- Reviewed on Tuesday, February 10, 2004
- Grades Used: K - 10
- Dates used: 2001 - current
When I was a new home educator in 2000 I nearly gave up after a few months. I only had two children to educate then but four total. I would spend my free time searching for the best curriculum but would quickly become frustrated at the cost of these highly recommended programs. I thought that if I couldn't afford to educate a K and 2nd grader what would I do as they grew? We fumbled through that first year with a horrible credit card that we ran to the limit and spent nearly two years paying off. The next year I accepted Jesus as my Savior, dedicated our school to Him and He quickly began making changes. Since then we have added two more little ones to our family for a grand total of six and every one of them will be educated in the following way:
We school Monday through Saturday, taking one week off for every nine we school. Our year runs from July 1 to June 30. Our days are about four hours long. My goal is to have my children ready for college classes at 16 - 17y. I use ages and abilities rather than grade level but here is what grade levels would be -- K - 6y, 1st - 7y, 2nd - 8y, 3rd - 9y, 4th - 10y, 5th - 11y, 6th - 12y, 7th - 13y, 8th - 14y, 9th - 15y, 10th - 16y.
**Bible -- Once my girls can read I get them an NIV Bible which they will use through 13y. Then the schedule will look like this -- 14y NKJV, 15y Amplified, 16y NAS.
Ages 6y to 10y we focus on the OT stories and teaching of Jesus.
Ages 11y to 12y we focus on the NT.
Ages 13y to 16y we will read through the Bible once per year.
**Math -- I use flashcards to teach adding, subtracting, multiplication, and division.
I use timed tests to produce speed and accuracy -- completing 100 problems in under three minutes to graduate.
Then I purchase Saxon Math books beginning with 54 to continue through Calculus.
**Reading/ Literature/ Vocabulary -- For reading instruction I use the McGuffey Readers, the Victory Drill book, and Noah Webster's Handbook for Reading. I also keep watch at the Salvation Army and Thrift Stores for reprints of classic books and poetry anthologies which I read to my youngers but olders read to themselves. I have my olders copy any unknown words into a notebook to define, I give brief oral definitions to my youngers.
**Language Arts -- All ages need to write every day using one or more of the following methods:
*Penmanship -- I copy selections from the Bible, classic novels, history information, or science facts using my neatest handwriting for the younger kids just learning to write. Once they have the formation down I let them copy from the source.
-- following this schedule as ability improves beginning about 6 years old
--copy a page
--copy more pages
*Composition beginning at 10y -- I require one story per week written, corrected by me then rewritten and illustrated, about anything the children wish.
Eventually we might use Writing Stands and Bob Jones English handbook
*Spelling for ages over 10y -- using a poem, scripture, piece of literature, etc. I read it with my children noting special spellings, punctuation, capital letters, etc. They spend the week rereading this same passage. Then on Saturday I read the passage aloud while they dictate. The goal is perfect spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
**History/ Science/ Geography -- We go to the library where I have the children pick history books, science books, biographies, books about other peoples and places, and something for free reading. I make sure to include a picture book and a read aloud that I will read or the olders will read for themselves. I require some sort of report from these, oral or written or illustrated.
Once 12y I require the reading of the Peter Marshall trilogy The Light & the Glory, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Sounding Forth the Trumpet.
Once 14y I will require this sequence to be completed by 16y - 17y: Bob Jones University's World History gr 10, Bob Jones University's United States History gr 11, and Bob Jones University's American Government and Economics.
**Music Appreciation -- I play masterpieces by classical composers (from the library or the radio channel on our satellite dish) during our math lessons to include music appreciation.
**Art Appreciation -- I select art masterpieces from the WWW and set them as wallpaper on our desktop or set them in a folder for the 'slide show' screen saver to include art appreciation.
**Second (and third and fourth and fifth) Language: Beginning when they are walking well, I teach my children sign language by signing a few words as I use them through the day i.e. eat, milk, daddy, etc. After they can read well I allow them to choose resources from the library teaching other languages.
Well, that's about it. The awesome part is that anyone can do this. Glory to God!