Homeschool Resources



  • We homeschool, primarily because we move around a lot, but also because regular schools tend to be less focused on science and technology, and essentially opposed to any sort of creative learning or problem solving, and more focused on rote memorisation. This is especially true in the English-speaking world. Regular schools are also a lot of wasted time, we teach twice is much in half the time, sometimes much more, depending on the subject of course 🙂

    It's hard to find a lot of resources because a lot of homeschoolers are religious fanatics, science deniers, and all around weirdos. So, I'm making an appeal to anyone here who homeschools, what sort of resources do you use? What sort of lesson plans do you provide?

    What kind of other activities do you get involved with, because, after all, apparently most people believe school is for socialisation, as if schools aren't full of bored, anti-social children?

    If you dislike homeschooling, why? And it better be a real reason, "homeschool kids are weird," isn't a reason, plenty of obnoxious and isolated religious weirdos attend public schools as well. And on that, almost all serial killers went to public schools, so if we want to use bad logic, we can say that too. In all seriousness, please provide detailed information of criticisms.

    My biggest criticism of homeschooling is that parents often avoid topics they don't understand or just don't teach them at all. If we are ever limited by knowledge or understanding, we hire a tutor, and it surprises me how most parents we've met don't do this.



  • We have homeschooled from the beginning and @Minion-Queen and @art_of_shred did from nearly the beginning. Once we are settled somewhere and she has Internet access, I'll get @Dominica on here with some of the info that she has. She does tons and tons of research on this. Our kids are quite young, so most of what we have found is geared pretty young.

    Like you we travel and have little choice but to homeschool. Putting kids into different schools in different languages every few months would be impossible. They would never learn anything.



  • @tonyshowoff said in Homeschool Resources:

    My biggest criticism of homeschooling is that parents often avoid topics they don't understand or just don't teach them at all.

    That's one of my biggest criticisms of normal schools. They don't know computers, so they don't even teach what they are. They don't know physics, they just skip it. They use time wasters like wood shop, home economics and PE to fill the time to make it seem like they are doing things when really they are just babysitting.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Homeschool Resources:

    @tonyshowoff said in Homeschool Resources:

    My biggest criticism of homeschooling is that parents often avoid topics they don't understand or just don't teach them at all.

    That's one of my biggest criticisms of normal schools. They don't know computers, so they don't even teach what they are. They don't know physics, they just skip it. They use time wasters like wood shop, home economics and PE to fill the time to make it seem like they are doing things when really they are just babysitting.

    Well public schools are based on institutionalised ignorance, so that isn't surprising to me. I'm largely referring to homeschooling parents I've met through various organisations over the years, and it's pretty disturbing, then again the amount of Young Earth Creationists, well, I need not say more.



  • What ages/grades?
    I did use some of the Christian Curriculum when my son was younger however. The history was seriously lacking and so was the science. I started purchasing things from the local college. Obviously I had to bring that down to his level but it gave me a basic lesson plan to follow. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sciense+kits Science kits were awesome!

    For history we did a ton of reading biography's and since we live in Western NY we did lots of local history stuff (there are tons of museums etc here) and we did travel a ton so every state became a lesson about that state and famous people/events and always a museum stop.



  • @Minion-Queen said in Homeschool Resources:

    What ages/grades?
    I did use some of the Christian Curriculum when my son was younger however. The history was seriously lacking and so was the science. I started purchasing things from the local college. Obviously I had to bring that down to his level but it gave me a basic lesson plan to follow. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sciense+kits Science kits were awesome!

    For history we did a ton of reading biography's and since we live in Western NY we did lots of local history stuff (there are tons of museums etc here) and we did travel a ton so every state became a lesson about that state and famous people/events and always a museum stop.

    14/9, 8/3 there abouts, though they perform above their years.

    I actually had downloaded via torrents a long time ago all of the homeschooling material I could find, and went through it all and sorted it out. That's my insane approach. It's hard to find something more science and technology focused.



