When I first started homeschooling I was somewhat of a curriculum junkie. Always checking out what was new, going to curriculum fairs, trying to find just the right curriculum that would make my children geniuses (just kidding…kind of)
Here’s what I’ve realized about learning – there’s not one magic curriculum that will do all that you want it to do – in fact, sometimes true learning happens without curriculum. Sure, different people have different ways of learning and they’ll enjoy one curriculum over another. But, when it’s all said and done, it’s just a tool.
This year I find myself in an interesting place, I’m more of a mentor and tutor than I am a teacher. Esther is doing some preschool stuff and beginning some reading lessons – I’m trying to slow her down, but man, is she motivated. And she has 6 other big people who are around to teach her.
For my other four, they are all doing most of their work independently, at co-op, or at the community college. After so many years of struggling with reading and spending all my day bouncing from one child to the next, it’s a little unsettling to not feel that chaos. I know that sounds crazy.
We are still doing a few things in the morning together. I just can’t not have together time. What are we doing?
Bible reading – We’re reading through Proverbs and talking about it. When we’re done, we’ll pick another book. This is how I’ve done our Bible reading at home. I want my kids to know that you really can just open up the Bible and read. You don’t have to have a Bible study or another book that tells you about The Book. You may not always understand all that you read, but that’s ok, it’s a journey. All those things have their place, and they get them in Sunday School, AWANA and youth group. So I want something less formal at home.
Greek and Latin roots – I used this with my older boys and now I’m using it with Phoebe and Benjamin. I took two years of Latin in high school and three semesters of New Testament Greek in college. Don’t be impressed, I only took Latin because it was the only foreign language without a language lab. And I took Greek for fun after I had graduated because the class was on Friday nights and Carl had to take it and we had just gotten married. I can honestly say, that for my kids, studying the roots is all they really need. So that’s what we learn.
Rip the Page – We started this a couple of years ago. We pick it up and then put it way, then pick it up again. Both Phoebe and Benjamin are taking a writing class at co-op so I don’t feel like I need to do heavy writing here at home. Rip the Page takes about 10-15 minutes and it’s really fun – I’ve been using it, too, trying to increase my creative writing skills. Something I’m sorely lacking.
One last thing that both Phoebe and Benjamin are using is Apples Spelling. So, when you don’t use spelling lists and your kids are late readers and late writers, they usually find themselves not super great spellers by the time they reach jr high. So, during jr high all my kids have done the Apples spelling. I love it because it’s written for older kids. It’s also something the student can do independently which was important for me for many years. The main thing I love is that it teaches the spelling rules and there are no lists or tests.
We have many other things that we’re using and that are more traditional curriculum, like chemistry and world history, but today I wanted to talk about the fun stuff.
Now it’s your turn, what are some fun curriculum choices your family is using this year.