base to start primary studies next year.

Most of all...have FUN!! This is the best year of all to homeschool!


Subject : My son is the same...
Posted by Melanie - WA on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 12:17 p.m., in response to New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!, posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

Hi Sunny,

My almost 5 yob is the same way yours is. He gets so frustrated when he doesn't get it right the first time. A friend told me it's a first child thing. I have found that heaps of extra praise helps. When he gets something right he gets to "high 5" mom.

It's definitely not a slow learner thing, but a character development issue. I have been reading him some of the verses regarding "impatience", "haste", "fainthearted/easily discouraged" from For Instruction In Righteousness - A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training by Pam Forster published by Doorposts. (503) 357-4749. This has helped me to put it in the proper perspective. I don't know how much it has helped him, but I feel like I'm sowing seeds.

I also found Cathy Duffy's book and Cynthia Tobias's book very helpful. It also helps to understand the types of methods. Here's some info from my research.

1. Charlotte Mason Method
This method is based on the writings of a 19th century educator who felt children should learn from real books and not from textbooks. In this method, after a child reads, he narrates back what he has learned. This takes the place of quizzes and tests. It is characterized by no homework, no grades, short lessons, and few lectures.

Charlotte Mason Research & Supply Co.
P.O. Box 936
Elkton, MD 21921-0936
Ask about Karen Andreola’s articles in Practical Homeschooling Magazine [and Parents' Review.]

Charlotte Mason Communique’-tions
4441 So. Meridian Suite 221
Puyallup, WA 98373

A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Macaulay [chfweb.com note: You can buy this book through Our Favorite Books Bookstore's . *Order Now!* ]
Teaching Children by Diane Lopez [chfweb.com note: You can buy this book through Our Favorite Books Bookstore's . *Order Now!* ]
[chfweb.com note: Also, Karen Andreola's new book, A Charlotte Mason Companion is outstanding.]

Website: http://members.aol.com/BeeME1/index.html
Charlotte Mason Method Bulletin Board:

2. Literature Based Curricula
This method also relies on “real” books with some help from teaching manuals. There is very little workbook or textbook work, but there is more structure. All of the reading ties together in various subjects, but it requires less prep time than a unit study. Some examples are Sonlight Curriculum and Five In A Row.

Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.
8121 S. Grant Way
Littleton, CO 80122-2701
(303) 730-6292

Five In A Row
14901 Pineview Dr.
Grandview, MO 64030-4509
(816) 331-5769

3. Classical Education
This method is based on the medieval model of education consisting of two parts: the Trivium and the Quadrivium. The Trivium contains three phases: The Grammar period (ages 9-11) -acquisition of facts and language, particularly Greek or Latin; The Dialectic period (ages 12-14) - understanding what has been memorized and asking questions; and the Rhetoric period (ages 14-16) - learning how to present arguments in a persuasive and pleasing form.

Dorothy Sayers essay “Lost Art Of Learning” in her book Are Women Human?

or on the web at:

Wisdom’s Way of Learning by Marilyn Howshall
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson

Trivium Pursuit
Teaching the Trivium Magazine
Laurie Bluedorn
139 Colorado St. Suite 168
Muscatine, IA 52761

Website http://members.aol.com/Fritztutor

4. Unit Studies
Unit Studies mean that all subjects point back to the topic. The theory here is that repetition builds retention, and students have a “big-picture memory file” for topics giving them a fuller understanding. They also claim that it allows greater discovery for the student causing them to be better thinkers. Here there are no textbooks and workbooks and it is heavy on activities, which means they usually require significant prep time. Unit studies can be used for all children at all different levels, tailoring it to their own level. This can help build family togetherness. Some examples are KONOS, based on character traits, and The Weaver based on Biblical passages. Many people make up their own unit studies.

P.O. Box 250
Anna, TX 75409
(972) 924-2712
e-mail: info@konos.com

The Weaver
P.O. Box 7438
Chandler, AZ 85246-7438
(888) 367-9871
Unofficial Weaver website

5. Unschooling
This method is also known as relaxed homeschooling or flexible homeschooling. The belief is that the child’s natural curiosity about the world, and natural desire to learn should be the motivating factor in education. They believe it is the parent’s job to guide and help the children explore and pursue their own interests at their own pace.

