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More Frequently Asked Homeschooling Questions
The Watering Place: Come and be Filled with Encouragement for Homeschooling.
Homeschooling Encouragement Article by Harriet Yoder
Welcome to Frequently Asked Homeschooling Questions Page 2! The following questions are linked to answers on this page:
These questions are linked to answers on Frequently Asked Homeschooling Questions Page 1 at Lamp Post Homeschool Store:
Unless you live in a state which provides textbooks (for example Pennsylvania) and you don’t mind using secular material, you will be purchasing curriculum. If your budget is really limited, you can pray about it and the Lord will show you a way whether it’s borrowing from friends and the library, purchasing used books, or some other marvelous way.
If you purchase individual textbooks and Teacher’s guides for each subject and each child for each grade, it can be expensive. However, at Lamp Post Publishing our philosophy is that if you use a "real books, multi-level family" approach to teaching your children, you can save money and spend it on lasting resources to build your homeschool library. With this approach, you purchase those resources that you will use most and use the library for real books that you need occasionally. It is a multilevel family approach because you are teaching several children with the same book at once.
By using the multi-level approach, you can teach several children the same subject. We think reading and math programs should be individualized. Science and history are wonderful multilevel subjects. You will teach the lesson to everyone and individualize the written work. The activities and oral discussion will be geared to the individual. One advantage to this method is that the younger children are exposed to higher levels of language and thinking skills.
While it seems that younger children may not understand a more complicated lesson, you are planting seeds for the future. I remember hearing my father tell my older brother about square roots. I had no clue about what a square root was but when I heard about them in my math class, I perked up and paid attention.
There are several approaches to science and history in the elementary years:
Traditional Textbook Approach
If you are in your first year of teaching at home, you may feel that you need more structure. You will probably be more comfortable using a textbook approach for history and science. Having a student text, a teacher's edition, and the supplementary materials can increase your confidence in your ability to teach your children at home.
After using a traditional curriculum for a year or more, you will have learned what you like and don't like about that curriculum. This information makes it easier to move into a less traditional type of teaching: unit studies, real books approach, etc.
Most elementary history and science textbooks were designed for use in a traditional classroom setting. In addition they tend to be graded readers. Also, most of the material which is covered will be repeated in junior and senior high. You may want to try a more loosely structured curriculum such as a unit study.
Homeschool Unit Studies
The needs and goals of the homeschool setting are very different from a classroom setting and therefore many homeschoolers use products that were created by and for home educators. If you decide to go with a science or history unit study, it is wise to invest in resource materials that you can use both now and later on in the secondary level. Unit studies tend to be guides with suggested reading--library books or books to purchase for your home library. Usually the guides have daily or weekly lesson plans with suggested questions, activities, and/or projects that appeal to a wide variety of learners.
Real Books Approach
Using the real books approach is great for families who are teaching several children of different ages. Simply choose a science topic or historical event or time period and start reading! You can make individual reading assignments or choose books to read aloud to the entire family. It is helpful to have a guide to historical fiction (Choosing Good Books). With this approach you can purchase books for your home library or borrow them from the library.
Today Christian homeschooling parents can choose from a variety of creative new unit studies, history study guides, grammar workbooks, and literature guides as well as traditional Christian school textbooks and curriculum. Many multilevel resources have been written specifically for home educators by experienced home educators who weren’t satisfied with what was available. The Lord has really blessed the homeschooling movement with the tremendous talent of these authors. These products not only save you time and money but make the learning process more interesting and motivating.