Sunday, August 2, 2015

My Homeschool Master Plan

This is my Homeschooling Master Plan: Basic Subjects, Continuous Electives, Cyclic Electives, Skill classes.

  1. MATH (Linear)
  2. SCIENCE (Linear)
  5. HISTORY (Cyclic)
  6. HEBREW, GREEK, LATIN (Linear, but group kids by 2s)
Here is the Rough Plan for my Linear Subjects

MATH (Saxon)
Science (BJU + Others)
Saxon 54

A (ABeka)
Saxon 65

Saxon 76
Life Science (BJU) & Fetal Develop
Saxon 87
Physical Sci (BJU)
Algebra ½
Conceptual Physics
Aglegbra 1
Earth&AstroP* (BJU)
Algebra 2
Freshman Physics*
Adv. Math
Chemistry (BJU)

Stuart Calc
Biology&ID& BigBang*

Stuart Calc
Analytical Physics*

MATH will be kind of straightforward, doing Saxon Math. I like the repetition. It was good for my character. And the drill. That was good for my brain. I'm going to try to step it ahead a little, so we can hopefully do Freshman level Calculus at the end of highschool, so we can do real Physics before I send them off to college, because its beautiful.

SCIENCE will be mostly fun experiments and star life-cycles and solar wind until 5th grade when we'll start with the BJU books, as well as study fetal development, because its cool and understudied. We'll do Conceptual Physics (Paul Hewitt) in 7th grade, which also has conceptual Algebra, which I think will be good.
I want to supplement the Earth Science book in 8th grade with a good bit of Astronomy and Astrophysics (I'll go through my college notes). The 9th grade Physics course will be handtailored from my freshman college physics classes in both mechanics and E&M. It won't be quite as rigorous, but I want them to get a feel for physics, even if its just the college freshman "plug n chug" variety. 
In 11th grade, I will heavily supplement the BJU Biology textbook because while I very much respect Young Earth Creationists, I don't think they're right. Perhaps we'll do a secular Biology textbook (which are 30% propping up Darwin) and merrily shred it with math & real science. 
I might use sections of various high school biology textbooks, we'll see. I want us to study a good bit of Origins & Teleology & the Big Bang, etc, and have some real science (Behe's The Edge of Evolution, Myer's Signature in the Cell, etc) under their belt. We'll be reading Darwin et al in our history class as well. I want them to get all sides of the debate, because truth wins.
Then the glorious 12 grade physics class, I really want them to get to experience what I did at the end of my sophomore year of college, where math and physics became one to be the language of the analytical mechanics here, some E&M, enough to whet their appetite and realize why math matters and how beautiful it all is.

GRAMMAR I want them to work through the A Beka book grammar program, doing all the exercises, as my twin and I are a living experiment to their efficacy. I quit, and didn't do them all. Bekah faithfully worked through the whole program. To this day, bad grammar plagues me. She has amazing grammar. It really is a handicap for me. So my kids are going to do them all. I bumped it ahead one grade from recommended, because it is a gradual climb, and with all the languages I want them to learn, having your grammar down cold is a good start.
LITERATURE will be reading through the Great Books, a lot of which we'll be doing for history, so there's a good deal of overlap here.

SPELLING I still have to figure out. I never really liked any spelling curriculum we used, I guess I'll have to find one. I don't like cutesy workbooks. Its memorization, plain and simple. Maybe I'll just glean wordlists, and make the kids copy them down a dozen times. I hated it. But that's life.
VOCABULARY I will probably do something with Vocabulary from Classical Roots. They are going to be learning Greek & Latin in elementary school, so we'll see how redundant it is.

HISTORY will be taught cyclically on a 4 yr rotation (as described here), because I really like the idea of teaching things on a kind of 4 year cyclic pattern, because I am a perfectionist, so it frees me to not get it perfect the first time, and also, because I like the kids being able to learn things together. . I also want to do a kind of a 3 pronged approach, where we do:
  1. Readings (Primary&Secondary)
  2. Story (either contemporary story [ballad, myth] or well made modern historical fiction)
  3. Hands On (Field trips and learning crafts, e.g. smithing & fletching arrows, etc.)

