Homeschooling?

themildone

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I'm like 90% sure I'm going to homeschool kiddo until this coronavirus stuff blows over. I'm too nervous to send him to school. Does anyone homeschool on here? I have a few questions.
  1. Any tips on how to find a curriculum that's cheap and/or free that is actually good? there's so many and I don't know how to choose one
  2. Any tips on keeping him focused and keeping me patient? I've tried doing flashcards and little workbooks with him. He's good for about 3 minutes, then he starts giving joke answers and trying to play, and I get SO frustrated.
  3. I'd love any resources for exactly how to homeschool. schedules, organizing, any tips like that
ETA: He's in preschool and will be 5 in October
 
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DareAngel3

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:wave2:
themildone @themildone (tagging since it's a delayed response)

I homeschool my two. My daughter is in Pre-K, and my son is K/1.

I can't remember where you're located, but I'm in IL and there are virtually no restrictions here as far as curriculum. So I picked my own resources-

I use Kumon (easy short pages and workbooks, one topic per book, found on Amazon or Christianbook.com with "peek inside" images),
"The Good and the Beautiful (https://www.goodandbeautiful.com/)",
"Lessons for a Living Education" (https://www.masterbooks.com/language-lessons-for-a-living-education-series/),
and lots of Usborne books. (I can sell them or you can find them used online.)

We also like the Usborne Teach your Monster to Read app, Khan Kids, Osmo (playosmo.com), Originator Apps (https://www.originatorkids.com/), and Epic! (reading app).

We are not structured- at all. Some days we'll knock out several pages, and other days we just survive. My kids can tablet any time they want because the only things on it are educational. Keep in mind that you're NOT trying to recreate an entire school day! I used to teach... and I promise you, most of the day is waiting for kids to get out their next book, put up their crayons, line up, walk to the bathroom, sit back down, raise hands and answer a question, listen to Johnny's story about his weekend... etc.

Here's what the Illinois State Board of Education reccomends:


Trips to the library, helping make breakfast, or watching an educational show all count, too! As does creative play (blocks, painting, stickers)...

I DO keep a weekly calendar where I'll jot down what we accomplished (if I remember) and any events we have coming up, just for my own sanity and for memory's sake. and if someone questions my dedication, I can always throw the calendar at them. I save it at the end of the "year" with snippets of school work I particularly enjoyed. I also print out the state education standards every year, and highlight/circle where I think we're at (mostly to make sure I didn't forget to cover anything.)

The HSLDA (https://hslda.org/) will have the legal requirements for each state and are a great overall resource thats very pro-you. If you're worried about ever running into any legal issues (re-enrolling, anything with child services) for their yearly membership $110? they cover legal fees and will fly a lawyer to you if necessary. It's probably not necessary for one kiddo for a short time, but I finally did it this year with all of the COVID uncertainty. It'll also give you discounts with certain vendors.

I should add that I'm NOT teaching a Christian based curriculum... but a LOT of the materials are written that way by nature, and christianbooks.com is cheaper than Amazon in a lot of cases. We also have thrift stores and used books stores that exchange homeschool materials, and our public library is very homeschooling supportive with programs and free materials, etc.

I have SO.MANY.THINGS - let me know if there's anything in particular you're looking for. I've got two boxes of things to get rid of that I'd be happy to send for the cost of shipping.

Good luck! ❤
 

DareAngel3

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also savvy @savvy thanks for tagging me, and we should probably bookmark that novel of a post to share with people in case I'm ever MIA ? :cliff:
 

themildone

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DareAngel3 @DareAngel3 thanks so much for replying! I'll definitely look into those sites you linked. I already have him set up for Easy Peasy curriculum but I'm looking for things to supplement it, so those should help. he already plays a lot of PBS Kids games and I just set him up on Khan Kids but we haven't had a chance to play it yet.
The main thing I was curious about is what your daily schedule looks like. Do you have a set time you do stuff or do you just kind of wing it? I want him to have some kind of structure but I suck at it.
 

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DareAngel3 @DareAngel3 thanks so much for replying! I'll definitely look into those sites you linked. I already have him set up for Easy Peasy curriculum but I'm looking for things to supplement it, so those should help. he already plays a lot of PBS Kids games and I just set him up on Khan Kids but we haven't had a chance to play it yet.
The main thing I was curious about is what your daily schedule looks like. Do you have a set time you do stuff or do you just kind of wing it? I want him to have some kind of structure but I suck at it.
We definitely wing it. I pick whenever and wherever is easiest. I work on Turk, so clearly my schedule is determined by unknown forces ? and we just work around that and any errands/cleaning that needs done.

We had one of these:
https://www.christianbook.com/all-about-today-board/pd/5459872
that we'd do whenever I cooked breakfast, because it lived on our table.
If I didn't cook breakfast, we'd do it at lunch or dinner.

Otherwise, we just throw something in when there's a lull in the day, we need a change of scenery, or they're bickering too much with each other and I need them to do something else ?

When I was teaching K in public school, we'd do our morning stuff first (the today clock), then math (because it took the most concentration), then an energy break (running, jumping), then a fun activity or craft (that held their interest but guided them back into their seats and listening to directions), and then snack/lunch break. Afterwards, we'd do reading (because they were tired after eating/recess and would listen better), and then whatever *else* needed done at the end of the day (music, art, science, etc.)

I don't plan full days like that at home ? but it worked pretty well for wrangling cats! ?

Also, when I interned at the Montessori school, they would write on the board in the morning everything that the kids were supposed to get done for the day and set out materials. Then the kids could get it done whenever they wanted, in whatever order they wanted, as long as it was DONE by their checkpoints. (Something done by lunch, everything done by closing time.) You could try adapting something like that, too, which is a little more hands-off and teaches responsibility and time-management skills.

