Oil Of Joy: Homeschool - My favorite things...


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Homeschool - My favorite things...

We are currently in our 15th year of official homeschool. Over these wonderful, amazing, stressful, happy 14 years I have tried A LOT of curriculum. I was even blessed with a season of reviewing homeschool curriculum. Now that I am winding down our homeschool as our daughter is in 9th grade, I am looking at clearing out our materials we no longer need.

It's kind of sad. It's also good moving on and looking forward to what God has for me.

I wanted to make a list of some of my favorite homeschool things and share them with you.

1. First up is a book from Heart of Wisdom.... The Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays.

This book has blessed my family so much. This might be one of the most used books in my library, as well as a number one book loaned out to friends and family. It's just that good. I always recommend it to others and if I could afford it, I would send it to everyone I know. For reals. It's just amazing. WHY?!

This book does a beautiful job teaching about the biblical feasts, first from what it says in the Bible about the feast day and how it is to be celebrated. It then teaches you how traditional Judaism observes the holiday today. Then it goes in depth to show the connection between the feast day and our beloved Messiah, His life, death, resurrection and return as conquering King are all foretold in the biblical feasts. This book helped grow my faith and draw my family closer to the Lord and deepened our understanding of His ways. If you can afford it, buy it, be blessed, grow in His ways, learn of His promises through a very hands on, family bonding approach.

2. Another Heart of Wisdom, they produce some amazing curriculum. Biblically based, Charlotte Mason approach unit studies. CHECK, CHECK, CHECK! All my boxes happily checked off! To top it off, very Messianic friendly! Which, we are Messianic believers so I am thrilled with this excellent curriculum.

Ancient History: Adam to Messiah is a curriculum we used for one year in our homeschool adventures. I learned so much! That's one of my favorite things about homeschooling, I get to learn right along side my children!! It's truly fantastic!

Through this curriculum you will use the Bible as your core history book, how cool is that!?! This is an in depth guide to understanding biblical history that will bless your entire family. This is a guide that includes study ideas and covers most every topic! We learned so much history and I really felt like we were much more grounded in our biblical knowledge after our year long study. I no longer need this particular curriculum but I keep it because I love it so much, I am just not ready to part with it yet.

3. I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for both of our children. I just loved the simplicity of this book. 100 daily lessons that were about 20 minutes in length each day. Easy, efficient, and worked incredibly well for us.

I have this theory, if you can teach your children to read, you've accomplished one of the hardest parts of homeschool. Once someone can read, the world is now open to them. They can learn anything they want, that coupled with the knowledge of how to access information and there are no limits. As it turned out, this curriculum not only taught our children to read, but they also read very well and loved it! For a quick, easy to follow guide, I highly recommend this wonderful book.

4. Learning Adventures! I used this curriculum for years! Very few pieces I bought actually made it through several years, but this one just worked so well for our family and we all loved it. Biblical based, unit studies, living books, Charlotte Mason style. It fit all our loves.

Adventures abounded with this curriculum. Excellent historical fiction selections, I had the blessed opportunity to read some of the most amazing books with my children! We started our homeschool day cuddled up in my bed, still in jammies cuddling up with a fantastic book, finding out what happened next in our literature adventure. What a blessed season that was. This curriculum is filled with creative hands on ideas, cooking, literature, excellent and STRONG language art program, it includes everything but math! Truly an all inclusive curriculum I could not recommend it more. Grades 4-8.

5. As my children grew, we had to move out of Learning Adventures and find something that still offered fantastic inspired education for high school, yet also helped prepare them for the next phase of life, the possibilities of college. After much research I found Notgrass History. In depth, strong curriculum. Perfect prep work for moving up into college level studies. Honestly, I feel my son learned more in his Notgrass studies than he did in his college level history class!!

There is a lot of essay writing, reading and even tests are included. I was not a tester throughout our years homeschooling, however this was excellent preparation for what would be expected in a college setting. I highly recommend Notgrass for a thorough well rounded look at history from a biblical perspective.

6. My last for this post (although I have many more, which I may share another day) is the newest item we just tried this year. Queen Homeschool is a Charlotte Mason approach written by the Queen family. Excellent materials. Our daughter was more interested in a workbook style approach. It about killed me to think of MY child using a workbook in homeschool! We would be SHUNNED! However, my priority is to allow her to learn in a way that works best for her and makes her happy as well. If she wants a workbook style, then let's find one. Which we did and I am so happy to report about this series: Discovering Nature Series

Summer by the Sea is a year long, high school curriculum in a workbook style. It's also Charlotte Mason, so this mama is very happy. Guess what, so is her daughter, which makes this mama even happier! Each weekly lesson begins with a story which teaches about the topic in a fun way. So much more interesting than a typical textbook format. The days following have workbook pages with assignments to draw, research, explore the concepts brought up in the story. Tying everything together beautifully. The unit study, story telling approach increases retention of concepts learned as well as making it fun to do!

PS - If you are just learning about homeschool or are a veteran, I would also recommend this book about homeschooling. Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach If you are wanting a biblical approach, a biblical, godly mindset to your homeschool, this book is invaluable. I simply love this excellent book.

What are some of your favorite homeschool things?

Do you have any questions about the items I shared today, or about homeschool?

With joy ~Tina

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