Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Helpful Resources

Last time I mentioned that several months ago I had to tailor our son's curriculum to accommodate his sensitivities.  Until fairly recently the thought of "flying by the seat of my pants" scared me no end.  But after I took a couple of days to collect my thoughts and settle it within myself that this would indeed be the very best for our son it didn't seem quite so daunting.  No, I didn't just pull an outline for his studies in science or history out of thin air.  I had some help!

"Home Learning Year by Year - How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School" by Rebecca Rupp is an excellent resource, even if you aren't designing your own curriculum.  Ms. Rupp has broken down each school year by subject.  Within those subjects she has listed what is normally required at that level along with resources for those topics. 

"The Educated Child" by William J. Bennett is another nice resource, although it's geared more towards families whose children attend public or private school and what the families should expect their child to be learning.

So, in plotting out our son's education I started with these two books.  I checked each year from first grade through seventh, making sure that we had covered what was suggested.  If there was something that we didn't cover or that I wanted to review with our son I placed a sticky flag in the book and kept on going.  Once all the flags were placed I grabbed a pencil and paper and started making a list for each subject.  Then I consolidated like topics within the subjects.  It really wasn't too bad at all

For history I took a little different approach.  Over the years we have studied American History and some world history, but it always felt disjointed to me.  How did it all fit together?  What cultures were living at the same time?  I wanted there to be a continuity to our son's study of history, so I decided we'd start at the beginning and work our way forward!  With the help of a fairly detailed civilization timeline put together from a Biblical perspective I was able to put together our son's history curriculum for the next few years, taking our time to really explore the cultures along the way.

Our local library plays a major role in our schooling as well.  I order books from them a few weeks in advance of when we'll need them.  In this way we have access to just about any topic we need without breaking the bank.  And our library has a wonderful inter-library loan system so if there is something that we need that they don't have, chances are one of the other libraries in the system will have it.  We are using a bought pre-algebra curriculum and for grammar we're using Daily Grams/Easy Grammar. 

Because we don't have text or workbooks to record our son's learning, we make lapbooks document his progress.  Lapbooks are a wonderful tool and lots of fun to put together.  I'll talk about those next time!

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