The dutchian asked in the comments below how I decided what resources to use and when. I am so glad that she asked because I love to talk about how I got started. It is good to remember why I started and how I started this journey.
Several years ago, when the internet was brand new and I had a 2 year old, I discovered a website about teaching your preschooler at home. It was perfect for me because we were living overseas and I didn’t have access to a preschool. My oldest was more than ready to start learning and so I followed the author’s guidelines and away we went. The website has been offline for many years, but it was the website that really inspired me to homeschool. She had everything laid out for me, what to teach when and how to go about it. How hard is it to teach preschool? Not hard, I know that now, but I needed that plan then.
As my son passed the preschool age, I needed something that went further than preschool. What should I teach him? I looked for something similar to the preschool page that I had relied on. I found the typical course of study at World Book. (I just googled for it and I can’t believe that it is still online!) I printed off the Kindergarten page and, because we were once again stateside, made use of the public library. We read lots and lots of books and I printed out pages from The Learning Pages. Somehow I found the book “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.” I taught all my kids to read with this book. My oldest was the youngest to read, and my youngest was the oldest to read. I think the key was recognizing that they were ready. None of them finished the book because we moved on to other books before we finished. (As a side, I wasted so much time trying to get Freckle Face to read before he was ready. I should have just read and read to him rather than pushing him to read. He is 10 now and still doesn’t love to read, but I hope that he will someday.)
Then, I discovered The Well- Trained Mind. I am not sure if this was a good thing or not because since that day it has made me crazy. I love it and then I hate it. I have learned that I can take what I want from it and leave the rest. The curriculum suggestions make the book worth its weight. There is so much to choose from out there for homeschoolers that it is impossible to wade through it all. And let’s face it, a lot of it isn’t worth the money they want for it. “The Well-Trained Mind” gave me a place to start. I researched the choices given in the book, and picked the ones I liked. I have stayed with my early choices and haven’t changed much. And since I was following a certain math curriculum or grammar curriculum, I lost the need for the scope and sequence charts.
That is how I got started picking books for my kids. A lot of homeschoolers also like “The Charlotte Mason Companion”. I liked the idea behind it, but I knew that it wouldn’t work for my personality. I always thought that nature journaling would be fun, but we just never did it. I also think the “What You Child Should Know” series is good too as a jumping off point, but it really requires you to still locate a lot of materials for yourself. That is why “The Well-Trained Mind” is my favorite. If you read it, ignore the schedules. They will make you crazy.