Today I will introduce our curriculum (or lack thereof) and explain what our school looks like. The rest of the week I will post about each child (I have 3 who are learning) and describe their individual activities.
Let me start by saying that we only keep up with grade levels very loosely. For some of the activities we do, grade levels are important, but at home, each child works at his level in each subject. That means that if my daughter is gifted in math but slow in reading, she may be working in a 5th grade math book but reading on a 3rd grade level. That's okay with me.
Also, we are very relaxed and eclectic. We don't use one curriculum. Our school is made up of a couple of workbooks (math and language arts), reading real books, outside classes, and our local homeschool group's Enrichment Classes.
We usually school year-round, with the exception of this summer.
Here's what we do:
We read lots of real books. If you're wondering what real books are vs. fake books, I mean real books vs. textbooks for a more interesting way of learning. History, Science, Art, and Literature are all so much more inviting when they're not chopped up into bits and pieces and reprinted as a "text" with comprehension questions at the end of a chapter. History comes alive in short stories, biographies, historical fiction and original writings by the people who made history. My reading-age kids have 30 minutes to an hour set aside for reading books like this each day, depending on their age and reading level.
Bible Study is an important part of our homeschool. It's one of the main reasons we have chosen homeschool over public school. We do family devotions in the morning, and I also have assigned scripture reading for each child, again, based on their age and reading level. Each kid has a Study Bible geared for kids, and many times they get interested in a study note or timeline or illustration and follow a new rabbit trail of their own. We also have a Bible curriculum that I'll share later this week.
For "extra-curricular activities" we have a few things planned. The older kids take piano lessons, which start up again this week. So I require them to practice 30 minutes per day. My oldest daughter loves to knit, and she is in the process of teaching her younger sister, as well. So, they will spend some time knitting 2-3 times a week while they listen to an audiobook from the library. The library we go to has a HUGE selection of really great books on CD.
This year, my 12 year old will take a weekly science course taught by a fellow homeschool mom. It will last all year, and will include labs and projects. She will have 30 minutes per day scheduled for the homework assignments.
And finally, we attend Enrichment Classes with our local homeschool group. I will also share more about that later this week. Each kid will have 30 minutes per day scheduled for any homework or projects assigned. The older kids will be getting a double dose of American History from EC, as well as art/crafts, and dance/performance art.
Learn more about getting started with homeschooling, meet my kids, and read about education on the prairie at my other blog, Prairie Sense.
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