What to use for you child’s homeschool education?
That’s a loaded question. There is SO MUCH OUT THERE! Too much, really. But that is a better problem to have than the homeschool pioneers of the ’70’s and ’80’s who had almost nothing to choose from.
What I can share is what we do, and share the resources we use with you. I feel this is a great way to educate your upper elementary and junior high school students in a low cost way that will stretch your school supply dollars well. I think this is an extremely economical way to provide an education for a larger family with many children, like mine.
First, I should probably share my philosophy of education. I lean toward a more Classical Christian/Teaching the Trivium/Charlotte Mason type of education which teaches the three stages of learning and incorporates the study of Latin and living Foreign Languages and relies heavily on good, classic literature, the Bible and theological books.
If you are not familiar with Veritas Press, you should really check out their site. I use their curriculum guide, which they provide on their website for free, in the hope that you will choose to purchase your books from them. I also use the free curriculum guide at Ambleside Online, which is also linked in my sidebar. Why do I use them both? Well, they both have excellent information. And Ambleside Online has many links to free literature online that they recommend in their curriculum. So I combine my plan and choose from the lists on both according to what I want my children to read about or learn that year. And I also consider what is free, what I have to buy, what I have to spend, what I already have, etc.
When I have my list together, I will order from a few different places, depending on what I need for my lower elementary aged children. I like to use Rainbow Resource Center, because their prices are usually the lowest and they have a decent free shipping minimum of $150.00 and lots of other school supplies for arts and crafts, great gifts, and more. (Sometimes I do my Christmas shopping in April here at the same time and save myself a bunch on shipping.) If I have Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble giftcards, I use those first, and then go from there.
I try to support Veritas Press when I can, because they are a wonderful company and they give their handbook away. They also have online, self paced classes and more available for your older children. Those are not free, but worth looking into. I highly recommend checking out what they have available. Their flashcards and songs are used in the Classical Conversations homeschooling program, which you might be familiar with.
How does this method save me money? Well, most of my investment is going toward real, living books. These books only need to be purchased once and used for every child I educate, at the same time expanding our home library with excellent, quality literature. For Beloved and I, it’s big a win-win.
We do use some consumable items. You really have to for younger children. But everything we use is very affordable. I would rather spend the money we are blessed with on living books and supplies to make our schooling a fun experience for the kids. One year, we bought a nice microscope, another, it was extra art supplies. We also have our children take specific classes throughout the year according to their gifts, talents and interests.
The choices out there are mind boggling and there are many ways to go. This is just what we do and it works for us. The most important thing to do is talk to your spouse, consider your teaching style and your child(rens) learning style and then pray and ask the Lord what He’d have you do.