Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Getting Side Tracked in Our Homeschooling

One of the hard parts of choosing Curriculum or putting together our own, is there are so many resources  to choose from :)
Now that is a good thing, but it does make for difficulty when your putting your curriculum together. When we see all the free resources available, and they all look great, and we try to incorporate them all  into our homeschooling, and it can take us away from what we should be working on, which is the 3 r's and Bible. We want our children to know the LORD, be able to do Math, be able to read and write.So we have to stay focused on that. Too many resources can take away from reading,writing, and math.
Finding books and worksheets for every subject can get overhwelming for Mom too.Things can begin to pile up and to the children also it can look quite daunting :) Free Curriculum Mountain ! Staying focused on today and what your children need to know now can be a challenge,exspecially when you are a homeschool curriculum addict like me :)

My goal in my homeschooling is to first bring up children who know and love GOD and live by His Holy Word in their daily life. So first thing in the morning in school is reading the Bible. I have done Devotions in the morning, and we also go by a "Bible Reading Plan" that takes them through the whole Bible in a year.I usually do their Bible reading Plan in the morning, and we have been having family devotions in the evening after Supper. We are using a book right now called "The Family Reading Bible" that was a gift, and we are having alot of fun with it for devotions in the evening.

The children have each their own Bible, and we use one that is clear for them to understand such as the English Standard Version Bible for just every day reading.
Any study topics though we use King James Version and Strong's Concordance.

We then  do our Math. We are curently using Saxon with the Dive Cd's, which teaches math from a Christian Perspective. You can use a free math curriculum called MEP math. I have used it before and liked it, we just so happen to have a saxon book from when my oldest used it, so that is what we are doing.Using what you have on hand will save you money.This is the link to the Free math called MEP.
 There is also a yahoo group of other homeschoolers using this curriculum as well.

In our math instruction, as in our other subjects, my curriculum does not dictate to me what I do each day.Rather I work on what my children need to be doing. For instance, we do 1 lesson of Saxon each day, but if they are having trouble in a particular area, we will stop the next Saxon lesson the next day, and I will work with my child on that subject on the dry erase board and free worksheets I print out. Make your Curriculum your servant, your resource, not the teacher. Don't let it stand in the way of your goals.
Some curriculum is just twaddle and busy work, and takes away from the 3 R's.

A real help in your curriulum is a scope and sequence, so you have an idea what to teach each year. This site has a Free Scope and Sequence for each grade, and each subject.

Now with all the free recources online, how do you choose? Your goal here is quality verses quantity, and you can put the other resources in your favorites bar all organized in folders for easy accessing. ( I know, who has time for that ??But it is a nice goal anyway :)

Now after Bible and Math, I have them read from quality books. There are many free good books online to print out and put in Binders or get from the library. You can use a booklist, which you can find many free ones online, and you can just use what is on your book shelf.
I like to use Historical Fiction,Biographies,and books with Science and Geography plots for reading. I have my spiral and I just write what book they are reading for records,along with their math and Bible reading.

So I have covered my Bible ,Math, and reading subjects, all is left now is Language arts! :)  What I do with mine, is I read a paragraph to them while they write it down. This is called dictation. Now all my children are upper grades, I did do copy work for the early years, and sometimes they do copy work still from a poem or Bible verse.
Words they misspell in their dictation, are their spelling words that they study during the week, and we'll test on Friday. Also if they have missed some grammar rules, I will show them and practice it with them on the dry erase board, and will print out some free grammar worksheets for them to practice.

The goal is to just get them writing, even if it is just a few sentences a day to start with. They can learn their handwriting,grammar,and spelling all from this, even their History and Science depending on what book they are reading.

Then we are done with school. With me having MS and Fibromylagia, my children have been taught to do self teaching when needed, and this way of school work has worked well for us. Also since this can all be done using free resources online, you don't have the worry of "How Am I Going To Buy School ?"  In this economy more and more homeschool families are having to flock to free and less exspensive curriculum, and I have found it to be even better than the pre-packaged curriculum.
Doing your homeschooling this way, gives you the freedom of customizing your curriculum to your child's specific needs and your individual family.
And those Sisters who live with an illness, do not think you have to quit homeschooling because of your illness.You can still homeschool, you just learn a different way.
The Robinson Curriculum works well in this case because of it's emphasis on self teaching.Here is their website
Also instead of having to purchase the cd's if you don't have the money, you can get the Robinson book list and print the books out from other free book sites like Project Gutenberg. Here is a site with lots of good stuff including the Robinson Book List
another good one

Another good resource is to read the book,"How To Teach Your Child Sucessfully" by Ruth Beechick. I read this book when I first began homeschooling in 1999, and it is a must read :)

And just remember, you can homeschool even if you have no money, and even if you are sick, or whatever trial or hurdle you are going through. Yahweh will bless you and lead and guide you, Trust Him,He is able.

Heb 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.

Php 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that he which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ:

2Ti 1:12 For the which cause I suffer also these things: yet I am not ashamed; for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him against that day.


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