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How to Choose a Program when Switching from Public School to Homeschool and

How to Choose a Program when Switching from Public School to Homeschool and

Hello,
I have a 6th grader, 3rd grader, 3 yr old, and one on the way. We have not been satisfied with Public schools for a while now and are seriously considering homeschooling. I would like to start with my oldest since she is a quick learner. How do I know which program is right for us? I work from home (personal business) so I will be there with her. I would like something that she can do freely with out me having to quit my business to be a full time teacher. I was wondering if I should start with Connections Academy and then switch to ACE if she likes the whole homeschooling thing. I know it will be an adjustment being in school for so long and then starting to home school. Any advice would be appreciated!

re: How to Choose a Program when Switching from Public School to Homeschool and

Hi, and welcome aboard! :) I don't know anything about Connections Academy, but I do know a LOT about ACE, since I home-schooled with it from K-12th! It is an awesome program if you have a student who is a go-getter, self-motivated type who loves to read and do workbooks. That description fits me to a tee, so I excelled with ACE. I still love it to this day, and, frankly, that's what I am using for my two kiddos as far as English, Word Building (spelling), science, and social studies goes. We started off the year with something different, but they were just not enjoying it:( I very quickly switched back to ACE for all but math, and they are just clipping along, happy as larks. The nice thing about ACE is that it is written at the child's level, so the instructions are easy for them to read and comprehend. There are other curricula who pull from textbooks that are geared to a higher grade level and that just didn't work for my two. They would zone out big time, and quickly lose interest. They can work much of ACE on their own, but of course, I'm always there if they need help, and I check over their work and go over it with them at the end of the school day. Both of them are happy because it doesn't take hours and they can still get it done even if I am busy at the moment, or sick, etc......In other words, it works and it's very do-able.

If you want to try ACE out, it is a really cheap option because all you have to do is order one workbook for each subject you want to try, along with the score keys, if needed. Then your child could try it out for three weeks, and you're not out a whole lot of money if you find it's not going to work for you.

Hope this helps you out, and let me know if you have any questions. I will be happy to try to help:)

re: How to Choose a Program when Switching from Public School to Homeschool and

Thank you for the info, that was very helpful. When you said that you don’t use ACE for Math what program do you use? Also can you start at anytime or do you have to begin at the beginning of the school year? How do would I go about making sure she is accredited so that the oublic school can’t say she isn’t attending school? Thanks again!

re: How to Choose a Program when Switching from Public School to Homeschool and

Connections Academy is public school at home; ACE is home schooling. There's a difference. if your daughter is enrolled with Connections, she's considered a public school student; it's just her location and lesson delivery mode that differs.

I would highly suggest that you FIRST check into your state's local regulations on HSLDA's website. That will answer a lot of your questions.

Your state may (likely does) have a state home schooling organization, as well, which will likely prove to be a very helpful source of specific information.

My personal preference for home schooling is a traditional curriculum, like Abeka, BJUP, or ACE, along with plenty of read-aloud time, arts and crafts, unstructured creative play, music appreciation, etc. (It's essentially a combination of structured academics + Waldorf/Montessori -- which I am sure neither set of proponents would like, but worked really well for my children.) :)

At any rate, that's what I recommend. I do not recommend computer-based learning for young children, nor a program that has rigid, unbending, inflexible, impersonal requirements.

re: How to Choose a Program when Switching from Public School to Homeschool and

First of all, depending on your reasons for choosing to homeschool, I would give you child time to "deschool". When you take her out of public school, this is a time for her to just as just, relax, and prepare to begin homeschooling and get public school out of her system. They say a month for every year in traditional school, although that always seemed a bit long to me, and I never did it with my child.

Secondly, how do you know which program is right for you and each child? You won't until you try several different things and gain experience. This is my tenth year homeschooling, and I use different programs for each subject, and each child, depending on where they excel at and where they need more work, whether they work better independently or need a teacher led curriculum, whether they do better with a literature based approach, hands on approach, or workbook based, etc.

As for ACE, I try to limit it to only one or two subjects a year. It is simply read the lesson, study the examples, answer the questions. That gets the job done, yes, but I wouldn't want to do the same thing for every subject, every child, day in and day out. Choose a particular subject or two, such as the basics...math or English or spelling (Theirs is called Word Building) and have your child take the placement tests online to see where to start.

For sixth grade or younger, we loved Abeka and Apologia sciences, and simply read them aloud together. I would ask my kids the questions at the end of sections and chapters, do some of the experiments. We really didn't do much written work, other than one child who loved to do Apologias notebook. We didn't do quizzes or tests in elementary science...there is no need to. I know whether or not they understood and remember the concepts.

You will have to learn as you go what works and what doesn't. Each child has a different style of learning and different strengths and weaknesses, therefore different curriculum work for different parents and children. An example with my own kids...My oldest, now graduated, hated Saxon math. My 9th grader adores it and excels with it. My oldest hated writing, and we did the minimum to meet state requirements. My 9th grader loves and thrives with the literature based approach and writes all the time. (Intersting side note..My writing child had dysgraphia and slight dyslexia and couldn't spell till 5th grade. Now she can't stop writing. Lol)

Whatever you choose, you will discover if it works well or what you think might work better after trying it. ACE IS easy and cheap to try for a three week period, but I can't tell you how many "experienced" parents here STILL try and send back then different things a year til they are satisfied. No matter what, they are learning.

Best wishes on your new journey. :)

re: How to Choose a Program when Switching from Public School to Homeschool and

I would not recommend Connections Academy. It is a public charter school; you have to keep track of the time spent (because it's public school, and that's how it is funded: by each child's "attendance"), and you are not free to do what is best for your children's needs.

Most of us take awhile to figure out what's best for us, and that's ok. You will need to check the laws in your state, though, because, sadly, that can affect how and what you do. Go to hslda.org (Home School Legal Defense Association) and look for your state's homeschool requirements.

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