First time homeschool mom here with a soon to be 6yo. I’m trying to purchase year 1 materials. My cart is already at $275.00! I don’t know what to keep and what to get rid of. What do I really NEED to start out?
Many families decide to purchase term by term in order to save on up front costs. Each guide (history, enrichment, Individual Studies) sample download lists the resources needed for term 1.
There are several options to help you with cost. Make sure you take advantage of our free downloads for the Book of Centuries and the Scripture Memory Verses. If you do not need prompts in your nature journal you can absolutely get by with a blank spiral journal that contains a heavier paper. I like watercolor grade paper or mixed media. Another great option is to purchase resources that will be used again over the next 12 years by more children in digital format (copywork, Visits to…series, Using Language Well in grade 3, etc)
Make sure you take advantage of your library. Our Bookfinder is a great resource to help you source books. If you can’t find an exact book, you can certainly utilize a book that is similar in length and content (make sure to give it the “living book” check).
We work hard to create high quality resources for families and go through thousands of books in order to chose those that meet our high standards.
Prior to working for SCM there were times that I simply couldn’t afford certain resources that I would have really liked to have had. In those moments I prayed and did the best I could. It meant more work on my end but we were blessed. One time that meant a coffee table book of a particular artist that I found somewhere for a couple dollars. We missed out on the great biography that SCM Picture Portfolios include and were not able to display the artist we were studying in our dining room but God provided during that season (and always) and my children and I were still introduced to a wonderful artist.sarah2106Participant
As far as the living books, make sure to check used book sales online. ABEBooks is one place to search many used book stores at once, but there are others as well. I rarely pay more than a few dollars for the living books suggested by the history and Visits to guides because I find them used.
It is an investment, but this is my 9th year and because so many resources by SCM are non consumable we use again in the rotation and with my younger children, so I do not have to buy that much now, which has been nice.
I also agree that you do not have to do everything every year and there are online resources for picture study and music study. I really enjoy the SCM resources, but you don’t have to jump in all at once, you can slowly start collecting different resources.MissusLeataParticipant
You absolutely need math, reading and writing. And fun, living books!
If you are using SCM year one, I would skip the Bible Commentaries if your oldest child is 6. I loved the ones we used, but they were over the heads of my kids that young. “The Boy of the Pyramids” and “Egypt and Her Neighbors” were great and I really liked “The Stuff They Left Behind.” For literature books, you can check the library and re-sale places like Abebooks.com .
The SCM art study guides are great, but if you wait until closer to the end of the school year, people will be selling some of their used ones. You can get them for a little less that way.
The SCM store has free copy work available. We’ve used that before. If you child already knows how to make the letters and just needs regular copywork, that’s a way to save some money. https://simplycharlottemason.com/store/manuscript-copywork/
Hope that helps!
I have one more question. I ordered and received the individual studies for grade 1 and it has track A using delightful reading kit #3. my daughter will be 6 next week. She is working on the delightful reading kit #2 now and is not ready for level 3 yet. Should I just keep doing kit 2 in its place or should I hold off on doing the individual studies book altogether for now? Thanks in advance!
This is a wonderfully exciting time for you!! I am currently teaching my 3rd kiddo (age 6.5) to read. He and I are currently working our way through Delightful Reading, Level 2. We recommend families hold off on utilizing Individual Studies for Grade 1 until a child is ready for Delightful Reading, Level 3. Until that time you can keep doing everything as you are already doing it. As my son and I have progressed over the last few months, I’ve slowly increased the amount of “school” we are actively doing. This has been a growing time for him. The changes I’ve seen over the last few months has left this Momma’s heart full.
Thanks so much for your response!
Should I hold off on the history (genesis-Deuteronomy and ancient Egypt) and enrichment studies as well? Now I’m all messed up! 😂
Please don’t feel messed up!
Starting history and enrichment studies is truly up to you. They are topic based and not skill based (like individual studies). Often there is confusion and this idea that grade 1 must begin on a child’s 6th birthday. Charlotte never said this. She simply stated that formal lessons should not begin prior to 6 (aka sit down and do formal school work daily). She used both the ages of 6 and 7 concerning when to start formal (grade 1) studies.
You know your child better than I do or anyone else. 🙂 God has trusted her to your care and keeping. You know if she is ready to begin a full school schedule (which is still short in these early years) or if it would be better to “grow” her into it. For my current 6 yr old (my 3rd kiddo) he needed this time to “grow” into formal studies. We started this school year focused more on enrichments, math, and Delightful Reading, level 2. Just recently I added history to the plans. Soon, we will add a more formal science (nature study).
Again, you really know her best. Take cues from her and go with it Momma! Maybe she’s ready for the full school day. Maybe she’s ready for you to add the Enrichment and continue with Delightful Reading, level 2. Perhaps she’s ready to have math and Enrichment added daily. Remember, this is a journey. A wonderfully exciting (and sometimes we allow ourselves to be scared) journey. It is that though. A journey, not a race. <3
Well, you’re awesome! Thank you so much for your advice! It was just what I needed. I truly appreciate your thought out response 🥰
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