Interlock or Volume 1?

Here’s the scenario: Your children are ages 6, 4 & 2, and you will be bringing the oldest home to begin homeschooling next year. That means you’ll have children in 2nd, K and pre-K. Should you start with Interlock or Volume 1? I suggest you start with Interlock, and start during the summer.

Or maybe your scenario is slightly different. Perhaps your children are the same ages as above, but you’ve been homeschooling with workbooks because you’ve only had to teach your oldest so far. Now that you’ll be teaching two, you’d like to try the unit study approach so you’re switching to Weaver. Should you start with Interlock or Volume 1? Again, I suggest you start with Interlock, and start during the summer. It doesn’t matter what your situation is; if your oldest child is going into the 2nd grade (or younger), start with Interlock!

I had thought of going straight to Volume 1 when I started, but I’m glad I didn’t. I had been told that if my children had a firm foundation in creation I could skip Interlock. We attended church, and my children knew all the Sunday school stories, so I thought they had a firm foundation when it came to creation … Ha! That was the problem. They knew them as “stories” and not as fact. Interlock helped to flesh out the information and make it real for my children and for me, too. Interlock laid a true foundation, which made all the Sunday school lessons make sense for my children.

If you’re still not convinced to start with Interlock, let me just say that it’s a great program to “begin” Weaving with. If you’ve never used a unit study before, or never homeschooled before, Interlock will take you through the experience effortlessly and enjoyably. Start with Interlock!


Interlock or Volume 1? — 6 Comments

  1. Great! That makes perfect sense. Thanks so much for your help. I am so excited to start Weaver and truly homeschooling them. Getting my feet wet with virtual school public school right now, but definitely know it’s not the best fit for us. Thanks again 🙂

  2. Thank you for this! I bought both Interlock and Volume 1 and I wasn’t sure which and when to start. We currently have a kindergartner (turns six this summer) and 3.5 year old (pre-k this fall). We just pulled our kindergartner from public school and we are using virtual school for him. We want to start Weaver next school year for our future first grade and pre-k students. I’ve been going back and forth on the route I want to take. I see you recommend starting Interlock in the summer. Would we follow the three days a week Interlock timeline or accelerate it to five days a week? I know doing Interlock will require the addition of first grade math and reading/phonics for my first grader. Will I need to beef up the subjects like science and social studies for him as well? For my pre-k student, will she require any math or reading/phonics supplements? TIA for your help!

    • Hi, Amber! Welcome to the homeschool journey!

      I would recommend doing Interlock for five days a week so you can get through it before the new year starts. You could even start before the end of this school year. It’s really a laid-back curriculum. You will do a lot of talking and reading, and some simple experiments. (I still remember the day we ‘marked out’ how big various animals are on the road in front of our house. Or the week we spent taking leaf and bark samples of all the trees in our yard and then going to the nursery to have the man there help us identify them. Oh, those may have been volume activities, so I don’t know that you’ll do them in Interlock.)

      There is K and Pre-K math within the Interlock pages, but I would guess your older child would already be past that. You could start math during the summer, or you could let your older child “help” you teach the younger child the math that is in Interlock. If you choose to start 1st-grade math early, you can move them up to 2nd-grade math whenever they are finished — there are no laws stating you cannot start the next grade early!

      Yes, you’ll need reading/phonics for your 1st-grade child. As you move through Interlock, you’ll find natural ways to “beef it up” for your older child. A more detailed drawing, an extra book to read with Daddy, an experiment to do with you when the younger child loses interest. For the younger student, she will be able to do the math that is in the Interlock. I would also figure out how many days/weeks you think it will take you to go through the Interlock and divide the alphabet among those days/weeks. Spend a couple of days on each letter, going over the sound of the consonants and the short/long sounds of the vowels. Don’t worry about blends or diphthongs or anything like that just yet. Once she can identify the letters by sight, start over again, but this time include tracing and writing them. And don’t forget to read to your children! Every night! Read one or two books of their choice. During the day, read books of YOUR choice to them (often best to do while they are eating). By the time your youngest is ready to start a phonics program, she should whiz through the beginning stages, giving her a sense of accomplishment and a love for reading.

      I’m so excited for you! I loved the early years of our homeschooling journey. Once they enter high school, the work is more written and less “fun,” although there are other fun things to do at that age. But the early years are so simple and relaxed. {sigh} Maybe it’s just my “little” boys I’m missing? 😉

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. I’m here to serve!

      • Thank you so much for your response Kelly! Such great info! Based on my math, if I choose to teach Interlock 4 days a week (leaving the 5th day for life, field trips, and summer fun!), we would complete Interlock in approximately 28 weeks (completing it by the end of November). Your suggestion of the alphabet would be perfect with this time line, with two days spent on each letter. My son would love teaching my daughter. I already have him doing a bit of that when he starts to lose interest in the lesson, as it helps to get us through the end of the lesson LOL. He is doing really well in math, so I think for my odc I will just have him start first grade math (and first grade phonics/reading) when we start Interlock. When we finish Interlock, would you suggest we then start Volume 1 in January (2018) and then I add in a kindergarten level phonics curriculum for my daugther?

        • Forgot to complete my thought! Or should instead we continue doing more beefed up pre-k phonics work with her until that summer? Basically allowing us to start our new school year every June? It would be nice to eventually get everything starting on the same timeline for my OCD! LOL

          • Since this is the 2nd part of the whole comment, I’ll just reply here.

            Definitely move straight into Vol.1 when you finish Interlock. When you do, start your son at the 1st-grade level and your daughter can ‘tag along’ doing what she’s able with the K level. As for phonics for your daughter, if she has gotten through all the letters of the alphabet (sounds and visual recognition) and still seems eager, then go ahead and get her going with some sort of phonics program. Depending on what you use for your son, you could probably reuse it for your daughter. If her learning style is different, you may need to find a new program, but there are so many out there it shouldn’t be hard. Sometimes Walmart carries educational workbooks– you could get one of those and work with her to see how she likes the “book work.” If she likes it, get a program or reuse the one your son used.

            I know it’s hard to wrap your brain around, but don’t let the “program levels” be a stumbling block to educating your children. What I mean is, start your daughter in a program when she’s ready. Don’t wait 5 months just because it’s not “the beginning” of the school year. It’s perfectly fine for a 1st-grade child to be doing 2nd-grade math. It’s also fine for a 2nd-grade child to be completing 1st-grade math two months into 2nd grade. The idea is to teach your children where they are at. Don’t push them through just because the book is almost finished, or hold them back because they finished a book early. Try to ignore the actual grade levels on the materials. Just teach them what they’re capable of learning! As you move through the Weaver volumes, you may find that your son really likes science and is willing to do anything science-related. Instead of assigning him only 1 invention to research, assign him 2. When you work on maps, if drawing his room seems too easy, have him draw the whole house, or the block you live on. Does that make sense? Feel free to look at the older grades and take bits and pieces of assignments and create the perfect assignment for your child. If you have a third-grade child who is struggling to understand the differences between rocks and minerals, be happy if they can just sort them by sight and teach them about just one type instead of five or six types.

            I hope that answers your questions! Just remember: the “age level” on any program is a suggestion. Your child may be a mixture of levels. Just tell friends and family they are in __ grade (based on the class they’re in at church, or based on where they’d be in public school), but teach them at whatever level they are capable of completing. YOU are the best judge of that!

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