Saturday, January 15, 2011
My biggest homeschool inspiration, without a doubt, is The Well-Trained Mind. This book changed my homeschool world and has had a huge impact on our lives. I was floundering until I read this book. The logical clarity and vision of well educated kids was exactly what I was looking for. I didn't just want to get through curriculum and meet basic standards, I wanted to educate my kids. I wanted them to speak a common cultural language with the rest of the educated population. I wanted them to read great books, to quote Plato, and to know how to write an argument. This book shows me how to get there. If you haven't read it, do. If you homeschool, it is a must read. If you are thinking about homeschooling, start here. If you never want to homeschool, still read it. I can't say enough good things about it. While I don't do everything exactly as the authors say here, I do follow their scope and sequence and, especially in the older grades, I pull much of our homeschool from this book.
The authors--Susan Bauer and Jessie Wise--have also started writing curriculum to go along with the book. My super favorite-I-can't-say-enough-good-things-about history curriculum, Story of the World, is written by Bauer. Do not miss this one. And don't leave out the activity book.
My dear friend Kathy, knowing my love of the Well-Trained Mind, and knowing our need to raise adoption funds, wrote to the lovely ladies of Peace Hill Press and requested something from their fabulous collection to giveaway. And they responded! I am so super pleased to be offering to you homeschoolers (and soon to be homeschoolers) the newly redesigned and republished editions of First Language Lessons years 1 and 2. I have and use the original version myself. This is a thorough, detailed grammar curriculum written by Wise. She uses "dictation exercises, narration, picture study, and other classical techniques" to give your student a complete language curriculum for years 1 and 2 (roughly 1st and 2nd grade, although I use this in K5 and 1st). Originally these were published in one volume, but the newly redesigned version is separated in a much clearer format. Anna Faith is using the 3rd level of this curriculum this year and it is excellent. I couldn't be more pleased. I would say that if your child struggles with grammer or you have been using a weaker program, level 1 and 2 would be very appropriate for a 3rd grade student as well.
To one lucky donator to our adoption fund, I will give both volumes 1 and 2 of the newly designed First Language Lessons, AND the audio companion CD that accompanies the curriculum. Two years of language curriculum! Just donate using our button on the right. Each $5 will get you one chance. And if you share this, and let me know, I will give you an extra one free. Please don't forget to comment here on my blog or email me directly to make sure I give you appropriate credit! I will be happy to ship this to you if you are not local. Thanks!