Lifestyle Education through Discipleship

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

We have come to the end of this series, which covers the broader categories of various approaches to home education. I hope through these articles you’ve been able to narrow down from the broad scope of styles to what may be most appropriate for your family. If you’ve come to some of the same biblical conclusions we have, we hope you’ll take a further look at Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™.

Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ is primarily a Christian Discipleship/ Worldview philosophy, which has also incorporated several valuable aspects from other philosophies and methods that make home education in Freedom & Simplicity™ a reality. Reaching and training the heart is an important aspect of education, in many ways more important than just teaching the head. Learning should be a discipleship relationship of “you follow me as I follow Christ.” But education is not just an emotional journey, it also includes learning to recognize, live by and to articulate Truth–the Living Truth of Jesus Christ, that is the foundation for all other truth in this world. God and His Word are not isolated aspects of the Christian’s life, but the foundation that permeates every area of life, learning and thinking.

We also are strongly Living Books oriented, using excellent literature and no twaddle, boring textbooks, or busywork workbooks. Gentle, natural, “common sense” methods and the liberal arts are also important to us, making our connection to Ruth Beechick and Charlotte Mason methods strong.

We are not grade level oriented and we integrate the various subjects (as much as is natural), like Unit Studies do. However, we don’t believe in forcing every subject into every topical study just because it is “required”.

We recognize the importance of right reasoning, and reading the greats who have gone before us, like the Classical approach. But not every old book, even the ones highly esteemed by the world, are truly great and worth reading.

We believe that children’s styles and giftings should be taken into account in their education, as Delight-directed does. And that young children’s learning comes mostly from living life and play, and that formal academics should be delayed.

We believe these things all combine for the best of a Discipleship approach. Our goal is to help you apply this in Freedom & Simplicity™, teaching you some of the best methods to accomplish this in your home, without dictating to you exactly what you should be doing and reading on a day-by-day basis. Your home will look very different than our home–or anyone else’s.

We hope you will spend more time here on our website and in reading and listening to our resources we’ve written for you, as we come alongside you on your homeschool journey, as helpers of your joy, in Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™, as you develop the path of instruction that is right for your family. Click to read why you’d want to do that.

Christian Discipleship or Worldview

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

Although there can be a wide range with many differences in the styles I’ve lumped in this category, the Christian Discipleship and Worldview philosophies generally go hand in hand. These are methods that concentrate on providing a thoroughly Christian education as directed by God for His people. The Discipleship aspect sees education as more than just teaching the head, but also training the heart as outlined in Deuteronomy 6:7 and many other places in Scripture. Education is guided learning throughout day-to-day life and within a relationship–in this case between parent and child. Preparation for Life is a large part of this approach. The highest desired hope for the Discipleship approach is to reach the child’s heart for Christ, and see them transformed by His redeeming power. But we cannot give a child new life in Christ, only God can provide that. As parents we present Christ in all His glory, and pray.

Beyond that we instruct to develop Biblical thinkers. Because right reasoning is an important aspect, some aspects of Classical education may be used and some Discipleship/Worldview styles may consider themselves Christian Classical. The styles listed here utilize real books of excellence, just like the Living Books and Classical methods do, but the primary resources for these styles are either from a Biblical perspective or (especially for older students) shown in contrast with the Biblical viewpoint by reasoning through the study of them.

Worldview just means the way you look at and think about the world. Everyone has a worldview. The question is whether their worldview is consistent with what they say they believe. If they claim to be Christian, does their worldview align with what the Bible teaches? So to educate from and for a Biblical worldview means to help our children see how God is a part of every part of our lives and to learn to reason from the Bible in all areas.

The Principle Approach® is a method that teaches principles of reflective thinking and reasoning that produce a biblical view of the areas studied. It utilizes “4 R-ing” to study a topic (Research, Reason, Relate, and Record–notebooking,) an excellent method of learning, also used by the teacher as she learns to teach the topic.