  • @Dominica does that too, she pours through an insane amount of curriculum material to pick what she wants to use.



  • I should also note all of my children are educated in English for the most part, despite not living in America or England. This is a problem for my first wife, her English is terrible, but the latter ones it's not such a big deal.

    Additionally the two ages/years I mentioned above are my daughters which live with me, I have other children elsewhere, unfortunately not with me all of the time, though from time to time that's not the case, though they are younger.



  • @tonyshowoff said in Homeschool Resources:

    My biggest criticism of homeschooling is that parents often avoid topics they don't understand or just don't teach them at all.

    I would cite the documentary "The Waterboy" for full examples of this.

    alt text



  • I forgot to teach Nursery Rhymes. @Dominica made a reference to my son when he was like 10 and he totally missed it. I was horrified I missed them. But it was good in the end as we ended up going through the actual origins of them and since they are generally creepy and gross right up a 10 year old boys alley.

    I think planning on what you are going to use to teach was a full time job.



  • @Minion-Queen said in Homeschool Resources:

    I forgot to teach Nursery Rhymes. @Dominica made a reference to my son when he was like 10 and he totally missed it. I was horrified I missed them. But it was good in the end as we ended up going through the actual origins of them and since they are generally creepy and gross right up a 10 year old boys alley.

    I think planning on what you are going to use to teach was a full time job.

    Nursery Rhymes?

    Also, it is. It's also a full time job to keep things up to date, thankfully all my (ex)wives do that for my kids now, I just pay all the bills, I don't have time to teach much or research much anymore.



  • Did anyone have any other specifics, general information? A friend of mine is considering taking her child out of school and she's asking me tons of questions about things like "how do you structure learning, courses, syllabi, etc" It's hard to come up with a generic response and saying "we tested things out and found the best fit," doesn't clear enough, and come to think of it, it really isn't.

    So also for the sake of other potential readers who could take their kids out of school and spare them the institutionalised beat down when it comes to creativity and intelligence, how can I answer these questions without being so vague as to sound like a pretentious dufus?

    As I said, I downloaded tons of information and went through it all, but this has been years ago.



  • @tonyshowoff said in Homeschool Resources:

    It's hard to come up with a generic response and saying "we tested things out and found the best fit," doesn't clear enough, and come to think of it, it really isn't.

    That's exactly what we do. Every kid is different. Why treat them with a single formula like traditional school does when you don't have to?



  • These books were a good outline for helping me design each years curriculum. http://www.amazon.com/What-Your-Fifth-Grader-Needs/dp/0385337310/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462407603&sr=8-1&keywords=what+a+5th+grader+should+know

    Again just an outline.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Homeschool Resources:

    @tonyshowoff said in Homeschool Resources:

    It's hard to come up with a generic response and saying "we tested things out and found the best fit," doesn't clear enough, and come to think of it, it really isn't.

    That's exactly what we do. Every kid is different. Why treat them with a single formula like traditional school does when you don't have to?

    What I meant was rather where can I tell her to get various resources instead of saying "download hella torrents and spend a month going through them." See this is the problem, I don't even know how to answer this question myself.



  • This is just a website that lists some curriculums and a brief description of each. http://howtohomeschoolforfree.com/full-online-homeschool-curriculum/



  • It's hard to answer some of the questions that info-seeking potential homeschoolers ask, because I truly believe that the best advice is for them to actually do the research on their own. There is no better way for them to understand what homeschooling is about, and to understand that there are a ton of different ways to go about it.

    I always check http://cathyduffyreviews.com/ whenever I am considering new curriculum or materials. I don't buy her book, because I feel that it isn't necessary, but her reviews are very helpful in determining if something is a good fit for us.

