Monday, January 26, 2009

Homeschool Memo~Our Curriculum

So I am thrilled to say that homeschooling is going great. Our routine and style is in place for the remaining part of this school year. I do have to admit I am a bit off kilter with the clutter in my home...can't seem to quite pull it together like I usually do. But I ease my conscience by insisting that a good education is much more important than an immaculate home, eh? ;^D

Our Style:
We learn most subjects together. The level of difficulty is based on my expectation of their current knowledge. The way I see it, if they are learning, they are moving forward; and hey, let's face it, most stuff we go over I am learning right along with them OR relearning what I refused to learn when I was in school. I love the interaction of conversation we have when discussing history, current events, biblical theories, etc...

Our Curriculum:
Extreme Devotion (Voice of the Martyrs)
Here I take one sentence out of the story to write on our BIG white board, then have the boys break down the grammar parts of the sentence, including punctuation. Then we will read the devotion for the day, and
discuss the challenge that Christians can face in this world.
We are currently reading about Abraham's saga and his descendants. I wisely use this time to apply geography to our studies. It can be quite interesting to apply old world maps to the current ones. We have a huge laminated world map on our wall where we can label areas and track biblical journeys. Our goal is to start A Child's Geography-Explore the Holy Land by June. This is co-written by my dear friend Tonia ( It is well written, and I am eager to focus our studies on it for our summer months.
Current Events: We have a subscription to God's World News; I enjoy this because you can order by grade level. My 1st grade daughter, whom wants to save the world, would not cope with the more serious topics that my 10th grader needs to learn about as he prepares to face the real world.
Fine Arts: This is very new to our studies. We simply view a famous painting for the week, and learn the basic facts ie the artist, date, place. current location, value (if possible), type of technique used, and any interesting facts we can explore.
Math: Math-u-see Algebra (Nick); Saxon 65 (TJ)
Science: Chemistry intro; Periodic Table- One element per week, the structure of the atom, names, symbols, atomic number, fascinating facts, & occasionally a fun experiment.
Reading Comprehension: SRA/McGraw-Hill; Both boys have assigned books for their level. TJ's is a basic read-n-think style along with a grammar workbook. Nick, whom has recovered from being "lost in the system" of public school (public school just didn't work for his style of learning) advances much better with a corrective reading program geared toward his thought process; this program includes building vocabulary & reasoning skills, develops study skills while building general knowledge of cross-curricular studies.
P.E.: Nick is beginning weight lifting, runs, and enjoys soccer any chance he gets. TJ enjoys soccer also, and will be beginning a "fun run" program w/ me (a 2 mile steep hill walk).

That's our day in a nutshell, although we have fun adding elective courses into our day also. Nick is slowly gaining basic mechanics this quarter (oil changes, applying chains, fixing tires, charging batteries etc) as he studies for his driving permit. TJ is enjoying cooking 101 (How many ways to cook a steak, BBQ hamburgers, hotdogs on the grill, etc) at home is limitless, just bring willingness.

Side note:
Katie is doing lovely at school. We are blessed that the school is working around her skill levels, and are willing to challenge her. And being our only girl, she is enjoying chatting with her new friends.


tonia said...

your plans look great! and i'm glad to know you are going to use some of the geography. i hope your kids enjoy it!

love the pictures below of your guys with their huge steaks. *hee* made me smile. i won't let Mark see. he might get jealous. ;)

Fred said...

Thanks Tonia, I love the book, and want to really enjoy the focus on it, so I set it aside for summer when other subjects are out of the way.
Huge steaks? lol, that was only half of it ;^0