Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finding a Curriculum That Works For Large Families

Today I had to call K12 and ask them to take my kids off the program.  They were trying to talk me back into it but I said no way.  They asked which program I was using and whether it was legal.  They did what another friend did that is on K12 administration.  They just figured the program I was using is trying to ditch government regulations which is not true.  I do feel that K12 can work for some families, maybe not large families, but it can work.  I honestly feel that it's not very suitable when homeschooling several kids at a time. They just require too many meetings, phone calls, deadlines that could mesh together and cause havoc when just trying to get their regular assignments out.  Just trying to schedule regular appointments and doctors got to be kind of crazy and caused us to miss deadlines.  There just isn't really any freedom in it.  Before I always said I wasn't a K12 fan but now I can say it from experience.  NOT a K12 fan.  Really though, if I had one kid it probably would be a great program.  I could just split it up throughout the day and it would even be enjoyable.  They give some really fantastic materials and I'm gonna miss the extra computer.

My younger ones are using an online program called Mesa Distance Learning (which also comes with book work) and my older kids are using Switched on Schoolhouse.  I'm just amazed at the difference in the day and how much more freedom we have to go to learning places.  Before, wanting to even go to a museum was just impossible and I had to pass up a lot of good learning field trips for my kids. Our day is much less stressful and I feel like I got my family back.  I'm no longer a zombie in the evening and the kids aren't hating school. 

The really cool thing is my kids are now enrolled in a school that is only on Fridays! It's a school just for homeschooled kids and you can pick the day.  Friday was open and my kids are super excited to use their new backpacks.  It's really nice to have that backup and having a Teacher give them some tutoring.  We've met some fantastic friends before through this school since they've gone before. They're excited!

My lovely kitchen
There are so many other fantastic curriculums out there for large families and I guess its just about what works for yours.  I would love to hear what your family uses.  Do you piece together yours and with what? Use a put together set?  Online program?  


Chris H said...

How neat that you have found a homeschool programme that suits you and the kids.
Yes, your kitchen is lovely!

Avital said...

You should look at Sonlight curriculum. It's really great, christian, and works well for different ages using the same materials just at different levels. I used if from grade 5-11 and will be using it with my kids. Totally love/d it and my grades rocked when I went to public school because I was so prepared academically. The teachers manual/calender is so well thought out and you can try a few weeks for free by downloading them off the website I think.

Taryn said...

We tried many things through the years(1985-2011) with 6 children. We mostly ordered from 2 catalogs-(KJ)Abeka(,science,health, art,music/hymns,etc.) and Christian Liberty Press(MCP math with answer key,preschool,kindergarten readers,etc.). CLP has some Abeka books. I heard Rod & Staff(KJ) math and english are good. We also ordered Spectrum test prep workbooks from setontesting and took their test every year($25). Some other catalogs we ordered from are rainbowresource and (KJ)

Taryn said...

We ordered a few things from Christian Light Education-readers(not the early first-grade ones,we didn't like them),history,their teaching clock,number chart, art,etc. I heard good things about their math. They have two catalogs-one for homeschoolers and a general catalog(Christian Light Publications). CLE has lightunits like Alpha Omega Publications' lifepacs and they have hardcover history books(world history-7th grade is our favorite). We used Landmark Freedom(KJ) in the high school years-Bible,english,algebra,geometry,and American history(we didn't like their science,literature, or world history). Bible was an elective in the high school years.

Taryn said...

I agree with the book Home Educating with Confidence by Rick and Marilyn Boyer(large family)( and don't recommend video home education programs or workbook curricula(page 128). We prefer books(KJ) that can be passed down to the younger children.

Unknown said...

I also tried K12 (thru Colorado Online Virtual Academy - COVA), and with just 2 kids, it was way too much work! My kids were in 2nd & 4th, and we did it a full year, as a good "starter" for homeschooling. Last year I just used various books and worksheets that I accumulated and had them assessed with a certified teacher and she said they were doing just fine. She was actually quite impressed with the "life experiences" too. I do have a (2nd hand) Sonlight Science curriculum and love it! Glad you found what worked for you! :)