Homeschoolers...Do you have to use one of those expensive curriculums?

Question:Or did you write your own? Are there any websites or resources for free curriculums or curriculum guides?

My daughter is 4 and she's really interested in letters and numbers so I want to fly with it. However, I'd love to see a kindergarten curriculum to see a plan of action knowing we'll be starting it soon anyway.

I've searched like crazy online and only seem to find links to things that cost. Oh, and we live in Georgia. Thanks for any info.

Answers:
When I had only one child, I pretty much made up everything for K-3 myself. I made my own flashcards, used the library, made letters out of glitter and glue etc. Now that I have 3 kids, I don't have time to do all that and appreciate being able to choose a few items from a curriculum supplier to make things easier! :-)

However, there are free things online if you know where to look. The following links should help, a few a paid sites, but a lot of them are free. There may be one or two that don't work anymore, its been awhile since I've checked them all. They are not sorted according to free and paid, so you'll have to look at them to see which is which. The first one is free, and WONDERFUL! :-) I only wish I had these when I was making all that stuff myself! (It was in my pre-internet days).


http://www.starfall.com
http://www.handwritingforkids.com...
http://www.enchantedlearning.com...
http://www.abcteach.com
http://www.homeschooldiscount.com...
http://www.sonlight.com
http://www.abeka.com
http://www.homeschoolstockroom.com...
http://www.rocksolidinc.com
http://www.christianbook.com
http://www.earlychildhoodlinks.com...
http://www.kn.att.com
http://www.first-school.ws
http://www.wxdude.com
http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/star...
http://www.members.aol.com/don
http://about.com/education
http://www.freeworksheets.com
http://teacher.scholastic.com
http://www.tlsbooks.com
http://www.mathsisfun.com
http://www.coolmath.com
http://www.dltk-kids.com
http://www.auntlee.com
http://www.funbrain.com
http://www.brainpopjr.com
http://www.iknowthat.com
http://kidsites.com
http://www.spelltime.com
http://www.eclectichomeschool.org...
http://www.rainbowresource.com
http://www.donnayoung.org
http://alphaphonics.com
http://www.triviumpursuit.com
http://themathworksheetsite.com...
http://startwrite.com
There is a new virtual school in GA run by K12, the same curriculum I use.

http://www.k12.com/ga/

We've always used K12 as independent HS'ers, which means we purchase it ourselves. For the VA's, which are public schools, you receive the same curriculum, plus a lot more. The cost would be around $1500 if you purchased what they supply, not including the use of a computer.

So if you're not opposed to using a virtual public school, that's one way to do it for "free" (usually costs the typical public school enrollment fee). K12 publishes their scope and sequences online.

Here is one place for a curriculum guide:

http://www.worldbook.com/wb/students?cur...

You can also check your state board of education. They list the state standards if you wish to abide by them (or are required to).

K12 is based on the Core Knowledge Foundations sequence, which is published in part in the _What Your ___ Grader Needs to Know_ series of books by E. D. Hirsch.

http://www.coreknowledge.org/ck/index.ht...

There's a great site for learning reading that's free:

http://www.starfall.com
I have NEVER bought a curriculum that was more than $25 (and that was a year's worth!)

Kindergarten & early grades have a lot of resources that are inexpensive online. Try http://www.enchantedlearning.com... They have some free & some stuff open to paid members.

You can also do things like http://www.pbskids.org, http://www.nickjr.com http://www.playhousedisney.com

Also, when searching online try playing with search terms. Let's say I wanted sheets that allowed a child to practice handwriting I would search for:
"handwriting worksheets, free handwriting worksheets, handwriting practice, free handwriting practice, manuscript printables." You could also try "Pre-K curriculums, kindergarten worksheets, kindergarten printables".

You may also want to see if you can find yahoogroups for pre-schoolers or early years homeschooling.
A great free site for letters and the alphabet is starfall.com

I don't believe you need an expensive curriculmn and there are plenty of resources out there including your own local library. Just have to do some researching on google. Unfortantely I don't knwo the names off hand, but wish you luck.
No, you don't need to use an expensive curriculum. Most homeschoolers I know just buy what they think will be useful. It might be something from one company for handwriting, something else for reading, something else for math, or nothing for any of them, just kind of going with the flow and finding other ways to teach their kids those things.

