Piecing Together a First Grade Education (2012 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Hillary Boucher of infinite learners

Ages of my children: 7, 4, & 1
Educational philosophies I pull from: Unschooling, Literature-based, Enki, Montessori

We are a young homeschooling family and have only recently started to explore formal curriculum. In the early years we find that focusing on a healthy and enriching home environment along with the patience to let little ones explore at their own pace is more than optimal.

However, a few things changed this past fall:

  • my son turned seven and was actively seeking out more stimulation,
  • New York State Laws require that we begin turning in our plans and reporting on progress, and
  • I started a new job working from home.

The combination of of these changes led us to seek out curriculum tools to help us cover the basics. We started out simple: math and reading.
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Transition from Interest-Led Elementary to Middle School Years (2012 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

Ages of my children: (almost) 13, 11, and 9
Educational Philosophies I pull from: Leadership Education, Literature-Based, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling

Our family has gone through a lot of change in the past year. We moved to a different country and have lived in three different provinces or states in the past twelve months.

My husband now works at home and our nearly thirteen-year-old daughter is going through her own monumental life change, moving from childhood to young adulthood.

These life transitions naturally affected our homeschool routines and the resources we use.

A couple of significant homeschool changes worth mentioning:

  1. We are English speakers now living in a francophone province. There is very limited English public library service where we live so we access more online resources than ever before.
  2. My husband takes a much more active part in our homeschool since moving. Specifically in the areas of his interests – computer programming, science and technology in general.

I’ve broken down our homeschool curriculum by subject, though in application we don’t live our days studying “subjects” so much as investigating, exploring and diving into our interests.
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Trail Guide to Learning (Curriculum Fair 2012)

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Children’s ages: 16, 12, and 10
Educational Philosophy Influences: Classical, Charlotte Mason, Eclectic

I‘m really excited about the 2012-2013 school year! That’s because we’ll be continuing with curriculum that we found this year – curriculum that we love! Trail Guide to Learning. My older daughter will be continuing with Switched on Schoolhouse, which works well for her in this season of her educational life.

We began using Trail Guide to Learning (Paths of Settlement) in January of this year and have thoroughly enjoyed it! Trail Guide, published by the folks at Geography Matters, is an all-inclusive curriculum that covers everything except math.

I never thought I was an all-inclusive curriculum kind of gal, so I was a little skeptical about trying it. However, we were really floundering for a history curriculum that my kids would enjoy and Trail Guide sounded like what I had in mind – heavy on biographies and historical fiction, with lots of hands-on learning.

I was in seventh heaven when the UPS showed up with “the big box.”
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The good, the bad, the Internet (2012 curriculum fair)

Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling.
Ages of my children: 13, 10, 5, 1
Educational philosophies I pull from: eclectic, unschooling

We’ve gone through a lot of curriculum in our house.

There are a few favorites that I’ve offered for all my children (the Good) and then there are the duds that I wouldn’t dream of putting another child through (the Bad).

These days though, our go to source for all subjects is the Internet. 

The Good:

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Reading, writing, & ‘rithmetic for 6 kids (2012 curriculum fair)

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Ages of my children: 14, 11, 9, 7, 5, and 3
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: ClassicalCharlotte MasonLiterature-Based

Back in January, I realized that we were in the doldrums as far as school was concerned. I really wanted to put some wind back in our sails, so I spent some extended time researching different options and analyzing how our days were spent. I rediscovered a love for how we used to do things “back in the good old days.”

That is to say, I ditched what wasn’t working and started a reread of The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. This was the foundational book for me over a dozen years ago when my firstborn was just a toddler. I read it from cover to cover several times, and my original edition is literally falling apart at the seams. Since then it’s been revised a few times, so I picked up a new copy and allowed it to realign my vision for our school.

Since I have SIX kids, it’s a lot of curriculum to plan for. Rather than tell you about every single resource we’re using, here’s a peek at our reading, writing and arithmetic:
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