Yesterday morning, while the boys built and Whinnie rambled around, I spent time looking through my absolute favorite homeschooling resource:
Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp.
Over the last 3 months, Nic’s been working with the Oak Meadow curricula, and it has served us well. It has gotten us into a groove, and it has gotten me to a point where I can anticipate a week’s activities without stress.
But now, it seems, is time to switch gears and go back to our ‘eclectic unschooling’ approach, utilizing Oak Meadow as one of many resources.
The Rupp book is awesome because it not only lists each grade, it lists each part of the curricula (language arts, math, science, etc.) with typical skills and competencies by grade AND (here’s the part I love especially) lists plenty of resources, especially books, that can be used to help with the skills at hand.
Boxed curricula are great for giving a busy parent all the research and materials/resources in one place. But, unfortunately, what they offer in convenience may be taken away in customization. I’ve been modifying the Oak Meadow materials since day one, since Nic is well beyond his grade in math and science. But now, as he is getting more and more proficient in language arts, the curricula is becoming irrelevant.
The Rupp book allows me to think not in terms of grade levels, but in terms of his skills and interests.
I’ve listed out all the areas that he needs more development for the rest of 3rd and all of 4th grade. And we are beginning on these items this week.
And I have a list of about 45 books to use as resources to support out projects. Now the task is to do some searching on the library’s database and see which books they have and start the process of requesting them.
Oh, I’m doing the same thing for Theo, btw. I’ve set aside the Oak Meadow Kindgergarten materials, since he’s academically past all of that. I’m looking through the Rupp book regarding 1st grade competencies and thinking and planning creative ways to explore that level with him.
Theo surprised and delighted us Sunday night. While we were waiting for pizza at our favorite pizza place, Theo was drawing on the back of an old envelope I gave him (yes, I have become my grandmother who always had old envelopes and crayons in her purse to occupy us… 😉 Chris and I were talking with Nic and laughing at Whinnie’s antics, not paying much attention at all. Suddenly, though, Theo showed me what he was working on.
There, on the back of the envelope, in black crayon, was his name: T H E O
As Theo has resisted any and all efforts in writing any letters, despite the fact that he’s been reading for a year, this was huge.
The letters were well-formed and in the right order.
We showered him with praise and kisses. And you’ve never seen a larger, broader smile.
Ah, THEY make homeschooling work!