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After years (yes, years) of thinking about whether or not to homeschool, we finally decided to take the plunge in 2012.  I designed a separate Homeschool Room on the first floor which is working out quite nicely.  And we are finally moving into a typical homeschool day routine.  I know there is much debate over education here in the U.S. and I truly believe that there is not one correct way to teach children.  I think there are so many awesome alternatives for families, including public school.  Homeschooling is not for everyone, just as public school or private school is not for everyone.  I am ok with that and respect every family's decision to educate their children in the manner they feel best.  The key is that families are free to choose education for their children.  For multiple different reasons, we feel that homeschool is the best decision for our family.  I do not know if it will always be the best decision, but it is working very well for now.  There are many reasons for our education decision, but a few that are most important are:
  1. A Christian worldview education where God is the center and is always glorified.
  2. The choice to decide what we learn and how we do it.
  3. Being an integral and active part of our children's education; and being able to give them an overall Christian worldview of all studies while tying them all together.
  4. The flexibility of scheduling and being able to let the kids pursue their interests without concern of "over-scheduling" them.
  5. A less expensive alternative to Christian private school education while still giving them a wholesome learning environment.
  6. The chance to be together as much as possible!
We have adopted a Classical model of education for our homeschool.  The Classical model divides learning into three different stages:
  1. The Grammar Stage - memorizing facts, vocabulary and rules
  2. The Dialectic Stage - discovering how the facts relate and processing new concepts logically, and
  3. The Rhetoric Stage - applying the facts and learning how to clearly explain the concepts to others.
The three stages roughly correlate with Elementary, Middle and High School.  The Bible actually refers to these three stages as knowledge, understanding, and wisdom: "By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Proverbs 24:3-4

We are currently in the thick of memorizing as many facts as possible, including a Timeline of the entire world history, set to song.  The Classical Model is heavily language-focused - learning is accomplished through written and spoken words, not images (pictures, videos, TV).  Also, curriculum is taught in an interrelated way with all subjects linked to historical studies, which helps children connect information later.  Children learn about material multiple times through their years of education, more in-depth and age-appropriate as they get older.

We have joined a local Classical Conversations community and are really enjoying it.  The mission statement of Classical Conversations is: "To Know God and to Make Him Known."  CC is technically called a "tutoring program" but basically resembles a Christian co-op.  We go to CC once a week for "school" where the children are broken up into age-appropriate groups.  The tutors (aka teachers) introduce new memorization material to the kids each week and facilitate science experiments, music and art projects.  We hit all major subjects each week including Timeline, History, Geography, English Grammar, Math, Bible, Latin and Science.  The kids also deliver short presentations to their class each week, to help them with public speaking skills (even Lovebug in his preschool group!).  We enjoy lunch together after CC and then get a bit of outdoor time too.

CC does not offer a complete curriculum, rather a jumping-off point with memorization facts for each week.  I use the memorization material to build our homeschool curriculum, especially the history and science portions.  We are doing age/skill-appropriate Math and English lessons and other extra-curriculars.  I love that CC gives me a basis for our curriculum, but I still teach what works best for our family.  I am heavily working on many of the subjects but not stressing a few of them as much (like Latin).  Also, the social aspect of CC is awesome and we are already making some new homeschool friends :-)  So in conclusion, although I am busier than I ever imagined possible, we are doing GREAT!

Here is a list of our curriculums for the 20123/2014 School Year:

Angel (3rd grade)
  1. Memory Work: Classical Conversations and fun review games
  2. Timeline: Classical Conversations
  3. Handwriting: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting
  4. Grammar: First Language Lessons
  5. Writing: Writing With Ease
  6. Spelling: All About Spelling
  7. Reading: Various chapter books, some for pleasure reading, some living books related to history and science studies
  8. Math: Math Mammoth and Xtramath website
  9. History: Story of the World Volumes 1-4, miscellaneous living books, historical fiction related to our studies with CC, and related activities
  10. Geography: Classical Conversations
  11. Science: Classical ConversationsGod's Design for Science, living books mapped to CC memory work, and related experiments and activities
  12. Health: Various lessons from Kidshealth website
  13. Art: Classical Conversations and various arts/crafts projects at home
  14. Music: Classical Conversations and violin lessons
  15. Latin: Classical Conversations
  16. Bible: Bible Study Guide for All Ages and Classical Conversations.
Lovebug (Kindergarten)
  1. Memory Work: Classical Conversations and fun review games
  2. Timeline: Classical Conversations
  3. Handwriting: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting K
  4. Reading: All About Reading and the Bob Books.
  5. Math: Math U See Primer, Math Mammoth, Xtramath website
  6. History/Geography: Story of the World Volumes 1-4, miscellaneous living books, historical fiction related to our studies with CC, and related activities
  7. Science: Classical ConversationsGod's Design for Science, living books mapped to CC memory work, and related experiments and activities
  8. Health: Various lessons from Kidshealth website
  9. Art: Classical Conversations and various arts/crafts projects at home
  10. Music: Classical Conversations
  11. Bible: Bible Study Guide for All Ages and Classical Conversations
Sunshine (PreK3)

  1. Classical Conversations
  2. Horizon's Pre-K3 Program

Also, I look to my Pinterest boards often for inspiration from other homeschooling moms ... so many wonderful ideas out there!

So I realize how overwhelming this list looks, I promise it's not!  Everything flows together really well and we are all enjoying (almost) all of the subjects!


  1. I'm not a fan of home schooling--I completely take issue with selectively learning about the world and only absorbing the parts that accord with your own beliefs (as an educator, this is wholly contrary to the notion of education to me) but I appreciate that you time and effort into establishing a thoughtful curriculum. Will you review Chinese dynasties with your daughter? Christians play a controversial role in Ming and Qing Dynasty China--will you allow her to see why they were offensive to local Chinese? I'm just curious--no offense or condescension intended. These are the tricky issues with curriculums, aren't they? 2008 was a huge year for China--will that make your timeline? I have adopted siblings too, and I understand the tension between establishing an identity for that child based on where they are from but also allowing them to integrate fully.

    1. Hi ibrewtea! Thank you so much for your comment! And YES absolutely, we will spend a good amount of time studying Chinese history in the future (I'm not sure if we will do a whole year once she's older, I'll have to research curriculums and such to see what's out there). My intention with homeschooling my children is NOT to brainwash them, but to present all information and let them draw their own conclusions. My daughter's Chinese heritage is very important and I want her to know that where she comes from matters. So yes if that means explaining the good and bad of people (Christians, Chinese, or otherwise), my children will not be sheltered from that. What good does that do? This is one reason that we choose to homeschool also - for the opposite reason that public school offers very little true history of Christian background.

    2. I'm not a fan of ibrewtea's comment- I completely take issue with her first comment. Christians should keep their kids out of public schools because public schools are full of secular humanism and raising the next generation to be sheeple. Public schools (aside from the good Christian educators that are doing their best) are anti-God and not open minded to Christianity at all. Of course I want to shield my child from their brainwashing. Of course I want my child to be raised with a Godly Christian heritage. The only hope for the next generation are the kids that are being brought up in Godly, Christian homes. Praise God for awesome Mothers who are fulfilling their role and taking responsibility for training their own children and not sending them off to be trained by someone else, especially when that someone else is government-run public schools.

  2. Great blog! I found you through Iheartorganizing and really enjoyed seeing your school room. What a tactful and gracious response to a homeschooling question.

  3. I agree, great answer. :) I am considering homeschooling our children (ages 5 and 7), for the reasons you listed as well, and really appreciate your insights and the information you've laid out here. thank you and God bless you and your family and your efforts and desire to live out of His love!