* And, like our previous homeschool post, I feel that I need a disclaimer too. These are my personal feelings about the personal decision we have made, as a family. I am not implying anything to you, trying to convince you or do not think anyone should feel the same. If you choose to be offended, have fun with that. Thanks. *
1. My kids want to – And, it’s not because they think they’re getting off the hook to do hard work. They sincerely enjoy doing family things. They crave family nights, movie night, vacations, dates with their parents, cooking together, reading together, playing family games, etc. They have seen homeschool in action and can’t wait to get it started!
* Update 6/12 – k12 was good for my first year, but there were several reasons it didn’t work for me. The second year I used Sonlight and liked it much better…except for a few things. This third year, I’ll stop using Sonlight, venture off and do some of the subjects (history, English, reading) on my own.
Science – I decided to use Apologia for three reasons. One, because it is God-Based science…nothing about Big Bangs or humans being monkeys. That’s important to me. I also like that it’s just Christian based…if you believe in God and that God created the earth, it will work for you. It doesn’t incorporate beliefs of only one specific religion (that is probably not yours). The second reason is that the same book can be used from 1st through 7th grade. So, if you are teaching multiple young kids…you don’t have to teach multiple lessons. Time savers, I like ‘em. Reason three is that Apologia gets fantastic reviews! Parents (and kids) love the lessons and the science/craft projects to do afterward! This year we will be studying Astronomy. The books are usually cheaper if you can find them somewhere besides the homepage.
Math - I first was looking into using Saxon Math. I heard good things about it and was teetering between using that or k12′s math (which I hadn’t heard much about). But, in my research I discovered Math-U-See…was blown away by the reviews and decided to learn more. I read a lot on their web site, watched videos, and really liked what I was seeing. It’s a program that makes math more visual and more fun! Parents say their children have never understood math as well, until they used this program. So, it’s on the agenda too!
Art - I love arts and crafts…and so do the kids. Besides, the fun projects we can do in the Science book and through k12′s classes…I picked up a couple books for extra ideas…
Gospel & Character Studies – We are going to alternate our scripture study with learning about good qualities. I took the Pioneer Woman’s advice and started collecting the Value Tales books from my childhood (thank you, ebay). They are so fun! Each one tells the story of a notable person in history and how they exemplified a positive character trait. So, they’re also getting a history lesson!
I also want to integrate lessons/hand-on experiences with home studies (see link for fun lesson plans), the great outdoors, and cultures/food from around the world…Obviously, some things are “extras” that can only be done when we have time, but I think my kids would enjoy these topics too! Here are some favorite books:
* Update 6/12 – I decided not to do art, music, and nature every year. We focus on the main subjects and choose one fun subject to study in the year. This last year we studied art and famous artists. Next year, we may do music. We try to use the summertime to do nature studies. It makes for a more realistic schedule, more in-depth study, and less stress.
So, wish me luck! I’ll keep you updated on our successes (and failures)