Curriculum Help

One of the things I have been seeing over my years in homeschooling is that so many do not know where or how to find good deals on curriculum.  So many go directly through the publishers and pay full price for their books.  Some that want books with no writing, in great condition, do not realize they can find “like new” books for half the price the publishers charge, on line.  Some realize this is possible, but simply do not have the time to spend in research, trying to find good deals.  To save time, they order directly through the publishers.  I can help!  I have already saved over $300 this year for my family!

I can also help you find out what curriculum may be best for your child.  What is your child’s learning style?  What is your prefered teaching style?  I can also email you a list of popular curriculums to give you an idea of all the curriculums available.

Let me help you design your homeschool to best meet the needs of your family!
 
 
I will be offering my services to help you find the books on your list!  I will charge 15% of your savings (based only on the amount of money you save)!  Email me a list with details on whether you prefer the current edition, do not want any writing in your books,  how soon you need the books, the most you are willing to pay for used, and any other preferences you may have.  See if I can’t help you save some money!  

 
I will take your list and email it back to you with a link to open next to each book or book set.  All you will need to do is click on the link, pay for the item, and it will be mailed to your doorstep.  You may send me payment through paypal (direct debit from checking account). 
 
 
I will need to know, in advance, if you do not have a paypal account, as most sellers only accept paypal and this will limit my ability to provide you with the best deals.
 
I will ask that once you provide your list and I begin doing research, that you check your email daily.  Some deals will require a prompt reply to take advantage of the deal.  I will request each seller to hold the books for you for 24 hours, so if payment is not made within that time, they may sell your books to another buyer.

 
Some deals I just made for my family include:
 
2009 Switched on Schoolhouse 5 subject kit for $150 ppd – 2010 sells for over $351 from the publisher with their current discount promotion – SAVED OVER $200
SSRW 3rd grade readers $45 ppd – (only minor damage to one of 17 readers – still readable and disclosed by seller)  other books in this set are the current edition in excellent condition   sells for over $135 ppd from publisher  SAVED OVER $95
Math U See Pre Algebra set $75ppd – brand new current edition – beautiful hard cover TM – sells for over $95 ppd from publisher
SAVED OVER $20
 
I also bought Newberry award winning books for only $1.75 each, including shipping!  I bought 2 Learning Language Arts Through Literature sets for only $12ppd each set!  Some great deals, in addition to the above! 

Please email me with any questions you may have or for more information!

Jennifer Olsen –  blessingsathome2011@gmail.com

4 responses to “Curriculum Help

  1. trisha woosley

    Have homeschooled my daughter from K-8 and have felt successful. Now that she is entering high school the feelings of being overwhelmed are crashing down on me. Is this normal? I feel inadequate and like a fish floundering out of water. I am responsible for making sure she has everything she needs to enroll into college after high school. I really need help!!!

  2. Trisha,

    I totally understand! I was feeling that way too, as I began to plan for my oldest 2 for high school. I go through HomeLife Academy “church related school.” Their high school couselor spent over an hour on the phone with me. I know feel much more prepared for high school. Each church related school is different, but the basic requirements for high school are the same. On my website, I also have a section with the basic high school requirements listed (from Daniel 1 Academy). If you are registered with a church related school or plan to soon, they would be your best source, as the plan you make will need to be approved by them.

    Let me assure you that if you have felt confident for K-8th, there is not much difference in high school, once you understand the basic requirements. If you use a prepared curriculum, there will likely be no issue with credit. If you are more creative, make your own curriculum, or use a mixture of different curriculums for any particular subject, you will need to keep track of hours. You will need 150 hours of work to count as credit and 75 for a half of a credit. Keep in mind that you can count things as credit hours appart from worksheets and reading. For instance, you have your daughter prepare and make dinner…. Home Ec… Count the time! The more creative you are with your curriculum, the more you will need time records. That will take a little getting used to, but that may be one of the biggest changes.

