I get this question all the time. I’ve asked Kelly, a homeschool mother of six to share her views.

Take it away Kelly:

I would be cautious about a curriculum that promised to be all that your child will ever need. My children are each very different so I treat each one appropriately. As an example, here is the starting point that I took for my second grader.

Starting with the language arts program, reading is very important to us so our schedule includes a weekly library visit to pick up new books. There is an hour of daily reading. Beginning readers read aloud to mom.

My children write in their journals each day. We focus on creative writing from Monday through Thursday, sometimes writing up lessons from science or social studies. On Friday, they choose their favorite journal entry from the week, correct any spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors and write the edited version in their best penmanship. This provides practical application of some of the language skills they’ve learned.

I have a handwriting program to develop fine motor skills and learn penmanship.

Our family uses Time4Learning for the rest of our language arts curriculum. The language arts curriculum is thorough in its coverage of phonics, grammar, vocabulary, verbal comprehension and reading comprehension. If I feel my child needs additional practice on a certain language concept, I can usually find it in the Time4Learning language arts extensions. I use their scope and sequence to help me choose enrichment activities and to schedule them.

I have children with a range of math abilities and Time4Learning has been a good choice for all of them. I add math drills for the kids who need it.

I supplement the Time4Learning Science and Social Studies with “read alouds” from the library. I locate books on a subject that is currently being studied and read these aloud to my children in the evening. This often generates some interesting discussion, which helps build conversational and verbal expression skills.

Our family takes advantage of sports activities, music lessons and community art classes to provide a more rounded education.

For me, homeschooling is more than choosing the right curriculum, it’s a life style and an approach to family. Any curriculum can be enhanced by a lifestyle conducive to learning. The actual time involved in completing the Time4Learning lessons isn’t as important as the sound basis it provides for application and reinforcement throughout the day. To help our children effectively apply the things they are learning, we limit television viewing, provide educational toys and encourage creative playing (blocks, sandbox, play dough).

We’ve chosen Time4Learning for its solid lessons, its appeal to the children (they don’t fight the curriculum the way they have with others), and because I no longer have to grade papers.  -Kelly.

If you have questions for Kelly about her homeschooling program, you can ask her on the Forum, which she helps moderate. Recent threads that have generated interest include:

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