These resources explain the philosophies and methods of education based on Christian Discipleship and Worldview:

  • Freedom & Simplicity™ of Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ ~ The Seminar and Freedom & Simplicity™ on R Road to Biblical Wisdom by Lisa @ Me & My House (me) – Introduction and foundation in Seminar, explanation of methods in R Road.
  • When You Rise Up by R.C. Sproul, Jr is my favorite book on teaching our children for the glory of God. If you get only one book on home education, get this one!
  • Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview by Israel Wayne is a good introduction to this philosophy in general
  • Let Us Highly Resolve (and others) by David Quine. (See also curriculum below.)
  • A Guide to American Christian Education for the Home and School by James Rose is my favorite (and most understandable, in my opinion) book on learning about the Principle Approach® and how to implement it.
  • Better Late than Early and other resources by Raymond Moore advocate family learning and service projects and delayed “schooling”/ academics, so I classify them as Discipleship. Dr. Moore is considered the father of the modern home education movement. It was Dr. Moore’s research for the U.S. government, that brought to light the fact that the institutional school setting and its methods are not the best way for children to learn. Dr. Moore’s conclusions, among other things, indicate that it is best for children (up to 10 or 12 years old) to learn informally, without being pushed.
  • Encyclopedia of Bible Truths by Ruth Haycock is a Topical Bible of sorts for school subjects. This series will help you see the concepts and Scriptures that apply to every area of knowledge. A great reference for studying topics biblically.
  • The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum by R.J. Rushdoony is the classic on biblical worldview in education. This covers not only the biblical viewpoint for areas of knowledge typically taught in school, but shows the un-Biblical worldview in all aspects of the system of government education.
  • A Biblical Education by Ruth Beechick – listed in the Living Books category.

All the resources listed above are recommended by Me & My House ministries.

A few Christian Discipleship and Worldview curricula:

There is nothing in this approach that we see as drawbacks for the Christian family. (Obviously, this would not be a choice for non-Christians.) But, to disciple (lead) someone you must be going somewhere worthwhile. This requires that for you to be a leader, you must first be a learner yourself. And for you to lead someone to Jesus, Jesus must be leading you. The Christian Discipleship approach requires something out of you as the discipler. This is not an approach where you just set a book before your child, or sit him in front of a computer.

Our Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ approach fits best within this category of Christian Discipleship/ Worldview. The basic descriptions and goals above are at the heart of L.E.D. Education is primarily, but not only, a heart relationship of discipleship. Out of that grows the passing on of Truths from the Word of God that apply to all areas of life. It is truly you follow me as I follow Christ. Relationships can be messy. They can be hard. They require a lot of investment, grace, and forgiveness. They result in growth. That is education. We are to grow in both grace and knowledge.

We study by biblical principles, and use many of the same study methods and notebooking as the Principle Approach®, yet adapt them for use in the multi-level homeschool family lifestyle setting. We also espouse the Better Late than Early philosophy of Raymond Moore. We recommend all of the books listed that explain various applications of this approach, and have used several of the resources listed in the programs section.

 

 

Classical – Great Books

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

Classical education is a return to the educational theories of Classical Greece and Rome. It’s methods utilize the Trivium or three tools of learning based upon stage of development. The Grammar stage focuses on the science of language usage, concrete thinking and memorization. The Dialectic stage on logic, proper analytical thinking and understanding. And the Rhetoric stage on the science of verbal and written expression, abstract thinking and debate. The Great Books of Western Civilization play a large role in this philosophy, as well as the classical languages of Latin and Greek. Christian Classical also develops a biblical worldview with a focus on theology study. This is a rigorous academic approach.

A few resources explaining the philosophies and methods of the Classical approach:

A few Classical education programs:

  • Veritas Press – is “a full service curriculum provider with a classical specialization”. Veritas Press has written many of its own classical curriculum resources.
  • Classical Conversations is a currently popular Christian Classical program with licensed communities, where you meet for classes.
  • Classical Christian Homeschooling – a website with much info, a free online curriculum linked to catalog of resources recommended.

Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ emphasizes “right reasoning” and the ability to communicate effectively, and also divides learning into 3 seasons of development (but not completely the same way classical educators do.)

Living Books – Beechick & Mason

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

The Living Books approach has possibly become the largest new/old method and philosophy, or at least the fastest growing in our time. There is a lot of variation within this category, but the primary unifying factor is that the curriculum is not based on a textbook, nor a Unit integrating all subjects into a certain topic, but rather on reading great, real literature. Within this category are Ruth Beechick’s approach and the Charlotte Mason method, as well as others. The Great Books or Classical method has many similarities too, but enough differences that I will cover it separately.