    You will want the 9th grader to take a practice ACT towards the end of the year. Then for 10th have her take an ACT prep coarse, 1/2 credit with HomeLife. (SOS offers one) After they are through with the coarse, they can begin taking the ACT several more times. Other testing for 9th-12th is optional with some church related schools and mandatory with others. Some schools do not even offer the testing, like Gateway. The ACT is all that I would suggest should be mandatory. (as colleges require it) This is not my decision, however. You will need to check with your church related school. If you happen to be registered with the super indendent, while I strongly disagree with that option, testing will be required in 9th grade (TCAPS). I am unsure of what other requirements for high school they may require, but you are giving them much more control to decide. If you register with a church related school, the LEA (Local Education Agency), does not need to be notified by you of your intent to homeschool or anything else.

    Do not fear, you are not inadequate at all! You are the best person to teach your daughter high school, just as you have been. TN and your umbrella school has decided what your daughter needs to learn, so you are not on your own. Keep in mind that the decision and curriculum you choose in order to teach those skills and academics is up to you. Road trips teach geography too! Library books on several specific studies can all come together to form a credit of world history. When you are creative and think out of the curriculum and grade level boxes, it is a matter of keeping track of time. Regardless of curriculum and/or methods chosen, you will need to provide your plan of action to your CRS (Church Related School) for approval, prior to taking the classes. In general, they are pretty flexible, but they need to know you have a general plan. I would contact your CRS and ask to speak to a high school counselor for more details for your school.

    Who are you going through for homeschooling your daughter?

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

    I totally understand! I was feeling that way too, as I began to plan for my oldest 2 for high school. I go through HomeLife Academy “church related school.” Their high school couselor spent over an hour on the phone with me. I know feel much more prepared for high school. Each church related school is different, but the basic requirements for high school are the same. On my website, I also have a section with the basic high school requirements listed (from Daniel 1 Academy). If you are registered with a church related school or plan to soon, they would be your best source, as the plan you make will need to be approved by them.

    Let me assure you that if you have felt confident for K-8th, there is not much difference in high school, once you understand the basic requirements. If you use a prepared curriculum, there will likely be no issue with credit. If you are more creative, make your own curriculum, or use a mixture of different curriculums for any particular subject, you will need to keep track of hours. You will need 150 hours of work to count as credit and 75 for a half of a credit. Keep in mind that you can count things as credit hours appart from worksheets and reading. For instance, you have your daughter prepare and make dinner…. Home Ec… Count the time! The more creative you are with your curriculum, the more you will need time records. That will take a little getting used to, but that may be one of the biggest changes.

    You will want the 9th grader to take a practice ACT towards the end of the year. Then for 10th have her take an ACT prep coarse, 1/2 credit with HomeLife. (SOS offers one) After they are through with the coarse, they can begin taking the ACT several more times. Other testing for 9th-12th is optional with some church related schools and mandatory with others. Some schools do not even offer the testing, like Gateway. The ACT is all that I would suggest should be mandatory. (as colleges require it) This is not my decision, however. You will need to check with your church related school. If you happen to be registered with the super indendent, while I strongly disagree with that option, testing will be required in 9th grade (TCAPS). I am unsure of what other requirements for high school they may require, but you are giving them much more control to decide. If you register with a church related school, the LEA (Local Education Agency), does not need to be notified by you of your intent to homeschool or anything else.

    Do not fear, you are not inadequate at all! You are the best person to teach your daughter high school, just as you have been. TN and your umbrella school has decided what your daughter needs to learn, so you are not on your own. Keep in mind that the decision and curriculum you choose in order to teach those skills and academics is up to you. Road trips teach geography too! Library books on several specific studies can all come together to form a credit of world history. When you are creative and think out of the curriculum and grade level boxes, it is a matter of keeping track of time. Regardless of curriculum and/or methods chosen, you will need to provide your plan of action to your CRS (Church Related School) for approval, prior to taking the classes. In general, they are pretty flexible, but they need to know you have a general plan. I would contact your CRS and ask to speak to a high school counselor for more details for your school.

    Who are you going through for homeschooling your daughter?

