I was asked by a follower on Instagram what method we use for homeschooling our kids. I realized, when replying, how long the answer really was to that question. The truth is, we use a mix of different methods with our kids.
We are in our 10th year of homeschooling our kids, during that time we have used many different curriculums and tried many different methods in teaching our children. During seasons in our life certain methods worked that didn’t during other seasons.
One of the blessings in homeschooling our kids is that I can choose what ever method is best for each of my children. This has been wonderful for all my kids, but especially wonderful with my special needs kids. It’s really because sometimes our special needs kids need extra support in certain areas, or really excel in other areas and need a higher level program. Don’t be fooled though, we have not always choose curriculum for each of the kids like we do now.
At the beginning of our homeschool journey (first 3 years), I did not feel equipped enough to plan out all the curriculum for at that time only 4 children. So we used Bob Jones University distance learning for all of our kids. While I loved it, they unfortunately discontinued the satellite for distance learning. Paying for the DVD’s or Hard drive for eventually 6 kids just wasn’t something we could afford.
The 4th year and 5th year homeschooling, we used My Father’s World as a group. By about year 6 I felt comfortable enough to plan each child’s curriculum according to how they learn best. I was so happy that we made this choice even though it seemed like a daunting task at first. I wish I would have just done this in the beginning and trusted God to guide me through it, but at least I have the wisdom now of a multitude of different homeschool methods 😉 .
How I Teach
For our the younger kids we use some Montessori methods, delight directed learning, and lots of hands on learning. We try to follow the lead of the child as much as possible, but especially in their younger years.
Wondering what that looks like in our home? You can stop over and purchase your own copy of How We Teach, I contributed 4 chapters in that book that will give you a step by step look into homeschooling the early years in our house (more details about this below).
Teaching Kids to Spell and Read
When a child is showing interest in learning to read I start them using Foundations A along with using Leap Frog Videos weekly. Once they have worked through Foundations we use All About Spelling along with All About Reading. The kids work through all of the programs offered from All About Press, the timeline is different for each child. Some kids will only get through 1 level a year, others want to keep going and will do a couple levels a year. It just depends on their lead.
Once kids have finished the All About Reading & Spelling series I have them independently work on Building Spelling Skills for their spelling. They pick out 3 Progeny Press guides a year and they read those books and do the activities to go along with the book from the guides. We do tons of reading together as a group with some of our Charlotte Mason studies and just reading books we enjoy.
This is our All About Spelling and Reading board. I suggest getting a magnet board with edges on it, or you will be constantly picking up tiles all over the place.
I use a mix of 2 different spelling programs. Handwriting Without Tears and A Reason For Handwriting. We introduce handwriting (manuscript and cursive) to the kids using the Handwriting Without Tears program. I love how they teach kids using a multi sensory learning approach, something I really feel little ones need to learn this way on any subject. Once a child has worked through 1-2 years of HWT, they move onto A Reason For Handwriting until they have manuscript pretty mastered.
Once the kids are finished mastering manuscript we move back to Handwriting Without Tears to teach cursive handwriting, once again followed by A Reason For Handwriting cursive practice. I like the way that HWT teaches the kids, and love the way A Reason For Handwriting uses scripture in their handwriting so we continue to use them both.
This kids also do misc copy work we do in our group classes, fill in timelines, and write their own literature so they get plenty of handwriting practice. I do only expect their best handwriting in their handwriting class, and on final draft papers. Other then that it needs to be legible, if I can’t read it won’t be graded 😀 !
Math is the 1 class that everyone uses the same program FINALLY, Math-U-See. We do this because Math-U-See offers many different ways for students to learn the concepts, so that no matter what way the child learns best they will understand the concepts being taught!
Using Math-U-See they watch a video where the teacher shows them the lesson as well as practice questions. Then they do 1 lesson page and 1 practice page. At the end of the lesson (3 days) I test them and if they do good they go onto the next lesson, if they don’t do good they will continue to work on that concept before moving on. I highly suggest getting the consumables (cubes, fraction insets, etc) this year we even purchased the storage box for the math cubes, and I LOVE it!!
Bible, Scripture Memory, History, Geography
These subjects are done using Charlotte Mason. This year we are using Simply Charlotte Mason resources, we are all very excited about this program so far!! I love how I can have my youngest through my high schoolers do the same program together and that it uses some amazing books that really draw children in.
We also do some lower level bible studies with the 2 younger boys every night before bed. You can read more in depth about how we do that on our group classes post for the year.
For our older kids (junior high and high school) they use the Analytical Grammar and Beyond The Book Report along with the reinforcement and review books. The thing both the kids and I love about this program is that they teach the kids the concepts 1 time, and then just review it periodically so that they don’t forget the concepts. They don’t reteach the same concepts year after year!! You can read my full review of the program HERE.
For the younger kids (elementary and middle school) I hope that we have found a program that works good for them. This has been one area I have struggled to find a good program for us. One that covers the concepts they need to build the foundation but teaches the kids in a fun hands on way. This year we are using Learning Language Arts through Literature, so far this program has worked amazingly for us. I love the way they incorporate language arts activities right into great literature!
Want to read in depth how we homeschool our kids in the younger kids?
I am a co-author in the book, How We Teach ~ The real lives of homeschoolers from classical to Unschooling and everything in between. I wrote 4 different chapters in the book, which are:
Practical Life Skills: You Will Be Amazed How Much Your Preschooler Can Do
A Delightful Angle on Preschool Math
Montessori Practical Life Skills
Frustration Free Kindergarten Math
Click the banner below if your interested in learning more about that book or to purchase it. With all of the wonderful resources from so many talented homeschool moms, this is such an amazing resource for homeschoolers!!
To Read about our homeschool curriculum, money saving ideas, and other homeschool helps head over to our Homeschool page where I have all our homeschool posts on 1 page.
My Homeschool ideas Pinterest board has lots of great homeschool ideas, stop over and check it out!
I am linking up with these great linky parties, stop over to find some really great ideas, recipes, and more!!
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