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11 Tips to Set a Homeschool Routine for Success

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11 Tips to Set up a Homeschool Routine for Success

 

Fact 1: homeschool provides freedom to have your own schedule…

However,

Fact 2: when there is no routine, everyone and everything is all over the place which may lead to chaos. 

Many times friends and family ask me “how do you homeschool when you have 4 children?!?! You must be very organized!”- they tell me. Well, in a sense, I am organized when it comes to the routine I have set up for our homeschool based on what I see are the needs and goals of our homeschool.  I look at our needs and goals and see (and pray a lot!) on what we can do to achieve those goals. 

Recently I read in a book by Rachel Carman where she stated the importance in planning and setting up a routine for success in your homeschool.

Because after all, we are people of habits!!!

We strive with routine. Children, especially, strive when they know what is expected of them. Children and adults do well with routine, clear expectations, and everyone does better when they know what they are supposed to be doing. 

Therefore it is very important that we set up a homeschool routine for success! It takes a little bit of planning on our part and going the extra mile, but with prayer and dedication, you will see your work paying off when your homeschool week goes smoothly! 

 

11 Steps to Set Up a Homeschool Routine for Success

 

1. Set a Weekly Theme – what is a common theme in your lessons / read loud for the common week. Look through your homeschool books and see what the the unit will be about. What is one aspect that is tied into your lessons? What is an animal/place/thing that your children became interested in? Use what you see as a common theme to tie into different subjects. For example, our math book had a travel theme for a unit, so each day we talked about a different country based on what was presented on the book.

2. Plan read alouds – Set a time in your week for read alouds at the table over a yummy snack, poetry tea-time, or snuggling on the couch.  Set a goal to read a book over a week’s time, then choose a new book for the following week. Imagination Station or Magic Tree House series have books that can be easily correlated to a theme.

In our bilingual homeschool, we have two main read alouds: one in Spanish and one in English. Plus many other books we read throughout the day on varied subjects. 

In our history curriculum at the very beginning of the year, we studied about the Vikings: who they were and their travels. This book by Imagination Station was so fun to read while adding a living book element to our history lessons. This book is the first one in the series. As soon as we finished the first one, my kids were ready to continue with book 2.

Most, if not all, Magic Tree House books have been translated into Spanish. The books are very easy to read, the children are able to follow them well. If you feel you would like to read them in Spanish but are hesitant about comprehending the text, pick up a copy in English. Read a chapter in both languages to help you guide the discussion and pick up vocabulary the kids might need further assistance.

Overall, I have been very pleased with using Imagination Station and Magic Tree House series for read alouds. Both series are quite engaging, quick to read, easy to follow. I really like the non-fiction elements included throughout the stories. Very much like a living book.

Magic Tree House has been my go to series for reading chapter books in Spanish. My kids have enjoyed them very much to the point that whenever they find a Magic Tree House book, they always request it to be in Spanish.

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 Voyage with the Vikings (AIO Imagination Station La casa del árbol # 13 Vacaciones

3. YouTube Time: Take advantage of YouTube and travel around the world, visit museums, farms, learn about a new animal, etc. Tell your children to come up with a question or two each on something they really want to know about the weekly theme. Use this time to look up videos on YouTube that could help answer the questions.  Then write a sentence or two as a follow up activity.  Have some fun and learn something new together!

Related: These are some of our favorite YouTube channels in Spanish that we like to watch. 

4. Nature Walk and Nature Journalying – Set a time for the week when you plan on going outside for a walk. Pick a day of the week that you intently go outside and observe animals, trees, bugs, etc. See this post with ideas on additional books and supplies for a nature walk that could help expand on this activity. Perhaps even use your Spanish during this activity. Go on a language Scavanger Hunt around your neighborhood. 

5. Pick a Bible Verse for the Week– Pick a verse from a book like Psalms or Proverbs and read it every day. You may work at memorizing it or you may simply just talk about this verse daily. Take it a step forward and use it for copywork! We like to memorize a verse in Spanish to practice throughout the week.  They each recite it at the end of the week. 

Also use this verse to talk about vocabulary, attributes of God, and life applications. 

6. Set a loop schedule –  A loop schedule consists of a set of subjects that are taught every day in no particular order but that are completed daily. I am of the opinion that certain subjects should be taught every day such as Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Bible, and Spanish.  There are other subjects and activities that I assign to a few days of the week like History twice a week even though it tends to happen more throughout the week which is great when it happens. We do Geography every day so that is also part of our loop schedule. 