    Here is a free, secular online curriculum for preK - 12. It has a new parent account that allows you to print reports and closely monitor your children's progress, and it will soon let you choose different grade levels for different subjects. Some of it will not be useful for non Americans, but a bit of it is relevant: http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/

    Easy Peasy Homeschool is free and has some good content, but it is heavily indoctrinated with a Christian world view. https://allinonehomeschool.com/

    I use http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/ to get great deals on curriculum. I always check there first before I buy anything.

    Here's a link to a good explanation of some of the different approaches to homeschooling: http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/five-different-approaches-to-homeschooling/

    Discovery Education Streaming Plus is an awesome resource for videos on just about any topic, nicely indexed and organized for easy searching. I bought a subscription through the Co-op. http://www.discoveryeducation.com//what-we-offer/streaming-plus-digital-media/index.cfm

    I've just recently discovered this free resource for educational videos, but I haven't checked it out extensively yet: http://www.watchknowlearn.org/



  • How about unschooling?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling

    Also lets not take potshots at the religious as if they only homeschool in order to indoctrinate, and we need the mighty seculars to save our children.
    Let's not forget it was religion and its ideas and beliefs that created schools and hospitals and much of science to begin with. They elevated the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, not destroyed it.

    In my experience, people homeschool mostly due to poor performance or safety of local schools, that's about it. And also the complete overreach of schools that seem to take over the role the parents are supposed to play. And thirdly, because they simply witness the little horrors that are being created from factory schools. Kids with no sense of direction, no respect for authority, no honor or decency or sense of responsibility.
    This is not even to mention the complete lack of any sort of training in actual useful topics. No real world skills, no homemaking skills, no mechanical or handyman skills, no finance or business or investing skills. No understanding of government or economics. Instead, they come out entitled little America-hating socialists who want to play video games all day and live off the government while hating all rich people, religions, hard working business people, and capitalism.

    I would rather my kid have a solid education and be a decent, respectful, hard working person but also have been taught young earth creationism, than to come out an entitled little disrespectful socialist brat who thinks the world revolves around him and owes him a beautiful life, but not have any real world skills and thinks all businesses are greedy while enjoying his daily Starbucks and iPhone.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    In my experience, people homeschool mostly due to poor performance or safety of local schools, that's about it.

    As homeschoolers this seems hard to believe. The availability of materials and resources for sound education are rare and the number that exist for homeschooling in an indoctrination mode are myriad. There are plenty of both camps (and likely other camps too) but that the indoctrination and or "avoiding education" camp is an extremely large one. Enough that even within homeschool groups it feels almost like a foregone conclusion.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    How about unschooling?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling

    We mix that in a lot. I posted a TEDx talk on that just last week. Can't remember what thread it was in, though.

    We are big proponents of unschooling or at least... very relaxed schooling.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Homeschool Resources:

    @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    In my experience, people homeschool mostly due to poor performance or safety of local schools, that's about it.

    As homeschoolers this seems hard to believe. The availability of materials and resources for sound education are rare and the number that exist for homeschooling in an indoctrination mode are myriad. There are plenty of both camps (and likely other camps too) but that the indoctrination and or "avoiding education" camp is an extremely large one. Enough that even within homeschool groups it feels almost like a foregone conclusion.

    I just haven't seen it.
    I would agree though, for very specific topics. I can understand the religious wanting to avoid topics like sexual studies, evolution, atheistic indoctrination, etc. But at the same time, I would not think it's hard to find good curriculum for general studies like math, grammar, and history.
    And what does "avoid education" even mean? The homeschooling families I know, don't avoid anything, unless they feel it is either not age-appropriate yet, or instead they teach it within a different set of presuppositions.

    I guess what I'm saying is, homeschooling isn't like, you wake up, sit your kids at the table and then sort of randomly think up things to say that day.
    Every family I've ever known has a very structured and complete system they go through, with lessons, books, tests, video series, online instruction, whatever. It isn't random. They are typically full K-12 programs.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    I just haven't seen it.
    I would agree though, for very specific topics. I can understand the religious wanting to avoid topics like sexual studies, evolution, atheistic indoctrination, etc. But at the same time, I would not think it's hard to find good curriculum for general studies like math, grammar, and history.

