Notes on homeschooling

Rhys has his first-ever spelling list this week.

He, be, we, I, so, no, go, hi. ("We be hi, so he I no go." –Rastafarian explaining his and his brother's absence from a family function.)

We were hiking the Wildwood Trail the other day, and we decided to sit down for a brief restorative of apples, Ritz crackers and cheese. Rhys wanted to show off his spelling abilities for us as we munched.

"H-e." (Very good, Rhys.)

"S-o." (Very good again, Rhys. Now, can you spell "we?")

(thinks) "W-i-i."

After the snorts of laughter had subsided, we discovered that he can also spell "Nintendo." Hmm. (Please note that we do not own a Wii, nor any other game console. The kids are stuck with lame ol' free online games, ha ha. But hooray for and its infinite panoply of clever marketing-related goodies!)

Also: it's once again that time of year when I start my quest for the impossible–solid, interesting, creative, 100% unabashedly secular homeschooling goodies. And once again I am struck by the lack of what I would consider to be the perfect science curriculum.

So I turn to you, my homeschooling (and otherwise) readers: in a perfect world, what would the perfect science curriculum contain? What would it look like? Would it have detailed lesson-by-lesson instructions, or would it be more of a central resource pointing you to books and experiments and suchlike? How would evolution and other "controversial" (snarl) topics be integrated into it? (If your answer is "by omitting them entirely," please keep it to yourself… I think there are already about eleventy-four curricula out there that would be perfect for you.) Would you be interested in one that spanned several grades (or grammar/logic/rhetoric stages, if you're of a classical bent) or one that was more specifically tailored for kids of particular age/ability level? Would it come as a book for the teacher, a teacher edition plus student work/textbook, a big box crammed full of shiny experimenty stuff?

Please let me know what you'd like to see… and if you have friends with an opinion on the matter, I'd love to hear from them too. Srsly.

Also also:


Three cousins snuggling at Grammy and Pa's house. Isn't it dee-lovely?

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Homeschool, Mini Activities. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Notes on homeschooling

  1. Doc says:

    I posted a freebie science link on my site the other day (it’s a free curriculum download). You might check it out.
    As a scientist, I like to see a lot of discovery, hands on activities, and a thorough background in scientific method over memorization of specific facts. Simple machines, nature walks, kitchen chemistry, that kind of thing.
    In my secular curriculum list I recommend R.E.A.L Science, Delta’s Science in a Nutshell kits, and I hear Singapore is good too.

  2. Dana says:

    OK, I think I have the ideal science curriculum. But it is a little pricey. I only got it because it cost all of a buck from the library clearance sale. I may fork over the money for the next volume, though because it is that good.
    They are project books from Facts on File and they are generally readily available in school and public libraries. They come with the right to photocopy so you can use them that way, but I think its worth having at home.
    I look at the experiment or demonstration activity for the week and check out several related books from the library.
    I love it because its backbone is the scientific method which is the heart of science. It takes children through it, gives them hands on experience, and the rest is easy to fill in with a couple of books…biographies or whatever.
    So that is my plug.
    Oh, and the one we have is meant for older kids, but my children do fine with it…even the five year old seems to get something out of the experiments. And I guess the more age-appropriate books I check out to go along with it probably help them understand what they are doing.

  3. You need to talk to Gina. She is a former Science teacher at Village and still takes her kids there. Contact me if you want her e-mail address. She is a walking science curriculum.

  4. Good Luck!
    I remember picking my jaw up off the floor when the wife of a good friend of mine (she is degreed, and he has a the humanities from an extremely reputable university, nothing Bob-Jonesey or anything, a 100% real degree with valid research and everything, and he is a respected[by me, even] scholar in his field and their kids are brilliant, too]) who homeschooled her kids said to me, “We’d be perfectly happy if our kids never had to learn any science, really.”
    I know all Christian homeschoolers aren’t like this. But the secular curriculum thing is a challenge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s