Homeschooling In Five Easy Steps

“Easier said then done!” exclaimed one of my dear friends.  In a sense, she is right.  I started homeschooling our daughter few months before her 4th Birthday.  That is the easiest introduction, for both parents and pupils, to the world of homeschooling.  We both learned with each year spent homeschooling.

Here is my opinion after eight years of homeschooling and over fifteen years of working with homeschooling kids and their parents:

Homeschooling - Gustoff family in Des Moines 016
Homeschooling – Gustoff family in Des Moines 016 (Photo credit: IowaPolitics.com)
  1. Decompress – take a short vacation of about 6 weeks to adjust to the different flow of the household;
  2. Laws – during this time off, check the laws of your state regarding homeschooling and gather all the necessary materials;
  3. Reading – start reading aloud to/for your children; use books appropriate for their age and reading level;
  4. Mathematics – do pre-arithmetic (sorting, counting, grouping)  with a younger child and test an older child for basic math knowledge;
  5. Writing – start all children on narration to strengthen their writing skills and check comprehension levels; introduce hand-writing for younger children and typing for older children.

There are four levels of depth for the homeschooling child:

Books used for this schedule:

A History of the American People by Paul Johnson pages 81-269 OR Age of Revolution by Churchill
Founding Father – Rediscovering George Washington by Richard Brookhiser OR Life of Washington by David Ramsay
Autobiography of Ben Franklin terms 1 and 2
Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton terms 1 and 2 (19 weeks, read 2 chapters per week)
Plutarch’s Lives (use Ambleside’s rotation)
Ourselves by Charlotte Mason, remainder of Book 1
An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope
Are You Liberal, Conservative? or Confused? by Richard Maybury term 1
The English Constitution by Walter Bagehot, used in terms 1 and 2
C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity (if you’ve read it, read The Problem of Pain)
How to Read a Book, part 3 (chapters 13-15 this term)
History of English Literature for Boys and Girls by HE Marshall Ch 60-73 this year
Simond’s Literature – Increase and Cotton Mather from Chapter 1 (The New England Clergy)
Simond’s Literature -Chapter 2 (click on each of the five subtitles under The Eighteenth Century; because of an error in frames, subsections can’t be accessed except from main page)
Isaac Bickerstaff by Richard Steele
Days with Sir Roger DeCoverly by Richard Steele term 1
The Coverley Papers from the ‘Spectator’
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. (Skip chapter 5 in Part II, on Gulliver’s visit to Brobdinnag, the land of the Giants.)
Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift
Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift
Elements of Style by Strunk and White
How To Read a Book by Mortimer Adler, part 3 for this year
Christian Life by Sinclair Ferguson (still needs to be broken into weekly readings)
Poetry of Alexander Pope
Apologia Science or BJU Science

I hope that I have helped, just a little, in making your homeschooling an easier and more productive adventure!

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