    Math and grammar not so bad. but you'd be shocked how many of even those resources are loaded with agenda.

    History is quite hard, though. It's the same as science and sex studies, all altered to support an agenda. Getting neutral history resources for kids that just teaches normal history is actually very hard.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    And what does "avoid education" even mean? The homeschooling families I know, don't avoid anything, unless they feel it is either not age-appropriate yet, or instead they teach it within a different set of presuppositions.

    Some amount of people, small but enough to be a worry, simply homeschool to avoid school, not for the purpose of teaching. Sadly the laws that enable the best education also enable this. it's a hard situation.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    Every family I've ever known has a very structured and complete system they go through, with lessons, books, tests, video series, online instruction, whatever. It isn't random. They are typically full K-12 programs.

    Yes, and getting to that point is incredibly difficult if you want a great education and don't want the indoctrination built into the curriculum.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Homeschool Resources:

    @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    I just haven't seen it.
    I would agree though, for very specific topics. I can understand the religious wanting to avoid topics like sexual studies, evolution, atheistic indoctrination, etc. But at the same time, I would not think it's hard to find good curriculum for general studies like math, grammar, and history.

    Math and grammar not so bad. but you'd be shocked how many of even those resources are loaded with agenda.

    History is quite hard, though. It's the same as science and sex studies, all altered to support an agenda. ...

    Well what ISN'T altered to support an agenda? Public schools probably have the strongest agendas of all.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    Well what ISN'T altered to support an agenda? Public schools probably have the strongest agendas of all.

    You didn't go to private school, I take it?



  • Finding curriculum that didn't have an agenda one side or the other was impossible.

    We did tons of biography reading, can't get better than hearing it from the source. Science was a nightmare though to find something good.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    How about unschooling?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling

    Also lets not take potshots at the religious as if they only homeschool in order to indoctrinate, and we need the mighty seculars to save our children.

    I don't think anyone said anything as condescending about the religious as you did about "seculars." There certainly is a perception between homeschooling and people who, as I've even heard myself, "don't believe in gravity," or what have you. That's the point I was making above, was that suggesting it's for nutjobs, weirdos, religious or not (typically they say religious) is not really useful to the discussion. I was getting that out of the way because these discussions always end up with people piling on saying that stuff.

    Let's not forget it was religion and its ideas and beliefs that created schools and hospitals and much of science to begin with. They elevated the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, not destroyed it.

    Not to mention that Islamic academia pretty much saved European knowledge from the dustbin created by the fall of the Roman Empire, and not only that furthered research into astronomy, medicine, etc. In fact, Muslims said it was a good idea to wash your hands long before those in Christendom. My point being that I am well aware of the history of education being linked to religion, I also know that illegitimate children were denied an education by the same institutions.

    In my experience, people homeschool mostly due to poor performance or safety of local schools, that's about it.

    I'm not sure it's just poor performance of schools, but poor performance of society in general.

    And also the complete overreach of schools that seem to take over the role the parents are supposed to play.

    On this concept, when it comes to sex education, I find it hilarious that Americans make a similar argument, despite the fact sex education is extraordinarily lacking or non-existent in American schools. They say parents should teach their kids, but most parents never even mention it, let alone teach anything, not to mention many parents seem pretty inept in that department too.

    And thirdly, because they simply witness the little horrors that are being created from factory schools. Kids with no sense of direction, no respect for authority, no honor or decency or sense of responsibility.

    Most definitely, and from what I've seen/read/heard it's unusual for a kid not to have a drug problem at some point.

    This is not even to mention the complete lack of any sort of training in actual useful topics. No real world skills, no homemaking skills, no mechanical or handyman skills, no finance or business or investing skills.

    What's crazy about this is that at one point schools used to cover these things, but they've been largely cut out due to lack of funding and/or funding moving from educational things to administration.

