I have had a number of people ask about how and what I use to home school. So, I thought I would share a skeletal map of our day. I also thought I would share about one of our greatest assests in our education: our Co-op group. But first let me include the majority of our curriculum.
Bible: The Young Reader's Library (biographies on missionaries)
God and Me- independent two-page spread daily lessons
Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting (this is their memory verses too)
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise
Reading/Language Arts: Scott Foresman Reading Street and McMillian Florida Treasures (these reading components are used in the public school systems, and the consumable workbooks are available for purchase online through a variety of sites) I have found that teaching from these organized and sequential materials allows for a thorough coverage of skills.
Math: Saxon and weekly extension activities on BeeStar.org (vital for expanding critical thinking skills)
Science: Science by the grade
Geography: Evan Moore's collection of US workbooks and I love History Pockets
P.E./Art: We are able to use a City Park out of Ocala that offers classes for minimal fees.
Periodically we do monthly author studies, and it is great for searching the library for books and for learning about an author.
Testing: I require an annual test in some manner for the portfolio and for a measurement tool. I have used FCAT (released tests) and ordered The Standford 10 through BJUPress.
I really love the reinforcement that the site Time4Learning offers. It is a monthly charge, but it really helped in years past make difficult skills stick!
Our day looks a lot like this:
8:00 up and morning stuff, breakfast, chores etc.
9:00 school (bible, math, language)
10:45 school (reading)
1:00 School (science, computer)
This is a group of home school families who get together and share in the teaching of a subject. We always work with a variety of ages. We have tried both approaches of using the group sessions as a pre teaching or a post teaching element to the subject and have found that post teaching works best. We have covered areas of world geography, animal habitats, colonial American, westward movement, world history, US geography during different years. Using centers or stations has helped us share the load of activities and skills being taught. This year we are doing Science. We have taken a subject by the month and then broke it down into two sessions per month. We use a community center on a bi-monthly basis because of our large group. In the beginning we just rotated in homes. The stations are organized for small groups to advance through three or four stations each week. We have a meeting large group time in the beginning and have a break with snacks. We finish by lunch time and go to a near by park to end our day. This is an incredible opportunity, and it only works with a great level of commitment of the teachers and planning.
If you have any questions, please ask me, I might be able to help.
I have found our success is greatly influenced by the support of the mothers/teachers around me. All of us have our struggles and victories and it is great to have someone to share it with. Lastly, having the support of our families and a great principal (Dad) is icing on the cake!