Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's a Carnival of Curriculum!

Welcome to my contribution to The Curriculum Choice's Carnival of Curriculum! I'm very excited you're here, and I hope you find some encouraging and informative tidbits to help you in your homeschooling adventure.

A little about us and what we do:

  • I have two daughters, both of whom will be in middle school this coming school year. I'm still having trouble coming to terms with that fact. Last week, they were in diapers, for Pete's sake!
  • This fall begins our sixth year of homeschooling, so we are no longer neophytes. I still experience moments of nail-biting anxiety or a sleepless hour or two during the night now and again. But I am sure we are on the right path for us.
  • My girls and I love to read! So it's natural that a literature-based educational philosophy suits us best. Our first year of homeschooling, I began in classical mode and quickly made the switch to a more Charlotte Mason approach. Now I blend elements of both.

My top curricula sources:

  • Ambleside Online: This FREE, Charlotte Mason-based curriculum is, in a word, astounding. So much thought and effort went into its design. I've studied the book lists through Year 11, AO's final year, and am very impressed with the selections and options offered. We will begin our sixth year with AO, Year 6, in September, and I can't wait.

Have I mentioned that I'm a life-long learner? I have an academic's desire for research, discovery, and enlightenment; ergo, I enjoy searching for other books or educational avenues. Here are some sites where I've located titles to read:

  • The Tanglewood School Curriculum is another FREE curriculum guide that offers ideas for supplemental literature and history selections. More book choices is always a good thing!
  • Heritage History offers a huge selection of book titles, many of which are in the public domain, as well as study aids, such as historical maps, and information on wars and battles. Browse the library to find books listed by genre.
  • A Book in Time is another fabulous booklist. Organized by time period, such as Early America or Middle Ages, listed books also feature annotation and age recommendation.
  • Epi Kardia, a CM curriculum, provides a book list I like to peruse for ideas and options.
  • Happy Hearts Homeschooling Library offers a wealth of information on FREE books, arranged by subject.

I also use books to help me plan a thorough education for my children:

  • A Literary Education, by Catherine Levison
  • A Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levison
  • More Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levison
  • When Children Love to Learn, ed. Elaine Cooper
  • The Well-Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
  • Honey for a Child's Heart, by Gladys Hunt. You can read my review on The Curriculum Choice here.

A source for other education materials that I find particularly helpful is The Critical Thinking Company. Over the years, we've used several of their workbooks, including Mind Benders, Building Thinking Skills, and Word Roots.

Although reading is at the heart of our educational pursuits, we do some math as well! One of my children has used the free MEP curriculum (Mathematics Enhancement Programme) for five years. The other has required a few different curricula, and most recently we enrolled her in our nearby Mathnasium, a math tutoring facility. Already, we've seen a vast improvement in her attitude and confidence.

So that's a description, albeit brief, of most of my curricula resources. It took me a few years to winnow through the myriad options available to homeschoolers today, and these are what suit my family. I hope I've helped you on the way to discovering what's best for your family!

For more information on what goes on around our house as well as other resources, take a look at my posts under both the "Reviews" and "Homeschooling Helps" tags.

For more wonderful ideas and encouragement, spend some time browsing other posts at the Carnival of Curriculum! The review team has a wealth of homeschooling knowledge, experience, and tips, all ready to share with you.

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