I mentioned a few days ago that I was "finished" choosing books and ordering curriculum... and then I spent the next three days re-evaluating my list, and ordering a bunch of things I'd forgotten! What can I say? This job is never done!
In case you're stopping by for the first time... I have three boys, ages 10, 8, and 5. They'll be in 5th, 4th/3rd, and Kindergarten. Our homeschooling style has gradually evolved over time, from extremely unschooly to more mama-planned, based on the boys' learning styles, gifts, needs, and stages.
I've learned from John Holt and Charlotte Mason, the Moores and the
DeMilles. I love Melissa Wiley's concept of "tidal homeschooling," TJ Ed's Phases of Learning and the Closet, and the classical ed emphasis on studying history chronologically.
I still believe that we learn what we're interested in, and that my job is to spread a feast, set an example, and pray for God's help in everything. I know our family needs order, routine, and a sense of direction. I don't believe in one-size-fits-all homeschooling.
I like to call our approach "child-led classical." Or, "unschooling with a schedule." Or "Complicatedly Charlotte Mason." Homeschooling is my favorite oxymoron.
That said, here are some resources we'll use during the schooly part of our days this year...
Littlest (Kindergarten) --
Memoria Press's Copybook I
BOB Books, sets 2, 3 and 4. -- My first two learned to read with these, too.
Reading Eggs -- He LOVES this program.
Lots of reading aloud from our shelves and library books.
Middlest (4th grade) --
New American Cursive 1 -- Handwriting, Bible
First Start French -- Foreign language, grammar
King Arthur and His Knights (audiobook), and other historical read-alouds I've chosen
Books from his shelf and wishlist, including the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander and Redwall
Eldest (5th grade) --
Selections from The Arrow by Brave Writer -- Copywork for handwriting, grammar, etc.
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Lit Guide by Memoria Press
Read-alouds, historical novels and books from his shelf and wishlist
I bought Math Mammoth's Blue Series for grades 1-6 a while back, and we'll continue using those. I'm not crazy about having to print out every page, but I do like that we can skip sections and save paper. And I like how it's written.
Also -- Board games, cooking, living math books from the library
Middle Ages, Renaissance & Reformation --
If I were smart, I'd simply follow Simply Charlotte Mason's guide. It covers the entire time period I want to study together this year, uses the spines I like (Famous Men), and includes geography and Bible studies. But that would be too easy, and I like to make things complicated.
Instead, I purchased LBC's Guide to the Middle Ages, because I like how it's written and organized, even though it doesn't use Famous Men of the Middle Ages and is intended to be spread over a full year. I'll be squeezing it into 17 weeks, and adding Memoria Press's Famous Men guide and Monks & Mystics. Like I said... I like to make things complicated. We'll see what happens when we get to the Renaissance after Christmas. I'll probably switch to Tapestry of Grace just to keep myself on my toes.
We also like the Drive-Thru History DVDs, which we get from Netflix.
The boys have had so many questions about bodily issues lately, I figured this was a good time to dive into some anatomy and physiology. Again, the simplest thing would be to use Apologia's Exploring Creation with Anatomy & Physiology.
Instead I ordered The Way We Work, which I know Eldest will love. Maybe that's simplest after all. I also want this and this. We still have Exploring Creation with Botany to finish, too.
Other favorites: Handbook of Nature Study, Nat Geo Wild, and Animal Planet. Gardening, nature walks, field trips to the local zoo, etc.
Devotionals from 24 Family Ways
Possibly James, and a gospel starting in December. Still praying about this.
Stay tuned for a more detailed list of our literature and history read-alouds. In the meantime, here's last year's curriculum post, in case you're interested.