Last week I shared some of our homeschool curriculum because I know that I devoured over countless blogs when we decided to homeschool hoping that someone would share what they use. When we begin our homeschool journeys, it can be intimidating and scary and overwhelming. There’s so many different curriculums covering so many different subjects.. So and so’s child is learning Chinese in preschool, and that person over there doesn’t start “formal schooling” until their child is 10. What are we supposed to do?
I am going to tell you, friend. You can spend
days hours researching to find the “perfect” curriculum like I did. It won’t help much. You can get an idea of the style of homeschool that you would like. I know that my four year old first grader and I are not “unschool” people. We use *gasp* worksheets and we thrive on checklists. I know that we want a curriculum that shares our Christian faith and world view, but not one that treated everyone else in the world like they were less than us or ignored other people’s beliefs in general. But really, you need to try everything out in your home with your kids before you know if it’s a good fit for you.
Homeschool Curriculum: The Extra Subjects
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We absolutely love our science curriculum. We decided on the Apologia Exploring Creation series for a ton of reasons. First, I really value the fact that it is written from a Christian perspective, but it doesn’t trash evolution like so much Christian curriculum does. It takes an educated stance on it, when it is age appropriate for the children. In my opinion, a child who is six years old does not need to be learning about how “evil atheists think evolution happened but it didn’t because we said so”. We decided to start with the Exploring Creation With Botany book because Mr. C is obsessed with all things plants/flowers/trees/grass. You name it, and it fascinates him. They have companion notebooks for little kids and older kids, and we got the older kid notebook by mistake. [That happens in a split family when both parents buy curriculum.. Whoops!] And even with the notebook being designed for older kids, we’ve had great use out of it!
I think our history program is one of the choices we’re most excited about. We use Story of the World. They offer an activity book but we haven’t tried that out yet. So far we have been reading one chapter at a time, then supplementing with our own fun activities. The other day we learned about the Nile River and found Africa on a world map, Egypt on an African Map, and the Nile River on a map of Egypt. We talked all about upper and lower Egypt and the two kings that fought over who would rule all of Egypt. A few days after that my sweet four year old brought me his children’s Bible which has a map on the inside cover and he said “Mommy! That’s the Nile River in Egypt! That’s where the kings fought and the white crown king won!”. That is when I knew that this homeschooling thing we’re doing will work out.
Okay, so this should be first, but it is the most recent curriculum we have added, and I’m really excited about it! We are doing the Growing With God Preschool Bible Studies from Cullen’s ABC’s. I love this curriculum because I am a total Bible newbie. I get easily overwhelmed with teaching my children God’s Word because I feel like I barely know it myself! With this Bible study program, the entire lesson is all laid out for me to do with my kids. It includes the Bible story, as well as questions to ask and even a suggestion for a simple prayer. Having these lessons has been a huge blessing to our family be adding some Bible time into our day without overwhelming me!
There isn’t anything else. Seriously. We are not actively learning another language. Though we do watch Signing Time and sign with A-Man, and the boys pick up some Spanish and Chinese from Go Diego Go and Ni Hao Kai Lan. We are not doing specific music lessons. Or art. Or typing. Or any of the other million things that I would do if we had an infinite hours in the day. Realistically, my first grader is four years old. He’s extremely far ahead for where he “should” be academically, so we are just rolling with it. We take breaks to work on heart issues, so there are definitely weeks that only reading, writing, and math get done. And that’s okay. Every family is different, and if your child is playing the violin and speaks four languages including latin, that’s wonderful! In our family, we keep things simple.
What kind of “extra” classes do you do? What is your very favorite curriculum?