Curriculum. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone thinks you should know their opinion.
I don’t mind advice. I really, really don’t. But, here’s what…my kid had a stroke, probably before she was even born. Add that to her ADHD, aphasia, and cognitive disorder, and you have a brain full of chaos. Alana hadn’t been formally diagnosed with any of her learning disorders until after we started homeschooling, but we knew about the stroke, and we knew that she wasn’t learning at the same level as her peers. Because of this, I didn’t want to start her on a strict (and expensive) curriculum. We actually started out unschooling.
Some people will tell you that unschooling is lazy. Some will tell you that it’s not even a thing. Some will tell you that their kid learned how to read by five because of unschooling. I can tell you that it was fun, and interesting, and awesome, but it wasn’t the key for Alana’s learning. She is an inherently lazy learner and she needed a bit of pushing, especially when it came to phonics and reading.
Alana did workbook on top of workbook (my absolute favorites are the ones by Brain Quest, but Sylvan runs a close second). She used abcmouse.com and starfall.com. I printed worksheets from education.com and teacherspayteachers.com. Basically, we kept doing stuff until she learned it. For the 2013-2014 school year she went to tutoring at Sylvan for nine hours a week. It was more expensive than I could have imagined, but it was worth it, the confidence that she gained while learning there was invaluable. During the same school year we also added in time4learning.com and brainpopjr.com. Both are animated and held her attention pretty well, but it just wasn’t enough.
This year we’re trying something completely different. We’re going to be using K12 International. From the research I’ve gathered, this will be a fairly structured curriculum. I’m a little nervous about it, but since we’re hoping to get Alana back into the public school system next year, I think it’ll be the perfect gateway.
I typed all these words to say this: every child is different. Don’t immediately jump headfirst into a curriculum. Go to a used curriculum site and buy books from various publishers, see what fits your child best. For us, there is no easy fit, but I think we’ve finally found our rhythm.