Good luck! ❤
 

themildone

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We definitely wing it. I pick whenever and wherever is easiest. I work on Turk, so clearly my schedule is determined by unknown forces ? and we just work around that and any errands/cleaning that needs done.

We had one of these:
https://www.christianbook.com/all-about-today-board/pd/5459872
that we'd do whenever I cooked breakfast, because it lived on our table.
If I didn't cook breakfast, we'd do it at lunch or dinner.

Otherwise, we just throw something in when there's a lull in the day, we need a change of scenery, or they're bickering too much with each other and I need them to do something else ?

When I was teaching K in public school, we'd do our morning stuff first (the today clock), then math (because it took the most concentration), then an energy break (running, jumping), then a fun activity or craft (that held their interest but guided them back into their seats and listening to directions), and then snack/lunch break. Afterwards, we'd do reading (because they were tired after eating/recess and would listen better), and then whatever *else* needed done at the end of the day (music, art, science, etc.)

I don't plan full days like that at home ? but it worked pretty well for wrangling cats! ?

Also, when I interned at the Montessori school, they would write on the board in the morning everything that the kids were supposed to get done for the day and set out materials. Then the kids could get it done whenever they wanted, in whatever order they wanted, as long as it was DONE by their checkpoints. (Something done by lunch, everything done by closing time.) You could try adapting something like that, too, which is a little more hands-off and teaches responsibility and time-management skills.

Good luck! ❤
this is so helpful! I set up a kind of weekly schedule and was wondering if you could give your opinion on if this is too much/not enough/just right for a preschooler? I'm so worried I'm going to do this wrong!


One Mondays, he'll do a worksheet writing the letter of the week. On Tuesdays, he'll do a little 'letter of the week' booklet. On Wednesdays, he'll do a 'Find the letter of the week' worksheet and do a number of the week worksheet. On Thursdays, he'll do another worksheet writing the letter of the week. On Fridays, he'll do 2 'which pictures start with the letter of the week' sheets. We'll also read a book each day and do an art project 2-3 times a week.
 
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DareAngel3

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this is so helpful! I set up a kind of weekly schedule and was wondering if you could give your opinion on if this is too much/not enough/just right for a preschooler? I'm so worried I'm going to do this wrong!


One Mondays, he'll do a worksheet writing the letter of the week. On Tuesdays, he'll do a little 'letter of the week' booklet. On Wednesdays, he'll do a 'Find the letter of the week' worksheet and do a number of the week worksheet. On Thursdays, he'll do another worksheet writing the letter of the week. On Fridays, he'll do 2 'which pictures start with the letter of the week' sheets. We'll also read a book each day and do an art project 2-3 times a week.
I think that sounds great. It'll get him in the habit of doing "school stuff" each day and you can always adjust as needed. There is no "wrong!" If you don't like it, or it's not working, you just do something else 😂 It'll be easy to add on to, also, when you get ready to throw in other subjects. You might want to have review games to throw in, too, if the worksheets don't integrate that in.

I'll add that every kid is different. My son loves worksheets, writing, making lists, etc. My daughter, on the other hand, wants songs and hands-on activities. So we had to get creative for her... we did dry erase markers on the fridge, magnets, playdoh letters, sidewalk chalk, hiding bulletin board letters from Dollar Tree all around the house... etc. She will not sit down and do a worksheet (because that would be too easy on me, right? LOL) but we've found some sticker books that get her coralled. It's always an adventure!

She loves Jack Hartman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7stosHbZZZg
which makes my son gag and run out of the room screaming. We've gone through a rotation of low-budget YouTube videos that she just loves and my son hates.

I love kids and brains; it's why I went into teaching. But it takes some creative problem solving sometimes! 🙃 Don't get discouraged if it's a battle some days. I hope he enjoys it and you enjoy seeing him make progress! ❤
 

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I think that sounds great. It'll get him in the habit of doing "school stuff" each day and you can always adjust as needed. There is no "wrong!" If you don't like it, or it's not working, you just do something else 😂 It'll be easy to add on to, also, when you get ready to throw in other subjects. You might want to have review games to throw in, too, if the worksheets don't integrate that in.

I'll add that every kid is different. My son loves worksheets, writing, making lists, etc. My daughter, on the other hand, wants songs and hands-on activities. So we had to get creative for her... we did dry erase markers on the fridge, magnets, playdoh letters, sidewalk chalk, hiding bulletin board letters from Dollar Tree all around the house... etc. She will not sit down and do a worksheet (because that would be too easy on me, right? LOL) but we've found some sticker books that get her coralled. It's always an adventure!

She loves Jack Hartman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7stosHbZZZg
which makes my son gag and run out of the room screaming. We've gone through a rotation of low-budget YouTube videos that she just loves and my son hates.

I love kids and brains; it's why I went into teaching. But it takes some creative problem solving sometimes! 🙃 Don't get discouraged if it's a battle some days. I hope he enjoys it and you enjoy seeing him make progress! ❤
I've read in a couple places that worksheets aren't 'age appropriate' but my son LOVES them! That's the only reason I have him doing so many. And the majority of the worksheets are just writing the same letter a few times, not anything super difficult or that will take longer than 3 minutes or so.
I'll check out Jack Hartman! Thanks so much for helping <3
 

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Sorry I apparently haven't checked my emails in week so I didn't get the notice! I homeschooled Preschool for 3's and I am now homeschooling 2nd grade. I hear a LOT about people using master books and the good and the beautiful. We used Horizon for that preschool and this year we are using Abeka. If you're doing Kindergarten I think you'll be glad you did it at home anyway because it is a very tough year on kids :( I mean it's fun and exciting but also very dramatic. This would be like the hardest time ever to do public school kindergarten.