Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Homeschool Plans

At the Mango schoolhouse, these are the scholars. Technically, Jo An has graduated. However, she plans to join us when she is not working. She really enjoys our family time aka school. How we home school has really evolved over the years. We used to 'home school', now we 'home educate'. The difference being that we do not try to recreate school at home. Our goal is to disciple and train our children's character. Of course, they will learn plenty along the way.

We have adopted a Charlotte Mason approach in our school. The best book to read that will give you a feel for it is 'The Charlotte Mason Companion'. I like so many of her ideas and did struggle a bit in putting them into practice. Then I discovered the website It helps tremendously by giving book lists and a schedule. We do even adapt that as we do most of our schooling together. It saves me from having to do huge amounts of grading and the children develop a common culture and body of knowledge. They can help each other learn. We did NOT start doing everything we do now all at once. I would be insane and the natives would have rebelled. We have gradually added one or two things each semester, keeping some and discarding others.

The one thing that has really grown in our curriculum is the amount of memory work we do. I have found that the more we do the easier it becomes for my scholars. We also memorize hymns and folk songs by singing one a month every day. The children learn them painlessly that way. We do divide our school year into 3 twelve week semesters.

For those who are interested the following is our proposed study for the fall.
Memory Work
September Hymn: My Jesus I Love Thee
Scripture Memorization: Proverbs 3:1-24
Poetry Long: When the Frost is on the Punkin (by Riley)
Short : The Moon (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Shakespeare Sonnet CXVI
Lists: Kings of Israel and Judah

Books we will Read Together:
Devotional: Daily devotional of Church History
Christian Bio: Doctor in Rags by Louise Vernon
Fiction: Freckles by Stratton Porter
Christian Fiction: Hinds Feet in High Places
Missionary Story: We are reading through the Jungle Doctor Series by Paul White

We will work through one of Shakespeare's plays and will try and get through one of Plutarch's lives. These things stretch me and the children, but we do try and keep plugging away at it. We will also work on History (Mystery of History vol I Creation through Fall of Rome) and will do a writing curriculum together. I think we will also do a brief study on Astronomy for Science for the younger ones.

We do a Bible Study and Pray together every day, actually we start with that. The children also are responsible for keeping a Thankfulness Journal. They are to write in their notebook three things every day that they are thankful to God for. The children also are assigned a Bible Reading every day that they all must do. This semester they will be reading through one of the Gospels (Mark?). The older ones (seventh grade and up) must also read the corresponding part in William McDonald's Commentary and write 5 sentences about what they learned. They do this on their own.

I am playing around with where and how I can incorporate art and nature study into our week, but we will have to see about that, as everyone's schedule is pretty full, and we must leave room to run and play outside.

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