We’ve simplified a lot this year. As we continue to grow in the Lord and pray for His wisdom we continue to realize how artificially complex education (even or perhaps especially home education) has become, perhaps this helps to justify the idea that parents aren’t capable of educating their own children and that it is a job that is best left to the ‘experts’. Whatever the reason, we’re continuing to simplify our children’s education and we’re continuing to see wonderful results.
Since we educate year round, we did not take a full break during the summer months which means that we aren’t rushing back into everything all at once. We’ve already been doing much of what is on this list and there are a few things that we have yet to start. Flexibility, part of the beauty of homeschooling.
Over the summer the children have been doing Bible, Greek, math and science everyday. History has been covered 2-3 times a week and we’ve maintained art and music.
Some things to remember.
- We have 10 children. We will be using more books and resources than I have listed to educate our children this year, but these are the things that we will make a specific effort to work through.
- Our method of homeschooling is laid back and relationship based. We use these resources as tools, not necessarily as written.
- We school year round. We will not necessarily be doing each of these things everyday.
- We do not sit down and do this during ‘school time’. We read Bibles when we first get up, work on memorization after breakfast, read aloud before naps and after dinner, take nature journals when we go to the park, narrate at the dinner table and discuss history in the car.
- The methods that you use to educate your children are just as important, if not more so, than the curriculum you choose.
Amber (14), Kaitlin (13), Matthew (12), Alyssa (11), Carter (9), Sadie (7), Savannah (6), Colby (5), Nick (3) and Bella (1).
Our Homeschool Curriculum
- Bible reading: Advanced readers (kids 11 and older): Continue reading through the Bible every 90 days. Regular readers (6-9 year olds): Finish reading through the Bible by January and then use this reading schedule to read through the Bible twice during 2012. Colby: Begin reading in Matthew 1. Little ones: Memorize the Children’s catechism.
- Bible study: Herein Is Love, Vol. 2: Exodus (We are several chapters into this Exodus book and we’re not yet sure if it’s a keeper). A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament
- Bible Memorization: Last year the children memorized more than 40 Psalms. We’ll continue that this year and use Songs from the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s by Jamie Soles as a starting point. (We highly recommend Jamie’s music. Check out my full review.)
- Personal: We’ve developed a list of books (one for girls and another for boys) that we want our children to read. Some of these are biographies of admirable men and women, others are historic accounts of brave deeds and the sovereignty of God and some are encouragement for becoming the young men and women God would have them to be. Each child will work their way through their reading list at their own pace. This is a life assignment, more than a ‘school’ assignment and we don’t expect it will be complete by the end of the year.
Rays Arithmetic (Carter 9 and Alyssa 11)
Aleks - Algebra 1 (Matthew 12 and Kaitlin 13) and High School Geometry (Amber 14)
Now that our three oldest children are all working “above grade level” in math (this is not because their teacher excels in math, trust me), we’re finally able to say that our theory of delaying formal math instruction has been successful. (You may be interested in reading how we teach our younger children.)
- McGuffey Readers (5 and up) for vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, grammar, writing and reading.
- Analytical Grammar (age 11 and up) (Because I can’t completely let go of the ‘school’ mindset and I love diagramming.) We are in our second year.
- Read for one hour everyday (all readers) They are reading books from their personal lists, books from our history reading lists and books from our “read-this-year” book shelf.
- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (Nick?)
This is why we choose to teach Greek.
For history this year we are working through a list of resources: books, Cds and DVDs, that Mark and I have put together for our children. We’re using several Vision Forum sets as a type of ‘spine’ and then adding in readers (many from Sonlight, Answers in Genesis and All Through the Ages) in addition to others.
We read aloud and/or listen to a CD and spend time discussing what we’ve heard each day. I love these discussions. If you have children over age 5 (or so) and daily discussions are not part of your homeschool program, then I’d encourage you to start including them now. These are some of the best of times!
We will continue supplementing this with Sonlight Core 2 readers for our younger children.
Apologia Biology (Amber, 14)
Apologia Physical Science (Matthew, 12 and Kaitlin 13)
Apologia Botany (everyone else)
We choose one composer every month or so and use this Masters of Classical Music set and any other Cds that feature that composer. Before we put on the Cd we announce the composer’s name. Sometime during the few weeks that we are listening to that composer’s music we listen to these narrations of their life story.
Artistic Pursuits – as desired.
Cross Country (5 and up run, 7 and up compete)
Here are some background posts on choosing curriculum:
What are you using this year? Have you found something that you love?