View Full Version : One method for free hs'ing for those who need to equal public schools

02-25-2007, 11:31 AM
Well, that wasn't a very pretty thread title. Oh well.

I wanted to share what I did for my 3 older boys before we switched to Sonlight. Our situation back then: no money, and a Dh who really wanted the boys to be up to grade level "just in case." (he's got over that, by the way :giggle but it took about 3 years of showing him that we were always at least at grade level)

There are a million ways to do this, and if you are an unschooler or someone who does not have a goal of learning things the same years that the schools do, just please disregard this post! I think most of us know that kids will be successful in life with a very relaxed homeschool or unschool, and most of us know that there is not much worth to keeping up with the schools. "This" post is for those who need to keep up with the schools anyway, whether for their own beliefs, or the Dad's beliefs, or whatever reason.

What I did (using a first grader as an example):

First I looked at Indiana's Academic standards. www.doe.state.in.us/standards/welcome2.html I printed out this year's and last year's. The first step in my homeschool was to check over last years, and catch up anything that he'd "missed".

I bought this book but you can buy it online for $12 (or much less, used): What Your First Grader Needs to Know. This is the main curriculum, heavily supplemented by library books. For each section of Literature, History, Music, Art, and Science I would go to the library and get at least two books on the subject. I would read one or two to the boy, and leave the others for him to look at for himself. I made a list and got the books a week ahead of time. On really good days, I would also get creative with more projects, experiments, field trips, etc.

Math I liked the math in the above book, but I also wanted worksheets. I used the McGraw Hill/Little Critter first grade math workbook from Borders bookstore. It matched the state standards. Since then I've learned that there are free math programs online, here's a link to many: www.homeschoolmath.net/curriculum_reviews/curriculum_materials.php

Language Arts I bought the McGraw Hill/Little Critter workbooks from Borders; reading, writing, phonics, language arts. I used these for all the boys thru 3rd grade. The matched Indiana's academic standards and advanced us one grade level per year, yet they were colorful and interesting. Since then I've found a similar program for free online: www.sfreading.com/resources/ghb.html

Bible I've always liked Penny Gardner's Bible narrations. You just use your regular Bible, read the account, and let the child tell it back. www.pennygardner.com/bible.html

Around the middle of the year, I'd pull out the Indiana Academic Standards again, and make a note of things I thought we wouldn't do in our curriculum. I made sure to cover it sometime before the end of the school year. At the very end of the year, I looked again to see if I missed anything, but I rarely did. Indiana standards are not that rigorous and just in daily life we came across many of the objectives.

**If you have a younger child who needs to learn to read, and you want to do something similar to my program, please ask about it. There are many methods of learning to read and the homeschoolers and teachers on the board can share different ideas. I used the McGuffey primers, readers, and speller, plus the aforementioned Litttle Critter language arts workbooks. I plan to do the same for ds#4.

I hope this helps someone! My boys really enjoyed this method of school. They loved the weekly trips to the library, and I learned how to choose books that each boy would prefer. I thought the curriculum was gentle and interesting, and only took an hour a day for K-2nd grade. The boys were accepted at a grade level above when they (briefly) went to private school, and Sonlight curriculum has been easy for them. So I think what we did was more than enough.

02-25-2007, 12:25 PM
:tu Thank you for posting such a great resource!

02-25-2007, 12:37 PM
thank you---that is thorough and easy to put together and I thin will really help some of the moms who have dh's (or themselves) concerned about state standards :tu