This method, and Classical and Discipleship/ Christian Worldview, are probably the most picky in the actual resources they utilize. There are many similarities in these 3 styles, but some differences also. Although both the Living Books and Classical styles utilize only very well written, excellent books, not dumbed down insignificant “twaddle”, their choices are not always to present or teach an accurate Christian worldview. (Ruth Beechick’s approach does.)

The Living Books approach, like Unit Studies, can be parent directed or a written curriculum by others. It is  more literature based (as opposed to activity based) and generally is not as concerned with integrating the subjects as Unit Studies. It may or may not be more grade level oriented.

Charlotte Mason methods utilize an environment of excellence, in literature, music, art, languages, nature; and gentle, natural methods such as narration, copywork, dictation, and notebooking to instill a love for learning. It provides a liberal (broad) education. Miss Mason was a British educator who sought to improve education in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s. She saw  education as an Atmosphere (rich environment), a Discipline (character habits), and a Life (living thoughts and ideas) in a time when many were treating children as a bucket to fill with facts.

Dr. Beechick may not classify her approach as “Living Books”, but rather as a biblical, common sense approach. But because many of her recommendations are similar to Charlotte Mason, I’m putting it here. Her approach is first and foremost biblical though, that the Bible should be the foundation of education and that subjects should be taught in the context of Scripture. She also is a proponent of gentle, natural methods, such as those mentioned above.  Mrs. Beechick has over 60 years of educational experience as a teacher, college dean, and editor of curriculum. She has devoted the last 25+ years to promoting home education and supporting home educators.

These resources explain the philosophies and methods of the Living Books approach, as presented by Ruth Beechick and Charlotte Mason:

A few popular Living Books programs are:

  • Ambleside Online is a free online Charlotte Mason curriculum – many of the books used are available free online too.
  • Simply Charlotte Mason family friendly curriculum and a website with a host of help and resources for both learning about the Charlotte Mason method and for lesson use with your children.
  • The Three R’s (for up to third grade) and You Can Teach Your Child Successfully (for 4-8 grade) by Ruth Beechick – Dr. Beechick’s own helpful guides for getting started in providing a biblical, common sense education for your children.
  • Heart of Dakota is a currently popular program based on Living Books.

Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ utilizes Living Books, an environment of excellence and gentle, natural learning methods (narration, copywork, dictation, and notebooking, etc.) to instill delight and excellence in learning. We heartily agree with Mason’s description of education as an Atmosphere, Discipline and Life; but disagree with some smaller points of application. We also provide a strong biblical foundation and context for all learning, like Beechick, and line up with her in most (but not all) areas.

Unit Studies

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

Unit Studies are catching on even in institutional classrooms, as a more effective way to teach. Unit studies integrate several subjects in the study of a certain topic through real books and (usually) hands-on experiences. Studying the topic within contexts and relationships, with varied types of activities, with good literature, and to a deeper level, all contribute to a more memorable (and enjoyable) study. Unit Studies can be parent designed (meaning you make them up for your family) or a published program you purchase (probably written by another home school mom).

Because a Unit Study can be based on virtually any topic and can utilize various methods, there is a wide difference in published Unit Studies and their foundational philosophies. Most are multi-level, rather than individual grade-level based, meaning your whole family is learning together–everyone learning the same topic, each on their own level. This makes them much more family friendly than textbooks/ workbooks or delight directed learning. Mom is not forced to keep up with the many different subjects and topics of many different grade levels. Many of the full curriculum Unit Studies (as opposed to just individual units) are based on a rotation plan of generally about 4 years, and cover all topics in all subjects within that rotation.

Some drawbacks to Unit Studies are: some can be time and labor intensive for mom to plan or gather supplies, the integrating of the subjects can sometimes seem forced, sometimes the activities (and even whole unit studies) can have very little educational value and just be time wasters.

