Help Finding a Great Homeschooling Program

Updated on September 01, 2009
A.H. asks from Van Buren, AR
12 answers

This is my first year homeschooling with my oldest son. He is 5 and is at kindergarten age. We have worked with other books from when he was about 3 1/2 from local stores and he is closer to 1st grade level. I am wondering from other homescool mothers, what program is better, and is there someplace I can get them at a discounted price. We have checked out mainly A Beka and Alpha Omega. We are leaning closer to A Beka. When I've asked other mothers they couldn't really give me a definate answer because they use books from alot of other programs.
Also, there are a few members of my family and alot from my husbands side that is against me homeschooling. They are all concerned with him being socialized with children his age(although they completely ignore what I've told them what has happend at our local schools, and my husband being bullied when he was in school badly) than spending time with his family. Also, since my husband works second shift, he would only see his son on weekends if he went to school. To me, especially at this age, family is just much more important than friends. Does any one have suggestions on what to say because it is getting frustraing.

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D.F.

answers from Jackson on

When my daughter homeschooled we used beka. I also found that lots of familys homeschooled. We had book fairs where you could buy books for next year. They had soccor teams , and other outing for kids to socialize with others.When my daughter took her act she made a 28 on it.

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B.A.

answers from Huntsville on

GOOD for you! I homeschooled our two children. I used ABeka and later a few other books. You can use what you want to. We also went with Gateway Christian Schools- you can send your childs grades into them and then grad.with a class from Gateway. As far as kids getting with other children there are many homeschoolers out there,also if you are in church your child is socializing. Do not worry what others say, these are your children whom God put in your care. Protect them and let them know what is out there in the world without putting them in arms way! May God Bless all of you. In Christ, B. A.

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B.E.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't know what to tell you as far as which program to use, but I can suggest that you check out some of the museums and things around. I've found that they sometimes offer programs just for homeschooled kids that is not only educational but gives them a chance to socialize with other kids. That might be enough to get the family to back off.

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A.B.

answers from Jonesboro on

I'm SO happy you're going to homeschool! It is well worth it. Ok the first thing I would suggest to you is to go to the library and check out 2 books. They are 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy and The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. These 2 books will give you a look at the vast curriculum out there and your childs learning style. It will also let you know your teaching style so you can get books that work for you. I would recommend the HSLDA website to you as well. It has a vast amount of knowledge on homeschooling. It has all the links to just about everything you can think of. It will have a link to your areas co-op. Most co-ops have activities to "socialize" your children together. Tell the concerned people involved that you are training your children to be adults. There is no other time period in your life that you are with people the exact same age as yourself. Your children will be able to socialize with every age group because you homeschool. Just remember not to limit yourself to just one group of books. You can use many different types and still get a complete scope and sequence. I hope this helps. God bless.

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H.M.

answers from Florence on

Praise the Lord for your decision to homeschool! We have graduated 4 and have 5 more to go:) It will not always be easy, but it will be a priceless adventure for your family. You've received some good advice. Definitely look for likeminded homeschoolers in your area. State homeschool conventions are also a wealth of info. Check out www.hslda.com, this is the Home School Legal Defense Assoc. site. For a yearly fee, you will get unlimited legal counsel for homeschool issues. The website can direct you to curriculum vendors, state organizations,etc. They also have a used curriculum sale there. Be prepared for a lot of work if you use A Beka, although it is nice when you are starting out to have such thorough teacher's manuals, etc. I've found the big publishers to be a little more "schoolroom" than home/family oriented. "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" has been very successful
for me and several others I know. 20 minutes a day for 100 days and your child will be reading fairly well. Rod and Staff also has good preschool and elementary curriculum at reasonable prices. I really don't like to spend a lot of time and money on science and history for the first couple of years. Math and reading and writing are the most important things to stress early on. Read aloud to your children daily, it will instill a love of reading in them, which is half the battle. Give them lots of hands on opportunities (gardening, exploring, taking walks, the library, caring for a pet, ministering to others).Most of all, lean completely on the Lord for strength and guidance. If you do not know Christ as your Savior, I urge you to seek Him. He is very able to give His children all we need to care for our own little ones.
God Bless,
H.

