The beauty of homeschooling is that no two days are alike and you never know what is around the corner. Six months from now or even six days from now you might be switching curriculum and things get better in whatever subject your child was struggling or not thriving. It’s never too late or too early to learn anything.
When you homeschool, you have a committee of two: you and your spouse. In some cases, you don’t even need to discuss it. Spouses should trust each other with decisions, but it’s always nice and encouraging if you share in the decision-making process.
I recently decided that Essentials was so good a spelling curriculum for my third grader, I wanted my first grader to experience it. Of course, Essentials is for older children, so we bought Foundations, which is for ages 4-7.
My first grader can read and she enjoys her reading curriculum (The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading) and readers (McGuffey), but I think that she would enjoy Foundations even more. For one, it’s colorful. Then, there is a workbook. She likes to doodle and match and stay busy with a pencil in her hand.
Last but not least, it is reading, spelling, and penmanship in one great language arts curriculum. My daughter is almost finished with learning how to write lower case letters, so this penmanship practice will be a good recap of her handwriting work so far.
There is a short placement test on their website. After answering a few questions, I got the result that she needs to start with Level A. So I ordered A and B, teacher’s manuals and student workbooks. I also ordered Doodling Dragons. It seems like fun and I have a friend who uses this curriculum and she said it was nice to have.
I have all the rest of the kit from, having done Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive with both my children and, of course, Essentials.
I wish I had thought of this before but regret does not lead me anywhere. Regret is not productive. I choose to rejoice in making this decision now and to learn from it. You only know which curriculum works if you go through several weeks with it. Essentials works for my third grader and so I will now give Foundations a try with my first grader.
It helps to have a friend who showed me her Foundations teacher’s manual and student workbook. It’s very different from Essentials and it convinced me my first grader would like it.
One last thought: my children have learned to read almost on their own, because I read them 1,000 books before kindergarten. They don’t always sound things out, because they have seen words so many times, they know the whole word. This does not help with spelling, I have found out. So we need to go back to the basics and decode sounds at the most foundational level.
The Moore philosophy of delaying academics kept me from ordering this until now, plus I thought they are just “selling us products,” like any other curriculum provider. But my daughter is almost seven and Foundations is for ages 4-7, so she will be at the end of the spectrum. And I can see from my son’s experience that being an excellent reader does not necessarily translate to excellent spelling skills.
I choose to stay positive and embrace the beauty of homeschooling. And I am thankful for friends who homeschool and share their experience with me, so that I may learn from them.