I was recently asked how I let God give me His curriculum for my children.
I have learned to pray and ask the Lord what I need to teach the younger ones and how I need to teach each one. He speaks to me in my spirit and lets me know what I need to do. He has reminded me at times when one of them is ready for Phonics when I may not have been aware of it. He helps me to know the kind of book to get or what subject that they need to learn. He gives me ideas of how to teach certain concepts.
For example, early this morning I woke up before I was ready to get up. I was praying and thinking. I started thinking about teaching fractions. Yes, I really did start thinking about that. I realized that an easy way to help the twins understand fractions would be to use measuring cups and let them stack them and fill them with water and pour them into equivalent fraction cups, etc. That way, they will understand that 4/3 equals 1 and 1/3, and 2/4 = 1/2, things like that. I intend to do that soon. Probably the next time I bake cookies or something with them. I believe God was giving me a plan for the best way to teach the twins the basics about fractions.
The Spirit nudges me when one of the younger ones is ready to learn to recognize letters or numbers. Sometimes He lets me know when they already have a concept mastered, and I need to help them move on to the next step, like teaching them about how letters go together to make words. And then sentences. And then paragraphs. And then more difficult words. And so on.
I use materials we have on hand to start out:
-Paper and pencil or crayon
-Early reader books
-Letter flash cards
I teach them to write their name. They start to ask me how to spell certain words. I help them write what they want. I believe in doing what comes naturally in most things. When I try to force things on them that are artificial or contrived, they often rebel and don’t really learn what I wanted them to learn. I go to the library and get lots of books that have simple but interesting stories and beautiful pictures. I love picture books and read lots of them to my little ones.
In some ways, the kids help me direct their learning by asking questions or trying new things and asking for help. But behind it all, I can sense the leading of the Holy Spirit. Recently, I was led to buy manipulatives like Pattern Blocks and Teddy Bear counters. We’re still in the fun, play-with-them phase, but I plan to teach concepts with them soon. I have idea books for how to use them to teach different concepts.
We have done plays that the Lord helped me to write. We have done unit studies that I suddenly found in my files on my computer or from ideas that just came to me of things that we should study about.
I go to the library and peruse the titles on the shelves. Sometimes a particular title jumps out at me, and I check out that book and read it aloud to the kids. Many times those books lead to further study on related topics. The kids will research and find out more on their own.
We have studied the Old Testament very thoroughly. I understand the whole story of the Bible so much better now than I did before I started homeschooling my children. We are just starting to dive into the New Testament. I believe the Lord led me to lay a firm foundation in the Old Testament first so that my children can understand the culture of the Jews, which Jesus was part of, and the prophecies that He fulfilled and the background of all of the writers and stories and teachings of the Bible. We have used several different curriculum to cover our study of the Old Testament. We have used:
Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson
Ancient Civilizations and the Bible by Diana Waring
The Daily Bible by F. LaGard Smith
Historical fiction based on stories and books and people of the Bible
– The Heavens Before and the whole Genesis Trilogy by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow
This trilogy covers Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth and Nimrod and the Tower of Babel up to Abraham. It is fantastic!
When we landed in Kansas City after the traveling (homeless) part of our Journey of Fire, I asked Shawn what he wanted to study. He said he just wanted to study his Bible! I was floored. I was happy, but I also wanted him to do some Math and other subjects, too. So I asked him to do some Math and to write about what he was learning in the Bible. He agreed to that. He has studied many other subjects, too, but his main area of study really was the Bible. He was 15 years old.
I went through the library catalog and found historical fiction about Abraham, Jacob, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, etc. and read to the kids so that they would be able to relate to the people and situations in the Old Testament. I found some through book lists such as Sonlight catalog’s history and readers book lists for different history periods. In this catalog, you can also find books at all levels from before preschool and up that will teach some Bible and history to even very young children.
We are loosely following Diana Waring’s curriculum Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries for Early Church History through 1799 AD.
I have taught my children to pray and ask the Lord what He wants them to learn.
I believe that God will show you the books to use, the subjects your children need to learn, the skills they need to learn, and the best way for them to learn them if you will just ask Him.
As your children get older, they will start to learn because they want to know a certain thing. It is really hard to keep a child from learning! If you have encouraged them to explore and discover, they will continue to do this as they grow and mature. And the Lord will lead them into the thing that He created them to do.
I have linked this post to Big Family Friday at Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling