This is our 17th year homeschooling...we are on the downhill side now! Our son graduated in 2012 and is attending a local 4 year college, working toward his degree in Criminal Justice and then on to a career in Law Enforcement. Our oldest daughter graduated in May 2014 and is working toward a degree in Kinesiology. Our second oldest daughter graduated inJune and is now a Freshman in college. So now we have only 2 children homeschooling: an 8th grader and a 5th grader!
Our education philosophy:
We use a mix of the Classical and Charlotte Mason methods. Our schooling is Classical in its division of learning into three phases called the Trivium and it is CM in our use of living books to study such topics as history, literature, science, English grammar and the like. We try to take nature walks and keep nature journals, we listen to classical music (too much if you ask my teenagers!), and we enjoy a good teatime every Tuesday.
Our desire is that our children finish up their homeschooling journey able to read well, write well, and speak well. That they love Jesus (yes, we know that no matter what we teach them, their loving Jesus is a purely person decision). And that they love others as themselves. We don't measure our success by how many pages they compose or how many worksheets they fill-out (actually we use very few worksheets...my kids hate them), we measure it by what kind of people our children are.
What we've used over the years:
The Story of the World series by Susan Wise Bauer.
We love these books!
Various resources from: Ambleside Online, Christine Miller's Classical Education website, and suggestions, reading lists and methods from the The Well-Trained Mind.
We are currently using the Life of Fred series. I stumbled across this math curriculum while looking for history books on Amazon. I can not tell you how excited I am about LOF! I must admit that math has not been my absolute favorite subject to teach. While the Boy loved it all 4 girls hated it and struggled at various times. With LOF all 4 ask to do math EVERY DAY! I still like Professor B as mentioned below but I have since changed my mind about using it this year.
Professor B, Teaching Textbooks and Right Start Math. We've had the best experience with Professor B in the elementary grades and TT in the higher grades**. Right Start Math is good but it was not a good fit for my children.
**After having my high school students use TT I have come to think that while it is a good curriculum it did not prepare them well enough for the SAT. The terms used and the methods taught are somewhat different than what is found in other curriculums and on the SAT. This threw my son for a loop when he took the SAT. As such, my two high school students won't be using TT any longer, but instead LOF with additional SAT prep materials.
Nature walks and nature journals, written and photo!
Apologia!! We love Apologia science, especially their Exploring Creation with______ series. Our all time favorite is Astronomy!!
Bravewriter is one of the best resources I've ever found. My writing-phobic son aced his SAT and his Junior College entrance exam!! My two oldest daughters participated in NaNoWriMo a few years ago ...each wrote a novel (one 15,000 words and the other 50, 000 words) in just 3 weeks...they love writing...that sure did not come from me!!)...Yay! Bravewriter!!
First Language Lessons (but not the work books)
English for the Thoughtful Child I & II
Unlike most folks, we DON'T use a spelling curriculum. We have in the past but I quickly noticed that while my children did well in the spelling book they did not carry that over to their writing. Now I just focus on words and word families that they misspell in their writing. And oftentimes I just tell them how to spell a word if they ask! Spell check and grammar check are wonderful things!
Memoria Press' latin resources
Rosetta Stone Spanish I &II
Language Arts (elementary years):
Bravewriter's The Wand, Jot It Down, Partnership in Writing curriculums, along with the Arrow and Boomerang
Veritas Press' Phonics Museum
Memoria Press' First Start Reading (I just couldn't read "Pan and the Mad Man" one more time!!!)