Having a few people wanting to know exactly what I am teaching my Mr. 5. So here are the books and downloads that I am using for his learning in 2016 and the first half of 2017.
To give you an extremely thorough guide to the Classical Education for homeschool, please pick up a copy of The Well Trained Mind. It is invaluable and it lives next to my Bible and journal as a book I read almost every day.
Generally, the sit down element of the curriculum takes about 1.5-2 hours a day. This works well with Mr. 5. Basically, it includes Maths, English, History & Geography and Science.
However, there is ample time for creative play, free play and learning, and self initiated learning. This is what I love about homeschool. You can do what is best for each individual child.
God and Christianity
As the children wake, I have laid out for them their colouring in page of the Bible. Whilst this happens, they are either listening to classical music or worship songs, to start their day.
At breakfast and dinner, the time when the whole family is together, we read through Step into the Bible together. This is an invaluable resource for any Christian family. Once we read it together, we discuss and answer the very simple questions. It sparks interest and conversation. A great way to begin and end our day.
We pray with the children every night before bed, but we would like to incorporate more family prayer into the schedule.
As Mr. 5 is able to recognise letters and sort of sound them out, I am using the Ordinary Parent’s Guide To Reading. We have used this book and it has been outstanding in explaining what each letter sounds like. It has poems which are easy to remember, and after several repetitions, the letters and their sounds seem to stick.
To explain how grammar works and the main parts of the English language, First Language Lessons – Book 1 is a gem. My children adore memorisation, and this book has them, but thankfully at a slow pace (one poem for every two weeks or so). Lessons are not long and with concentration, can be done within 10-15 mins.
We also use Bob Books for beginner reading.
For writing, I have created practice writing pages to help master letters, and we also have written work which consists of writing a Bible verse every day. The verse doesn’t change every day, it changes every week. In the future, we want to begin an official writing program. When I find it, I will publish it here.
We are undertaking a few math programs.
The first is Saxon Homeschool Mathematics Grade 1. Mr 5 is extremely bright when it comes to numbers. He did the placement test for Saxon and actually achieved Grade 2. However, I felt that it would be good for him to go at a slower pace and master the concepts of addition, subtraction, counting from 1 to 100, calendars, days of the week and time.
Unfortunately the only thing that doesn’t work is that the money counting aspect is in American currency. We have altered it to suit us, but sometimes we skip this section.
We are also using Star Wars Maths. Well, he finds it fun.
When I go grocery shopping, I have him take a calculator and a clip board. It’s not highly structured, but sometimes he will see the numbers, write it down and learn how to use the calculator.
We also listen to times tables songs in the car. These actually work, but they are terribly annoying.
Following the Trivium of the Classical Education model, we will be concentrating on the human body, animal kingdom and plants. The books we use for this are:
DK First Human Body
DK First Animal Encyclopedia
For the Animal Encyclopedia, we will study 20 animals, and for each animal, use this narration sheet that I created based on what was advised in the Well Trained Mind. Science – Grammar Stage 1 – Animal Kingdom Sheet
History and Geography
This is an exciting subject to homeschool in. We are using the Story of the World series to each our children History and Geography. We have gone to Peace Hill Press and downloaded the Activity Pages and Student Pages, but we have purchased the book so we can read it on the sofa together.
For this year, we will begin with The Ancients.
We have also purchased timelines from Pandia Press. These are excellent and extremely useful for a visual guide to when things happened.
If you need more of a visual guide, download the printables from Olive Grove Educators. These printables are fantastic, and if you laminate them, they become extremely fun cards for the kids to learn with.
Every day, we walk to the big soccer field which isn’t being utilised when school is on. We run, play and learn to catch, kick and throw a ball. It’s fun, it’s simple, and we get our exercise. It is generally done after breakfast before it is too warm.
Mr. 5 also attends swimming lessons and gymnastics lessons. Personally, I don’t like outsourcing our learning to third parties, but this not only teaches him skills and provides socialisation, but I don’t have a pool, and I don’t have the facilities at the gymnastics stadium.
Miss. 3 has ballet and Mr. nearly 2 also swims.
We also teach about diet and how eating healthy is key. We do also have chocolate and ice cream during our movie nights once a week, just to keep things fun.
We love attending nursing homes. The residents seem to love the kids and the kids love them. It’s a win win. The simple conversations they have with each other are quite lovely.
Occasionally, we also go down to the city and visit some of the homeless. Again, the kids love talking to new people. To them, it’s no different. The homeless welcome the little ones talking to them. There’s something refreshing about how the children approach them, with their open eyes that don’t seem to know what homeless means. To them, they are just another person, and so they are treated as such.
And there’s the curriculum. I haven’t spoken much about socialisation, however, this will be covered in a different post. Thanks again for reading and please do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of The Well Trained Mind. Such a great read, even if you are just interested in knowing how children use to learn a long time ago.