Homeschooling that Works

My Favorite Curriculum (1st-2nd)

Educating at Home

What do I do for homeschool? All the best methods combined to work for my family and each child. I have a hands-on math curriculum that will continue through to calculus, and each child has their own rate of progression. English, reading book and spelling is another “out of the box curriculum,” Rod and Staff/ Christian Light. A Reason for Handwriting is a workbook format. Typing, yes typing for pre-school/first grade, is computer based. At 8 years old my older daughter is typing 11 real words a minute after one year. And Spanish is a DVD series that I watch with them. All of these subjects are what I like to call, “student driven.” Well, that is the intention of them and that is what we are working towards. For those subjects I am a teacher’s aid or facilitator. Science , History and Bible are unit study based and teacher driven. I love My Father’s World, Countries and Cultures. It is more of a unit study, really. The book is extremely easy to quickly read, decide what your children are ready to do and just do it. It is laid out in such a way that you do not have to do everything it wants you to do. The beauty is that in four years I can use it again in more depth. I love reading about the different missionaries. It is very encouraging to learn about the lives, of those who have come before us. So even though it is teacher driven, my class which includes all of the children are being taught at the same time. The intensely colored pictures and exciting content of the books help to keep the attention of the young ones.

Computer Helper

How do I get it all done? I don’t! …by my self.If you are the teacher of your children, that is a full time job. A job I love, but my husband has to help with the house work. The children also help a lot. The family is a team not a performance of mom and dad. I’m working on fine tuning this. Each child I add to the family the more I understand the importance of teamwork. Before I just thought I could do it all, now I know I can’t. In addition to the extra work force, I needed to simplify meals. Length of time cooking doesn’t effect me as much as amount of work the hour before dinner. I can let chilli, soup, or beans cook in a crock pot all day. I can save money, and I am just supervising their progress, not making them cook. I have tried freezer meals, but many of them require a lot of cheese or meat and are expensive. Though spaghetti sauce, cooked meat and soups can be frozen very successfully, a seven person family eats more than I have been able to cook and freeze. I may need bigger pots and pans? We didn’t just simplify our meals, after our month trip across America, we started to streamline all things in our house.

  • Clothes: Each member of the family only needs seven of each seasonal item. (i.e. 7 jeans, 7 long sleeve shirts, 7 t-shirts, 7 shorts…) This is so they all fit easily in a small dresser given to each of the children. If there are too many clothes there is more excuse to not do laundry. This doesn’t go for just clothes but also linens and towels. For non-bedwetters, 2 bottom sheets for each bed is sufficient. Comforter covers make an easy alternative to top sheets. One towel per person works fine with two bonus towels. It would be great for each to have their own color.
  • Chore chart: All the children need daily, weekly and monthly chores. The Duggar’s call them jurisdictions. I have found that it works best with the little ones to have the jobs organized into age appropriateness. I gave them each their larger daily chore and it has taken a year or more for them to really do it well. My thought is that they shouldn’t rotate until they can do the current job well. It is getting easier with more children. They not only help, but they “encourage” the others to do their jobs.
  • Stuff Management and purging: Everything you own costs you something more than the initial investment. It costs time and maintenance (some more than others). Storage and retrieval energy to use. Be sure you are fully aware of all the costs of each item and the combined total cost of all items. Is that where you want to spend your time and energy? I’ve noticed that some items cost more in clean-up and storage than they save in convenience. Dreams can be bigger than the reality of your energy.

Why do I add house hold advise to a homeschool article?...It is part of the total picture. Homeschooling is a life style not a “job.” Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, daily life holds many learning opportunities. Opportunities the children miss when they are away from the family for eight hours a day. Fully embrace the life style, be real about the costs, and strive for the goal. What is the goal of education, including home education,…to fully prepare each child for the life God is calling them into. That is in a nut shell “no regrets parenting.”

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