This is our first year doing homeschooling – we are starting our 6th grader, while our two younger children are still in the excellent Walnut Grove public school. We are totally nervous (n00bs), and since we are homeschooling under Connecting Waters charter home school, we cannot buy entirely Christian curriculum, unless it’s on our own dime.
So we went with a Christian curriculum for 6th grade science (Earth Science / Geography), and found some decent ‘secular’ materials for Ancient Civilizations (History) written by a woman who is Christian (though the content is not explicitly Christians). She also does excellent Classical English Language materials. Here’s our list:
- Sonlight Science G ($250) – This program seemed more manageable than others, and directly addresses both the problems of evolution and the geological record. While my secular friends may be alarmed that I am teaching my children to question evolution (because they view it as science, rather than what it is – a flawed philosophy of science with little merit or empirical evidence), you can be sure I am teaching them the scientific method and how to reason rather than merely take the official word for it – be it young earth creationism, evolution, global warming, eugenics, or other suspicious theories.
- We also almost got Beginnings Publishing’s Rainbow curriculum ($280)
- The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From teh Earliest Nomads to teh Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition ($12) – It figures that a history book has a longer name than description ;). Susan Wise Butler comes highly recommended. Her history seems unbiased, if not a little to reticent to pass judgment on some cultures – for example, her treatment of Muslim conquest in the pre-Crusades centuries is entirely devoid of negative judgments or adjectives – very descriptive, but just the facts. Her treatment of the Crusaders is similar. Of course, there is the associated Activity ($21) and Tests/Answers ($11) books.
- Creation to the Resurrection, Volume 1, Second Edition: The Mystery of History Series ($40) – We got this excellent supplement not only because it is explicitly Christian, and could fill in on subjects where Bauer is less informative, but because it has really nice short devotional-sized daily lessons. Available from CBD, but not Amazon, go figure.
We are also looking for literature books that relate to the Ancient Civilizations work we are doing in History, but I have no idea what to get yet.
- The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) ($27) – This is Bauer’s book for parents, covering her philosophy for educating your children using Classical methods.
- The Complete Writer: Level Three Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer) ($28) – Also from Susan Bauer. Although this volume is not for 6th graders, but for 4th graders, since my child has not gone through Susan’s system, this book is going to be enough of a challenge at the start.
- Writing With Skill, Level 1: Student Workbook (The Complete Writer) ($24) – This is the middle school curriculum. I bought this in addition to the 4th grade book above because in middle school, Bauer changes here approach, so to some extent, it’s a new type of skill which builds on the previous a good bit, but it’s still accessible as a new subject.
Of course, in addition to good didactic texts, Sofia will be reading some great literature, and because she is bilingual, we will be buying both English and Spanish. Our list is short right now, and we are open to suggestions, and Bauer’s Well Trained Mind book has lots of suggestions. The Grade 6 Common Core Standards have a long list, but here’s what we’ve got so far:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- El Alquimista: Una Fabula Para Seguir Tus Suenos by Paulo Coelho
- A Teacher’s Guide to The Alchemist: Common-Core Aligned Teacher Materials and a Sample Chapter ($0 Kindle) – Not sure what this is worth, but it’s certain worth FREE.
- Little Women by Loiuisa May Alcott
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Louis Carroll
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christy
- Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
Missionary bios are part of Christian education, and since we are covering cultures in science (geography), these books seem good:
- Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
- Lillian Trasher: The Greatest Wonder in Egypt (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
- Go Math, Grade 6 ($18) – We got this for a couple of reasons – first, the charter school we are teaching under has a class for this book, and also, while being common core compliant, it’s not as awkwardly common core” as some other textbooks. Naturally, there is an overpriced Teacher’s Edition ($80) and a Student Practice Book ($5)
- Patterson Soccer League – and when soccer finishes, we’ll find something else cool for her to do.
- Piano lessons
Please let us know what you recommend.