Published Unit Studies give recommended book lists of Real Books to read, to go along with the activities/assignments (along with any background information or other lesson) they suggest. Some list mainly books you can find at your public library and note that you can substitute any book your library has. Others list (and possibly include in their package) books that would be harder to find in your public library, but are more assuring of providing appropriate content than just choosing any library book on the topic. Some are full programs for all grade levels, all subjects for a full year, or even multiple volumes covering all years. Others can cover just one topic, or only include a few subjects, or only cover a couple of grade levels. The ones listed below are more inclusive.

Resources for helping you design your own Unit Studies:

  • Unit Studies Made Easy by Valerie Bendt is a guide to creating your own literature based unit studies just for your family. Many of her educational ideas are based on Charlotte Mason’s and Ruth Beechick’s philosophies.
  • Design-A-Study guides by Kathryn Stout help you design your own studies/ curriculum in most subjects. They don’t give specific information on creating Unit Studies, but can be helpful guides for those just starting out on their own.
  • Annotated book lists, or Books of Books as I call them, can be a great help in designing your own Unit Studies. These are some of our favorite books for helping us choose literature for any type of Real Book education.

A few popular Unit Study programs:

  • Tapestry of Grace is biblical worldview based, utilizing classic books of Western Civilization. It covers all grades through high school. Progresses chronologically through history. Science is not included, but history of science is intertwined. Writing program is integrated.
  • Far Above Rubies and Blessed is the Man are gender specific unit studies for high school students, based on Scripture – girls, Proverbs 31:10-31, and boys, Psalm 1. All subjects are covered, but they are very life prepatory focused. Though written from a Conservative Christian viewpoint, the author does not make your decisions about these issues for you, she urges you to research and come to your own conclusions.
  • KONOS is a  hands-on activities oriented Unit Study program, based on character traits, that covers all grades up to 8th, in 3 Volumes covering approx. 2.5 years each. 4 Volumes of KONOS History of the World is available for high school students to complete through independant study.
  • Weaver is a more structured Unit Study program based on workpages and grade level oriented assignments. It has 5 Volumes for grade school, and 5 Supplement Volumes for high school. Although there are hands-on activities included, it is more seatwork oriented and “schoolish” than KONOS. Units teach chronologically through the Bible.

Aspects of Unit Studies that are used in Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ are: focused topics of study (providing greater depth of understanding); family study (everyone learning the same topics together); integrated subjects (where applicable).

Unschooling or Delight-Directed

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

Unschooling or delight directed learning is “child led” education, focusing on the interests of the child. Usually the real books and resources utilized in this type of education are whatever the child finds in the library or on the internet or perhaps his family’s library that is of interest to him, in addition to activities and projects he chooses. Obviously, there is no written curriculum or book list for this. It flows as the child’s interests come and go, in whatever the topic may be–not just recognized school subjects. Some parents help guide the child into turning these interests into a type of Unit Study.

John Holt defined this approach, believing that people have an innate curiosity and desire to learn, unless it is destroyed by the usual ways of teaching; that when given a good environment in which to learn, he will love to learn. This educational belief stems from his foundational belief that people are good and will choose what is best and right for themselves.

Although there are parents that truly leave their children to themselves without that rich learning environment, to just play video games and watch TV all day, that is not the intent behind this approach. Still we see that unschooling even in its intent, although it has some good components, is not a Biblical approach. A child cannot appropriately direct his own education. He is not a pure, blank slate but rather has sinful, selfish tendencies. Proverbs tells us that a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. And Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and Ephesians instruct us to diligently teach our children, guiding and directing their education. In addition, the “go your own way” approach can promote selfish individualism rather than family unity. In general, most Christians recognize the faulty foundation of pure unschooling, and choose rather an adapted version that is more Biblical. In The Relaxed Home School Mary Hood presents an adaptation of this approach to education for Christian homes.

Sometimes Delayed Academics is considered unschooling. We believe that is more of a Discipleship approach. Parents are still guiding learning; it is just not focused on “book learning” in the early years.

Although accused many times of being “unschoolers”, Lifestyle Education through Discipleship is not a child-led approach. But we do believe a child’s interests and learning styles/abilities should be taken into consideration when planning his curriculum, as those interests and abilities are God-given and indicators of God’s design for his future. We also believe he needs to grow in learning how to direct his own education, under our guidance, through his teen years. Including children in the real world of life and providing rich learning and play opportunities and resources, as well as lifestyle natural methods of learning, are foundations of L.E.D. (and views proposed by Raymond Moore that we agree with) that would also be espoused by most unschoolers.