7. Chores – Part of our homeschool routine is to complete chores around the house. It teaches responsibility and basic entrepreneurship skills.  Children receive an allowance for their completed work. Then they get to divide their money into three areas of money management: give, save, spend.

I strongly recommend reading this book by Dave Ramsey to teach money management skills from a young age.

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 Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next

8. Cooking – Cooking is a regular activity my children do throughout the week. Since a very young age, they each have been involved in helping with a meal like getting the ingredients, helping find a recipe, mixing and stirring, peeling, etc. There is so much of the Spanish language my children have learned from cooking with me!!! We take time to study about eating healthy and read books that will enhance our understanding of food. We also watch cooking videos in Spanish to get an authentic input of Spanish language.  

Learning to cook is just as important as learning math or science. It is a life skill that will save them money someday when they know how to shop and what ingredients to get to be able to cook themselves a meal. My children have enjoyed cooking, they look forward to our time spent in the kitchen just as much as our read aloud time!  I am quite fond of this =online course that teaches children how to cook basic meals, how to use an instanpot safely, how to use knives, and how to try to eat varied foods. Cooking is so much fun and allows them to become more creative and develop problem solving skills!  

9. Extra-curricular: Any classes, activities that you have signed up your child outside of home. It could be music lessons, sports, art, language classes, additional tutoring, etc.

10. Co-Op: A once a day when children attend classes with other children. If you are in a season of hygge, use this time to connect with a smaller group at your own home. 

11. Devotional – Grow together as a family when you gather to read the Bible and present your requests and praises to God.  These have been my go-to devotionals for my children. I have yet to find a devotional book for them in Spanish. 

Having a personal devotional book, allows each person to have some quiet time where they can read, reflect, pray, and interact with the text. When we gather for discussion, we take turns sharing about what we read.

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 God and Me! Devotions for Girls Ages Gotta Have God: Ages 6-9 His Mighty Warrior: A Treasure Map from 

 

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11 Tips to Set up a Homeschool Routine for Success

 

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Gift Guide for the Nature Loving Child

 

 

Nature Study is a VERY important component of our eclectic homeschool. We enjoy spending time outside, walking, observing plants, bugs, trees, leaves, etc.  God’s Creation is so beautiful and intrinsic; there is always something new to learn about outside.

Charlotte Mason hit the nail on the head when she coined that children should spend time outside playing, in nature, observing, LEARNING from nature. 

Since even before we officially began to homeschool, we had spent time outside just in nature. Sometimes walking a trail, other times even in the backyard observing the plants that are in our home. 

My advice to you is to become familiar with the flora and fauna you have in your area. Visit natural museums or look up books about your state’s nature. Palm trees are local to Florida whereas Michigan has willow trees and pine trees everywhere. Take advantage of those geographical differences to discover and learn about nature right where you are.  

 

 

 

 

 

So many times when going on nature walks, we stop to observe tiny caterpillars or worms. The kids wish we could take them home to continue observing them. This Bug Catcher and Viewer helps us transport the bug to our garden to continue our observations. This set comes with an Insect Magnifier, a Catcher, and 2 tweezers to pick up bugs without actually touching them.

We have found that using a Bug-Catching Net is really useful for catching butterflies, look at, and release. Sometimes we snap a quick picture of it, or another insect, to read about in the book Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies: Take-Along Guide (Take Along Guides) . 

This Outdoor Set for Kids – Binoculars, Flashlight, Compass & Magnifying Glass is actually in my wish list. It is a very complete set that would be great to use when going on a hike, so the kids could bird watch from a distance through the binoculars. They could also use the compass for finding the direction we are walking while looking at a map.  

Books for the Nature Loving Child and Books for Nature Study

Books for Nature Study

 

  1. The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms

  2. Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World (Julia Rothman)

  3. Trees, Leaves & Bark (Take Along Guides)

  4. The Burgess Bird Book For Children 

  5. The Burgess Animal Book for Children

  6. The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature (Dover Children’s Science Books) 

Games for Nature Study

  1. Outdoor nature scavenger hunt card game for families

  2. Bug Bingo 

Nature study is a natural way of learning and appreciating the world around us. It also raises consciousness in caring for everything around us like animals and plants.

Go ahead and go to your backyard to enjoy, discover, and learn about what surrounds you!

