- My Father’s World www.mfwbooks.com
- Math-U-See www.mathusee.com
- Apologia science www.apologia.com
- Easy Grammar www.easygrammar.com
- Handwriting Without Tears http://www.hwtears.com/hwt
- Songs for Learning http://www.audiomemory.com/
- A Beka Basic Phonics Charts http://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=95354
- HSLDA http://www.hslda.org/
We began using My Father’s World when our oldest started 5th grade. We love their multi-grade history cycle!!! It is easy to use, very well organized, creative, well-written, fun, thorough, logical, and a joy to teach.
My Father’s World (MFW) also made transitioning to high school seamless!!! After studying their materials, plans, and ideas, I felt confident entering the high school years with our oldest, beginning with MFW’s curriculum for the freshman year.
If you like conventions, I recommend attending a homeschooling one. I always had a blast, and it helped me sort out which curricula would be best for us.
If I had to come up with a list of steps for homeschooling, here is what I would say:
- Study your child. Find a book or survey about learning styles and figure out which learning style toward which your child gravitates. (One of our children leans visual, another auditorally, and another auditory/kinesthetic.)
- Look for materials that will help your child learn in his or her style, especially in the early years, especially in reading and math.
- Use other styles as well (most children learn BEST using all styles at one time or another and for reinforcement).
- If you are nervous about putting things together, consider choosing a “complete” curriculum. Obviously, my favorite is MFW. Others like Sonlight. www.sonlight.com I see a LOT I like in Sonlight, but some of the books were a little “scary” or sad for our young children who had very, very tender hearts. For a visual learner, the complete A Beka would probably work well. In the interests of honesty, I do not like some of the stories in the A Beka readers because they contain a good bit of legalism. But these could be skipped or explained as unbiblical. BTW, be honest with your children. You don’t need to pretend that all Christian adults (or all books) are Biblical.
- Plan your year (but be flexible).
- Teach gently. If children get nervous, frustrated, or overwhelmed (note that these are different from lazy), it will inhibit learning.
- If your child knows the material, move on. There is no need to complete every exercise.
- And MOST IMPORTANTLY, do everything in LOVE!!! “Love is patient, love is kind.” Apologize to your children when you get grouchy. Show them mercy. Know that character is more important than perfect school work, the journey really is more important than results. Inspire them to their best but let them know THEY are always more important than their work. Always be humble, always ask God for help.
Try not to stress, and enjoy your children! 🙂
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730