Choosing and using a homeschool curriculum can be more daunting than the actual decision to homeschool your child. Finding the right curriculum for you family’s needs and your individual children is absolutely necessary. Talking about it is easy… but actually getting there is the hard part.
There are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help you discover the perfect curriculum:
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The typical school format really does not provide for any type of mastery learning. However, the best way to educate is through mastery learning. In fact, the big picture of your child’s education should be a plan that includes both elementary and high school learning.
In the elementary years, we should be educating our children for breadth. This simply means that we introduce our children to a variety of subjects, genres, and methods of learning in order to discover where our children’s talents and interests lie. By the time they reach middle school or high school you should have a pretty good idea of what they enjoy and what they do well at.
Once in high school these are the areas that you should focus on for mastery. So, in high school you no longer need the breadth that you had in elementary school, but now you are looking for depth in your child’s education. You have found the subjects and areas that interest them and in which their talents lie; now you coach them or encourage them to pursue these areas. This is where mastery comes in. Throughout high school you can help them to arrange their schedule to allow for opportunities to study further in these areas. You can also encourage them to find an outlet to apply experientially what they have been learning.
Giving them these opportunities will help them as they prepare themselves for their future ministry in whatever field or area God calls them to. Isn’t that what home education is all about?
Homeschooling history can be either exciting or the most boring subject you’ve ever studied. Making it exciting is so simple when you find a great curriculum. We have used the Time Travelers curriculum off and on over the years, and since I found one that we hadn’t used on our shelf… we are using it again this year.
We’re studying the American Revolution. The cool thing about it, is that it is all on CD, I simply print the lessons that I am ready to use, and go from there. It also has really awesome projects that correspond to the lessons, and a penmanship or copywork that continues the thought. We do a whole lesson each week, on one single day.
Last week was our first go at it, and it was fun. We were able to study about the origins of our country. The first 13 colonies and the very first colony and capitol of those colonies. We also learned that our own Georgia was the last colony to be established. We learned that the pilgrims came to America solely for religious freedom. They were so dedicated to making sure that they raised their children in a manner that glorified God, that they traveled at peril to their very lives to the New World. Amazing.
Ok… my addiction is beginning to show. I love – I mean really love “Top Lists.” I especially love to read them. They are concise nuggets of knowledge. mmmm… almost like an m&m. Well, maybe not quite.
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We have been using the Apologia Science Curriculum for four years now, and we love it! It is engaging and fun, and is just perfect for homeschooling families with more than one grade level in their science class. Yet, for all of those four years, we have “notebooked” their lessons. Read the rest…