"What curriculum do you use?"This is one of the first questions you receive when you homeschool your kids. This page is an attempt to answer that question, and to share with others how the things we have used have worked in our homeschool. Every homeschool is different, every child is different, and every teacher-mom is different, so what works or doesn't work for me won't be the same for you. I will try to describe strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum that I use or have tried, in the hopes that you can discern which things you might want to try.
Educational PhilosophiesIf you are just getting started homeschooling, I would recommend trying to figure out what styles and educational philosophies appeal to you and fit your family and your kids. A great resource for that is in the book 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy. Besides reviewing lots of curriculum, Cathy begins the book with explaining the different homeschooling methods and styles (Traditional, Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unit Study, Unschooling, Umbrella Schools etc) and provides questionnaires to help you figure out which style or combination of styles might work best in your family. Don't skip the first five chapters to get on to the reviews. You really need to educate yourself about what your options are, and it makes it easier to narrow down the ocean of materials to just those that would best fit your family.
Our family's educational philosophy could probably be described as eclectic, starting with a classical framework, enhanced by a little Charlotte Mason and supplemented with a few unit studies for subjects that really grab our attention.
A few books that have been helpful for me with this approach are:
|The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, Revised and Updated Third Edition |
By Susan Wise Bauer & Jessie Wise
|An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents |
By Christopher A. Perrin
|For the Love of Learning: Information & Resources for Combining Charlotte Mason & Classical Education |
By Jenny Sockey
Our CurriculumWe have just finished our first four year cycle in the Classical Education cycle, so I am starting to review some of the materials that we have used so far. I have found that it is easy to look at a curriculum, and believe that it is so fantastic that you begin to recommend it to all of your friends before you have even used it. However, even after you have used a curriculum, it can still be hard to evaluate it's effectiveness until you have either compared it with another method, or have had some time to determine whether your kids have actually retained the information they have learned and have been able to build on it. I have listed all the curriculums that I am using or have used, but if there is no review included, then I am not specifically endorsing or rejecting, it is just something that we are currently trying and the jury is still out. The following curriculums are what I have used for K-4th grades with my oldest and continue to use with my younger two.
Learning to Read / Phonics
|The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading |
|Explode the Code Books 1-8|
SpellingAll About Spelling (See My Review)
GrammarFirst Language Lessons (Level 1-4)
|First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level 1 |
By Jessie Wise
|Writing with Ease: Strong Fundamentals |
By Susan Wise Bauer
|Teaching Writing: Structure and Style--10 DVD's and Workbook |
By Institute for Excellence in Writing
|All Things Fun & Fascinating: Writing Lessons in Structure & Style |
By Lori Verstegen / Institute for Excellence in Writing
MathElementary Math - Horizons Math (Level K - 3)
|Horizons Math, Grade 1, Complete Set |
By Alpha Omega Publications
Upper Elementary Math - Saxon Math
|Saxon Math 5/4 Kit & DIVE CD-Rom, 3rd Edition |
By Saxon Publishing & D.I.V.E.
HistoryThe Story of the World Vol. 1-4
Read my reviews with literature suggestions, adjustments and answers to objections.