Monday, August 14

Beautiful (Jenny Phillips)

Five Days of Getting Your Homeschool Year Off on the Right Foot
One of the biggest challenges to your homeschool year is having the right curriculum.  Each family is different; each curriculum is different; and there's no 'right' curriculum - only the one that is right for your family.  

For a few years, we used A World of Adventure, and we loved it!  Sadly, though, the author quit writing it halfway through the series.  Then, we spent a year using Memoria Press.  This is a fantastic curriculum and will prepare children for rigorous higher learning; however, it was just too much for us, and the kids were drowning.  I set off on a mission to find something similar to AWOA, where the subjects were streamlined.  

Finally, after much searching, I stumbled upon The Good & The Beautiful when my friend, Jane, posted this video on her blog.

This video is about the History curriculum, but I liked it so much that I began to dig into their other products.  What we discovered was a streamlined curriculum that really fit our needs!  As an even sweeter bonus, it is SO affordable, I'm even going to let the kids write in the books and not give it a second thought - because they're that affordable!  The older one can write in it, and I can buy a new one as the younger one advances.  (And 'affordable' isn't a word I often use beside 'curriculum'...)

So what does our year bring?

Fourth / Fifth Grade

Seventh Grade

**Block scheduling for history and science...alternating days...allows for more in-depth lessons.

We've allowed the boys to pick their own electives, based on their own interests, this year and will be doing them a few times weekly.  However, as their responsibility charts indicate, core school work must be completed before they begin on any elective classes.  The only exception here is P.E., which will be completed daily....since all children need to get out and about and run around!

A little more about The Good & The Beautiful....  
(No, I am not affiliated with them - just love them!)

The language arts programs cover several different subjects at once - including character, literature, geography, spelling, writing, reading, art appreciation, and grammar.  This kind of streamlining is not only good for the soul, but it's good for taking up less space in the car!  (Which, you know, is important when you're living out of the car while travelling from one job to the next.)  Levels 1-5 are available as free downloads, so that you can check it out and see if it's right for you, but I promise that it's a lot cheaper to buy their print version!  This is hands-down the most affordable curriculum we've ever seen.
See Levels 3 & 5 above....these are Levels 4 & 7.

In the classical style, this is a four-year program that wraps around to begin again after completion.  Each year comes with four different sets of printable pages, spanning kindergarten to twelfth grade, with age-appropriate work.  There are timelines, audio adventures, craft projects, and Charlotte Mason-style read-alouds.  

One of the things that makes this different from a traditional classical curriculum is that each of the four historical eras (Ancient, Middle Ages, Early Modern, Modern) is covered during each year.  Each year, however, a different aspect of that era is covered.  (ie, for Ancient : Year 1 = Egypt, Year 2 = Greece)  

The curriculum was created to be used together by the family, and this is the only thing that all of our students will be doing together this year.  Years 3 and 4 have not been completed, but are currently in the works - you can see the progress here.

Year 1 & Year 2

When is handwriting not just handwriting?  When it pulls double duty by reinforcing other subjects!!  The handwriting courses include artwork, poetry, Bible verses, and quotes that support character qualities. The courses also help provide practice with drawing skills.
They also offer Science and Typing programs, but we have not used them, so I cannot speak on them.

Art Instruction is included within each of the courses...

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