Thursday, July 24, 2008

How We Homeschool

I thought I'd write a little on how we go about educating our children, especially for those of you who don't know much about homeschooling.

I would say we have an eclectic teaching/learning style. I (Mom) am the primary educator as my husband works outside of the home during the day. For our main subjects (Bible, English, Math, Science, and Social Studies) we use LIFEPACS by Alpha Omega Publications. AOP also has other great curriculums that are all Biblically-based. The LIFEPACS are a series of 10 workbooks and a teacher's guide, per subject, per year. It's not all stale written work. The teacher's guides suggest supplemental reading, science experiments, field trips, crafts and activities. We add what we have time for and the things that look interesting or especially fun.

We use different curriculum for Art and Music. Until this year, we haven't had formal classes in either of these subjects, but for 3rd grade we are going to try some new things. For Art, I have chosen to use Artistic Pursuits: K-3, Books 1 and 2. This is absolutely the best art curriculum I have ever seen! My son is an artist already, but I am very excited to see what a year of this curriculum will teach him about his art and other styles and works. They have books for students all the way through high school, so that's how long we plan to use it! I am not an artist myself, so I love the fact that this curriculum does all the work for me and we can learn it together. Plus, my 2 year old will be able to do the projects with us on her own level. I will be posting pictures of their projects here each week.

For Music we are using God Made Music: 1 and 2 by Praise Hymn, Inc. This is also a great curriculum for homeschool parents who are not very educated in Music themselves. It looks very fun and gives the student a basis in music reading and appreciation. We will also be learning to play the recorder. I promised Benjamin that if he learns to play the recorder and decides he likes making music, then we'll get him a keyboard. I can't afford a piano right now, but maybe someday!

We will also be doing an ongoing study of the 50 states throughout this year and next: two weeks for the United States in general, two weeks for West Virginia (including a visit to the state capitol), and one week for each of the other 49 states. We'll do computer skills/typing and health once a week each and tons of outside play and free time. We're even considering a karate class, although the nearest one is 40 minutes away and with gas prices being the way they are...well, we'll see!

There will be no formal preschool for Addison, but we will do a lot of reading. We will work on colors, shapes, and ABC's...all through play, of course! I don't believe in formal curriculum until 1st grade. When she is 4, we will start doing fun unit studies (letter of the week, numbers, holidays, etc.)

In my next post, I'll talk about what a typical school day looks like for's busy!

'Til next time...

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