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Homeschooling and Preparing for a Hurricane in the Same Week

Little did we know this week we would be preparing for Hurricane Irma, right after watching out and praying for our friends in Texas who endured Hurricane Harvey a week ago. 

Irma looks massive. So many people have left. So many people are staying. The streets are quiet, all shelves are pretty much empty with a few exceptions here and there. Most people have been pretty calm out on the street, which is great. People have been lining up for water, facebook groups have served as a means to share information and encouragement for those who are new to hurricanes. 

I keep on hearing this is the first time people have seen such a massive hurricane about to hit Tampa. This is the first time we have witnessed fellow friends having to evacuate from Clearwater and St. Petersburg area. 

While we are here at home, waiting, watching the news, homeschooling, we have also been preparing to face the hurricane. 

First of all, we are praying. Praying hard the hurricane will loose strength and for people’s safety. 

Secondly, we have been taking the necessary precautions to be ready for Hurricane Irma. 

 

Hurricane Essentials to Have at Home – Home Preparedness Kit in case of Emergency

 

The light can be used as a lantern when expanded or as a flashlight when compacted, making it a dual-purpose light. It also works for charging cell phones, using as a flashlight. It can charged with batteries, electricity, or SOLAR in case of power outages.
It is very light. Very easy to use. Just got it out of the box, plugged in, and that’s it.

I am glad we got it because it can help us charge our cell phones. It comes with a USB cord to charge, or it can get charged solarly. This light is VERY bright, it will light up a whole big room. It also has a button that allows you to set an intermittent light in case of emergency to let others know you need help. You can also use the energy from this lamp to charge a cell phone.  We are really happy with this purchase! 

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Suaoki Led Camping Lantern Lights Rechargeable BatterySuaoki Led Camping Lantern Lights Rechargeable Battery

We got this large Brita water filter that comes with a dispenser. It yields 18 cups. We got this so we can filter tap water. The filter comes with it. Be sure to grab extra filters

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Brita 18 Cup UltraMax Water Dispenser withBrita 18 Cup UltraMax Water Dispenser with

This is a item we are going to be getting. I keep seeing to put important documents in the dishwasher, but honestly, i think having a water proof case is the best option for permanent storage.

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Fireproof Money & Document Bag By DocuSafeFireproof Money & Document Bag By DocuSafe

This is another item we will be getting to have for next season. Gas lines can be very long (or short!), but the scarcity of gas may make it more difficult to contemplate evacuating on short notice. I actually saw some people filling up their gas cans and thought that was really impressive. So definitely adding this item to my list to get ready for next hurricane season!

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Briggs & Stratton 85053 5-Gallon Gas CanBriggs & Stratton 85053 5-Gallon Gas Can

In case of any emergency, I strongly recommend having a first-aid kit at home. We have one from Ikea, but if you don’t have a store you, this kit from Amazon looks just as good. it comes with 299 pieces. This is also really easy to pack and store in a suitcase in case of evacuation.

First Aid Only All-purpose First Aid Kit,First Aid Only All-purpose First Aid Kit,

Homeschooling the Week of Hurricane Watch

 

Make a hurricane out of cardstock – draw a spiral on paper. The small spiral will be at the center which will become the “eye” of the hurricane.  Really simple, great activity.

Notebooking – We watched a few YouTube videos and then the children did some notebooking in which they wrote in a sentence what is a hurricane, then they drew a picture. 

Discuss Safety Measures – Where to go? What to do? Listen to phone alarms, check weather reports. 

Write down lists – This was so important!!! 

  • Things to pack
  • Things to purchase 
  • Priorities 

Most importantly, we discussed the importance of keeping CALM. In times when things go out of the norm, it is very important to pray, have a plan, and stay calm.  God will guide our steps, every step of the way. 

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 119:106

 

Trust in God, above all. 

 

Keep safe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Books in Spanish to Teach Feelings and Emotions

Books to Teach

 

This post contains affiliate links. The Bilingual Homeschooler might receive compensation upon a purchase through one of the links in this post at not extra cost to you. Thank you! Gracias! 

 

From a very young age, children learn about their emotions. They understand they feel something and may very well act on it. As they grow, they will be learning how to identify their emotions as well as learning how to process them.  If you are a bilingual teacher or if you are teaching Spanish to young children, I recommend the following books to teach the emotions in Spanish

 

El Monstruo de Colores

This book will give clues in colorful pictures for children to be able to learn and identify their emotions. This book does really well with young children. A must have in a Spanish library.

