Friday, September 18, 2015

Curriculum for our Atheist Homeschool

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Back to serious lessons with John.
This boy is absolutely determined to feel productive and to use our time together wisely. Before I even got up today he read a chapter in his Civics book, wrote a piece about one of his interests for me to read, and completed a page in Key to Algebra 3. This human being does phenomenal things when he is given some leadership, direction, and thinking conversation. Coming home from Colorado was absolutely the correct thing to do for John.

(I have important and meaningful stories about my other kids, my husband, and some very important people in my life; it was correct to come home)

John and I have been working hard at determining what materials to use this year for his freshman year of homeschool. We are quite happy with what we have decided to use and with what we have acquired. The image at right is a small collection of books we are opening just today. But our lessons are not primarily about books, they are about a multi-media, multi-venue approach to learning about our freshman subjects and about the world around us.

This year is amazing for the year that my son begins to open his eyes and notice the world around him.  This year the news is absolutely full of important things to know, the debates and Donald Trump are entertaining and informing as HELL, the online news sources are remarkable ways of opening the eyes of my son and making him more aware, Americans are faced with understanding exactly why immigration happens and who these immigrants are and how that informs our country about immigration at our own borders, NPR is freaking spot on and worth listening to 24/7, and his Civics textbook is internet-connected.

I have purchased several used textbooks off of this year for John's freshman year. The Civics textbook I bought is from the year 2007. It is not very current and does not have a single thing useful about today:  2015, and I think that today's political atmosphere is dynamic and vital.  HOWEVER, this textbook is internet-connected. Many units and lessons contain an internet site, page, or further information. I love it. Charts, graphs, internet sources, other ways to further explore subject matter. Yeah, that was a good ten bucks, well spent.

I have multiple textbooks on Algebra that I've purchased from Looking at my bookshelf right here in this room I see FOUR Algebra textbooks, each one costing me no more than ten bucks. Each book also having teacher books available on if a parent would need or want one, usually as a much higher price.

Right now John is doing the Key to Algebra by Key Curriculum Press, authors are Julie King and Peter Rasmussen. I love the Key to... series books. If you have a young teen and want to intro them to algebra but you don't know how to do that, please check out this source for algebra. For less then eighty bucks, this entire ten-workbook series will explain in simple language with easy-to-follow examples. Word problems make sense and will help your child understand abstract concepts and equations. 

I know squat about algebra and my son is able to move forward confidently and successfully through these books. 
Caveat: John gets math.
But my daughter struggles with Algebra and she, too, felt successful with Key to Algebra as well as Key to Fractions, Key to Geometry, and Key to Decimals.

And just for a mention, The Story of US by Joy Hakim, in fact, anything by Joy Hakim, VERY worth a read for American History. This is an eleven-book series, totally secular, very inclusive, and honest about issues without being dogmatic or nationalistic. It's not a cheap series, even used, but it is absolutely the way you want to teach history. You will be come a lover of America again,not as a shallow flag-waving, blind patriotism kind of pride but the kind of pride that makes me want to continue defending the principles, values, and ideas on which that our country was founded.

As for SCIENCE:  TEXTBOOKS and other books. The library is truly full of science books. Free your mind from needing a textbook. There is nothing spoon-fed. But there is still plenty of materials out there. Please check out Joy Hakim's three book The Story of Science series.  Great reads!

Oh, incidentally, to supplement the Civics books and websites, John and I have been watching the second Republican debate --we're both reeeeeeeally looking forward to hearing from the Democrats.  ;)

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1 comment:

  1. I've now had the Keys To range recommended a few times. I must take a closer look at it.


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