After my original post I realized that I had not discussed how or why I choose the curriculum that I use. Several years ago we wrote our Homeschool Distinctives which define our homeschool. The homeschool distintictives finally helped to reign me in and my wild homeschool expenditures & curriculum flip flopping finally came to an end. So I will briefly go over our homeschool distinctives but if you want an in depth explanation please go to the Homeschool Distinivies page.
Using Homeschool Distinctives for Planning the Logic Stage
- Christ Focused
- Independent Study
- Keep it simple
- Building Relationships
We seek to use curriculum that allow us to live out our 7 distinctives and we use Teaching the Trivium as our guide through Classical Education as we are planning the logic stage.
Distinctive 1: When I look at a curriculum I consider is it Christ focused and/or is it written by a Christian this is the first thing we look for in curriculum.
Distinctive 2: We then I determine if the children can do it independently or can it be modified to be completed independently. For example, for Math we use Christian Light which is a wonderful self-teaching curriculum. We decided to use Saxon for 5th grade and up, we use Saxon which has a teaching DVD available. I choose the DVD that works out EVERY problem. Thus I can act as a tutor and the child can work independently.
Distinctive 3: We avoid complicated curriculum, when planning the logic stage, no matter how wonderful they are, it just seems to me at this point in history I have so many curriculum choices that we can find things that are easy for me to use.
Distinctive 4: We tend to use things that utilize the Classical Method although we still have a bit of Charlotte Mason in our homeschool. We use Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns as our guide through an easy and very fruitful Classical Education.
Distinctive 5: We seek to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us, accordingly we value frugality. Now by frugality I do not mean the cheapest curriculum I can lay my hands on. Instead I mean we seriously consider the price, is it reusable, does it meet our distinctives etc. An example of a frugal pick is that we bought the complete Hardback Edition of Saxon 7/6 (including the DIVE CD) for $25, because it was the hardback that is reusable. We (hopefully) will never again need to buy a math book for a kid at this level. Mystery of History is a curriculum I can use from K-12th although it may be a bit more expensive we won’t need another history book. Additionally, we try to buy used & we try to avoid consumable curriculum. Non-Consumables can be resold and some of their cost recouped.
Distinctive 6:We value our family relationships and actively work to develop them and avoid curriculum that might hinder my relationship with the children by being complicated, boring or tedious etc… Additionally, we put relationships ahead of schooling so during our current move we have not been “doing school”. We’ve been reading and listening to audio books, doing informal math etc but we have not cracked open the books during this stressful time.
Finally, Distinctive 7:We want to volunteer as a family but this also means we cannot be struggling with school until 5pm at night. This means we need to get don e quickly so we can move on with the rest of our day. This also means the curriculum is not master and that we have must carpe diem!
A Quick Example
So quickly let’s evaluate Mystery of History by Bright Ideas Press and you will notice that it fits all of the curriculum distinctives except it is not independent. You are correct although there is some independent work to be done this is definitely not an independent curriculum. However, it is a wonderful curriculum to help strengthen family relationships through reading, projects & field trips.
So I hope that helps you understand why I have chosen certain curriculum when planning the logic stage and not others.As we move into the logic stage I am wanting them to experience more academic rigor but not to just fill their time with work. Finally, just a reminder just like curriculum isn’t your master, neither are your families distinctives. Our master is the Lord Jesus Christ.Save money, time and get it done, go ahead and subscribe! Often my posts contain affiliate links. Affiliate link purchases help us to pay for this blog and for our curriculum. Thank you for using them when you are able.