 

Finding Real Books

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

As mentioned in a previous article of this series, Real Books are the types of books you find in a bookstore or library, but how do you know which ones are good and worthy of reading–of assigning to your children to read? The resources listed below contain lists of books that the authors have chosen as good reading. You may or may not agree with all their choices, but most give a synopsis that will help you make your choice. Many of the books listed are “classics” that have been well loved and stood the test of time. Many times the same books appear in several of these lists, giving them a little further credence.

The first two resources below give an overview of each book to further help you choose. The next two just list title, author, reading level, and perhaps a few words of description, with books listed by time period, location, and reading level.

The Book Tree: A Christian Reference for Children’s Literature by Elizabeth McCallum and Jane Scott highlights the best of children’s literature. Top quality fiction and biography classics are presented with delightful descriptions, recommendations, and quotes scattered throughout. Arranged by age group; indexed by title, author and subject.

Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson is one of the best guides to the best literature, giving a personal description and warm synopsis of classic favorites and others less unfamiliar. Organized into topical categories that are more varied than the other books listed here. In addition to literature from fables to realistic stories, you’ll find chapters listing books for crafts and hobbies, drama, celebration days, horticulture, physical education, outdoor activities, humor, art, music, math, language, science, animals, and more.

Let the Authors Speak by Carolyn Hatcher lists books by their time period and place setting, to help you choose appropriate books to study, as you travel through God’s HisStory throughout the “time and space” of the earth.

All through the Ages by Christine Miller is similar, yet more extensive referencing of over 5600 books from various sources and catalogs.

Honey for a Child’s Heart by is similar to the first two above. It is my least favorite of these.


 

Now that you know what to look for, where do you find them? In many places, it is getting harder to find an abundant supply of good, worthy books in the public library. Building a home library is a worthy investment though. Family libraries, large and small, have been passed on as an inheritance, blessing many generations. Begin yours today! It can be as extensive and elaborate (or not) as you choose. Whether you choose to build with collectors editions and antique treasures, or ebooks on an eReader, your home library will be a blessing to your family, and perhaps many others. Just build your library with only the best of books.

Besides shopping at general bookstores, you may find wonderful treasures at used and antique bookstores. There are also many online sources for great Real Books, including our Partners, such as ChristianBook, Amazon, and others listed in the sidebar of this site. Used book websites, such as AbeBooks and Alibris can help us find treasured out of print books, or just inexpensive used copies. Even Ebay can be a good source for finding great books inexpensively.

Ebooks are also available, for reading on Kindle, other eReaders, or your computer. Many of the older, classics are available to download for free from sites such as Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and others. The Kindle Store also has many free ebooks, in addition to ones you can purchase. More links to free ebook sites can be found in this article. The Internet has enabled us to get more than enough great Real Books (for free, even) to keep us busy reading for a lifetime.

 

Real Books Approach

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

Using Real Books is an alternative to using textbooks in your family’s home education.  By Real Books I mean books that were not written as educational texts. But this doesn’t not in any way mean that real books don’t educate! As John Taylor Gatto (a former New York teacher of the year) says, “Real books educate. School books school.

Real Books are the types of books you find in a bookstore or library. They are usually written by one author. They usually are about a specific topic, but not necessarily a school subject. Many times the topic is much narrower than a “subject” would be. Generally they are more deep than broad. They are not grade leveled. They do not have quizzes or tests at the end of the chapters. The best of them are enjoyed by all ages, and are interesting and delightful and/or thought provoking to read.

There are many educational approaches that use Real Books rather than text/work books, ranging from very unstructured unschooling where the child may just check out books from the library on anything he is currently interested in to highly structured classical curriculum that uses specific great classical literature. There are many other styles in-between these two that use Real Books. In the next few articles I will describe several of these educational approaches that use Real Books, including Lifestyle Education through Discipleship that you can learn much more about on this site and through our Exclusive Resources.

