Here's where you learn that we are homeschooling:
We are homeschooling our kids. Mademoiselle would have been entering Kindergarten this month, but instead of sending her to the area schools, which are pretty bad in many ways, we decided to homeschool.
When I was in college I said I'd never homeschool. When I was newly married I said I'd never homeschool. When we had a toddler and a baby, I said I'd never homeschool. I said it other times, too. And I thought I meant it.
But being in our particular situation means we are homeschooling. And I've learned to love the idea.
Enough about me and my thoughts.
Because we are homeschooling and making it as successful and enjoyable as possible, I have done a lot or reading and learning.
Goal # 1 - make sure that learning and questioning and growing stay FUN and INTERESTING.
Goal # 2 - make sure that Mademoiselle learns what she needs to learn to stay with her grade level.
I'm fun and interesting, so that accomplishes goal # 1.
To accomplish goal #2, I found a great book. Home Learning Year by Year :How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through Highschool, by Rebecca Rupp, (Three Rivers Press, 2000), is that book.
Basically, it contains a chapter per grade level, and each chapter is divided into every subject a student in that grade can or should study. Each subject is then broken down into main points, with suggestion on how to learn and teach those points. Also, there are references listed in each section, which include books, music, internet sites, games and more.
Rupp also includes a touch of personal advice here and there, since she has homeschooled her 3 children for over 10 years. The overall tone supports goal #1 for us, and that's what makes this book a gem.
What it is not - a step-by-step guide on training up your very own brood of mini-geniuses.
What it is - a clear and complete, well-researched how to, that encourages attention to learning styles, interests, attention spans, growth rates, and developmental progress and clearly shows what the general standards for knowledge, grade by grade, are in the U.S.
Basically, what happened was this: I researched and read for months on end, I developed some ideas of how I'd like to do things. I looked at curriculum and resources and at the same time felt overwhelmed and unsatisfied by what I found. I looked at books on Amazon and read a lot of reviews and found a new copy of this book for 7 bucks. I bought it, and read it, and now have a clear and detailed outline of what we are doing for the next several months. It just immediately help all my varied thoughts take form.
Here's where I tell you this book is great. And if you are homeschooling, you should own it.