“For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7
I often tell other moms that any mom can homeschool, as long as she’s dedicated to doing it well. There are sacrifices made in order to homeschool (ahem, I wonder if my house might be cleaner if I had a few quiet hours each day while the kids were away?)…but there are also great joys and blessings. We are blessed to have lots of opportunities to be together, to experience learning together, to see the “light bulb” moments (like when they first learn to read), and to have the flexibility to travel together or take field trips whenever it works for us.
Lest you think I’m a super-mom, I must put a disclaimer here: My kids bicker and fight. More than I can stand sometimes. And I daydream about being on a deserted island, by myself, with unlimited smoothies, sunshine, and a good book to read. Or just sending them to a boarding school in another country. Homeschooling is amazing…and SO HARD sometimes. Please know that I’m certainly NOT one of those mamas that has it all together. I probably never will be!
So, with that little introduction, I’d like to share with you our curriculum choices for the 2017-18 school year…
History: We are huge fans of The Mystery of History, and are now cycling through it for the second time. So, we’re working on our second time through Volume 2. (In the past, we’ve done Volumes 1-4 as well as America From the Beginning by Answers in Genesis for American History.) We love that the Mystery of History has a very Christ-centered focus, and is chronological world history, starting with creation and ending in our current decade.
Language: I have come to love the Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum for language development, which works hand-in-hand with All About Spelling. We are using IEW’s Student Writing Intensive for our 6th grader, as well as Fix-It Grammar for our 5th and 6th Graders. We use All About Spelling and The Four Square Writing Method for our 3rd and 5th grader. Last, our 8th grader is loving a new curriculum we discovered called Cover Story. Writing is her strong suit, and this gives her freedom to write creatively with enough instruction to challenge her.
Science: We are enjoying our second time through the Apologia Astronomy curriculum. This time we’re using the notebooking journals AND the lab kit, and it’s motivated us to do a more thorough job in this subject area (my weakest). We have also loved Apologia’s Anatomy & Physiology curriculum and will likely use that one next year. This curriculum is just the perfect amount of detail, with an awesome God-centered worldview. I love it. The kids love it.
Math: When our kids graduated from Saxon 3, we switched over to Teaching Textbooks for math. It’s completely on the computer, with a lesson each day as well as practice problems and quizzes. The program keeps a gradebook, which I periodically check to be sure the kids are doing well. Teaching Textbooks is a lifesaver for a busy mom!
We also do read-alouds, independent reading, and journaling.
One kiddo is a rock star on the piano, so he continues piano lessons. Two kids are becoming engaged in Tae Kwon Do (a really great extracurricular activity for kids with attention issues and reading difficulties). Another kiddo loves photography and is saving up for a nice DSLR. And we continue to look for ways to develop the kids’ natural God-given gifts.