Friday, August 10

Back to Homeschool Week - Day 5

Friday, August 10---Curriculum
What curriculum do you use? Where do you buy it? Have you found a "gem" that you must share with others? Was something in particular a complete failure for you and your kids?

(To read other responses to this question, please go to the main page)

Before I even begin this final question, I have to say....WHEW! And double WHEW! I'm so so relieved our family started homeschooling when we did and the choices were few. Honestly, I would be totally OVERWHELMED by all the companies, curriculum, and educational materials available now. I have no idea how new homeschooling families sort through it as everything looks great.

With our first year of homeschooling, we went through Christian Liberty Academy. They supplied everything we needed for both teacher and student and were a good support system for just starting out.

The second year of homeschooling, we began using primarily A Beka Book materials with a couple of additional educational supplies that I picked up at a homeschool conference.

Through the years we've also dabbled a bit with Konos Curriculum, Five in a Row, and Bible curriculum from Association of Christian Schools
(and as I checked for a link I see they have revamped their program - I bought extras a long time ago which we are still using). And, of course, a bit of this and a bit of that....after all, we are homeschoolers!

Today our mainstay curriculum continues to be A Beka Book. I confess to not using it as stringently as the teacher's guides outline, but I love the organization and thoroughness of the materials. We also made a decision four years ago to do A Beka's DVD program for the high school years. I was having a hard time keeping up with my high schoolers and the younger ones who also needed a lot of my time and this has worked out as an excellent option. Another mainstay we've used almost from the beginning is our handwriting program for kindergarten through sixth grade - A Reason for Writing. After practicing all week, on day five the kids write out their verses, write a letter to someone on the rest of the handwriting sheet, and creatively color their pictures before we stick them in the mail.

Through the years we used a variety of things for our devotional time in the morning. With our one chapter of Old Testament and one chapter of New Testament, we also use a devotional book or series. So, over twenty years there's been a lot of different materials utilized It can be a challenge to find something that will work when there's a wide range of ages sitting around the table. Here are a few things we've used: Little Visits with God; a children's devotional series by CEF; a devotional Bible for kids; Courageous Christians by Joyce Vollmer Brown; the Hero Tales series by Dave and Neta Jackson - this series was a favorite; From This Verse by Robert J. Morgan - a powerful daily devotional more for the older ones which regularly put a tear in my eye as I read it aloud. We are repeating one this year that I think we must have done the first year it came out (1998) as I know it's been awhile. The olders enjoyed it and I'm sure the younger ones will now, too. It's Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson and as I just looked up a link I see this has been updated, too. There's a picture you copy at the beginning of the week which the kids can work on coloring each day as you do the devotion.

That's my curriculum summary which works well for us. It gives me enough structure in a program I know well, yet allows us flexibility when needed.

And this concludes my contributions to Back to Homeschool Week. I do hope that those who have visited this week have found something to encourage them. It has been good for me to think through all these daily topics. When we began homeschooling, that was our family's identity and all I lived and breathed. Now it's a part of how we live life and I forget that we are homeschoolers!

And a big thank you to Randi who hosted this blog week! I'm sure I'm not the only one who has new links bookmarked! :-)

Tammy ~@~

1 comment:

DebD said...

Cool! It looks like we will be using some of the same stuff.

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