Last week Snakelover asked me if I am using a curriculum for homeschooling. The answer is a resounding YES. I realize some people can successfully un-school (?) their children, but when the FringeFamily is left to their own imaginations, life gets pretty shallow.
I fear we would sit around all day watching stupid YouTube videos like this (FringeBoy loves this video and now the song is stuck in my head…help!).
So instead, we will diligently follow a lesson plan that includes all the essentials – Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic. Maybe we’ll throw in a little YouTube for good measure. Better yet, maybe we’ll make our own silly video!
In honor of my picture loving daughter, I’ll show you as I tell you what books we are using.
– Spectrum Math 3rd Grade
– Manipulatives (counting blocks, clocks, money, flashcards, etc.)
– Teaching Textbooks 5th Grade
In short, I am using The Story of the World as a launching pad. This year we will be studying Ancient History and progress through time over a four-year period. Instead of using one ginormously boring textbook, we will use a variety of whole books and unit studies on the people, places, cultures, and religions from ancient times. I have a list of library books a mile long. In order to add variety, I also purchased four videos from the Drive Thru History series. They all correspond to countries and time periods we will be studying.
In addition our literature and art will coincide with our history program. For instance, when studying Ancient Egypt, we will create our own hieroglyphics or make a paper mache mummy. The library has fabulous art books based on ancient cultures. All subjects will tie into history, creating a cohesive and repetitive learning experience.
That’s the plan anyway.
ENGLISH: (Sorry about the weird picture layout. I can’t seem to fix it.)
We will be using Writing and Grammar books from the author and publishers of The Well Trained Mind. I like this program for many reasons. It introduces children to great works of literature, includes memorization of poetry, and focuses on giving kids the technical foundation they need in order to become good writers and analytical readers. They learn to recognize parts of speech and diagram. They gain listening and thinking skills through dictation, narration, and copywork. Most of all, I appreciate the strong foundation this program offers. Without a good foundation, life ends up in a heap of rubble.
Apologia will be our base program. We will use the library for additional resources. FringeKid’s lessons focus on Land Animals. FringeBoy’s lessons will focus on Anatomy and Physiology. Both children will be journaling and doing hands-on experiments. This curriculum offers a variety of additional projects for each lesson. Online ‘extras’ are a bonus. The program encourages children to dig deeper after the lessons are technically over.
– Handwriting for both kids
– English from The Roots Up (a program that teaches the Latin and Greek roots of our language)
– Bible from Memoria Press
– The Well Planned Day (a lesson plan calendar created specifically for homeschoolers) If you homeschool and need a good calendar for your lesson plans, I highly recommend getting this. I think it was around $20, but worth every single penny.
The other night FringeMan commented that he’s never seen me so on top of my game. Since he lived through me in graduate school, I’ll take that as a compliment. A large part of me still thinks I’m slightly crazy for homeschooling, but I think a little crazy is ok.
There’s so much great curriculum out there, it’s hard to make the final decisions about what books to use. Since every child is different and the homeschooling parent has the ability to tailor a program to fit the child, I am certain every family uses different curriculums. I am in no way saying my choices are best for any other kids. They are simply my choices.
I also joined two homeschool groups. Every Wednesday morning we will spend time with other homeschool families in our area. The kids will do a variety of activities together, including art, music, free play, swimming, games, etc.
If you are homeschooling or have homeschooled, do you have any favorites?
If you are a teacher, what’s your favorite book or teaching aide?