    No understanding of government or economics. Instead, they come out entitled little America-hating socialists who want to play video games all day and live off the government while hating all rich people, religions, hard working business people, and capitalism.

    You sound really silly here, socialists, lol okay. Parents and pop culture too has more to do with the sense of entitlement than schools, I think. Parents spend far more time telling children they're unique and special, and can be anything they want to be. I hate to break it to you, but regular people have always hated rich people, it's an American thing to basically worship the wealthy while you have nothing, saying it's better for everyone if it's that way.

    I grew up in a communist country, I am now wealthy, and I don't think anyone is more likely to destroy America than the people who are more afraid of "socialists," to where it's a boogyman term without any meaning what so ever.

    Your culture has embedded in it since the 1960s the idea of being against religious institutions, considering hard working people to be bad, and so on. I'd blame your grandparents for getting that crap started. Or great grandparents, depending on how old you are.

    Not to mention, there are over 300 verses in the Bible saying to help the poor and the downtrodden, there are also many which curse the rich, there are none which praise business leaders or the wealthy at all. In fact it's fairly condemning of anyone with money. I suggest you read it cover to cover sometime, I find most Christians absolutely never do this; you may have, if so, perhaps take a look again, because if you're teaching Young Earth Creationism, I can assume you're a Biblical literalist, are you not?

    Well, I can assure you there's nothing in there about Randian supermen. While I do agree with you that hard work should be respected, hard work and wealth are rarely connected. Most people work very hard, Americans especially take less vacation and sick days than almost anyone else, and yet most will never remotely come close to being wealthy.

    We teach that there's self worth in hard work, not wealth, because that'd be a lie for the most part. Gaining wealth is a different things completely. I'm not against it, for obvious reasons. I don't teach it's bad either.

    I would rather my kid have a solid education and be a decent, respectful, hard working person but also have been taught young earth creationism, than to come out an entitled little disrespectful socialist brat who thinks the world revolves around him and owes him a beautiful life, but not have any real world skills and thinks all businesses are greedy while enjoying his daily Starbucks and iPhone.

    I think Young Earth Creationism is completely unscientific, and we focus on science, though we're not against creation, because we are Muslims. I don't think that's particularly important though, because to me it's fairly clear that evolution could be the how, not the why, because neither the Qur'an, nor the Bible (which Muslims also believe in, most Americans don't know this, they think we hate the Bible or something) explain how the Earth or universe was created, it simply says it was. I don't demean God by claiming he's some sort of magician, lacking any elegance in design, who snaps his fingers in defiance of the physical laws he himself created.

    But that's just how I feel about it, and I respect your desire to instil your values in your child(ren), even though I completely disagree on the YEC aspect, I agree with you on basically everything else.

    You keep talking about socialism and it just makes you look ridiculous, because nobody outside of America believes overly materialistic, entitled American young people are socialists. Show me some collectivised groups of young children running factories and then I'll say "OK, maybe they're socialists." I don't know really of any part of the history of socialism where people were saying "I want hella money and I don't wanna work for it; let's go to the Mall."

    Socialism has nothing to do with any of this, aspirational pop culture focused on the wealthy and the perception of their lives as easy, combined with constantly telling young people they too can one day be wealthy... what do you expect after three generations of that garbage? Keep them the hell away from the TV is a great way to avoid a lot of this stuff.

    It's no wonder too why people don't want to work hard, young people believe less, more than anyone else, that hardwork can make them wealthy, and since they connect wealth and selfworth, they see no desire to work hard. That's why we make sure to disconnect these things completely.



  • @tonyshowoff said in Homeschool Resources:

    In fact, Muslims said it was a good idea to wash your hands long before those in Christendom.

    they will never be forgiven for that one. So much wasted water.



  • @guyinpv said in Homeschool Resources:

    I guess what I'm saying is, homeschooling isn't like, you wake up, sit your kids at the table and then sort of randomly think up things to say that day.

    No, that was what private school was.