1 Readings:
1B Secondary
2 Stories: 2A ballads, sagas, myth 2B modern novels & movies set in
3. Hands on Learning,  Craftsmanship (e.g. forging brooches & fletching arrows) , Fieldtrips, Play, (e.g.  fighting with duct tape broad swords, cooking like them and eating a meal in costume...)
Year A
Ancient History
10,000 BC--500 BC
Old  Testament, El Amarna Letters,
2A: Gilgamesh, Atrahasis Epic, Sumerian Stuff,

2B:Prince of Egypt,  
Growing & harvesting & threshing wheat.
Fletching Arrows, Tillering Bows
Year B
Classical to Late Antiquity
500 BC—AD 500
Socrates/Plato/Lucretius etc.
Herodotus, Plutarch
Maccabees & Gospels
2A: Illiad, Odyssey
Edda (13th cent)

2B:Ben Hur, The Eagle, The Passion,
Work with clay, make clay lamps and pots. Sew costumes.
Year C
Medieval History
AD 500-1500
1A: Read ALL THE SOURCES!!! Get Medieval History PhD twin to help me out.
Arthurian Legend
Beowulf, Anglo Saxon Poetry, Song of Roland,

2B:Ballad of the White Horse, Bekah's movies!
Learn how to smith metal. From simple Fibula & ironwork, to more advanced daggers, pauldrons, gauntlets, etc.
Sew leather shoes (pouches etc)
Year D
Modern History
AD 1500-WWII
1A: Darwin, Sanger, Marx, Hayek…lots influential thinkers
Read lots of the “great novels” of world lit (which dates from this period anyway) Dostevsky etc.

American History separately, 2 Part (Pilgrims-WWI) (1918-Present)

HEBREW will probably begin in 1st grade. I don't have a curriculum for this, but I'll either find one for little kids (from Jewish curriculum), or I'll just make my own. The obvious goal is for them to be  reading from the Old Testament in Hebrew at Breakfast, by 5th grade. I don't want them to just be able to "translate" Biblical Hebrew, but to actually read it on a daily basis.
LATIN will be the easiest (same letters, very logical) so we'll probably begin by 2nd or 3rd grade. I think we'll start in groups of 2 (so Isaiah and Jenny together, Kuzzles and New Baby together, etc). There's a million curriculums to choose from out there, so I still have to figure that out. Latin is a good foundational language to know, since so many other languages are derived from it. Plus, its logical. So that's an obvious plus.
GREEK will probably be the hardest. I don't know it (at all) so I will have to learn it alongside them. I will have to find a curriculum first. I am hoping I can start this in 2nd or 3rd grade, teaching in groups of 2. We'll see. The Christine Gatchell set seems to be reasonably priced and got good reviews....
Continuous Electives:
  • Music (Theory, Piano, Voice, Classical Guitar Their Choice:Violin/Viola/Cello/Flute/etc???)
  • Art (Drawing, Painting)
  • Spanish (Josh will teach it to them)
  • Korean (I will teach it to them)
These classes will be taught at least once every 3-4 years. I figure if we do a class on it once every 4 years, then the kids will each be exposed to it at least 3 times, and get more out of it, hopefully).
  • Geography
  • Government 
  • American History Part 1 (Pilgrims-WWI)
  • American History Part 2 (1918-Present)
  • Basic Economics
  • Basic Computer Programming  
These classes will be taught sporadically, depending on interest.

  • Archery
  • Basic Woodworking (Build benches, carve things)
  • Basic Metalworking & Smithing
  • Basic Pattern Drafting & Sewing
  • Basic Electronics
  • Fixing the Car 
  • [Optionals: Advanced Sewing, Advanced Art, Advanced Computer Programming, Advanced Physics, Analytical Mechanics etc etc]


  1. this made me drool. Maybe I'll move in with you so I can help teach the kids. Or maybe I can skype them tutoring sessions? When they are older of course.

    The one thing I'd say is for all the drilling stuff (e.g. math/grammar/etc), don't push it too soon. Keep the sequence, but if they start it in, say, 4th grade instead of 1st, no harm done. They will catch up quickly enough. It is more important to give them a love & excitement of learning at that stage, then forcing them into the drills asap. Of course, young brains must be drilled, but I started that in 4th & 5th grade, and was never the worse for it. grades 1-3 can be a jumpstart, but if they aren't reading well then, give them some slack. Just tell history stories and do physics magic tricks and slowly sprinkle them with good books until they are reading 400-pagers on their own. THEN and only then, throw them into the drills. But not before.

  2. PS and of course the mathematical equivalent of reading is have them memorize all their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables from 1 to 12.

    PPS And by the way, the Roman Numeral for 4 is "IV", NOT "vi" which is 6

  3. Any tips on how to speed up this magical moment they love learning before I start drilling them? I can see how to do that with history and Hebrew etc. (clay lamps, special books, cool food, movies, etc) but how do you give magical moments with math??
    I would like some ideas here... :)