6. Structured Curricula
This method is closer to a traditional textbook and workbook approach. Many of the popular curricula are used in Christian schools. These can be accelerated or normal paced.

Abeka Book
Box 18000
Pensacola, FL 32523-9160
(800) 874-2352

Alpha Omega Publications
300 N. McKemy
Chandler, AZ 85226-2618
(800) 622-3070

Bob Jones University Press
Customer Services
Greenville, SC 29614-0062
(800) 845-5731
e-mail: bjup@bju.edu

Calvert School
105 Tuscany Rd.
Baltimore MD 21210

Christian Liberty Academy
502 W. Euclid Ave.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
(800) 348-0899

School of Tomorrow
P.O. Box 299000
Lewisville, TX 75029-9000
(800) 925-7777

Hope some of this helps!

Subject : Re: New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!
Posted by Kathy B in ND on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 1:32 p.m., in response to New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!, posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

God Bless you, sister! How neat to hear that you are beginning the HS adventure in prayer. God will honor you and your DH's desire to seek Him first in the education of your little fellow.

I have 4 kids: 7.5 yog, 6 yog, 3 yog, and 8 mo old son. Whew, are they a houseful and a heartful!

My oldest g is just like your son; I too believe it might be an "oldest" child thing. My g was also affected by some of my well-meaning criticism of her. I didn't even recognize it until I spent some time with a much more encouraging mother of 6 who hs's in our city. The Lord changes me daily and is teaching me to "catch" her doing things right!

I have used Sing, Spell, R & W with my 2 oldest girls. My oldest began to read at age 6 and has now just finished the Little House series (9 books!) for the third time! However, I want to mention that we did a lot of supplementary library reading-aloud, and sought out "living books", so her vocabulary was there "in the wings" just waiting to find expression in the written word. She also LOVED the Pathway Readers texts and workbooks we ordered, and they greatly enhanced her reading comprehension. She continues to dislike writing, however, despite having the skills from SSRW , and her spelling is purely phonetic, which we will try to improve through a more structured spelling program in Bob Jones curric. material this fall.

Our 6 yog is just beginning to read, having used SSRW for half a year or so. She isn't picking it up as quickly, but seems to be making steady progress and likes school, all subjects.

Ditto from what the other moms said, "Relax" and enjoy this year of exploration and enthusiasm! Your little one wants to please you, and have you share in all of the things he's discovering in God's world. Your pleasant attitude, excitement, and enjoyment of learning in general will make all the difference as he gets a bit more academic next year.

Dependent on Him, Kathy in ND

Subject : I used the exact same curriculum for my son last year...
Posted by Martha H. on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 11:17 p.m., in response to New Homeschooler Seeking Advice!, posted by Sunny on Tuesday, 9 June 1998, at 6:42 a.m.

Dear Sunny,

I chose Sing, Spell, Read and Write and Horizons Math for my Kindergarten aged son last year. We loved both programs. I'll start with Sing, Spell - my son loved the songs, the stories(when you get to that point) and the games. It uses all the different learning styles and is very easy to use. At first my son's handwriting was TERRIBLE and I was very stressed over it (when he was learning all the letter sounds and writing them for the first time). Another homeschool mom, who was a former teacher, assured me that a lot of boys handwriting can start out poorly but it will improve. She was right - within a few months it was remarkably better (still not beautiful - but at least I'm not stressing! ). I just ask him to do his best. He did learn to read after just a few months on the program.

I also have enjoyed Horizons math - it is very colorful and the Teachers manual suggests good illustrations of manipulatives to use to ensure that the student is "getting" it.

I would be happy to fill you in on more as you go along or be of any more assistance if needed.

I didn't use a structured science or history for Kindergarten. I kept to the basic three R's and Bible time. Basically, I would look at the curriculum and determine if you would enjoy teaching the material and would your son enjoy the material as well. There are many wonderful curriculums out there - you have to find what works best for you.

Blessings and Have fun!
Martha Haley


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13