You should probably join a homeschool support group where you live to be able to really chat more with others and find out what they did and get together to see what they used.

As for us, I didn't use anything specific for K other than maybe a couple of level-appropriate workbooks they wanted. Same thing for gr. 1. Well, to be honest, I don't really use purchased curriculum much at all.
How much a curriculum costs isn't as important as whether or not your child will respond well to it.

My husband only felt comfortable with ABeka, which was out of our price range, and really geared for the classroom, not home study. A couple of our kids responded well in all subjects, a couple in only a few, and one hated every minute of it.

I have friends who have assembled their own curriculum from many free sources, on line, the library and hand me downs from their home school group.

You have already gotten some really good advice from the other answerer's, I just wanted to let you know that shopping around for curriculum is about more than price.
I am a mom who pretty much 'writes' her own curriculum. Since I was a Preschool Teacher for 13 yrs, I have some experience with creating a planbook.
The BIG problem with pre-packaged and boxed curriculums is that they do not cater to the learning styles of MOST children, cost too much $$$$, can only be used for 1 yr and don't meet the needs of families with multiple children/varied grades.

A couple of good sites IMO are :
www.oldfashionededucation.com (also has a support group on yahoo)
www.crayola.com
wondertime.com
howstuffworks.com
childfun.com
akidsheart.com
homeschooldiner.com
gamequarium.com
familyfun.com
makingfriends.com
professorgarfield.org
playkidsgames.com
familyeducation.com
webrangers.com
freecraftlibrary.com

Also if you have a Dollar Tree store near you, take advantage of it as they have started carrying stuff relating to Teaching needs (workbooks,posters,flashcards)...

Hope this helps in some small way.
No, you don't have to use an expensive curriculum. I did write my own. I use the local public schools curriculum guide for ideas. There are lots of of websites, google 'free kindergarden curriculum'

Look here:
http://www.norman.k12.ok.us/088/index_fi...
My daughter is four (almost five) also, and we do not use a big expensive curriculum. We have used Singapore Math curriculum (http://www.singaporemath.com/default.asp... but it is not really expensive and has a four workbook kindergarten set starting at age four. In addition we have used a few Kumon workbooks including My First Book of Uppercase Letters, Numbers 1-30, Lowercase Letters, and Number Games 1-70.

We also play a lot of games: Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Old Maid, War, Go Fish, and her current favorite is Crazy Eights. For birthdays/Christmas we're requesting Uno, Blockus, and Boggle Jr.

We're going to try reading lessons again in a few weeks using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". She wanted to learn before but her brain just wasn't ready yet. We read her lots of library books out loud in the meantime.

The World Book website (http://www.worldbook.com/wb/students?cur... is a good place to get a general idea. But with a little thought and effort you can put together your own curriculum spending as little or as much money as you want. You just have to think about what your short-term and long-term goals are. This website also gives you lots of information about different curriculums, including content, cost, and religious bent:
http://www.cathyduffyreviews.com/index.h...

Good luck!!
I've never used a pre-packaged curriculum. We're not very structured, but it works for us.

There's a book called "Write Your Own Curriculum" you might want to check out.
Only if your state requires it. California, for example, requires an accredited program be used.

Ciriculums lead to an objective which is either surviving in the world of going to College.

If the option is going to college them you have to do math starting by second grade and going all the way to pre-calculus.

World and local history is required. As is Geography, world and local.

Reading and writing is required leading up to advanced grammar and composition, vocabulary building.

Kids around 8 or 9 should be doing sentence diagraming.

Kids 5-7 should be dong some phonics.

Science is required, from simple Earth science like astronomy to math physics doing Newtons laws of motion with math and caculating the volume of a test tube or beaker using calculus

Music and art needs to be explored

Younger kids go to the part with the family

Older kids get into softball, soccer, karate, dance, etc.

So the cirriculum is very simple.

Learning to read, do numbers, spell, print, eventually type

Then doing Science, Arithemetic, English, History, Arts

Then going to advanced Science, Math, More English, History, Arts

Then going to Advanced Math and Very Advanced science by the age of 16-18.

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