Home education resources have become so numerous that I will only be able to scratch the surface of what is available for Real Book learning. But I will share the major approaches and links to several examples of them in each article. Some approaches will be grouped together, as they have similar traits. This means that there may be aspects that more or less apply to a specific style or curriculum within the group. The goal of this article series is not to dig deeply into every individual approach, but to give you an idea of what is out there, and help you see how they compare to Lifestyle Education through Discipleship so you can determine if L.E.D. is the right approach for your family.

Finding Real Books to use in the approaches listed below

Unschooling or Delight-directed

Unit Studies

Living Books/ Literature-based – Charlotte Mason, Ruth Beechick

Classical/ Great Books

Christian Discipleship/ Worldview

Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™

 

Textbooks/ Workbooks Approach

This article is part of a series for new home educators. In this, and several other articles, we cover What style of education is right for our family? And where do I get our curriculum?

Textbooks and Workbooks may be the types of curriculum that you are most familiar with. If you are new to home education, they may be the only type you are familiar with. They are they type used in government and most private schools. This method uses one text or set of workbooks, perhaps with teacher’s manuals, test and quiz booklets, and lesson plans, for each subject in each grade level.

This is not an approach we recommend for home educating families, for several reasons, but it may be one you choose to use. If you plan to return your child to the government system soon and if it is important to you that your child follows the lock-step regimen of this type of education, this method may be your choice. Others may choose it for other reasons.

Some conservative, Christian choices you have in this category are:

ABeka – Christian, grade level, subject specific textbooks. They also have ABeka Academy, a distance learning program available by DVD or streaming.

Bob Jones – Christian, grade level, subject specific textbooks. They also have a satellite program for distance learning available by DVD or online.

Alpha Omega – Christian, grade level, subject specific workbooks and computer based learning. Alpha Omega LifePacs are worktexts designed as a mastery approach to self-directed learning. There are generally 10 consumable workbooks per subject, per grade level (rather than one textbook). Horizons is another curriculum option through Alpha Omega. These workbooks are teacher directed and follow a spiral approach to learning. Switched on Schoolhouse is Alpha Omega’s computer based curriculum, and Monarch is their online program. Alpha Omega also has an online, distance learning program.

Accelerated Christian Education’s (ACE) PACEs are similar to Alpha Omega’s LifePacs. Christian Light combines LightUnits (workbooks) and some texts.

There are many more, but these are some of the most popular choices.

Although I can’t deny that there can be some good information in these Christian texts, I believe texts are not the best way for children to learn or parents to teach. Just a few of the drawbacks can be: the lock-step manner of expecting all children of a certain age to progress through material at a specific pace and order; non-family-friendly method – everyone’s learning going in different directions; mom burnout (especially when teaching several different levels), uninteresting presentation of bite-sized facts to be learned for a quiz or test (not out of interest or for the love of learning). These drawbacks may or may not be in the program you choose, and may or may not be an issue for your family.

If you’d like to step out of the textbook box and avoid these drawbacks, we encourage you to take a look at Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ for Freedom & Simplicity™ in Biblical Principles home education and read on about other Real Books approaches.

Where to Get Homeschool Curriculum

This article is part of our series for those New to Home Education.

Where do I get my homeschool curriculum? is one of the first questions most parents ask. Some parents, new to home education, have the misconception that there is some set standard of books to use and information that needs to be learned at certain ages, or even one set curriculum that all homeschoolers are required to use. Although the government is working hard to make such a requirement for their schools, there is no such thing for home educators. God has certainly not ordained that every child of age Y must learn X material or they will be “behind”.

There are as many ways to home educate as there are home educators, and although there were only a handful of resources available when we began in the mid-1980’s, there are many thousands available now. To narrow those choices down, before you start searching through, you must first determine what type of curriculum will be right for your family. Your educational philosophy (go back and read First Things First if you haven’t read it yet) will help you narrow down what types of approaches are going to best achieve your goals.

The first division in types of curriculum is  Textbooks/Workbooks vs. “Real Books”. If Real Books are your choice, there are many methods to further divide that category. Although we don’t recommend all types, homeschool resources for all types are available through our Partners listed in our sidebar, such as ChristianBook.

Let’s take a look at these two divisions, and then the various approaches based on Real Books.

Textbooks/Workbooks Approach

Real Books Approach