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educating for life :: how we plan our days {part 2}

educating for life :: how we plan our days {part 2}

Yesterday’s post outlined some of our homeschooling thoughts and ideas for next year.  A description of our family’s intentions, and most definitely not a prescription of how any other family should detail their days.

I often appreciate an ‘inside peek’ on other blogs offering educational ideas; my mind is sparked and fresh ways of seeing our routines or curriculum are helpful.  We each know our limits though…and sometimes reading another’s words can stir up guilty feelings, less-than-best attitudes and generally just make us feel ‘ugh’.

That is never my desire here on the blog. I want to inspire, not intimidate.

But, I’ve been there and fallen into that trap often enough — the trap of comparing.  It’s not pretty.  It’s not smart.

So I hope that any words here bring you closer to the stirrings within your own heart, not simply to follow mine.

Continuing with the titles borrowed with permission from gracious Ann, I list out four more aspects to our home education {the first three found here} ~

We appreciate LOVELINESS (poetry, nature, music, art)

:: I hope to cultivate an appreciation for beauty in its various forms and so we seek to grow in this area.  Music lessons and practice are a norm, each child pursuing an instrument as they grow.  There are many free online resources for art lessons such as Deep Space Sparkle, Incredible Art, or Art Projects for Kids.  I’ll be using Artistic Pursuits next year for our 8-yr old, who lives and breathes drawing, painting and all that jazz — it’s excellent!

We’ll read & memorize short seasonal poetry or excerpts from the Poetry for Young People books and we’re trying a new resource, Poetry Speaks to Children.  Check your library, they may carry these titles!

Exploring the outdoors is a continuing growing area as I seriously lack in the skills of identifying trees, birds, plants (I know the names of very few flowers!) and the like.  The desire is that the children learn at least a little more than I know.  So, we head out into the great big outdoors with field guides and helps to assist and we keep a seasonal nature table with our findings.


We explore LITERATURE (living books across the curriculum)

The core of our language curriculum is Foundations and Frameworks, a unique reading program developed for schools.  While it’s unavailable for purchase to individuals, one of the authors is a friend and so gave us materials & instruction on home use.  We love it for the approach to thinking skills used and for the excellent reading lists!  Another great reading list is 1000 Good Books.

We explore LANGUAGE (writing, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, Latin, world languages)

:: our almost 13-yr old continues with Latin study, we are fortunate enough to have classes available in our area from instructors who embrace Latin & Greek studies as a core instead of simply taken to improve vocabulary skills.  Our kindergartener will use some of Veritas’ Phonics program and I also appreciate Critical Thinking Company’s Language Smarts books for our 8-yr old.  Writing & spelling is done informally (as in we don’t use a curriculum), but with intentional focus.  Wordly Wise is our choice for vocabulary instruction.

and finally….

We study LOGIC (science, math, reasoning and thinking)

:: last year I discovered Critical Thinking’s Mathematical Reasoning workbooks and have been smitten with them ever since!  For early elementary, the workbooks are complete curriculums and we simply use whatever we have on hand as manipulatives. Building Foundations of Scientific Learning for the kindergartener & 3rd grader as well as reading good books on seasonal science activity, weather or animals; 8th grade will be physical science and I’ll probably use an upper level textbook to approach slowly; Teaching Textbooks her Algebra 1 curriculum and we continue with The Art of Argument as an introduction to informal logic.


Sometimes, I look at the list and it all feels huge, nearly too much!  Yet, I know that we take little steps daily towards our big goals — nothing happens overnight.  There are days and weeks all goes well and days where I wonder what we’re actually doing.  Thankfully, it’s all a part of the process.

If you base your education from home, grace to you in that journey.  You are doing a beautiful thing.


A gentle weekend to all….


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Daniele Evans