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El monstruo de colores (Spanish Edition)El monstruo de colores (Spanish Edition)

The English version of this book illustrates common emotions as happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and calmness. This book gently encourages young children to open up with parents, teachers, and daycare providers about their feelings. Kids will LOVE the bright illustrations and amazing 3-D pop-ups on every page!

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The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book ofThe Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of

Asi Me Siento Yo

 

Picture book filled with illustrations on a variety of feelings.

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Así me siento yo (Spanish Edition)Así me siento yo (Spanish Edition)

 

Alexander y el Dia Terrible, Horrible, Espantoso, Horroroso: Spanish Edition

 

This book is FAVORITE in English and I am so glad to have found a Spanish edition. The best part of this story is that it puts the names of emotions into context making it easier for Spanish Language Learners to really learn the names of the emotions and know how to use them in context. Great book to have in your Spanish library!

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Alexander Y El Día Terrible, Horrible, Espantoso,Alexander Y El Día Terrible, Horrible, Espantoso,

 

What books would you add to this list? 

 

Other Book Lists in Spanish that might interest you: 

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Back to School Shopping List – Homeschool Edition

School Supplies

This post contains affiliate links. 

My favorite section to shop is school supplies. LOVE it!!! My type A personality wants to plan and make sure I have everything needed to keep things running smoothly in our homeschool. Some school supplies we have to purchase every year, sort of like consumable workbooks; other things we have bought once, having worked so well, we haven’t had to purchase a new one. 

Since my children are still young, the list is focused on school supplies geared towards preschool and elementary age students. 

RelatedResources to Teach and Learn about the Human Body in Homeschool inspired by Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Montessori. Spanish Materials included.

I am only recommending what has worked for us or plan on getting based on reviews and friends comments. Hope you find this list helpful!

Yearly Homeschool Supply Materials  – 

Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 HB Pencils, Box of 96 

Ticonderoga pencils are pretty much the B.E.S.T. They sharpen really well and they write well. Most my teacher friends recommend them as well.  We got the 96 ct box. We may have some pencils to last us through all elementary school! 

Everything Crayola: coloring pencils, markers (thin and thick), crayons. This Crayola pack for K-2 is pretty neat.  Thinking about adding these Watercolor Tube Artist this year, also. 

We like to go on Nature Walks, following Charlotte Mason’s philosophy that children should spend time observing nature. This set comes with 2 pads so it is perfect. You can also find it at Jo-Ann and get it with a coupon for an additional discount. I think they sell them as a single book there, though. The spiral makes it really easy for the kids to turn pages and draw their leaf and write down their observations. 

This is the journal my kids use for writing their creative stories and drawing a picture. They also have this one that we use for copywork or to write down their spelling words. It works great for dictation as well. 

We use A LOT of paper!!!! So I keep printing paper on hand that we use for lapbooks, notebooking, or writing additional things that we then cut and glue to our notebooks.  This box comes with 1,500 sheets which lasts a while even though we use it so much! 

For colored printing paper, Astrobrights has the best deal on Amazon. I use it for printing memory verses, color coding memory work, signs for our homeschool area, etc. It is very useful! We save a lot of ink by printing on colored paper.

Mom – Homeschool Mom Teacher Needs

The very first thing I bought for our homeschool was a laminator. I use it ALL the time. It saves me time from going to the store to get stuff laminated. It is very convenient for laminating memory verses, signs for our classroom, phonics cards, syllable cards, and so many other things that we use on a regular basis. It makes them last so much longer, that way I don’t have to print the same papers over and over. My laminator is so old, it is no longer online but this one has really good reviews and a lot of moms say the use it. 

If you get a laminator, be sure to grab a package of laminating sheets

Another investment we made right at the beginning was purchasing a printer. Are you familiar with the site Teachers Pay Teachers? Well, you can download SOOO many activities, guides, resources for teaching your own children! If I need a novel guide for a book, I just go there and get one. In less than 5 minutes I have a file and printed in my hands! Printers that use toner will go a long way!!! Amazon has toner made by off brand that are compatible with most printers. You can get toner for as low as $20! Check the reviews before purchasing to make sure you are getting a good product. 

Brother makes GREAT printers, also. Check this one

Tip: To find off brand toner, search “Toner compatible with __________” fill in with the brand and model number of your printer. 

