Beginning homeschooling in Missouri is such an easy task. Although the law says we “may” send in a letter of intent it is not necessary. I personally have never registered with the superintendent or principal of the public school system. In this small rural community most people who know me know that I homeschool. However, if you live in a heavily populated neighborhood with people that you don’t know it may be in your best interest to notify the superintendent of the school district your child would be attending that you will be homeschooling as this will help avoid truancy inspections.
Probably the biggest obstacle faced by any parent who is going to home school is the choice of curriculum to use. In the beginning I taught my children how to read using the A Beka phonics program. Once I learned the format to teaching phonics I left A Beka behind and now use a very similar format found in a MUCH cheaper book called Phonics Pathways. For phonics practice I am now using Getting Ready to Explode the Code and Explode the Code for my two younger sons. They have become my favorite phonics workbooks for content, ease of use, and minimal preparation which is an important quality to me.
Not being very confident of my own math skills I wanted to find a curriculum that would be easy for me to use (and didn’t make me look too stupid) After two to three years using various math curriculum my children and I were frustrated. The books were either too advance or too simplistic. If I wasn’t in tears my children were. Then I stumbled upon Math U See’s website. I got really excited. He had a DVD that taught the lesson for that week so that I could either watch it and then teach the children or we could watch the video together. The price was affordable – not much more than the expensive curriculum I had been buying PLUS this DVD!!! So, I bought it and we tried it and we LOVED IT!!! We went from tears to happiness and I’ve consistently bought Math U See every year since and plan to continue doing so. Not only have the children now enjoyed math but I have found new interest in an area I thought dull. My daughter who cried at the sight of numbers know says Math is her favorite subject. Hands down Math U See has my vote. www.mathusee.com
I hope that this insight into what we have found to work for us be useful and helpful information. When I’m looking for curriculum I’m looking for cost effectiveness, proficiency, and ease of preparation. I think most of us could say the same.