Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Frugal Homeschooling?

It looks like we'll be starting my oldest into kindergarten work this next school year. I've been stressing about this for days now, but I think I've come to a conclusion.

For one thing, my sanity is worth paying something to preserve. I don't think I want to try the piecemeal approach to selecting curriculum my first year of homeschooling, even if it would save some money. I certainly don't want to have to coordinate two or three difference curriculums because I like how one presents math, another one language, and so on. I've never taught kindergarten before and I'm scared to death to teach my son how to read. I was never taught phonics. What if I mess up? He'll be scarred for life! (Just kidding, but I do worry about this.)

Secondly, the systematic, organized part of me simply must have a plan before I go trotting off to the homeschool convention to buy curriculum. I am not good at "thinking on my feet" when it comes to such high-priced items as curriculum.

So I think I've come to this decision: I'll try A-Beka (K5) for kindergarten. I'll purchase the non-consumables (or as many of them as I can find) used at homeschool convention. Then I'll purchase the consumables new when A-Beka comes to my area to show their books (and thus get free shipping).

By the way, for those of you who might not know, I taught in a private school for four years before I was married. Two of those years were in the high school department teaching just about every subject there is to teach (math, English, science ... ). The other two years were in 3rd and 4th grades (combined class). So I feel comfortable with teaching and planning and whatnot. I even know that I like the A-Beka curriculum, even though Bob Jones seems a bit more advanced (in a good way).

It's this idea of teaching a child to read that makes me so nervous!

Do any of you seasoned homeschool moms have any thoughts on my plans? Do you think they're realistic? A good idea? I'd love any feedback you could give me!


S said...

I have been reading your blog for several weeks now and I like what you have to say! LOL

RE: Abeka k5. We have used Abeka for K5, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and now 5th. LOVE it! A hint: Right now online at the abeka website, they offer FREE shipping for online orders over $100.!!!!!! Thought I might let you know that lil tidbit! That free shipping is quite handy for those who do not have a motel meeting near them--my nearest meeting is 2 hours away.

Have FUN homeschooling.....I am a pw too and we love the lifestyle.

Torie said...

I am thrilled to find your blog. You & I have much in common. I'm also a pastor's wife with 2 small children that I'm homeschooling. Well, my oldest will start kindergarten this fall. Like you teaching reading is freaking me out more than any thing else. If you have found a good program for that by now that's worked well, let me know. Love, Torie

Sophia said...

Hi Torie,

I'm glad you found me! Since we just finished K5 a few weeks ago, I feel like I can finally give my opinion on this. :)

Abeka is definitely my pick. It's all spelled out for you in the curriculum guides, as far as teaching them how to read. Follow the guides, and you should have no problems.

I did have a bit of a problem since my son was so young when we began. I've heard they have to be 5 years and so many months before they "get" the idea of blends. Well, it was true with him. We struggled until January, and then he just took off overnight. Literally!

Now he's sounding out everything that's written in the house and writing us notes every time we turn around.