I get asked from time to time what we use for our homeschool curriculum, so here’s the details for those who are interested.
We are still involved in Classical Conversations (which I’m going to refer to as CC from here on out). CC is a home-based education community. They have a particular curriculum and scope and sequence that they follow. They hire tutors who drill memory work and do science and fine art projects once a week for little ones and who lead the seminars for the older ones. You can read more about the program here if you are interested. I have a love/hate relationship with CC. I truly think it is a great program. I appreciate the community aspect. It’s great for the kids to be able to meet up with other kids once a week and for us to have some accountability to a group especially as the kids get older and doing things for mom isn’t quite as delightful. I appreciate the rigor and the direction of the program. I love the mission statement “To Know Christ and To Make Him Known”. I mostly hate the logistics aspect. I hate being out of the house an entire day. I hate bringing half our house along for little ones who are still napping during that time. I hate packing lunches. I’m sure it will get easier as everyone gets older, but since we’re adding a new little one, it will be a while before that happens. Until then, it’s just a test of my organizational ability and flexibility and patience with a purpose of giving my kids what I feel like is a great education that teaches them to think.
Hannah is in 4th-ish grade. We’re not big on grade labels, but we use them to avoid confusion, and to let us know when we’re done.
Her daily schedule involves:
Bible-reading a chapter from the Bible or from The Story for Kids (our church is preaching through The Story this year) and doing some sort of picture journaling. She also participates in Bible Quizzing.
Math-She’s using Saxon 5/4. She’s over 1/3 of the way through, though, since we started it in May.
English Grammar-Hannah just started Essentials this year, so she spends this time memorizing chants, charts, and diagramming sentences.
Recess-This is supposed to be some sort of exercise, whatever they choose.
Latin-Hannah is memorizing chants through CC and supplementing with Song School Latin to get some vocab in.
History-Again, we are completing CCs memory work (they memorize a timeline of the world as well as 24 history sentences). I am supplementing this with some reading from Story of the World and Mystery of History. Hannah also does her handwriting work by copying her history sentences using a CC Prescripts workbook.
Science-We do weekly experiments and science fact memorization through CC. Hannah and I are also finishing reading through Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Swimming Creatures of the 5th day, and we’ll be moving into Land Animals of the 6th Day in a few weeks. So, Zoology.
Piano-This is Hannah’s fifth year of lessons, so she takes some time to practice. We also do some music through a homeschool choir group once a week.
Writing-This, like the grammar, is done through the CC Essentials program which I am also tutoring this year. We are working through the Teaching Writing Structure and Style Syllabus from the Institute for Excellence in Writing using the History Based Writing-Ancient World History book.
Geography-We are studying some ancient world geography and parts of Africa through CC.
Public Speaking-This is also incorporated in the CC program. Each week, Hannah does a 3 minute presentation on various topics.
Spelling- We use the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Phonetic Zoo.
Emma is in 7th grade this year. Her curriculum is based in the CC Challenge A program.
Here’s what her daily schedule looks like:
Logic/Math- She is using Saxon 8/7. She also presents math problems to her class on occasion as well as practices math fluency through games during her weekly seminar.
Grammar/Latin-She is working on Henle’s First Year Latin. They only make it through part of the book this year and repeat it next year. We are supplementing this with the Visual Latin DVDs which are quite humorous and very helpful.
Exposition/Writing-Emma is studying the persuasive essay with the Lost Tools of Writing curriculum. She is writing papers based on literature. Currently, she’s completing a paper using Carry on Mr. Bowditch which is an excellent book if you have not read it.
Research/Science- For the first semester, Emma is doing independent research of different natural science topics. During the second semester, they will use the Biology 101 study sheets to explore various body systems, learn how to draw and label them.
Debate/Geography-I’m not sure why Geography falls under Debate, but that’s how they label it. Emma, on the other hand, is working on labeling and mapping the globe from memory this year.
Rhetoric/Apologetics-Emma is using both It Couldn’t Just Happen and The Fallacy Detective to learn how to highlight and summarize texts as well as how to think critically about issues, particularly faith-based issues.
Emma also does music with piano and choir, exercises during recess time, and reads from her Bible during quiet time. She also does Bible Quizzing. Her confirmation class will have her doing various writings on her readings. I also have her read various literature selections throughout the year.
On off weeks or in free time, the girls do some art projects.
Micah is two. We just read him books and let him color on stuff. I spend a lot of time identifying things for him, “Look, there’s Micah’s M” I also spend a lot of time asking him questions, “What color is this?” He spends a lot of time playing and figuring out his world. Play is the most important work of preschoolers.
So, that’s what we do. Some days school flows well and we have read aloud and we do chores and we have great discussions and everything gets done. Some days are hard, and I need to pray and eat chocolate and text my husband and order pizza. Most days are in between.
Here’s your time to ask questions about homeschool or tell me about your own.