Friday, June 30, 2017

Minimalism's Influence on Our Homeschool

   The minimalist's goal is to have only what you need or what you find truly beautiful and useful. As we keep simplifying the areas of our life over these last few years it was bound to creep into our homeschool choices. Spring 2017 I graduated my daughter, my middle son is starting 10th grade and my little is going to be 4. After a year of paring down to what we need for the last two, one looking at high school and the other the whole 13 years, we ended up with what we consider to be the perfect amount to school books/curriculum to use through the years. Most of the good books we have used throughout my daughter's school years are still on our shelves. We have access to a library and kindle books but some books or topics are much better when you hold them in your hands. I find books heavy in photos, maps, timelines, or often times books for little people are better in print. I also don't keep a bunch of books on my shelf that I can get at my library. The basic lists for us that reflect both my teaching style and their learning styles follows. Remember this is for MY children's entire schooling years not including books on kindle or at the library, your choices may be very different.

personal bible
100 verses to memorize
Bible Atlas and Companion
Food at the Time of the Bible by Vamosh
Daily Life at the Time of Jesus by Vamosh
The Kregel Pictorial Guide to Everyday Life in Bible Times by Dowley
The Kregel Pictorial Guide to Church History by Hannah
The Feasts of Adonai by Moody
The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs by Knight
The Victor Journey through the Bible by Beers

The Good and the Beautiful History years 1-4(only 1 and 2 are available)and the corresponding read aloud books and games
Homeschool in the Woods timeline and figures

Language Arts
The Good and the Beautiful levels Pre-K through High school, any required reading books and quality literature that can't be borrowed from library or on a kindle.
(this curriculum covers spelling, reading, writing, grammar, art, and geography)

Math-U-See books, dvds, and manipulatives

Pre-K and Kindergarten we use Take-Along Guides for different groups of animals and the One Small Square books on different habitats
Apologia books, basic tools/experiment supplies(microscope, binoculars, bug jar, etc.), and a binder for each student for 1st through high school(tweaked to their learning style)
Field guides of trees, birds, plants, butterflies, bugs, weather, stars, etc.
Handbook of Nature Study by Comstock

As they have interest..... my one son is a boy scout and plays chess, does woodcarving, plays piano, and enjoys video games.
My daughter rides horse, spins wool, and crochets.
My youngest is raising three bantam chicks and helps his sister feed the animals.
As a family we go kayaking, hiking, and camping.

Our basic supplies:
tracing paper(used for geography)
mixed media paper(drawing, pastels, and watercolor)
copy paper
card stock
lined paper
pencil sharpener
colored pencils
chalk pastels
fine tip sharpies(great for maps and art projects)
tape/double stick tape
paper cutter and punch
glue/rubber cement
binder clips

So my list is not extreme minimalist but it does lay out a complete yet simple education for my students through the years. Simplifying our homeschool has made it more joyful, more productive, and more focused. I have been about quality books through the years. Books I even enjoy reading and using as an adult. No twaddle here!