Now it would appear that I have the opposite problem. The choices presented to me are myriad. And varied! I can go classical education. I can go unschooling. I can go traditional schooling. I can use online courses and videos. And and and....
My recent venture to a local homeschooling convention really drove the point home about how many choices there are out there. The only limit is how much money you want to spend. In my case, not much. I'm starting with Kid A, who turned five in March, and frankly, I just don't think I need to spend +$400 on a complete curriculum for kindergarten / 1st grade. I know how to read. I know how to spell. I can do basic math. I certainly do not need to shell out hundreds of dollars for lesson plans and teacher's manuals on how do to these things. So I wandered through the vendor hall and let myself just absorb (or be assaulted by, it's all how you look at things) all the choices out there. I took notes on what I liked. I jotted down the cost. I quickly became confused because there was just so much to choose from.
In the end, I came away with a list of books I wanted to get to help me on my way with teaching Kid A the basics. (And somewhat of a headache.) Back home, I went online and ordered up the books necessary to begin the "beautiful learning journey that is homeschooling." Okay, that's just me being sarcastic. As a homeschooled kid, I have a certain amount of skepticism on how romantic these homeschooling conventions make homeschooling out to be. All sunshine kisses and rainbow smiles. All deep learning and understanding and bonding. They never bring up the tedium. The work. The trying and the failing. I feel somewhat sorry for these young mothers desperate to "do the right thing" for their children who are given this fantasy version of what homeschooling is like. So they try it only to discover it takes a lot of work and there's more trial and error than they were led to believe. But I digress...
I am using what is called the "eclectic" approach to homeschooling. Pretty much, I take what I like from each style of homeschooling and just swirl it all around to together. For grammar, reading, history, and science I am following the suggestions of a Classical Education as outlined in The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. I like the circular nature of this approach so if I miss anything the first time around in grammar stage (K-4), I know we'll cover it again in the logic stage (5-8 grades) or rhetoric stage (9-12 grades). For math, handwriting, and spelling, I'm just going with the traditional approach of getting a text book and going through it.
Here's what I've come up with for Kid A's kindergarten / 1st grade curriculum:
- Grammar: First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1
- History/Geography: The Story of the World - Volume 1: Ancient Times
- Supplemented with age appropriate (i.e. picture) books from the library that cover what subject/era were are studying
- Blackline Maps Of World History: The Complete Set 5000BC-Present (which I foresee using throughout my entire homeschooling career)
- Handwriting: Penmanship Grade 1 Student Book (Horizon)
- Spelling: Worktext Grade 1 (BJU Press)
- Science Topics to be covered: The Animal Kingdom, The Human Body, and Plants using these resources
- The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
- The Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia
- Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
- Math: Singapore Primary Mathematics 1A and 1B Workbooks and Textbooks (my husband who was never particularly fond of math thought this program would be the best, especially since we're homeschooling boys)
And so, we anxiously await the arrival of all these books and resources so we can start learning. Fortunately, I've already been teaching Kid A on the sly. He knows how to read and he also knows some basic addition. I did this just in our normal daily life, so I'm hoping I can expand this teaching to be a little more structured and daily.