Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Home School Curriculum

A reader emailed and asked what curricula I'm using. Here goes (keep in mind this is my first attempt at home schooling and this is my first foray into curriculum, my opinion is really a first impression):

Language, History, Geography, Spelling, Vocabulary: Sonlight

Math: Horizons, Math U See (Word of marketing advice: Get rid of the man pictures on the front page of the websites. Pictures of happy kids, yes. Men, no.)

Latin: Latin's Not So Tough

Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears (Ah, a happy child, no middle-aged men.)

The Sonlight curriculum is for Grades 3 - 5. The course does a survey of world history. We have a time-line, maps, etc. that coordinate. Simultaneously, we're going through the Bible. Keep in mind, this approach is rather secular in that the Bible is treated as a history book or piece of literature. We're not doing much in the way of doctrine. We're learning the story. I intend to integrate art history and architectural history into the world history. It seems like a natural fit. The kids can get a sense of culture through art and architecture.

Additionally, the Sonlight curriculum is literature based. That means that concepts are taught via chapter books, poetry, history books, atlas's, etc. The curriculum would be challenging for a non-reader. My kids love reading and so this will work for us, I think.

Sonlight does one great thing: It integrates a schedule for you. This is like manna from heaven. It helps me keep track of everything. Should I ever be audited by the state, I'll have easy to understand schedules from every week we work. It will help me keep things straight weeks into the year.

I chose two Math curricula because my son and daughter are both uneven in their math education. Math U See arrived today. I'll review it when I understand it better.

Latin, for me, was an essential part of their education. It will make all other language comprehension and vocabulary development easier. We'll add Greek later and integrate it into translating the New Testament. Who doesn't own a Greek lexicon? Sheesh! I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

Already, I love the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. My son, who struggles with writing is actually picking this up with gusto. It hasn't gotten too complicated, yet. It is giving me a chance to correct his bad habits. He gets mad at me, but he'll thank me later. (Wait, what am I saying? No he won't.) It is simple and straight forward. And so far, no tears!

Notably absent is a science curriculum. We've been collecting bugs, specifically dragonflies (dead ones), this summer and had the opportunity to watch a caterpillar go through the stages to attempt to grow into a moth. I say "attempt" because a friend smashed him, alas, as he was breaking free from the chrysalis. Anyway, science and art are rather involved things. I wasn't sure I could handle big projects, but I think maybe we'll be able to do it after all.

Schedule: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Morning snack, Lunch breaks
Bible--Memory verse, Reading, Prayer
History & Geography--Coordinates with Bible
Language, Spelling, Vocabulary, Exposition

Ultimately, I'm hoping for a classical education. I like a systematic approach to education. Any thoughts?

1 comment:

keri said...

I just started Math U See!
I think I'm going to like it...the kids do!