our homeschool curriculum.

time for some more school talk!  let's talk curriculum, shall we?

i use a charlotte mason approach, which probably means nothing to you if you don't have much experience with homeschool jargon.  it's obviously more nuanced than this, but the main jist of it is that there is a lot of emphasis on nature study/time outdoors, as well as learning from classic, 'living' books rather than textbooks.  it's kind of like... a hands-on classical education, if 'classical education' isn't too jargony as well.

so anyway, we basically just buy a bunch of great books and learn from those.  i like this for a variety of reasons:  the language exposure, even at a young age, is stellar (i'm reading aloud the original pilgrim's progress to the kids this year, for instance), the books themselves are time-tested, and as a teacher, i get genuinely interested in the material, even at the kindergarten/first-grade level.  plus, when everything is said and done, i have a bookshelf full of actual books and not just rando first grade social studies textbooks or whatever that no one will read ever again.

how do i choose the books?  i cheat and let ambleside online do it for me.  it's a free resource that puts together, by year, a pretty full-spectrum curriculum, as well as a schedule for everything.  i just go through the list of books for each year, which covers subjects like history, science, poetry, geography, etc., and order everything from amazon.  easy peasy.

i do have to buy a couple of specific curriculum items outside of the ambleside stuff - namely, math, reading instruction, and handwriting.  (i tried to do handwriting with free stuff i found on pinterest last year, and it was a dismal failure.  i'm pretty sure my kids' native handwriting language is 'indecipherable petroglyph.'  so i spent money on an actual workbook for each of them this year.)  this is what we're using:

'math-u-see' is our math curriculum of choice.  the name is not exactly the most creative thing i've ever encountered, although it is accurate.  it uses a lot of manipulatives to teach the concepts.  so far, it's worked well for us, and the kids really enjoy math time since they get to 'play' with blocks.

'a reason for handwriting' is our handwriting curriculum.  yes, that's a cartoon jesus on the cover, and yes, that was a little difficult for me to process without making a ton of sarcastic comments about the state of christian culture, but i reined it in as best i could because like that each week they're practicing copywork using scripture verses.

'teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons' is also pretty accurately titled.  i've taught both kids to read with this approach, and there are 100 lessons in there.  it delivers on its claims.  the kids are each on a 90-something lesson, so after we're done with this book, we'll move on to using pathway readers.  this is the reading curriculum used in amish parochial schools, so there are lots of stories in there about horse auctions.  you know i love that.

and here's how i keep it all organized for my purposes:

here's how i keep it all organized for the kids' purposes:

each kid has a folder for each school day of the week, so i will fill all the folders at the beginning of the week with their math and handwriting worksheets.  then they can just pull out the day's folder and hopefully become a bit more independent in completing their work than they were last year.

and there's a basic rundown of what we use and how we use it!


todd said...

this looks awesome! i love all the hard work you put into training our children so that they may grow in wisdom, stature and favor in the eyes of God and men just like Jesus.

todd said...

luke 2:52