Friday, September 07, 2012

Homeschool Distinctives

I learned about the idea for Homeschool Distinctives from the blog Raising Olives here. At the time I ran across the post I was struggling with being overwhelmed with homeschool, homemaking and homesteading. The idea of homeschool distinctives seem to hold the  possible solution to my dilemma of balancing 0-1 year old twins (at the time) with 3 school age children.

One big issue we were having was bouncing around from curriculum to curriculum. I loved Charlotte Mason but it was too labor intensive for our growing family. Homeschool Distinctives gave me an opportunity to give our homeschool the focus it lacked.

So here are our distinctives:
  1. Christ focused curriculum.
    • Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
  2. Emphasis on independent study by the student with Mama in the role of tutor. Thus we adopted much of the methodology of the Robinson Curriculum. Which allows me to insert Charlotte Mason type elements into our homeschool without usurping the role of teacher. (again see Proverbs 2:6)
  3. Frugality - I am adding an emphasis on both reusable and free curriculum's from this point forward. I am trying to save money in our homeschool and stick to a budget.

    •  A prudent man seeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. Proverbs 22:13 Darby Translation
4.   Building Relationships within our family is a top priority and we will use our homeschool to strengthen relationships. For example older children have 15-30 minute time blocks in which they play with their 3 younger siblings.
    • "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."John 13:35
5. We are trying to create competent communicators for Christ. Accordingly, we have an emphasis on speaking and writing well. So participation in things like speech & debate, essay contests etc... are a part of our school.
    • "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:1
      • 6. Volunteering  simply stated our time is the Lords and if he needs us we will be there regardless of what the schedule says.
    • "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
I have done a lot of bouncing around between curriculum in our homeschool career. I must say that this list of distinctives has kept me more focused on the task at hand. I have been able to ignore curriculum like 'All About Spelling' (which I hear is wonderful) but it conflicts with distinctives 2 & 3.  Recognizing I am not looking for the perfect curriculum to perfectly educate my children but instead I am looking for a curriculum to teach them to educate themselves while I guide them toward the Great I AM.


Tina Hollenbeck said... you actually use Robinson, or something similar? If so, what is it? I am very curious, but I just don't know enough about Robinson to take the leap. Ideas for research? Pointers? :^)

texasmcvays said...

" you actually use Robinson, or something similar? If so, what is it?"

We use Robinson Curriculum but I am not a purist. I substitute books if I do not think they are appropriate. I have a voracious reader so I am adding books to her reading list. We also take online classes which is not RC but satisfies the Mom as Tutor distinctive. We normally have a family read aloud going as well.

" I am very curious, but I just don't know enough about Robinson to take the leap. Ideas for research?"

Read all the articles on the site and listen to all the audios.

" Pointers? :^)" Join the RC Yahoo group those folks are full of grace and wisdom!

Frankly, we have 6 kiddos right now I plan on doing a Montessori style (With lots of CM Reading books thrown in)Pre-K & Kindergarten with them (ages 2,2,1). Thus, the older 3 (14,9,&7) will need to work independently to facilitate the success of our homeschool.

Robinson Curriculum is a methodology that divides education into three parts:

Math- 1 hour per day Students do not start formal math until they have mastered their addition,subtraction, multiplication & division tables around 3rd grade. But at that time they normally start in Saxon 5. (all work is corrected by student reviewed by parent) You should spend some time reviewing work and tests but not more then 5-10 minutes a day I believe.

Reading- 2 hours of reading history & science. Real Science is not started until the child completes calculus when they are about 16 years old. (quizzes are available for some, you could narrate also though that defeats the purpose of RC)

Writing - 1 hour per day (includes rewriting the previous days assignment, writing a new one) This is where the parent has to spend about 15 minutes grading. One would include the study of grammar here.

RC has a specific Spelling and grammar they recommend. A purist RC Family would school 4 hours - 6 days a week. :)

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