I have had some moms reach out to me these past 2 weeks with questions about homeschooling, so I decided to write a post with some of my curriculum choices.
#1 I am by NO MEANS an expert on this topic. I am simply writing this post out for those who ask me what I do and are interested in our homeschooling. 😊
#2 My eldest is just in the beginning of high school and has not gone to college or anything yet, so I am purely speaking from my limited experience.
#3 I have a huge heart for ministers that live overseas. I am mainly writing this to encourage some of you who have limited school choices.
#4 My kids have scored above average in their standardized tests. I do not have any special needs kids. I put that out there because I DO NOT want moms of special needs kids to compare my homeschooling with theirs. I do not want to pretend that I know what having a child with special needs needs is like, so please find the right resources for your family. Sally Clarkson’s book, Different, may be a good resource for you to begin. I do want to send my love to all of the families with special needs kids, you are amazing…may the Lord give you a bountiful grace. ❤
#5 One guiding factor of our homeschool curriculum choices was definitely cost. We never had a big budget for homeschooling, so the cost of a product has always been a significant factor as well as if it is reusable for my younger kids.
Firstly, I encourage you to formulate some sort of vision for why you homeschool. That will help you decide what curriculum to choose. You can read more about why I homeschool here. If you read my previous post, you can see that my reasons for homeschooling are NOT because I think that I can do a better job than the school system. It is also NOT because I am trying to make school fun for my kids. I do homeschool because of the flexibility and because I enjoy being the primary influence in my children’s lives.
My kids have never been to school. Over the years we have been a part of different coops and stuff. The main thing I want to encourage moms in general, but especially homeschool moms is DON’T COMPARE! It’s good to research different options, but if the different blogs and websites leave you feeling like a failure, stop reading them. God has called us each to our unique paths, so just stay on your path! I especially say this to the moms overseas.
When we lived overseas, there were times that I struggled with serious mom guilt after reading some blogs about how terrible media is and it is melting our kids brains, etc. Well to be honest, I just had to come to grips with being ok that these moms writing this stuff did not live in a mega sized city with 5 kids in a 1200 sq. foot apartment. There is grace for them and there is grace for me. My kids do their school work, practice 30-45 minutes of piano per day, read about 2 hours a day, draw about 30 minutes a day…so at the end of the day, when they are done all these things, why can’t they kick back and enjoy some video games? Some people might find my approach appalling and that is ok with me. IF you do find my approach appalling, you may not want to read on…
I describe my homeschooling as hodge podge. I do not follow a particular school of educational thought or anything like that. I do however try to make the kids as independent as possible, as soon as possible. That’s why getting them to read well is one of my primary goals. My motto is kind of, “If you get your work done, then you can play! Not all school work is fun, but having lots of hours to play afterwards is tons of fun…”
So here is generally what I do with each kid in these grades:
Pre-K: I just try to read to them and let them do lots of crafts. I also let them watch a lot of Leap Frog DVDS (mainly The Letter Factory)
K: Teach my kids reading out of this book
I am just gonna be honest, this book is DRY as toast, but it gets the job done. I have taught 3 of my kids how to read from this book and am now trying to teach my 4th! (One of my sons taught himself how to read. I am not sure how that happened, but I cannot take any credit for it! None of my other kids did this.).
In K, I just let the kids do lots of crafts. I also do the Horizons Math K books and Explode the Code workbooks.
1st and 2nd grades:
Horizons Math 1 and 2 (Depending on their grade)
First Language Lessons (Jessie Wise)
Explode the Code work books (Love these!)
For History- Story of the World books and just regular historical books you can read aloud to the kids.
For Science- I did light reading or videos like The Magic School Bus stuff.
Crafts and drawing
Read, read, read!
I confess, once my kids are old enough, I don’t read aloud to them much. But I do make them read every weekday (and most of them choose to read on the weekends!). One great way to do this is to let them read to themselves before bedtime. They are motivated because they can stay up longer and it’s great for the parents because they can still be awake and be quiet. PTL!
Over the years, we have attended different homeschool coops. These were mainly for socialization, but it also was great to do arts and crafts, gym, and science experiments.
I will write some more posts on what I do for the other grades up until 6th grade for now.
Blessings to you all on this journey of homeschooling!💜