Thursday, October 22, 2009

Educational Weekly Report

Recently, I have enjoyed reading weekly reports of other home educators. I've been wanting to join in for some time and I think I'm finally ready to do so. My goal is write a weekly report at the end of each week of our educational pursuits. I thought it might be a good idea to share a little background before starting to give reports, so this weekly report is a bit different than the others will be.

In our home, we believe strongly that God has called us to educate our children as they rise up, when they lie down and when they walk by the way. (see Deuteronomy 6:6-9) We are training our children to evaluate everything by God's standard, which is His Word. Nothing is neutral, including education. In addition to academics, we also focus a great deal of time and effort in training our children in life skills to prepare them for the roles that God calls His people to.

I'm hesitant to list what curriculum we use or what method of education we glean from because education is so much more than these two things! I think home educators often fall into the trap of trying to find the "perfect" curriculum. Or we fall into the trap that says you have to have curriculum! Yep, I'll say it! You do not need a set curriculum to educate your children! (I'll try to write more about this at another time!) But methods and curriculum are aids that help us along the way. And I also know how much I enjoy seeing what others use. :)

We glean a lot from the classical method of educating. In my opinion, the two best resources for learning about classical education are "The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home" by Susan Wise Bauer & Jessie Wise. (This is a thick book, so you might want to just go here and read this short article. VERY well written!) Another short (and cheap!) resource is this pamphlet by Dr. Christopher Perrin. I've had the privilege of attending several lectures by Dr. Perrin & talking to him.

I'll end by listing what curriculum we are currently using. I'll try to keep this list updated as the children finish & start something new or as I drop using something. We educate year-around, taking breaks from academics when the "need" arises. Here is our current list of curriculum:

updated on 1/9/10

Bible and LOTS of books!

- ALL Children: Genesis-Joshua Bible Curriculum + various resources
- Patricia, Benjamin & Matthias: Westminster Shorter Catechism
- Matthias & Jonathan: Children's Shorter Catechism

- Patricia & Benjamin: Spelling Power

- Patricia: First Language Lessons, Level 4
- Benjamin: First Language Lessons, Level 2
- Matthias: First Language Lessons, Level 1

Reading & Poetry:
- ALL children: REAL BOOKS!!!
- Poetry for ALL children: Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization + other various resources
- Benjamin & Matthias: various Explode the Code Books
- Benjamin: McGuffey Eclectic Third Reader
- Matthias: Phonics Pathways & McGuffey Eclectic Second Reader

- Patricia: Writing With Ease with Level 3 Workbook
- Benjamin: Writing With Ease with Level 2 Workbook
- Matthias: Writing With Ease with Level 1 Workbook
- ALL Children: real life writing (ie, letters, copywork & dictation from various subjects)

Patricia: Classically Cursive Attributes of God
Benjamin: Classically Cursive Bible Primer
Matthias: Zaner-Bloser Manuscript Handwriting Level K

- Patricia & Benjamin: Practical Arithmetics + games & real life practice
- Matthias: Ray's Practical Arithmetic + games & real life practice

- ALL children: Tapestry of Grace Year 2... we are currently in unit 2

- Benjamin: Prima Latina
- Patricia: Latina Christiana II
- ALL children: Lingua Angelica

- ALL children: God's Design for Heaven Earth... we currently using the book "Our Universe"

- ALL children: MightyMind Puzzles, including this and this
- Patricia: Building Thinking Skills Level 1 and Mind Benders A1

- ALL children: Artistic Pursuits Book 1 + various other resources (way too many to count!)

- ALL children: Suzuki piano lessons + various other resources (again, way too many to count!)

Life Skills: (the aids for teaching life skills are not usually based off curriculum)
- Patricia: Stitches & Pins & Kids Learn to Knit
- ALL children: Chessmaster 10th Edition

PHEW! Do we really use all of that? Actually, what is really scary is that we use more! ;) I did not list what I am using with Elizabeth and Jonathan. They are often apart of the older children's lessons but I also sit down with each of them independently each day (or at least I try to do it each day- LOL). Jonathan and Elizabeth are both learning colors, letters, numbers, etc... but my MAIN goal with them right now is teaching them FIRST TIME OBEDIENCE. Jonathan wants to be like the big kiddos, so we do a few workbooks together.

- Heather


dawn said...

The importance of Dt. 6 is underrated by many homeschoolers ... including myself. I need to read and remember it much more often than I do.

You know that I think that booklet by Dr. Perrin is worth every penny and more. Such a great way of integrating "ages and stages" and "disciplines of the Liberal Arts."

I didn't know B had graduated out of Ray's.

I'm amused that History is "Tapestry of Grace" because I know how involved and expansive that curriculum is, but many would think that sounds like very little LOL.

Tully Family said...

The Lord has really laid on our hearts the importance of Deut 6. In the beginning, I think I got caught up in the academics and trying to do "school." No more!

Benjamin didn't "finish" Ray's- I just moved him to PA b/c he needed something more. He lovesit! We keep up drill work for all the children.

We do not use Tapestry to it's fullest extent. (No one does!)

mtrexler said...

I have been looking for a good writing curriculum. I am wondering how you like "Writing With Ease"?

Jeanelle said...

Setting the foundation, teaching our children constantly God's Word and disciplining the children in love is key to any educational success. It would be a dangerous thing to give our children knowledge without imparting them with wisdom. After all,wisdom is the beginning of knowledge!

I am still considering buying the Practical Arithmetic series. The children are all close to finishing their current books, Making Math Meaningful. Great post!

Tully Family said...


I REALLY like Writing w/ Ease. I'll send you an email explaining why & the ins/outs of the curriculum.