** Edited 12/28/2009 - Note that many of our curriculum choices and our learning styles have evolved since the original posting of this article on 9/21/07**
Our Home Education Philosophy:
Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Webelieve it is our God-given duty to shelter, train and educate ourchildren under the Lord’s guidance and to equip them with a strongfoundation so they may become spiritually mature Christian adults. Weencourage self motivated learning, well rounded interests, diligence,selflessness, responsibility, self control and empathy. We strive todevelop our children into intelligent adults with a strong set ofvalues, strong faith in God, and a strong sense of self.
Our Goals for our family:
Academically- To equip our children to learn all things under the will of God so that they may fulfill His calling in their lives
Physically - To teach our children how to be healthy, well-groomed and physically fit and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Spiritually-To raise mature Christians by emphasizing the importance of prayer,Bible study, fellowship, and seeking the will of God in their dailylives.
Morally- To instill Biblical values and to teach them to always weigh their thoughts, words, and actions against the will of God.
Socially-To give them opportunities to flourish in different social settingswith different kinds of people, to learn how to stand up for theirbeliefs and defend them to others, and to teach them the importance offriendships and choosing right relationships.
Wehave been homeschooling now for 4 years, since my oldest son was inpreschool. At the time, we lived in IPS school district and I refusedto allow him to go there. So I started working with him from homebefore I really knew much about the homeschooling movement. The summerbefore he was to start kindergarten, we moved to a better schooldistrict, so I decided to give it a try. He attended almost 1 full yearof kindergarten. I was disappointed in what they taught him in thatyear, so I decided to pull him out and homeschool on a permanent basis.We also decided to start K at home with our youngest (at the time) son.We have been doing it ever since. It took us a while to figure out thecurriculum and all that. I started out thinking that we had to use apackaged curriculum all from the same publisher. We tried Alpha Omegaat first, using horizons for K and Lifepacs for 1st grade. We didn’tlike them. Drew was very bored with it and Isaiah was frustrated by theHorizons phonics. I was frustrated by the simplicity of the teacher’smanuals as they did not contain any help for telling how to teach newconcepts. So then we tried BJU. We liked the curriculum, though certainsubjects we felt were too time consuming and I was spending largeamounts of time doing prep. (I thought I had to follow the teachermanuals to a tee.)
Anyhow, we now use an eclectic mixof resources. We still use BJU for Math and Bible. We are using Abekafor Phonics, Reading and Penmanship. We use a various mixture ofresources for Grammar and Writing, including daily journals,printables, and BJU English. We are using Mystery of History forHistory and Geography. And we are doing Science unit studiesincorporating notebooking, lapbooking, and timelines. I also hope to beincorporating various arts and crafts throughout the year along withMusic activities and PE/Health. The boys will be getting citizenshipgrades this year based upon their behavior every day. I have come upwith my own system for this and I will hopefully post a link soon soyou can see the evaluation sheets I use. Drew will also be startingweekly vocabulary exercises, probably starting out with Wordly Wise3000 book A, with a weekly multiple choice vocabulary test.
Ourgoal for the children, once they become fluent readers, is to teachthem to be independent learners. This way they will develop the skillsneeded to be lifelong learners so they will always be growing anddeveloping as they move through life.