Curriculum/philosophy

This is the statement I put in our *yearbook* last year:

The School Down the Lane has a simple educational philosophy;  children will learn what they need to do what they love.  Our curriculum consists of basic math and language arts at the child’s level with science, history, arts and literature that is interest based.  Individual learning styles are respected and incorporated into teaching methods within a resource rich environment.  Extracurriculars are encouraged, as are group projects, but neither is mandatory. 

Joy is our goal, in learning and in life.

We are also literature based learners.  The reason for that is that both B and K are very auditory learners.  IE-they remember better if they hear it as opposed to seeing it or doing it.  Thus reading to them is the best way to get info into their brains.  Another tenent of  LBL is learning through living books (ie-not textbooks) so you will see a lot of historic fiction and richly written non-fiction on our book lists. 

As mentioned, we do use an actual curriculum for language arts and math. 

Currently we are using for K:

Life of Fred-Beginning Algebra

Apologia Biology

 outside classes in US History (literature based), Literature study and Intro to EArly Childhood Ed (at the local community college)

and for B:

Kumon Math grade 3-word problems and geometry/measurement, grade 4 decimals and fractions

Hooked on Phonics

Study Dog (online)

Apologia Elementary Zoology 2 and 3

Story of the World Vol 1 (text and activity book)

The rest of what we use is very fluid.  I teach history chronologically so we slowly work our way through using various resources such as reading lists, our library, Learning Through History magazine and the ideas of other homeschoolers.  Science is similar, although it is even more interest based.  The two often merge (like when we learned about Leonardo Da Vinci and Galileo) and literature is almost always mixed in with history (Sherlock Holmes and Dr Jeckly and Mr Hyde recently). 

Generally my planning  goes something like this:

Pick a topic

talk with kids about their areas of interest

Google topic

look over reading lists

check library catalog

check amazon sellers

Order the Learning through History if available

check Netflix for appropriate DVDs

gather books and resources

Buy what I need for hands on activities

Assign reading to K 

Begin read alouds with K, M and B

If the kids are really interested these units will go on for quite a long time.  If the kids are *eh* about the topic we just finish what I originally plan or even cut it short if they really aren’t into it.  My goal is to introduce the important bits, not drill them ad nauseum.  If they aren’t interested we generally let it go.

The kids take extracurriculars, one at a time generally since I have three kids 🙂 . Currently K is taking Cheer, M is taking Lyrical and B is in breakdancing.   K also teaches cheer to 3-5 yos and helps me teach the older kids.  Our homeschool group will get the kids together at the park or inside to *hang out* and I make it a point to get the kids there when they do.  I am not one who believes that peers are more important then family but I also respect my kids need to be around other kids their age.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Beth Kaeser on September 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Hey jen…just nosing around, tryingt o get a feel for what I might be getting myself into. :0)

    Beth

    Reply

  2. Posted by schooldownthelane on September 3, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Getting yourself into? Is there something I don’t know? 🙂

    Reply

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