Trying to find a secular homeschooling curriculum that fits my six year old son’s very kinesthetic learning style has been a challenge. The truth is that there is no perfect curriculum. You have to learn to be extremely flexible and make the curriculum your own. I made the mistake of buying so many different type of programs for my son and not being consistent with them. If I could go back and do it all over, I would buy less and focus on being consistent with one particular program by subject. I would experiment with different ways of teaching the topics rather than searching for something new.
I call myself an eclectic homeschooler because I take inspiration from different philosophies. I especially love Charlotte Mason, Montessori and Unschooling. We have not found one particular program that works for all subjects. We pick and choose what works best from different companies. I also wanted to add that I believe children learn best when they have control over their education, play, listen to books you read to them,explore, move around, and build off of experiences. That being said, I want to teach my son reading, math and handwriting in a solid way. I am still trying to figure out how to foster his love of learning while teaching these subjects.
Logic of English : Logic of English is my main curriculum for reading. It is a secularreading curriculum that has a reputation for building a strong foundation in understanding the whys behind the English language. It is also known to be good fit for many struggling readers. I really like how this program includes fun activities and isn’t too worksheet heavy. I also like how spelling,reading and handwriting is incorporated into one program.My son had a lot of fun learning about the voice box in the first book. Right now we are going over ai/ay. My son seems to be taking well to it. That being said, sometimes it is a little confusing for me to teach. It is very parent intensive. I bought this program used. It can be a little pricey.
The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts :The Good and The Beautiful is not a secular company but their curriculum programs are not very preachy. There are people of different faiths and secular families who use their program. They cover a lot of language arts concepts in detail, have short lessons and everything is open and go. The parents really don’t have to do much preparation. My son has really found this program engaging. They have their language arts curriculum free online. I have been testing it out and I am honestly very conflicted on if I want to go with this program or Logic of English. Logic of English does a better job of creating a good reading foundation but The Good and the Beautiful is very easy to use and a very thorough program.
Math Mammoth : Math Mammoth is a secular mastery based math curriculum. It is a solid program and has a reputation of being thorough and easy to teach. Everything you need to teach is in one book. Originally, the workbook style made me think it would be not be a good fit for my son but he prefers Math Mammoth. The creator of the program gives game websites and additional activities kid can do. Math has been a tricky one for us but I think we will be sticking with this curriculum for a while. Sometimes we supplement with the Kumom Number Writing book and Mind Benders for logic.
I have to get creative with handwriting because my son is a reluctant writer. We have the Handwriting Without Tears book. It is a wonderful program that helps build proper letter formation and help with penmanship. He does not always enjoy that book so we end up writing notes, creating stories together, writing in a journal or some type of tracing activity.
Science and Social Studies
For science and social studies we follow no particular program. I let my children be the lead on science and social studies. We enjoy going to the library and finding topics on different science and social studies subjects. Sometimes we create unit studies and experiements . We have learned about a wide variety of topics together through books and discussions. We also enjoy exploring nature together. There is a lot to learn from playing outside in nature.
Song School Spanish
Spanish: My son has taken a lot of interest in Spanish. I am not a native Spanish speaker but I have some background in studying the language. Song School Spanish is made for parents who don’t speak the language that they are trying to teach. A CD and many free resources are included on their website. Lessons are very simple, short, and taught through songs. My son has actually been retaining what he learns and even his little sister copies what he says. I only bought the student book. I read several reviews that the student book was enough to get started.
Arabic: We have no set Arabic program yet. We do have some letter tracing workbooks. My son knows how to recite the alphabet and recognize a few letters. He has taken a lot of interest in Arabic too. I am still trying to figure out our approach.
Islam : I believe Islam should be taught through example, good actions, stories and crafts with younger kids. Right now we mostly talk about how Allah is loving, we pray together, read Islamic stories and watch Zaky on Youtube. We also enjoy My Deen Magazine. My son will turn 7 this year, the age where he will start learning about the religion. I will post more on this in the future, God willing.