A great education is so important, especially in today’s information age and homeschooling children can be daunting at times. Yet, I am so glad for the wonderful people out there who have gone before and willingly share their knowledge.
Lee Giles, author of the book I posted about last week, has a wonderful online listing of links to various free curriculums http://homeschoolfreestuff.wordpress.com/ She has a ton of stuff on there, organized by subject as well as a listing of the Ambleside Online booklist and the Robinson Curriculum booklist which I have recently been using with my own children.
In our homeschool, I want my children to not only learn a great deal, I want them to learn how to learn. I want them to take responsibility for their own education. That was what first attracted me to the Robinson Curriculum. This curriculum is meant to be self-teaching. The children are given their assignments and are encouraged to get their work done with little to no ‘help’ from mom. The idea is that they learn how to think for themselves. Now, I don’t throw them into the water and just let them sink. On the other hand, I also don’t just do their work for them, either. If they have a problem with math, I need to help them to figure it out for themselves, not just do the problem for them and expect them to just ‘get it’. They need to learn how to think and reason and apply past knowledge to current problems. The children haven’t truly learned a concept if they are unable to apply it to something just a little different. (Yes, that’s the whole point of story problems.) Anyway, the Robinson Curriculum provides a framework in which to challenge the children in the three basics of reading, writing, and math. (History and Science come from the reading.)
I actually bought the Robinson Curriculum (a used version from e-bay) because I wanted the little extras in vocabulary, writing, and math. However, the website above is great start if anyone wants to ‘try it out’. In a nutshell, the Robinson Curriculum is based on a six day per week, five hours per day schedule, two hours of math, one hour of writing an essay of the child’s choosing, and two hours of reading. (This is not a hard and fast rule. We only do five days a week. Pray about what would be best for YOUR children.)
I love the reading. The books are classics, like Tom Swift, and Solomon Owl, listed in graded levels. This is nice in helping me with what to assign them when. So far, it’s going well. The children like their reading and writing, and they are doing better with their math. I have them do a chapter of math, plus or minus depending on chapter length, and then ‘teach it’ or explain it to their animals. If they can explain it to someone else, then they’ve truly learned it. Also, having them read and/or explain something out loud helps as well with their retention and understanding.
Another great site I’ve recently discovered is http://oldfashionededucation.com/ This wonderful lady has a full curriculum listed (k-12) complete with links to books listed by grade level as well as by subject. She offers hints and tips and great ideas for using these books in your own homeschool. She also lists her full curriculum complete with forty week schedule charts for each grade level. Very nicely done.