February is here. Oh yes; February. The days are long and loud, you start to question your sanity at times; you teach your kids Cotton Eye Joe and The Electric Slide. It is also time for homeschool evaluation.
Honestly at the beginning of this year, I thought I had found the perfect curriculum. Last year after trying to be a Charlotte Mason purist, I realized I wasn’t. Last year I read Teaching from Rest and the Latin Centered Curriculum, which led me to Memoria Press.
I had followed about 18 weeks of lesson plans faithfully, but February came along and I started to think about the next school year. Did I want to commit myself to this curriculum for the long haul? What was working and what wasn’t? Were there things I missed from last year? Could I search and find the perfect curriculum?
I continue to read. I am reading Norms and Nobility by David Hicks, which brings me back to the heart of education. The heart of education is to be changed as a person, to be formed into the person we are in our leisure, to be changed through story and how to act in light of the things we have read. Why were we spending hours filling out study guides and answering comprehension questions? My son can still re call in great detail the story of Hansel and Gretel that he slowly narrated last year.
What I am thankful for is systematic spelling. Memoria Press has a great phonics and spelling program; last year my son needed it! This year it has been overkill for my daughter who is a natural reader and can read chapter books with fluency, but here we were spending two weeks reading a picture book.
I am thankful for cursive workbooks and copybooks with beautiful poetry to memorize, but I feel that in the future I would like my kids to create their own copybooks.
I find recitation questions to be redundant and would rather my kids encounter information and make it their own instead of reciting some facts that they do not yet understand. Should I be impressed they can recite a bunch of famous paintings and songs, or would I rather them know some artists and composers well?
I am thankful for Memoria Press Latin. I don’t know Latin, and am thankful to start with a program that is written for a second grader and has a weekly video for us to watch.
A bunch of picture books are fun, but I am missing the slow and careful reading of a few great books. The same goes for science, the picture books are nice, but I would rather the slow and careful reading of a few and to keep beautiful nature journals.
I love the simplicity and independence of Rod and Staff Math. I know it is not very conceptual, so I got some Singapore Workbooks for my kids to use on the weekend, but the honest truth is, I may let those go. I have an abacus, I can easily show the math concepts on that.
So am I on the search for the perfect curriculum? No I am not, I won’t find it. God has given me this family. He has made each personality in our family, including mine, and even though Right Start may be a great math program, I hate teaching it. So I have decided I will piece together my own and write my own lesson plans. This may take more work, but I want to LOVE what we are doing.
Resources I Plan on Using
- PNEU Promgrammes
- As an outline
- Rod and Staff Grammar, Spelling, Math
- Simply Charlotte Mason (bookfinder, picture study)
- Logic of English (for my upcoming Kindergartener who I belive is dyslexic)
- Math-U-See for my upcoming Ker
- A Delectable Education
- History Charts and Suggestions
- Ambleside Online for book ideas
- Memoria Press for Latin and Cursive and Book ideas
- Possibly Map Drawing
- Latin Centered Curriculum First and Second Edition
A Part II to come with more specifics as far as plans go.