Wednesday, August 29, 2007

home school curriculum

I've started looking into Home school curriculum. I want to see what is out there and think more about homeschooling. Any suggestions?

3 comments:

Terry Delaney said...

That is awesome that you are looking to homeschool! My wife and I have 2 kids (3 and 1) and one on the way. We are going to homeschool them. My wife would be the best person to contact, but I know she found many of the links on Voddie Baucham's website to be helpful (http://www.voddiebaucham.org/Links.html).

You could email her (she knows much more than I do) at kdelaney@watson.wustl.edu. Put "Homeschooling Question" in the subject line otherwise she might not read it. I will let her know it might be coming.

Hope this has been of some help. God bless!

Charley said...

Although the time of year is wrong, make plans to attend your state's homeschooling convention. There is so much there that it is actually overwhelming!

Some general thoughts first:
1) If you bring school home, you will burn out. When we first tried, we even went so far as to have desks, a white board, and a flag! Our curriculum was originally designed for a group school and repackaged for homeschool...thus a lot of worksheets. My wife was going to make sure each and every worksheet was done! Needless to say...that didn't go over very well. Those worksheets are mostly to keep kids busy while the slower ones catch up....

2). Even though you spent money on a curriculum, don't be so tied to it that you won't give it up if it doesn't fit your child. Each child has a different learning style and what works for you, your wife, or another sibling won't necessarily work for him. If it doesn't, consider it a cost of education, and try something else.

3). "School in a box" (like Abeka) isn't a bad way to start. Most new folks feel more comfortable with something that feels familiar. But...don't push for each and every worksheet if your child has figured out a particular concept or skill. And look to expand your horizons eclectically, tailoring each subject to your child's bent.

4) Consider the different styles of curriculum...from unschooling, to living books (my favorite), to unit studies (also high on my list), to classical education. Find out what fits your wife's personality and your child's.

5). Read the story of the Robinson family at Robinson Curriculum. Even if you do not use their curriculum, it will open your eyes to the realities of how you can teach your children to learn independently and for life.

6). Whatever curriculum you get, DON'T BE CONSTRAINED BY IT. DON'T BE A SLAVE TO IT'S SCOPE AND SEQUENCE. Use it as it works for your own family and your own child. It's so easy for some moms to feel their child is being left behind because she didn't finish every bit of the curriculum in a year. That just isn't the case. Think about it. Did you EVER finish a full textbook in any class you ever took? Not likely!

7). Relax! Enjoy the benefits of homeschooling, to include travel and time. Emphasize discipleship, character, and Bible before knowledge.

Suggestions:

We use a lot of Sonlight. It's literature-based, so you have to like reading. For the little ones, it means a lot of reading to them by Mom. We also used a bit of Saxon Math, but moved to VideoText Algebra as the kids reached that stage. We also use a lot of Cornerstone Curriculum (heavy on the worldview emphasis). We also use Abeka for grammar, even into highschool. For the older children, my wife uses "Latin Road to English Grammar" for both Latin and grammar.

Lastly...three books you should read now to help develop your own philosophies on education:

a). "Upgrade" by Kevin Swanson (head of Colorado's homeschool group, and second-generation homeschooler)

b). "When You Rise Up" by R.C. Sproul, Jr.

c). "Family Driven Faith" by Dr. Voddie Baucham.

All three are available at Amazon for reasonable prices.

OK...this is getting long...but I have to say I'm pleased and surprised that you are looking strongly into home discipleship. Al Mohler would be pleased! (I did see you went to Southern Seminary, didn't I?).

Blessings...and keep us posted on your progress!

Charley
HomeDiscipling Dad Blog
Get Serious Blog

Schoolingathome said...

I learned the hard way that it may not be smart to recommend any books by R.C. Sproul Jr. I made the mistake of loaning When You Rise Up to a friend. I thought it was a good book, but my friend did a web search on R.C. Sproul Jr's name and what a surprise that turned out to be! I didn't know that he'd been defrocked, and he was defrocked over some pretty serious things. I won't recommend his book again to anyone else. Too much risk of causing confusion with my friends that I'm trying to talk in to homeschooling. There are better books by people who haven't had so many moral failures.