Sunday, July 25, 2010

Resources and Curriculum

When you begin to look for homeschool materials it can be overwhelming. There are lots of choices. One of the best resource books is Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling.  She really breaks down learning and teaching styles and then pairs the best resources for each style. 

For more info on the Charlotte Mason philosophy, as well as curriculum and book lists Simply Charlotte Mason is a great resource.  For a free Charlotte Mason Curriculum check out Ambleside Online.  Both of these sites have great reading lists for all ages/grades that are free to access.

We have used several different curriculum choices since we started homeschooling in 2005.  They all have different strengths but are all great choices for different reasons.  We started with Sonlight which may be one of the best known Christian curriculum choices.    We also used Winterpromise and loved their Animal Worlds program.   We actually still read some of the books from this program.  This past year we read some of the books from their Children Around the World program as we studied world cultures.  As I blogged at the first of the year we used My Father's World Exploring Country and Cultures this year for a year of world geography, missions and world cultures.  It has been a fun year and it has been great to learn more about the cultures many of our families and friends are serving.  This year brings us some more changes.  As I started researching different curriculum I knew I wanted to do something that would start a four year rotation of history based on The Well Trained Mind.  We already use many of the resources from Peace Hill Press and love them.  As I researched I knew that Winterpromise wasn't the way I wanted to go.  I really like their choices but haven't been pleased with their Instructor Guides.  I Like My Father's World and love their focus on the Bible but wanted something a little different.  I began to read and research Tapestry of Grace.  I like their Biblical focus.  I liked the four year history rotation.  I like that the boys are studying the same thing but on their own level.  I really like that it incorporates writing into the year.  I also like the independence it promotes in older students.  Then a friend offered to let me borrow her year one and that cinched the deal for me.  I am in the planning stages and am looking forward to seeing how this works for us this year.

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