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C.O.

answers from Tulsa on

Dear A., I could have wrote the story you just wrote. First I would love to tell you about the curriculum I have been using for 15 years. I was a mom who was too scared to just go out and pick some books here and there. I use Christian Liberty Academy and have used them only since I started. I have four children, one is in college now, one in public school in high school and am still home schooling the last two. I love Christian Liberty Academy, they have two options, one where you will receive all the books you need but you will keep all your child's records or another one where they send you all the books, teacher's books, work sheets and everything you need. When they get older they will send tests and you just turn them in each week or so and they grade them. You will then get a report card from them quarterly. They give you 12 months to finish a grade so you can work at your own pace. We usually go ahead and work during the public school year and get finished a little earlier. As for your other problem with your family saying they won't be socialized, I always said, "what can another 5 year old child teach my child that I or their grandparents or family friends can't teach them." Most children teach other children, how to pick fights, pick friends on how much stuff they have, and so on. None of my children have any kind of socializing problems. I send them to public high school and they do fine. Even my youngest who is now 10 was in his oldest sisters high school Lip Sync. He loved being on stage and dancing. My children have done fine and have tons of socialization. If you would like any more info you can e-mail me and we can talk if you would like. [email protected]____.com The website for my curriculum is www.homeschools.org. Hope this helps.

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A.K.

answers from Tulsa on

I can not help you on materials to use because it has be so long since I need them. But there is a couple of sites on the web you can found use book at a fair price the books are in good shape so you can buy them with out the worry of not being able to use them. Type use home school materials in yahoo search slot and they will come up. Contact your local support group they will have lots of outings plan for the kids , they have field trips to the zoo, play dates, going to see how bread is make at rainbow bakery , just a lot of things this is a wonderful way to get the social inter action for home school kids. If your church has a mother day out , or parents night out, of just taking him to Sunday school is another way for home school kids to be with other kids. City wide kids sport , teams and when he gets older boy scouts. If your hubby is in agreement home school is a wonderful way to school your kids they can learn at they own time and learn what is most important to them, the family together time can be a blessing from God. I wish you good luck and God's blessings.

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C.D.

answers from Texarkana on

Hi. We used ACE's Paces the first year and my son did not like them very much. There was too much repetition to keep him interested. We then switched to Horizon Life Pac's and he liked it much better. When he hit 3rd grade level we went with the same program but on the computer (called Switched On Schoolhouse). He loves it! You get a disc for each subject to use in your computer and it is self explanitory as well as progressive. We can take it at our own pace and if he has trouble with a concept, you can repeat until he gets it. The lessons have games to reinforce each one.

G.W.

answers from Little Rock on

I live in Little Rock,AR I have been with Arkansas Virtual Academy for 5 years.I have a 9 and 6 year old in the program.I love it so much.Call and talk to them ###-###-####
The program is free.We are a public school,we take all state test.Please give them a call.

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J.I.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! Don't worry about extended family... they will see the proof in the pudding, so to speak, as your kids get older. It is difficult to give advice on which curriculum is best because it will differ greatly from one family to another, and even from one child to another. What one person tells you is wonderful, someone else will have an equally bad experience with it.

I homeschool my 5 & 7 year olds and we've been doing it since my oldest was 3. We use a variety of things rather than a "boxed" curriculum, which means you get all subjects from one supplier. For kindergarten we use Five in a Row ( www.fiveinarow.com ) which it a literature based program that covers social studies (including history & geography), science, language arts, art, and applied math. For math we like RightStart Math ( www.alabacus.com ). For phonics and reading instruction we like Reading Made Easy and Explode the Code.

The best place I've found to purchase curriculum is Rainbow Resource. They have the best prices and selection and shipping is free on orders over $150. You can request a catalog from them, but be prepared... it looks like a phonebook :). It is huge. Here is their website: www.rainbowresource.com .

I highly recommend getting involved with a homeschool group in your area. It will appease those family members who try to play the socialization card ;), and give your child an opportunity to make friends that homeschool so he can see that it's not a "weird" way to do school.

Good luck to you on your homeschooling journey!

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L.W.

answers from Auburn on

I have no curriculum suggestions because I use a lot of different materials also.
But I do suggest you hook up with a network of homeschooling moms in your area. We have a nondenominational one here. You just get on the e-mail list, and then you have a bunch of people to support you AND plenty of get-togethers for socialization. Many churches also have homeschooling programs with a lot of families in them. Often they sponsor classes and activities, too.
I also want to congratulate you on making a GREAT decision for your family. Your relatives will change their tune when they see that your kids are growing up self-starting learners with good manners and a sense of the value of family. (I have homeschooled my kids since first grade, and that is a good description of them.) In the meantime, reassure the relatives by joining a group and by showing them materials on successful homeschooling. There are a lot out there.
Best of luck.

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M.A.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Check out the Sonlight curriculum

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