Or “On Guinea Pigs” or even “I Might Get It Right By Child #4”
Take your pick. [grin]
I’ve been blogging about homeschooling for 7 1/2 years now, since my oldest turned 5. In all those years, you’ve read about what we want to do, what we are doing, what we did, what we didn’t do, what we wish we could find time and self-discipline to do. We started out using The Well-Trained Mind as our very general guide. Four years ago we switched things up a bit and started participating in a local Classical Conversations Community. Each year we’ve had to take things as they came depending on ages and stages of the kids.
The truth is, we just start from where we are, use what is available, and do the next thing. There is no benefit to regret or anxiety.
I recently posted extensive curricula lists as well as 5 different options for integrating The Story of the World with CC [Classical Conversations].
Some people love to read those type of posts, but all the options can be quite overwhelming. And sometimes it is very hard to see the forest for the trees.
As I’m making plans for this coming year, I need to see the forest.
The following is our family’s current, basic “ideal” recommendations and progression through the ages and stages. I hope some of my readers find it helpful!
The other thing to keep in mind is that most of our curriculum is used informally and most of it is buffet-style, soul-nourishing, delight-filled reading and watching and learning.
This year I have one child in each category! (K4, 3rd, 5th, and 7th)
Always and Everyone
Read good books about everything (spread the buffet!). Listen to quality music. Look at beautiful art. Savor lovely words and ideas. Spend time together. Ask good questions. Talk and have conversations about everything. Make the learning atmosphere inviting. Encourage curiosity. Exercise and breathe fresh air. Pay attention to the world around us!
A few posts for context:
Childhood Essentials (posted 6 years ago!)
[CC only if older siblings are attending] [We are waiting until next year to enroll Lola. She doesn’t turn 4 until October.]
Handwriting Without Tears (5-15 minutes daily)
Living Math and Manipulatives
Poetry and Songs (read. sing. learn by heart.)
Lots of Great Read-Aloud Picture Books
Children’s Bible (Sing the Word From A-Z Bible Verse Songs)
Play! Hands-on fun!
[Join older siblings when interested]
CC Foundations Cycles 1-3 (regardless of which cycle student begins with) (One morning each week, 24 weeks)
Review memory work (10-20 minutes daily, listen to CD in car, casual and joyful!)
Many High-Quality Picture Books, Simple Chapter Books, and Read-Alouds: non-fiction, literature (including myths, legends, and fairy tales), poetry, and historical fiction corresponding w/ CC topics in every subject and a 3-year history cycle (Ancients for cycle 1, Medieval/Renaissance for cycle 2, and American History/Modern World for cycle 3). (This does not have to be formal or scheduled work.)
Children’s Literature Read-Alouds (great for bedtime reading)
Memorize poetry (Robert Louis Stevenson, etc.) and Bible verses (Sing the Word or AWANAS) (15 minutes daily, listen to CDs in car)
All About Spelling, levels 2-4 (includes dictation) (15+ minutes, 2-4x weekly)
(More All About Reading? Student Reads Aloud/Independent Reading)
Handwriting Without Tears/Copywork (from poetry, literature, Bible, and/or memory work) (15 minutes daily)
(Narration or Primary Arts of Learning from IEW if you wish for more writing)
Map Drawing (2+x weekly)
Telling God's Story and the Children’s Illustrated Bible
Song School Latin (casual and joyful!)
MCT Language Arts series [begin reading all books (grammar, writing, vocabulary, poetry) together in 2nd grade (casual and joyful!), only do sentence analysis practice, use CC English Grammar memory work wording]
Choir (with music theory) or Piano
Sport or physical activity
[Optional: More science, fine arts, history projects, etc. at home if they are enjoyable]
CC Foundations Cycles 1-3 (One morning each week, 24 weeks; review memory work at home)
Memory Work in Timeline, History, Science, Geography, English Grammar, Latin, and Math (Memory Master)
Public Speaking, Fine Arts, Science Projects
CC Essentials Cycles 1-3 (One afternoon each week, 24 weeks; complete grammar and writing assignments at home)
English Grammar, Writing (IEW history-themed for subject integration), Math Games
(Repeat) 3-Year History Cycle
Cycle 1: Ancient History (Creation – Fall of Rome, 450 A.D.)
Cycle 2: Medieval and Renaissance (450 A.D. – Age of Exploration, 1600 A.D.)
Cycle 3: American History and the Modern World (1600 A.D. – Present) [I will be posting a Modern World book list soon.]
Read The Story of the World Volumes 1-4; read many corresponding picture books and chapter books aloud or independently—non-fiction, literature (including myths, legends, and fairy tales), poetry, speeches, and historical fiction; create timeline notebook; and memorize corresponding poetry and speeches. Year-round! (This is a great time for corresponding movies/documentaries and field trips as well!)
3-Year Science Cycle (Real Science 4 Kids—just read through books or do labs/workbooks and fieldtrips if enjoyable or desired)
All About Spelling, levels 5-7
Prescripts Cursive and Drawing (may use when CC is not in session to maintain fine motor strength in hands)
Bible (And memorize Bible passages with Sing the Word or AWANAS)
Latin (I like Prima Latina, Latina Christiana, and First Form Latin by Memoria Press, but they all use Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation so your mileage may vary)
MCT Vocabulary and Poetry when Essentials is not in session (read through books together) and use Practice sentences for additional sentence analysis or diagramming
Choir (with music theory) or Instrument
Sport or physical activity
CC Challenge A and B
[Henle Latin, Literature/The Lost Tools of Writing, Saxon Math, Geography and Mock Trial, Logic/Rhetoric, Science]
Music and Sport
CC Challenge I – IV (This is where I pray that we’ll have all Challenge levels available locally)
[Each Challenge level includes Math, Science “Research,” Latin, Literature and Composition, Logic/Rhetoric, and Debate.]
Music and Sport
[My children will have more say in their academics once they’ve completed 10th grade/Challenge II. They may opt out of CC and do a dual enrollment program through the Community College or something else. We’ll see when the time comes.]