By Charlene Notgrass, from Notgrass History, SPED Homeschool Curriculum Partner
God usually gives us one child at a time, with each new baby coming into a family made up of varying ages. Sometimes God gives parents twins, and I even know a couple who had quadruplets. Still, in most families, each person is a different age. Even when children share the same birthday, they don’t share the same skill levels in every area at every stage.
One joy of homeschooling is that children in a family can learn together sometimes and receive individual instruction at other times. I cherish the memories of our family learning together. Sometimes that happened when we were reading aloud or while taking a daylong field trip or a weeklong vacation. Sometimes we learned together while putting on a play, making a craft, taking an art class, teaching a Bible class, or eating a meal from a certain region of America or the world.
Homeschooling was once a burden for me, but it became a joy when I learned to relax and homeschool from the perspective of who we were, as a family. No longer were lessons a chore. Instead, these lessons became a way for us to share life together. We even decided as a family to create materials to combine subjects, teach multiple levels, and instruct the hearts, souls, and minds of our children.
The result of our planning eventually became a curriculum that is now loved by many homeschooling families, Notgrass History. The curriculum we ended up creating provides narrative lessons and activities. These activities include primary sources and literature, arts and crafts projects, review material, tests, family activities, and writing prompts. We never wanted these activities to be burdensome but instead to be a tool parents could use for instruction based on what they knew about how their family best learned together.
For example, our book From Adam to Us is our world history course for children in grades 5-8. We have heard that some parents include children in these lessons who are younger than 5, while others have used it with their high school students. Some families complete the course in a year, while others spread the lessons out over a longer period. The reason I state these things is that when teaching multiple levels of students and those with learning differences, it is beneficial to have a curriculum that can flex with your family’s and student’s needs.
We chose stories that encouraged our family’s Christian faith, plus we included additional learning items like historical documents, maps, timelines, vocabulary, creative writing ideas, and hands-on activities that we could use together to interact around, and dig deeper into, specific content as a family.
You too can make homeschool less complicated and educationally richer by learning together as a family. This creates a less stressful, more engaging, and more memorable year. In fact, many parents find their children thrive when most of their school year centers around one central theme.
God created families. He entrusts precious children whom He loves deeply into the care of their parents and trusts those parents to do a good job. You can trust His judgment in making you your children’s parent and that learning together will enhance your homeschooling experience and family bonds..
Are you interested in finding out more about the From Adam to Us Notgrass Curriculum? Use this link to see how this curriculum works in a typical homeschool setting.
You can also see the SPED Homeschool Review Crew video review of From Adam to Us here .
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