Pencil Sharpener – where do I begin? Hmm we bought 3 last year. We got an electric one that didn’t work well. The X-acto one has great reviews and a lot of my friends use it. My ideal sharpener is this one…just can’t install it right now. Someday, though, we will get this metal manual pencil sharpener

Sheet Protectors – I keep them in stock for keeping papers we will be using in our portfolio assessment review.

File folders and hanging files useful for sorting lessons, activity pages, and additional resources.

Binders for portfolio evaluations and a binder for my morning meeting / homeschool organization.

RelatedHow to Organize ABeka Assignments for the Year

Last, but not least, a planner. Somewhere to write down all the appointments, get togethers, information of co-ops, friends’ birthday parties, lesson plans, logs, etc.

 

Supplies from Dollar Tree

 

Clipboards – very useful!!! We use it for holding paper to trace maps or for drawing.

  Shop For Pencils, Markers, Pads and Other Crafts Today! Only $1 Each!

Educational posters, although other stores like Michaels are carrying a good selection. 

 

Hope you found this list helpful and at a convenient time to help you plan and get ready for a new school year. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. 

Have a wonderful day, 

Fabi

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Resources to Teach and Learn about the Human Body in Homeschool inspired by Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Montessori. Spanish Materials included.

 

Resources and Materialsto teach about the Human Body (1)

 

This post contains affiliate links. 

The human body is a very common topic of discussion around our dinner table. We like to discuss where the foods we eat come from and how they can HELP our bodies. Because of this, we often end up talking about the digestive system, bones, joints, brain, etc. 

Therefore, I have put together a list of books, materials, and games that we use at home and ones that we will be using  to learn about the human body. I also have posters like this one for us to look at in our spare time or for the kids to look at when they want to a picture of the digestive system. 

 

Learning is so fun and we want to provide as many materials and opportunities in order to enrich their understanding and knowledge. 

 

Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, and Montessori strongly recommend using hands-on materials to engage young learners so they can discover, make connections, and really learn material beyond what is presented in a textbook. 

 

 

Below are the materials I am going to be using with my children to learn about the human body. Hope you find them useful. 

 

Materials to Learn about the Human Body

 

make and move human body

 

  1. Make and Move: Human Body 
  2. See Inside: Human Body
  3. Human Anatomy Coloring Book (Dover Children’s Science Book)
  4. The Magic School Bus: A Journey into the Human Body
  5. The Human Body and Anatomy
  6. Anatomy Bundle Set
  7. See Inside Your Body
  8. Melissa and Doug Human Body Magnetic Set
  9. Learning human body parts game – FREE app
  10. Painless Learning Human Body Placemat

Resources in Spanish

mi cuerpo scholastic

  1. El cuerpo humano 
  2. Scholastic: Mi cuerpo humano
  3. El libro de los huesos
  4. ¿Puedes ver lo que yo veo? (Spanish Edition)

Picture Books about Human Body

 

  1. Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
  2.  My Bodyworks: Songs About Your Bones, Muscles, Heart and More! 
  3. Why Do My Teeth Fall Out?: And Other Questions Kids Have About the Human Body (Kids’ Questions)
  4. Parts (Picture Puffin Books)

  5. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It

  6. The Tooth Book (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))

  7. Germs Make Me Sick! (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) we have learned so much from this one!

  8. A Drop of Blood Very good!!!

Related Post: Good Enough to Eat Picture Book  –excellent book! 

 

Games and Toys to learn about Human Body

melissa and doug magnetic human body

  1. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Anatomy Play Set With 24 Magnetic Pieces and Storage Tray

  2. Janod Body Magnet

  3. Kids First The Human Body Kit

  4. Learning Resources Stethoscope this has been excellent for us to have as read about the heart, listen to each other’s heartbeats, count heartbeats per minute. 

  5. Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Human Body

  6. The Magic School Bus: A Journey into the Human Body 

 

There is also this HUGE list of STEM-tastic Science Kits by Scientific Explorer on Amazon. 

scientific explorer encourage exploration

 

They have a kit about the heart, a Disgusting Science one, and soooo many more!!! I keep going back to decide which we will be getting next. So far the reviews look really good and often times I read about them being used in different homeschool groups.

Hope you find these resources useful!!!

Let me know in the comments what should be added to the list!

 

 

 

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How I Use Abeka’s Arithmetic Curriculum to Fit into Charlotte Mason’s Math Teaching Style

How to Use Abeka's Arithmetic

There is great comfort in having a curriculum. It tells you exactly what you need to teach, how to teach it, it gives you a thorough scope and sequence; it basically helps you stay on track. How very much needed is to have that peace of mind that we are teaching exactly what needs to be covered for their grade level! 

