Here are our curriculum choices for the upcoming year. We have children 13, 11, 9, 7, 5 and 3 (see a pattern? ha). Ruby is the 3yo, our daughter with Down Syndrome, who is still toddler-ish. So I am teaching from that stage on through 8th grade (“ish” you understand, as homeschooling is not graded like public schools).
I haven’t shared our schooling for a while but because I feel like I’m just coming out of a slumber, I’m going to share it to help me cement what we’re doing for the upcoming year.
Some of the “mommy-teacher” preparation I’ve been doing:
reading The Philosophy of Christian Curriculum
a visit to a Classical Conversations meeting to check it out
two days in a Spell to Write and Read seminar (and three more to come next month!)
just living life and observing my children
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Knowledge isn’t knowledge if wisdom cannot be applied (no matter how many letters are after your name), and without the Lord there is no wisdom that can be applied rightly. So the Bible is the foundation of our homeschool. I believe it was the foundation of our educational methods for at least a hundred years or more, and as we fell away (or ran, as it were) from it, our standards and our academics suffered. It is also why you will see mostly Christian resources that we use. And grace is why it doesn’t suffer me to see another parent use non-Christian resources. Homeschooling is a blessing for all children!
We are reading through the psalms and discussing them, and Daddy is reading through proverbs. Knowing those two books well will certainly give a firm foundation for everything else.
We are going to use FACE’s literature recommendations to work through for character study and notebooking. As an example, my 14yo will be reading/studying Ben Hur, the Odyssey, the Story of King Arthur, Idylls of the King and Hamlet. My 5yo will hear Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Aesops Fables, Bambi, Little House in the Big Woods, and poems by Stevenson. All of the big kids will read their McGuffey’s, too. This means I am going to have to in my daily scheduling allow for chunks of plain old READING time. I am really looking forward to a couple of hours of quiet with popcorn and hot cocoa mugs at the ready.
For grammar, spelling, and etymology we are going to work through creating our own English language textbooks via Spell to Write and Read and English From the Roots Up. I have always loved learning about the history of the English language and this combines with real, brain research about how connections are made in language learning. It is stretching me and I love it! My young ones will be learning cursive first!
We’ve been doing IEW for a few years now and it has been very good. This year we are trying out some new assignments using the same methodology through Classical Writing. I’m not sure how it will go but it sure looks interesting. Plus there will be plenty of notebook work and science and geography reports. They have pen pals to write to, also.
We are satisfied with using Teaching Textbooks and are going to continue with that. My younger ones are using workbooks and I am committing to lots of flash cards for math facts this year.
My kids are working through textbooks from Abeka, reading Nature Readers, and going through a Nutrition course. Plus a friend of mine is going to come do experiments with them in exchange for my teaching her children art methods.
I’m going to use Around the World in 180 Days as a weekly scavenger hunt/encyclopedia work.
We are using Mighty Works of God for the youngers and are studying the reformation this year with the olders via Christendom lectures. We’ll be working through a church history textbook too. I think all of this will dovetail beautifully with learning more about the English language.
The Fine Arts:
We like to use Atlier for methods and practice and Cornerstone Curriculum for study of famous paintings and worldviews expressed through art. My oldest is taking a video pencil drawing course. All of my children take violin lessons and some are taking piano (we alternate weeks to help with costs). My son is teaching himself guitar. We have a *wonderful* Suzuki music teacher who sees her work as a ministry; we could not afford to pay regular going rates for music lessons!
We’re going to attempt doing the memory work ala Classical Conversations (not joining a group, just on our own with another family). I’m not entirely sold on teaching via a “classical” method; I have to remind myself that our homeschool is primarily (1) God and Bible and (2) discipleship/relationship. Everything else is bonus.
I consider lifeskill projects (Keepers of the Faith is helpful here…as are CHORES), board games, audio books, oral presentations, field trips, and family bicycling trips just as important as everything else.
So there is the “list” of our work to do. I wish I could say it is all planned and scheduled and that we’ll get it all done in a year but truly we work best at picking and plodding through because other stuff happens, too: cooking meals, milking goats, illness, running off to the beach at a whim… I have learned not to stress about what does and doesn’t get “done” because my ideas about what is “accomplished” doesn’t always mesh up with what Jesus would say I really did do for His Kingdom.
I am thankful for grace, and for homeschooling too!
If you would love to spend some time taking a peek at other people’s curriculum choices, there is plenty and then some here:
Blessings to you,