It has taken us a while to find our favorites, what works with each child and what does not. When they get to college, much of what is taught is done so by many different instructors with many different methods and never the same curriculum writers. I feel like I have given my children a wide variety and therefore, have prepared them for some of the challenges they will face. Please forgive me if that sounded a little defensive. There is not one home school mom in the world today that has not asked herself the question, "Are my children learning what they are supposed to be learning to 'make it' in the world today?" I guess I was reacting to that common worry!
We get the question so often, as I'm sure most of you do, "What curriculum do you use?" I have to tell you something funny. :) Years ago when I first started home schooling, I used to cringe when I would hear this response, "Oh, we use a little of this and a little of that." I remember thinking, "Their kids are gonna grow up stupid!" Well a few years of home schooling under my belt and much water under the bridge, guess what??!! I am doing just that and loving it! Here is a list of what we are doing this year.
Apologia Science for our three oldest.
ACE PACEs for English, Spelling and K/1
Essentials in Writing by Matthew Stephens
Piano By Ear by Matthew Stephens. Yes we kind of like his stuff!
History Revealed endorsed by Answers in Genesis
Typing Instructor For Kids
Electives include: Sign Language, Puppetry, Vocal Ensemble and Solo
With our children competing in the Fine Arts program through the Assemblies of God it requires many hours of practice fine tuning their talents and abilities. It also gives them the opportunity to find out what things they are interested in and a goal to work towards in perfecting that. Then we take them on what we call "Out Ministry" to give them the opportunity to use the talents they are perfecting for the reason God gave them to them: for His glory and ministry! They go to different churches and do their sign language songs, puppetry, human videos, drama, large vocal ensemble and short story. These are the categories they have competed in in the past. Kelly, Tyler and Parker are the only ones old enough to compete, but it is a good opportunity for the whole family. We spend MANY hours together working on the different categories the kids are competing in.
All three of our older children, K, T, and P, are learning sign language this year and K and T have competed at a National level twice. My son, T, tripled (I didn't know there was a such) for 10th place in the Nation this year. You can go here if you would like to see the list of winners. This is the list of all the top ten in each category so you will have to scroll down to page three to see his name.
K and T have competed in Puppetry Group through the Fine Arts for four years. They received first place (Award of Merit) last year at Nationals in Detroit, MI. This year they received first place again! This was extremely rewarding for them. If you would like to see their live performance in Puppetry you can go here. They got to perform in front of approximately 18,000 people in the same stadium that the Phoenix Suns play! Here is their name on the list of winners. It is on the bottom of page three. Their name is "Splash of Victory" and they performed in this category with four other kids from their youth group.
K, T, and P will be forming a trio this year which is small vocal ensemble and P will be singing in male vocal ensemble. We also practice singing together as a family occasionally. Definitely not for competition though! We hope to add a few more things like photography, graphic design and some other categories to give the kids more variety. That being said, Fine Arts takes a lot of their time and we are very proud of what the Lord is doing in their lives!
This will give you a little taste of what we do in our home for home schooling! I am writing another post that will give you a review of each of these curricula and why we like them!
Blessings as you continue your day,