Part of what I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to draw on different curricula and teaching methodologies. Back in college, I learned that to teach Math, especially the younger years, students should engage in using manipulatives (very much like Ms. Mason said). Also, I learned that it is best to help students make connections between what their learning in their books and apply it to real life. Moreover, they need to see how simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division help them solve everyday problems. 

I believe that you can really use any curriculum to fit the methodology you are looking for. The curriculum is to be your guide, your compass…it’s what keeps you on track that you are teaching exactly what children should be learning at that level. 

Once you come to terms with that, you can use the curriculum in any way you wish. I choose to use our Abeka curriculum to fit into what is my preferred method of teaching.

Best Features about Abeka’s Arithmetic Curriculum:

  1. Colorful, simple-straightforward lessons.
  2. Lessons are short (just like Mason said they should be) – 3 to 5 min. Some things might take just a bit more, depends on the child. 
  3. Seatwork is only one page, or 2 pages from 2nd grade and up. 
  4. It uses a Spiral Curriculum – “A spiral curriculum can be defined as a course of study in which students will see the same topics throughout their school career, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning.” (Google)
  5. There are story problems that need to be done orally (just like Charlotte Mason said there should be)
  6. Learning facts (there is drill, but it is so quick! and fun! builds confidency)
  7. Very easy to follow.

For example: How many chairs do we need to sit everyone? How many people will want to each cake? How many slices of pizza will everyone need to eat?

The past three years I have only used Abeka’s Arithmetic curriculum to teach Math grades: Kindergarten, First, and Second. As we are approaching Third, I have already ordered Abeka. We are sticking to it.

When you give it a quick glance or when you ask around, it may seem like it is far from being Charlotte Mason-friendly. Yes, it does use worksheets. Yes, it has speed drills. Yes, it has tests.

Yet, it is so much more than that.

Why use Math Manipulatives with ANY Math curriculum: 

From a young age, children need to visualize the concepts they are learning. It helps make the connection to learn to think abstractically. They need to see it first for it to make sense.  We all have to start somewhere.

Manipulatives help you present the material (concepts) in a concrete manner. 

Recommended Math Manipulatives to use with ANY Math curriculum: 

As you prepare to teach a Math lesson (regardless of the curriculum), I encourage you to keep a box with manipulatives. These are my preferred ones:

 


    1. Popular Playthings Playstix (150 pieces)
    2. Mathlink Cubes – Set of 100 Cubes
    3. Fraction Tower Activity Set
    4. Base Ten Blocks Set
    5. Gear Clock
    6. Teacher Created Resources Foam Fraction Circles (20611)
    7. Manipulative Kit (Saxon Math – very complete)

Additionally, you can use items available at home such as buttons (I get some at Joann’s and Dollar Tree), counters, rulers, beans, etc. Anything you can get your hands on and use for counting. 

What about Living Books?

Let children enjoy math outside of math. How about reading picture books that teach math indirectly? There are MANY picture books that are fun and help expand the understanding of these new concepts. Take advantage of them. Set them in a basket or leave them on the table and your little ones will come to them. Let the books help you teach. 🙂 

We have read through many living books to learn math. It has been fascinating. A living book is NOT a textbook. A living book is one that makes the story or concept come to life. It is engaging and it works! 

This post has the names of some of the math living books we have read the past few years. I do need to update it, though. Hope you find it helpful. 

Another series of books recommended in many homeschooling groups is Life of Fred. It is Math told in a story format. There are sales for it all the time in sites like Educents,


Another series of books recommended in many homeschooling groups is Life of FredIt is a stand-alone curriculum for math, but I want to give it 

So you see, Math should be expected to go beyond what is presented in a book. This is why I believe that you could make any Math curriculum fit into the approach you desire. In my case, we align our Abeka Math to Charlotte Mason’s approach as closely as possible. 

Keep a Journal – Math Notebooking 

We keep a notebook for writing down our thought process for solving problems, strategies learned, math questions, ideas, etc. Pretty much anything they can think of that they want to record, draw about,  about Math.

Sometimes they write a food menu with prices and then add those up. Or write down about company coming over and figuring out a grocery list, how many chairs will be needed.

As long as it pertains to Math, it goes in the Math notebook.  

What Math curriculum do you use? How do you expand your Math curriculum?

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