Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Homeschooling...

As I've already stated, Sam and I have decided that I am going to homeschool Braden for his pre-K year.  After that, we will see what our circumstances are and see if it would be best for him to be homeschooled for his Kindergarten year or if there is a private Christian School available that would be great.  So far, I've done a lot of research, talked to many who homeschool and have done a lot of re-prioritizing.  At first I thought I was going to have to get this huge, complete curriculum that had everything spelled out and scheduled for me.  Then I met parents who homeschool without any kind of curriculum at all.  They go to the library a lot and supplement with other things.  Now, I'm not there yet.  I do want a curriculum of sorts, but I don't believe I need a complete, cut and dried package to start.  I've decided with Sam's support and agreement that I want a Bible core and all of the academic stuff can be centered around that.  I found a curriculum that I like very much and am going to start out with.  Its called DiscipleLand Preschool curriculum and it is broken up into Old Testament and New Testament and then into quarters from there.  Its inexpensive and very neat.  In addition to that, I want to utilize the Sonlight Christian reading list.  They have a very diverse combination of books and I've found all but a few available for much less on Amazon.com.  I've also got a Big and Easy Patterns book by Teacher Created Materials that I got at Half Price Books for less than a third of the retail price which I will include.  We also bought this whole learning system about 7 yrs ago that includes encyclopedias, science ref books, reading books by age, phonics lessons and a myriad of other things I can't even remember at this point.  That stuff is currently in storage, but the plan is to go and rearrange our storage unit so that they are readily accessible to me when I need to get something out of it.  I plan on developing my own syllabus complete with table of contents, pages that I can copy for coloring, worksheets, etc. in a large three ring binder.  So far I have enough material for the alphabet, handwriting (very basic of course!), social studies, history, science, seasonal items, telling time, numbers, reading and the list goes on.  I've also decided that I'm going to take a very laid back approach to this.  If we don't get done with the planned amount of items for the week, then that is okay.  At Braden's age, it is much more important for him to be playing outside or playing with play dough, coloring, reading books, that sort of thing.  That's all developmentally NECESSARY.  The other stuff will get introduced, but not shoved.  Anyway, that is the plan.  I'll have to share the contents of my "teacher's guide" when I get it all completed.  I'm hoping to have it done by the end of July.  The way I intend to develop it, though, there will always be room to add if I find something that correlates to the lessons.  I'm taking a page out of Sesame Street's book and I'm going to have a letter and a number.  I may start by  doing one of each every week/every other week and working our way up to new ones every day.  I'll need to see how Braden responds.  Then we will have books, coloring pages, animals to learn about and projects that start with that letter and include that number each time.  For math, I plan to learn as much as I can from my mother-in law because not only does she have her Master's in childhood development, but she is currently an expert on teaching the method of teaching Bridges Math to teachers.  She was telling me a little bit about how it works and let me tell you, its right up my alley!  Its totally how I learned math, though it was homemade on my part.  This way there is actually method to the madness!  Its very cool.  I have a list of links below that are the resources I am using in case anyone is interested.









3 comments:

Juliet said...

Hey Shelly!

Juliet here :) We miss you here in Meridian! I wanted to tell you about a book I got a while back. It's called 'Slow and Steady get me Ready' by June Oberlander. It has weekly developmental activities starting from birth going to age five. It even has them labeled "age 2 week 2" and so forth. It also has developmental milestones that should be met at certain ages. It was highly recommended to me by several homeschool moms and we've enjoyed it. Since it starts at birth, it has activities Zekey (I love that nickname :) could participate in too. We don't use it in the organized every week way. I just skim the activities for their age and use the ones I like. Anyway, wanted you to know about it! Oh, and most of the activities are using stuff you already have and are cheap!! :)

John Holzmann said...

Shelly:

As a co-owner of Sonlight Curriculum, I want, first, to thank you for the kind comment you make about our curriculum and the link. At the same time, however, I am dismayed to read that you've found all but a few of our books available for "much less" on Amazon.com. We have worked so hard to offer competitive pricing . . . it disturbs us to read comments like yours and to think we must be completely "in the dark" about how Amazon is pricing its materials.

Are we really so "out of it" when it comes to pricing?

I'd appreciate any insight you may be able to offer. Thanks!

(If you'd like, you can post your reply here, and I should receive a notification; or you can email me at jholzmann(at)sonlight.com. I'd really appreciate learning how we can improve our competitiveness. Thanks so much!)

DyessFam said...

John:

Wow, I'm sorry the prices have come as a shock to you. The much cheaper prices I was speaking of are when you look at the new and used section. Amazon.com isn't the seller. There are many different sellers who offer the books used at very cheap prices or they are overstocked new ones, etc. The only thing I could think of to compete in this area would be to possibly buy back the used books yourselves and be able to offer them at a lower price. There will always be people who want brand new books, but for some of us, buying brand new is either too expensive or just not feasible. (other children who might get their hands on them and not treat them so nicely:) Also, there are plenty of people who want one stop shopping and don't want the trouble of searching for everything one at a time when they can just order from the sonlight site and its all right there. Plus, you offer free shipping if your order is over $100. That's really a fantastic deal as the shipping can really add up on Amazon.com if you don't qualify for their super saver shipping deals. Hopefully this has helped and has eased your dismay. If I can help further, please let me know.:)