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Curriculum: Robinson Curriculum and Old Fashioned Education

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.

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Funnix Reading (Curriculum Review)

Funnix Reading

This program is amazing. I received a free copy and have been using it for my two youngest children. My little girl is in level 1 and my little boy is in level 2. I am so happy with it. The kids both love it. (My little girl is doing two lessons a day!) Most importantly, however, is that they are both learning. The program works!

The authors are the same as for the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. The differences between this and the book are:

–Funnix is a computer program. There are workbooks and readers used, but the primary lessons are on the DVD’s. The directions are easy to follow and the graphics are great, not too busy, but fun and interesting.

–Parent involvement is fairly minimal. The computerized ‘teacher’ guides the child in the lessons, helping them to answer questions. The voice is very pleasant and encouraging. However, the parent or teacher does need to monitor the child to be sure he is actually answering the questions, understanding the lessons, and doing the work (not just pushing the ‘continue’ button!).

–Level 1 has a workbook (necessary, but purchased separately), and level 2 a reader (also necessary and purchased separately). Both are very well designed and help with reading practice and writing practice. The pictures are nice to color too!

–The book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, gets your child up to a second grade reading level. Funnix Reading gets your child up to a third grade reading level. There are more lessons in Funnix, 120 in Level 1 and 100 lessons in Level 2.

–The price is slightly higher than the book, but for what you get, it’s worth it! I took a look at their site to see how much their products cost and was amazed at how low it all was. The DVD’s are $25. Level 1 workbook is $7.50 and Level 2 reader is $10. Total cost is $42.50. Frankly, I think it’s a steal.

All in all, this program is what I’ve been looking for. The pressure is off me to make sure I get everything ‘right’, I know my kids are learning to read, it’s painless (for all of us), and even fun. I highly recommend this resource.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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