Friday, October 03, 2008

To homechool or not to homeschool...

...that is the question. It's up to each parent to answer that question. Most choose not to.

I don't know that I've ever given a lot of information about homeschooling. I've loaned, books and I've carried on conversations, but I've never really written anything down. My dad e-mailed me asking what we use and for some information for someone interested in homeschooling. It wasn't as in depth as if I was having a conversation, but it was full of information. I thought I'd share excerpts here.

WARNING-this has been modified from a perosnal e-mail. There are tons of grammer mistakes as I made changes and didn't proof read and I'm not going to fix them.

Here is a brief over view if you have ever concidered how we started out and where we are now.

Find you states homeschool organization. For Oklahoma it's OCHEC. Each May OCHEC has a convention and curriculum sale. We didn't attend before we started, but now we attend every year. Through OCHEC you can find a starting off points and support groups.

You may want to consider joining HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association). They are an organization dedicated to protecting the right to homeschool across the country.

These are the books I used to make determinations before we started (in order of personal preference):
Homeschooling Your Child Step-By-Step
This discusses state by state pros and cons, grades the legal ease, and gives you information on doing it.
Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
This offers learning and teaching style information, curriculum reviews and information on curriculum's that you can use for multiple ages ranges. Most are Christian based curriculum's.
Homeschooling for Dummies
A basic dummies book with decent starting info.

For Oklahoma I use a scope and sequence for Oklahoma, so I know I've covered (more then) all of the bases the school system covers. We currently use:
My Father's Word for Bible, history, geography, science, music and art (it's all included with great lesson plans already ready) and in the past we have used there Language Art with Spelling Power and other books. I skip some of the Bible stuff, b/c she is attending AWANA at church and I don't think she needs as much, b/c of that.
Singapore Math (in the US called Primary Mathematics) this is used in several school systems. Taking their placement test is recommended, b/c those using other curriculum's usually test a grade below Singapore.
Sing, Spell, Read, Write for Language Arts. We had previously used the items used by My Father's World, but our daughter is battling dyslexia, so we are taking a different approach.

We usually try to keep our curriculum spending below $400 (since we'll use it for all 4 kids at some point we think its reasonable), this year by adding S,S,R,W we ended up closer to $600 or $650. You can do it for much cheaper (lots of library and Internet resources and your own lesson plans) or you can spend thousands (DVD's usually).

For High school (6 years down the line for us) we might do the University of Oklahoma Online High School and concurrent enrollment.

If you choose not to use an accredited program for high school you have the option to have your child take the GED and you supply a transcript to the colleges. They scramble to take homeshooled kids, b/c the one on one teaching process produces exceptional results most of the time.

There is a lot of information to digest, but it's not as difficult as it first seems if you choose systems with lessen plans already ready. We eased some of the burden of organization and planning by buying a copy machine at an OSU surplus auction for $65 (it's a $450) copy machine that the staple light won't go off on. It works fine and eases up my preparation and works much faster the a bubble jet desktop copier.

Basically your possibilities are endless, do whatever works best for your family. No two function the same, even using the same curricula. The number of curriculum's available is astounding. Let me know what other information I might be able to offer.

1 comment:

MiMo said...

hi i just wanted to say i do the online high school through OU
its awsome!!!