Category Archives: Curriculum

Buried Curriculum Treasure

treasurechest-colour Rumors and legends abound about treasure dating back to the days of Blackbeard or Captain Kidd! What do these stories share in common?  It’s treasure buried deep in the ground which is found only after an arduous search following a complex map. Why can’t treasure hunting be easy? Because, DUH, then the prize would have been found already!

What does treasure have to do with homeschool curriculum? More than you might imagine! Continue reading

A Math Problem — Part 2

kablam_Number_AnimalsWhat’s the problem with math?  Is it driving you or your children (or both) to tears?  Daily?  Hourly?

My last post covered some of the causes of the math problem.  Are there any solutions — other than buying tissue by the case?

Actually, there are enough math resources available today to totally bury your house!  Listed below are a few that I am familiar with.  To begin searching for more, check out the Rainbow Resource Center catalog ( with over 100 pages devoted to math textbooks, workbooks, manipulatives, DVDs, and computer software, or look at other homeschool suppliers.

Explanation:  Do you and/or your student need more explanation than your teacher guide provides?  Or do either of you need it explained in several different ways?  Or do you want to watch it on a whiteboard?  Or listen to it?  Or hear it over and over and over again?

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Two Story Curriculum

EricOrtner_Gingerbread_HouseIt’s August!  Whether your curriculum is already here with your lesson plans ready to go or if you’re just now poring over catalogs and browsing websites to order your materials, it’s hard for a homeschool mom to face this month without thoughts of school ever-present.

From my viewpoint (the 20-20 hindsight of a mom who has graduated all her children), let me remind you to keep the big picture in sight.  Yes, long division is important.  And yes, choosing between the full-color textbook, the black and white workbook, the manipulative tools, and the CD curriculum is important too.  But let’s make sure that our homeschool looks different from the government school system in more ways than just the title on the textbook.

Francis Schaeffer, of L’Abri fame, uses a two story house to illustrate the postmodern concept of truth.  Continue reading

Curriculum Caution

Originally published in The Hope-Full Homeschooler, August-September 2011

As you purchase teaching materials, please keep in mind the Latin truism “caveat emptor,” which means “let the buyer beware.” Don’t assume that because you see something at a Christian homeschool convention or advertised in a Christian magazine that it will necessarily align totally with your own beliefs or with doctrine as taught at Hope Chapel. Christian homeschooling includes a broad spectrum of people: everyone from King James version only folk to fundamentalists to charismatics and everything in between.

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Group Classes — How do you decide?

Originally published in The Hope-Full Homeschooler, 2007

Published in the CHEA E-News, August 31, 2012

George just asked you what would happen if you were to substitute ingredient X in place of chemical Y in today’s experiment. You haven’t a clue – but how do you admit that without sounding hopelessly unqualified to finish leading him through his science book? Meanwhile, Julie is three Shakespeare plays ahead of you and wonders if you’ll be ready to discuss them with her before she forgets what they were about. How do you tell her you’ve fallen asleep on the old bard four nights in a row? Do you find yourself longing for the days of a simple read-aloud? Are you beginning to realize that your students have advanced beyond you academically? What’s a homeschool mom to do?

The solution seems easy enough – sign up for a zillion group classes! So many opportunities are available now, including our own HELP classes, the Biola STAR program, Potter’s School and other Internet classes, junior college courses, and classes taught by homeschool parents throughout the local community. But, prior to trading in your teacher’s hat for a chauffeur’s cap and before you mortgage your house to cover tuition costs, let’s take a quick look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of group classes.

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