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educating the whole family…

August 13, 2010

curriculum shopping… it’s a sickness and I have it.


Remember playing school as a kid?  I get to do it now.  For real!  Oh my how I love playing school as a kid.

Back to the point…

There is sooooo much out there for families who choose home education.  It is O V E R W H E L M I N G.

Decisions must be made.  Budgets must be considered and respected.  Sifting through all the good to find what will be best for our family isn’t easy.  Everyone we know uses different curricula.  So I set forth reading about learning styles, mine and those of my children.  I read blogs, lots of blogs.  I went to the curriculum fair.  I considered things I had learned back in college (in my classes and those I sat in for field studies).  Time runs short and the summer zooms past in the blink of an eye.

With our budget in mind and my knowing my tendency to be overwhelmed every now and again I searched for what I felt would make teaching three school-aged children and caring for two younger children a little less scary.

So what do we have working for us?

Tapestry of Grace (Year 1) One curriculum for grades 1 – 12 with details for teaching each different level all written out.  Biblical and secular history presented in parallel.  History, literature, arts, social studies, geography (and more) all relating to one another as it is taught.

REAL Science Odyssey (Life) Written for grades K – 4, I knew this lab-based science curriculum would be a needed hands-on addition to literature-rich program. A 28 unit study that contains over 60 labs will easily bring us though the year.  I can use it straight from the page without fear of being “information anemic”  but I can also allow my children to follow there interests to bring them deeper in any of the areas of study!

Rod and Staff I’m using a number of things from these well-reputed Christian publishers.

  • ABC Series for my kindergartner
  • Beginning Arithmetic 1 for my 1st grader
  • Beginning Wisely English 3 for my 3rd grader
  • Proper Manners and Health Habits 2 for all of them
  • About 3 to keep my 3yo busy

Spelling Workout (by Modern Curriculum Press)

  • A for my 1st grader
  • C for my 3rd grader

Singapore Math (Extra Practice 2 and 3A so far) for my very engineering-minder third grader.  This approach is quite a bit different than the traditional American approach and it makes quite a bit of sense the way it builds mathematical methods into each other.

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading I’m teaching my 5yo to read and this phonics-based program is making it happen!

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind grammar and other language arts for my 1st grader (this will take us through 2nd grade as well).

Handwriting Without Tears print for my 1st grader and cursive for my 3rd grader.  I’m just using the workbooks as they’re easy to instruct from.

The Letter People I was quite happy to find this resource from my early education.  I’m using it with my K-er for handwriting, letter recognition and phonics.  Plus the coloring sheets are GREAT busy work when I need to work with the bigger kids!

Okay, I think that’s everything. 😉  Well besides BOOKS, tons of BOOKS.  Our home library has already grown by leaps and bounds, add to that the 30-40 books we’re regularly checking out from the library and you’ve got a good view of our “one-room schoolhouse”.

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