I just posted my curriculum for the year. We have a sweet rhythm going on and I am loving it. For archiving purposes (and for family members who like to see this kind of thing) I thought I would post a few pictures of my babes on the first day of school. They've grown, folks. Make it stop.
Many of you have asked about our curriculum, so without further ado, here is our curriculum schedule for 2015-2016. Ella is in 2nd grade and Liam has officially entered Kindergarten. I have two "official" school kids. Guinnyth and Julia hang around and make sure we know how to focus with distractions. It's a good skill to have, you know.
We stuck with ABeka for Phonics/Language for both kiddos. I love how challenging the curriculum is, and now that I have used it for several years, I am familiar with it and confident using it. I will say, it's not the most user friendly teacher's manual I've ever seen, so if you are trying it out for the first time and feel overwhelmed, just keep going. It gets easier.
Horizons is a great curriculum for math. We have used this program for a few years and I really like it. I am thinking that next year I will transition Ella to a video/online math program. Guinnyth will be in pre-K and Liam in first grade, so I think it will be nice to have Ella be a bit more independent at that point. I haven't decided what we will use, but that's the future plan. For now, we use Horizons and love it.
Nature and books are our science curriculum. I am so happy with the laid back approach we've found in science. The kids explore, fill out nature journals, come inside and research what they've seen/experienced, and then we try to find a video/documentary to further our understanding of the subject matter. We have books on hand for the kiddos to use to research and we also find answers online. It's a lovely "curriculum." Thank you, Mother Nature, for such a rich learning experience.
Last year, we focused on world geography and studied a whole slew of countries. We learned about oceans and continents and had a great time. We also touched on church history and Biblical Creation. This year, I was turned on to Beautiful Feet for Early American History by one of my homeschooling mentors. I am beyond pleased with this choice. I can't say enough about the books in this curriculum. They are so well written, engaging, and have great illustrations. Ella has devoured the books and loves using them for her writing and art projects (video here for our writing process). I highly recommend these books!
We start our mornings with a morning workbook that touches on time, date, money, skip counting, weather, days/months, etc. All of our "daily" knowledge is included in those workbooks. I can't handle having a bunch of school-type posters on the wall. It just isn't my style, so this consolidates the information in a neat, tidy notebook. During this time, we listen to gospel music or one of our playlists. Singing and music is a huge part of our entire day. We all love singing. It just makes us happy. The end. ;)
After the morning workbooks, I read and instruct my babes in God's Holy Word. We read a passage and talk about what was going on during the time and what we can take away from what we read. Last year, we ended our school time with the Bible. It worked fine, but I wanted to set the tone for our day with the Bible, and I think it has been a huge blessing. After this time of fellowship, we move on to our regular learning time with the curriculums listed above.
It's a simple schedule. We move from one subject to the next in a natural progression. There isn't any rushing or pressure. The kids learn at their pace and we are typically done with "school" at lunch time. Ella still has reading to do and, possibly, some math, but for the most part school is complete. The kids are free to play and breath the fresh air, which I think is one of the most important parts of the whole experience.
If you have any questions, shoot me an email (thequickjourney at yahoo dot com) and I will try to answer it for you. If you are unsure about homeschooling, check out my eBook. It is everything I would tell a mama if we sat down over coffee to chat about homeschooling for a newbie. Blessings.
Writing... it is one of those love-hate subjects. I think you either love to teach writing, or you despise it. I happen to love to teach writing. Most of that love comes from a simple and clear approach to writing. I am a firm believer that kiddos should learn to write well from the get-go. Sure, my kids get lots of writing time when they are doodling in their journals, but when it comes to writing for school- we do it the correct way. There aren't misspellings or improper grammar. If you want to get a little more in depth info on our quick, easy writing lessons, check out this video.