This is a question that the answer continually changes in our homeschooling endeavor. The first year of homeschooling is the hardest. You worry that you will leave the dreaded “gaps” in your child’s education. Let me clue you in on a little secret. There will always be gaps in everyone’s educations. Not just homeschoolers and not just your kids. There is no way possible that you could ever teach your child everything. That is why in our house we have come up with a plan of action that we are aiming to fulfill. This may change each year but mainly stays the same.
Our goal is to raise Godly children who love to learn. We want to give them the ability to learn whatever they have an interest in. Isn’t this how adults function in society? When I wanted to learn how to sew, I didn’t think, “I didn’t learn that in school so there is no way I will ever be able to do it”. I got books, watched videos and asked friends who already knew this skill so that I could learn. Children should be no different. I hope that when we are finished with school they will have the skills capable of learning anything they want to.
Now let me tell you how I figure what I am going to teach each year. WorldBook online has a scope and sequence that I look at each year to get an idea of where my children should be compared to the public schools. This tells me what they should be learning in English, Math and all of the other required subjects. I then pick which curriculum we will use to fulfill these requirements. I love reading homeschool books and catalogs from all of the homeschool curriculum companies. Some of my favorites to look at are Timberdoodle, Rainbow Resource Center, and Sonlight. These all are huge catalogs that are more than just places to purchase items from. They have in depth descriptions of every item they sell. These offer great ways to find new ideas for teachable moments in your school.
I also love to look at homeschool books that list curriculum ideas. My favorite homeschool resource book is The Ultimate Homeschool Guide. This is one that I would recommend for every homeschooler, new or old.
The internet is also a great place to get free ideas.
Everyone homeschools different. That is what is great about it. We all can teach our children the way that they learn best.
Here is what we are currently using for school.
* The Bible – we alternate between the old and new testament daily
* Mystery of History – Volume 1
* Singapore Math – Bella ; Math Mammoth – Griffin
* All About Spelling
* For copywork, we either use a verse out of our Bible reading or a short poem.
* We are doing a unit study on birds for science and are using various library books, field guides and videos. We are going to make a bird feeder, study the birds in our yard, learn to recognize them by the songs they sing and draw our favorites.
* Draw right now
* Read Alouds – we are reading The Long Winter by Laura Wilder.
* Guitar lessons for Griffin.
* Handel - reading this for music
* Kinderbach – Bella is using this to learn Piano
Other things that I am reviewing and we are using are Math Tutor, Facts First, and Great Software Tools.
As you can see, there are many resources available to show you what you need to teach your children. It isn’t easy, but the rewards are worth all the effort.