Homeschooling Resources?

Question:I have five children. The oldest three (boys-ages 13, 15 and 17) have and still struggle with school. Not so much they aren't learning; they test well, but the pilot programs (Livingston County, Michigan, Pinckney Schools) change constantly, thus everything is always an introduction. They were not even teaching my sons phonetic processes in elementary school! My oldest daughter (age 10) did O.K. in elementary and is now entering fifth grade. It was in fifth grade all my son's began FAILING completely. I have contemplated homeschooling for thirteen years. I know it has evolved quit a bit and think I would be doing best by my children to take this on. I am overwhelmed with what is available to teach them. What is best? Where should I begin? How do I find others in my area? Do I do this alone, or get involved with other families; networking? Legal issues? How do I test my children as I go? Do they "graduate?" Are there state specific rules, regulations or guidlines? Where to look?

Answers:
Liz;
I live in the Livingston county area and belong to a coop in Brighton that is for nursery-High school. There are plenty of resources available in the area--there is also another coop that I am aware of in the Brighton area and a Huge one in Ann Arbor. Yes they will graduate. If you are interested; just let me know; more than willing to talk to you as well.
There are many online groups you can join to find others who homeschool in your area. Many of the groups are divided by interest, faith, location, curriculum etc.So I find it quite easy to find other homeschoolers that are a good match for my family. You mentioned that some of your children have not learned phonics. I have a program that I have had really great results with called Spell to Write and Read. I have a site dedicated to our success.
http://www.squidoo.com/everybodycanread/...
I found a few sites for Livingston county on homeschooling (support groups, classes, discounts, laws, lesson planning, resources, etc)

http://www.homeschoolingmichigan.com/sup...
http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/regi...
http://www.thehomes
http://homeschooling.about.com/od/usami/...


There are facts on each of these websites, but i'm sure you can find more. It's normal to be overwhelmed. There are thousands of curriculums to buy, but you just have to look around and see which matches each of your childs needs. You can find others who are homeschooled in your area on these websites as well. Many have "support groups" ...and you can even type in your county in google and find them. As far as legal issues, You can probably find that as well in one of the websites, every state is different. As far as testing (which you WILL need yearly so the state can see how your children are developing and making sure youre teaching them) but, depending on which curriculum you choose you do as they say. Some actually send you end of year test, which you give your children and send it back, while others ask you to go to a local testing center and have someone give the test to your children for you.


I hope this helps some. You're doing a great thing for your kids!
As far as what resources are best, that is different for every family and even for different children in the same family. Start with something basic at their level, and keep looking into things to find what works best.

These are my preferences for certain subjects, doesn't mean that they'll be what you like, but feel free to check them out.

Math: Horizons up until sixth Grade, then Saxon 8/7 for 7th Grade, Teaching Textbooks after that.

Language Arts: Lightning Literature from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, I also like Learning Language Arts through Literature and Writing Strands.

History: Mystery of History, Story of the World, and A Beka, just depends on the grade level.

Science: Apologia and the courses from Bright Ideas Press

Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone, plus some added Grammar work from other books.

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