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Hi, this will be my first year homeschooling. I am first trying to decide which umbrella school to use (Aaron Academy, Homelife, Daniel 1, and Gateway are on my list) and then which resources to use for lesson planning (complete curriculum like My Father’s World, a separate one for each subject, unit studies that I pull together from the internet). My goal is to make learning fun and active for my 5 yo son who will be doing Kindergarten work. However, I also want him to learn to read and be prepared for first grade next year. I have a 6 month old to add in the mix as well. Any quick advice you could give?

    • Shauna,

      I have used Gateway, Daniel 1, and HomeLife Academy. Gateway is the cheapest and it requires you to belong to a local body of believers. They do not require any testing and are very easy to work with. They are not quite as computer savvy as HomeLife or even Daniel 1, but they are working on that. Daniel 1 does require testing, but only in high school and you have a long time before you have to worry about that one. They allow you to participate in sports and often have workshops you can attend. If you live close to Cookeville, this may be a great option for you. HomeLife is very computer savvy. Apply on line, report grades on line, even make a portfolio for your child on line. All will offer consulting and answer all your questions. I am not personally familiar with Aaron Academy. Please note that my information on here about church related schools is a few years old and prices may have changed. Please contact each school directly for up to date information.

      I would also suggest looking into HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense). Sign up with your church related school first and they will give you a discount to join HSLDA.

      As far as curriculum goes… I would need to learn a little more about you and your child. My Father’s World is one that I have looked into, but never used personally. I have friends that use it and love it. With only one school age child, this may be a great option for you. I have 4 and one is special needs, so I opted for something less intense. Unit studies is another option that would be great, as your son could pick the direction he wants to go and many subjects can be combined. At the age of 5, it is not important that he has a grammar, history, or science curriculum. If you want to incorporate a handwriting program, that is up to you. The most important thing at this age is reading, reading, reading, and math. You can incorporate history and science into your reading and do tons of hands on activities and experiments. Apologia is my favorite science and A Story of the World is my favorite history curriculum, but if you do them, I would take your time and even if it takes two years to get through one book, let your son have fun with it and move at his pace. I recommend Math U See for math for any learner, BUT I would buy their previous edition of Primer used from an individual seller. MUS has now aligned with Common Core, which to avoid going off on a rabbit trail here, let me just say that this is not good!

      For language arts: I would say this subject and my recommendations for it are very specific to your son. Does he tend to struggle following directions, speaking clearly, or remembering more than 2 things to do? Do you see him as a visual and hands-on kind of learner? If so, I recommend Dianne Craft and I will need to send you tons more information on this in a private email. I loved Sing, Spell, Read, and Write for my children… but that does not work for everyone. You could use that program and some of the Dianne Craft program. This will take more explanation. Teaching reading is important and phonics is a huge part of that. I want your son to be successful and have fun in the process.

      The most important thing is to read, read, read, read! Read to him daily and enjoy doing things together! If you pick a curriculum that does not work… try something else. I have switched many times in my years of homeschooling. Use curriculum as a tool and not be afraid to have your son omit some that does not work. I use a literature guide that covers spelling, grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing for instance. I only do the comprehension and writing (sometimes vocabulary). I find the spelling too difficult and I use All About Spelling, so I do not need spelling anyway. If he is doing a math lesson and you know he totally understands the math concept of the lesson, you may want him to only do the odd numbered problems. You want him to love learning not just be given tedious worksheets.

      If you do decide to go with curriculum per subject, my overall recommendations are: (please note: I would still like to talk to you more about your son for language arts to specialize my advise more if needed.

      Math – Math-U-See Primer (older edition)
      Science – Apologia (any of the elementary series that interests your son)
      History – The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer – level 1
      Spelling & Phonics – All About Spelling (level 1), Dianne Craft, reading real literature, Sing Spell Read and Write
      Handwriting – A Reason for Handwriting (I recommend print, but it is up to you)

      OR Unit Studies or My Father’s World and Math and All About Spelling and Read, read, read!

      Please email me at blessingsathome2011@gmail.com for more information.

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