Hey all, 

I just yanked my 5th grader from public school and have discovered finding secular curriculum a tad difficult in our town. So I am turning to the great interwebs. I have been turned onto Khan academy and really like it. Oak Meadows has also been recommended and it looks good. I'm curious to see what others are using. Thanks for your input!

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Thank you! But the science curriculum description starts out with this:

"Science courses are a source of concern for many parents. Of primary concern is the inclusion of the theory of evolution. You can relax because you will not find it here."

I find evolution to be basic to our understanding of many natural processes. So this isn't going to work. 

Plus, this is in their criteria for selecting what to include: "not convey values that conflict with family values." 

Wait, what happened to teaching facts? Scientific facts and theories? Evolution is a theory just like gravity is a theory. Sorry if this is coming across a little terse. Been a long and trying day. :-( 

Congratulations! It's a huge step and I hope that you have a good experience! I'm not going to give you specific curriculum suggestions because my kids are younger (8, 5) and mostly what we use may not fit your needs. But...

Curriculum is overwhelming at first especially if you don't want to choose and all-in-one such as Oak Meadow (and even if you do!). The best resource I know of for researching is secularhomeschool.com They've started compiling lists of sources that are secular. Couple of thoughts - 1. there is no such thing as the "best curriculum" only what is best for you and your child. What works for me might be awful for you. 2. Don't spend a lot of money on programs until your child has had time to deschool. Seriously! 'Deschooling' is sort of like taking time to wind down after a long day; we all need to do it. Homeschooling is SO different from school that it really helps to take time off before starting up. Plus it gives you time to make more informed decisions about materials. These decisions shouldn't be made quickly or you may end up wasting a money. Take time to talk to your child, find out what they want to learn and do lots of research online. This will help you be successful in the long run.

science curriculum - You will find it difficult to find one that includes evolution. I struggled with that for a while too. We use Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding which is completely secular BUT, the author chose not to include evolution. Pandia Press is secular but again, I don't think it specifically includes evolution. Fortunately teaching evolution is surprisingly easy to do even for a non-scientist like me. http://www.charliesplayhouse.com/ is a great resource for evolution for kids. Their products are nice although a bit expensive, but take a look around their website for a list of links and books for kids.

Thank you, Dawn! 

I've been eye-balling homeschool for years now. We did a half year of it in kindergarten. She's had excellent teachers until this year and this one was just average-not bad. But it was also a dual language school so she has 3 solid years of spanish under her belt. Which was worth it to me. 

I thought to transition her to the local alternative public school which allows for a good portion of the classes to be taught at home. But I thought the core subjects would be offered there. Not the case. So if they only have electives, I am wondering why bother conforming to what they want because it is still listed as a public school. Hence the looking at a whole bunch of outside curriculum. 

My other hesitation to jumping into full time homeschooling is my own stamina level. I am dealing with adrenal fatigue, have a very part time job, and she has a younger brother who is just 5 that requires more than your standard amount of focus and attention for the house to run smoothly. I am concerned with my own burn out. 

I am familiar with the idea of un-schooling and I'm trying to let her find her own pace but for the first two weeks home, she insisted that I set her up with lots of "homework". She's beginning to relax a bit but it is going to take some time. Her pre-school teacher had her so programmed that it took 6 years before she stopped asking if she could go to the bathroom when we were at home. 

Thanks for both of your help, I really appreciate it! And Dawn, I will take a closer look at those links. 




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