Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book learnin'

I always get the question, "What homeschool curriculum do you use?" and because the answer is not short, I decided to post here as an easy reference for inquiring minds. We do a blended classical style method.


My goals during this time are obedience, knowing letters & their primary sounds, counting to 20, beginning catechism, playing (self-directed and with others), self help skills, doing chores, and sitting still for brief periods of time. Obedience is key & is probably the most important kindergarten-readiness skill, though often overlooked by parents. A defiant child, no matter how gifted, will bring his parent/teacher heartbreak and frustration. We use Sesame Street & Letter factory as fun ways to learn. We teach the right way to do simple chores as a way to serve our family. Our children start sitting in church services at age 4, which is great training for sitting still in school. Read to your child, and have older siblings read to them!


Math:            Saxon Math 1
Reading:        The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (1st half)
Catechism:    Truth and Grace Memory Book 1
Bible:            Family devotion reading at dinner time, verse memorization

Grades 1-4:

Math:             Saxon Math 2, 3, 5/4 (1st half), 5/4 (2nd half), Kathy Troxel's Memory songs *
Reading:         The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (2nd half), Library books**
Grammar:       First Language Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4
Writing:          Writing with Ease 1,  2, 3, 4
Handwriting:   Homemade or store bought worksheets for printing & Classically Cursive 1, 2, 3
Spelling:          Spelling Workout (A, B, C, D, E)
Vocabulary:    Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4 (4th grade)
History/Geog: Story of the World 1, 2, 3, 4. Family style (oldest child determines time period studied).
Catechism:     Truth and Grace Memory Book 1 (Founders Press)
Bible:             Family devotion reading at dinner time, verse memorization
Science:         Apologia
Latin:             Prima Latina

Grade 5:

Math:           Saxon Math 6/5
Reading:       Library books**
Grammar:     Following the Plan (Rod and Staff English 5)
Writing:        Writing with Skill Level 1 (Peace Hill Press)
Handwriting: Classically Cursive 4
Spelling:        Spelling Workout F, G
Vocabulary:   Vocabulary from Classical Roots 5
History:        Story of the World 1, 2, 3, 4. Family style (oldest child determines time period studied).
Geography:   Trail Guide to US Geography (We are studying US History this year.)
Catechism:   Truth and Grace Memory Book 2
Bible:           Family devotion reading at dinner time, verse memorization, personal reading
Science:       Apologia
Latin:           Prima Latina.***
Logic:          Building Thinking Skills 2, 3

Other learning opportunities:
church, bi-weekly homeschool co-op (mainly fun physical/social activities with some serious learning sneaked in), community choir, team sports, music lessons. We are not always in sports, or choir, or music lessons. For me, super busy=super stressed. I embrace the power and joy of nap time and recess. Every other Friday in our household is a free day, where we catch up on lessons if needed & catch up on chores (always needed).

I hope this helps!

* My oldest child followed this Math schedule. My second child took longer to do Math 3, so we are slowing down this advanced schedule for him, finishing it up during 4th grade, and moving on to 5/4 as time permits. The math memory songs have REALLY helped him & are a great resource for auditory learners! I have definitely learned my lesson that if a child doesn't get it, don't keep going as if a checklist is your lord & master; go back and repeat until the skill is mastered.
**I Google search reading lists to give me ideas for mandatory reading. Scholastic's website is great for finding books at your child's reading level.
***Yes, we are still doing Prima Latina. We started it in second grade with oldest child, who picked up the vocabulary quickly, but struggled with word endings. It became too overwhelming to me, became neglected, and we are attempting to restart it in 5th grade.

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