Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Epic Curriculum

Do you know all the different ways there are out there to educate your children when you decide to homeschool them it will give you a brain cramp. There are the teaching styles like classical, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, unschooling (totally thought about that last one), etc. Then there are all the people that sell curriculum's that have there own style. You can find complete programs with every subject laid out or you can pick and choose the bits and pieces you want, with as little or as much lesson planning as you please.

I was looking at full programs until I started looking at the cost, it was steep and even the "complete" programs required you to pick your own math and science and what not. Then by a happy chance (God's grace!) I happened upon a blog that had just made my heart ache to homeschool and I decided to see what she did (I am such a cheater!) but what I ended up doing was reading a book she recommended The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I could not put the book down I think I plowed through about 5 chapters the first night I read it. I was completely and utterly sold on the idea of classically educating my children. All that I was missing academically when I went to college, all the academic areas I still struggle with are made whole in classical education. It is not for the faint of heart, it requires more from me than I thought I could bear, but I feel God reaffirming me in this decision. So that was just the guide next came choosing all the books for all the subjects so here goes:

Spelling: Spelling Workout

Grammar: Rod & Staff - love these folks at the homeschool convention I looked at the Mennonite girl in her long dress and bonnet and said with a matter of fact tone "Cash Only" her response "No we take credit or debit" pointing to the motherly looking women in a bonnet sitting at a laptop (I don't have a laptop). I hope she didn't think I was rude. But really there program is serious and very proper grammar, did I mention how much I felt I would benefit from this program.

Reading: The Bible & the classics to coincide with history.

Writing: The Complete Writer

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears

Memorization: The Harp & Laurel Wreath this is going to be really cool. Cordelia already has a poem memorized.

Math: Abeka Arithmetic - traditional Christian program.

History & Geography: We are following the Well Trained Mind recommended book by the same author this year we start with Ancient History: creation - 400 A.D. Classical education teaches history like a story from beginning to end as opposed to jumping all over the place to squeeze it all in like public schools.

Science: A lovely book created by a homeschooling mom Considering God's Creation. This year we are studying life science (Creation, animals, human beings and plants).

Bible: God's Great Covenant - loved this book talked for a long time with the author, she really put so much thought into every bit of it, this year we will study the old testament from Genesis to Ruth.

Enrichment: Latin, Art & classes offered through co-op & of course life in the real world.

So just a disclaimer I have not tried any of these programs yet, I decided to follow some of the books recommendations and some based on reviews. While we plan to follow the classical model in educating our circus we are not seeking perfection only to give them the richest opportunity possible.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A homeschooling blog

It seems an appropriate way to document our journey so I am starting a homeschool blog. We have been praying for 3 years to homeschool. Piper brought with her the blessing of not only her sweet self but the opportunity for me to stay home and homeschool. I have known these three years that it would not happen until God was ready and it would be clear and undeniable when it was time, it was all I expected from Him. It won't be easy financially, physically, mentally or spiritually but it is going to change our family in great and mighty ways.

I want to write this down because I don't want to forget. If I don't get to do this with my kids for the next 18 years then I want to remember that I had the opportunity and not take it for granted and be grateful for every moment. When my kids whine and complain about not wanting to do this anymore or ask why. I can show them why I do it and remind them of the times they loved and the times I loved and hopefully show them how much they are loved because of the sacrifices we made to give them this experience. I want to be the one to teach my children to read (the right way the first time), I want to see them curled up with classic literature that I never read as a child because it wasn't part of the public school curriculum (and still isn't). I want to see their excitement as they explore the wonders of this world instead of reading about it in a text book and I don't want to forget what that felt like to be there instead of hearing about it at the end of the day. I want to write this down because I know God is moving in me and in my family like I have never felt before and I don't want to forget that His hand is in this.

So this our new journey one I fully intend to enjoy every blessed moment of, our voyage de l'amour.