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Thread: Newbie here ~*~*~* questions about how to begin, esp. curriculum

  1. #1
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    Newbie here ~*~*~* questions about how to begin, esp. curriculum

    Hi. total newbie here! My son is a rising 9th grader, and we've never homeschooled. I could use some advice about curricula and virtual schools. I work p/t and due to my own ADD and other issues, I don't want to spend the next few years re-inventing the wheel. Son and I are both a little nervous about this.

    We want something secular, with a little structure, but not hyper structure. But unschooling is too relaxed for us. I don't want to make up and teach the lessons -- I prefer either an online school with good science and good math and a relaxed pace, or a curriculum that doesn't have woo, b/c we are secular, science-engineering types.

    Inquiry and project-based learning would be awesome, too. We hate excessive worksheets. We can get that in traditional school.

    I was considering Oak Meadow for the pace / schedule, but several parents told me that their science-loving kids didn't like it. And I'm a little worried about Waldorf woo.

    So, hit me with some great ideas!

  2. #2
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    Have you considered Time4Learning.com? It is an online homeschooling program, and you can totally go at your own pace. Also, all the lessons are already created and you can view everything from your parent's login. It also keeps track of grades for you.

  3. #3
    Administrator Jamie's Avatar
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    Hi there- from what you said you "want" for a homeschool curriculum... what Tia mentioned sounds like a good fit. We use T4L high school and it pretty much fits all of your "wish list" items.

    The great thing about 9th grade is that T4L gives you free access to 8th grade as well. So, if you find that he needs a little brushing up - it's there and ready for you!
    Mrs. J - homeschooling six in our crazy eclectic way! Using Spelling City, Time4Learning, and a lot more...and blogging about it at MomSCHOOL!

  4. #4
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    I can't help you with an all-in-one curriculum package. (We were eclectic in that we used some online courses, some dual credit courses, and some courses designed and taught by me or courses the kids came up with.)

    Anyway, you could look into online classes, or MOOCs for courses. They are free, usually have homework and tests associated with them, and have forums where class members can ask questions and commiserate. To find these, search "MOOC algebra" for example.

    There is also the Great Courses company that sells DVD or online courses in just about everything. The courses come with booklets that summarize the lesson, ask further questions, and suggest further readings.

    For English, I had my kids pick the topic each year (ie. American lit, British lit, World lit, short stories, poetry). Then I search online for premade lessons. For novels, this and that site were particularly useful.

    For civics/government, the kids liked Icivics. Later on they did a semester of government using a text and syllabus a teacher had posted online for AP government. And for U.S. history we used a combo of Zinn's book A People's History of the United States and the Reading Like a Historian website which uses analysis of original documents to teach history. They also have some world history.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa sophomore double majoring in English with Creative Writing and Journalism

    Son (19), a Purdue University freshman majoring in Computer Science

  5. #5
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    Hi, yes, I did consider it, but I read some reviews saying that the sound quality of the videos was poor. Are you using videos? Is the sound acceptable? My son has some processing / attention problems, so if it's not really clear, it will be a problem for us.

  6. #6
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    How is the sound quality of the audio / video? I had read some poor reviews mentioning that.

  7. #7
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    Thanks. Yes, I know about those resources. :-) I taught online college English for 15 years and I was in online graduate school (library science) for 10 years. I'm overwhelmed by all the choices, and I don't have the time and attention to evaluate so much.

  8. #8
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    Hmm, as far as I have seen, the video sound quality is fine. You could always try Time4Learning for a month to see if it would work for you, if that helps. Also, perhaps using earphones instead of speakers would help.
    Konni likes this.

  9. #9
    Moderator HSingMom's Avatar
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    We use T4L also and have not had any issues. They offer a money back guarantee. So, imo just give them a try and see what you think for yourself
    tiallarising likes this.
    ~Hsing Mom

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