This is my attempt at putting my children’s school assignments online. I am writing it to make it available to other families as well. While it has made our school days run very smoothly, my grander goal is to help other families, especially anyone feeling like they couldn’t homeschool because of time or money pressures. More and more I am finding families who are using this curriculum because it gives them confidence in homeschooling.
My children (as of 4/13) are infant, 2, 5, 7, 11, and 13, so you can see we have plenty of years of schooling ahead of us. Over the next year, Lord willing, I will be putting up Year 3 and start working on high school. I have a high school page up with many links, but it is not its final form.
This school is good for anyone who needs/wants to save money or time. As for money, the curriculum is free. The materials are online and free. You will need to purchase paper, etc., but it requires no books or major supplies. In this way it is also good for those living overseas who have limited means of access to English books, etc. As for time, this is a way for your children to work independently and to free you from planning. This is good if you have to work, have health issues, are in school yourself or are just busy with babies and toddlers. If you serve overseas, you don’t need to put your kids in school so that you can learn the language.
Your children will need access to a computer and the internet and to you! The children are often instructed to tell a parent or older sibling about what they just read. Be available or assign an older child to be available. Occasionally they may come to you and say they earned a high five or a hug. Please oblige! About once a week the kids also get a little something extra, just for fun, tucked into their school day.
This school is intended to be college preparatory. They will read challenging books and will always be reading something. Most of the books are chosen from the Robinson and Ambleside curricula. You can read the book lists and specific course descriptions on the individual course pages.
I have sought to make this curriculum comprehensive, but not intensive. The lessons are short, intended to keep the school day short. At one point I had three children doing school on one computer and they were able to take turns and finish before dinner without a problem. Also, children in the same age bracket (first through fourth -L- and fifth through eighth -M-) can work at the same time on half of their school day. My children spend their extra time reading, writing, exploring, experimenting, programming, drawing, creating, working, doing chores, helping others, etc. and PLAYING!
This is a Christian curriculum. Not everything is overtly Christian, but I do point to the Bible from time to time in literature, science, history, etc. and seek to promote a biblical worldview. I also believe in a literal six day creation. I do choose to use materials that talk about millions of years because it is what’s available, and it’s useful for our children to know what’s taught out there so they can be intelligent in a response to it. I do address it to varying degrees when it comes up.
The school year lasts 180 days because that is my state’s requirement. Beyond that I believe children should continue schooling the rest of the year with reading, experimenting, exploring their interests and passions and the world.
I am not going to charge for use of my materials. I believe the Christian community should be about giving and receiving, not buying and selling. If you are using this curriculum, please consider giving a donation.
Also, please consider following the blog (click on “follow” down below on the right-hand side bar) or joining our facebook page (choose “show in news feed”) to help me communicate with you. You can also join the Easy Peasy Facebook Group to talk with other families using the curriculum and to get your questions answered.
My Learning to Read Philosophy
When you read, you use sight reading. You don’t sound out words. You see them and know what they say. That’s how you can read quickly. Phonics is a tool for reading words you don’t recognize. I teach my children the letter names and sounds. Then I teach them to read by sight words. Then I teach them phonics. Phonics is simple at that point because they can already read. All of this takes two years. I do this before they start “school” so that they can do “school” more independently and more effectively. All of my children so far are very successful readers and can read faster than I can, I who learned with phonics!
I mostly base my content on what is on my Links to All Things Free for Homeschooler’s blog. I formed that as I looked for links for what we were studying for school. Things with materials get studied. I create my own materials if I can’t find what needs to be covered. I don’t tend to teach though. I let the teaching be done by the online materials. I also follow the broad schedule I established before my firstborn could even walk, a four year rotation through history and science themes. Beyond that I wanted to add that I am careful about what I teach my children and put before their eyes. There are many videos I didn’t choose when studying WWII for example because I didn’t want those images in front of their eyes, even if they are truth. I also don’t study false religion. My children know the basics about it, but you won’t find me teaching them about the gods of Ancient Egypt for example. They will know they had a false religion and worshiped other gods, but we don’t need to learn all of their names and what they looked like. We live in a land of false religion and don’t need any more exposure to it! It’s demonic and not something we need to study. It also makes me careful around things like Native Americans and their spirit guides, etc. Not all literature the children will read is pure in every way. But, that’s a way to talk about the world and choices and consequences and how we should react in certain circumstances…
My four-year rotation is:
- world history and biology
- early American history and animals
- geography and cultures with some history of each country and earth science
- modern American history and physics and chemistry
I grew up in a Christian home and have been following the Lord since I was 10. I never have had a time where I fell away from the faith. My family and I have been serving the Lord overseas since 2002. I don’t talk about it much because we live in a Muslim country. I do not teach any denominational teachings. I believe that denominations fracture the body of Christ, so I consider myself only a member of the body of Christ. I attend a local congregation that doesn’t have any denominational ties. I believe in walking in holiness and the fullness of the Spirit. Overseas I’ve worked with everyone from Baptists to Pentecostals. I cannot be called by any label. I try not to teach too much in the Bible curriculum, but at the same time there are things I want to point out to my own children using this. I try and ask questions and give them the reading to find their own answers, but I can’t help myself sometimes. I do and try and hold my tongue when I know its a point where people disagree and have even put in, “Go ask your parents about what this verse means” instead of giving my point of view. There are a couple things I do bring up repeatedly as it comes up in Scripture. I do warn about false teachers (Christian labels and appearance don’t automatically mean it’s from God) and the occult (supernatural signs don’t automatically mean it’s from God…) Another thing I teach repeatedly is living by faith. It’s something I’ve learned and am learning. I want my children and yours to know that God’s word is true and that they can take Him at His word. It’s the main theme as well of the novel I wrote, The King Will Make a Way. God is trustworthy and faithful and by faith He will save us in every sense of the word. Sometimes I’ve included some of the miracle stories we’ve experienced. We saw a baby born with no stomach be healed and survive after being given zero chance of survival. (BTW, that baby was born to a family that was Muslim by culture. The whole family came to Christ when the baby was healed and now they lead a fellowship of forty people.)
One final note about the Bible curriculum. I don’t have them read everything. For example, when I put up Sodom and Gomorrah they read that it was destroyed because of their great sin, but they don’t read the part about what they did, and I stopped before Lot’s daughters decide they need his help to continue the family line. You can’t avoid it all, I mean, Jacob has twelve sons, but it’s not hard to skip over what happened to their sister Dinah.