Curriculum Nitty Gritty


  • Visual Learners do better with diagrams, pictures, working models, video, hand motions
  • Tactile Learners do better using his/her hands, building, drawing, doing
  • Auditory Learners do better listening

All children are stronger in learning by one of the above methods.  You as the parent already know what this is.  Go ahead and think about that for a moment.  You have been giving directions geared toward their learning style for at least 4+ years.  Do you make them look you in the eye, repeat back to you, do both, do neither?  See, you knew it and are already teaching this way.  Now, just continue but do NOT LIMIT them to their preferred learning style.  It is great to use as the foundation/base, but if you do not broaden and teach them to learn using all styles, they will, in the end, be, well, limited.

Most homeschooled children become amazing auditory learners because we mamas love to read aloud.  This is wonderful as it is the one learning style that is not taught in traditional school settings!



This addresses what I would call the approach and personality of your school and has everything to do with your end goals for that year, grade section (K, elem, middle, high).  This can change level by level.  I will use our family as an example.  We begin with Unschooling; moves to Christian Waldorfian in middle elementary; on to Charlotte Mason in early middle; slowly toward Traditional as we approach high school, and then high school is Traditional, but all of it is deep, rich, and classical.

All of this is done in a peaceful rhythmic relaxed approach.  If our work is not completed one day, we do not ‘makeup’ yesterdays work, we simply continue forward learning at a diligent and consistent pace.  If we take off a day or ten, we simply pick up where we left off.  Schooling year ’round allows for this relaxed pace.   Were I to count out 180 days, weekends, a few holidays, and Spring Break I would be too scheduled causing myself, home, and school to become rigid.  Nobody needs that from me!

Should you expect to find that peaceful rhythm and remain happily entrenched week in and week out?  Don’t even dream of it!  It is ever elusive, but it is there and attainable enough to let you know that it is worth the journey and effort.  Just remember that the vital ingredient is ‘relaxed yet diligent’.  These are your beloveds.  You won’t let them down.

And, if you know yourself and that this method would allow too many days to slip by- guess what?  You won’t use this method.  You will use a scheduled approach  ensuring that lessons, pages, books are done on time day in and day out through a great love affair with Excel, teacher/student workbooks, and calendars.  Nothing wrong with that because that is how you best operate which means that is how your family, home, and school will best operate!  These are your beloveds.  You won’t let them down.



Homeschooling does not need to break the bank as long as you are willing to be bravely creative.  I put in bravely because one of our first thoughts is, “I am not qualified!” Then we think, “There must be a curriculum that will teach me how to teach or even teach my child itself.”  And there is, sort of.  However, in the end, you teach yourself what you need to know in order to teach your child(ren).  Which has nothing to do with the curriculum you purchase and everything to do with your goals for your children’s education.

How much money do you have to work with?  For most of us, homeschooling means living on a single income.  For most of us, it is well worth it and we become incredible at making a dollar stretch.  Just dump the current day market mentality of, “I need it all.”, and sit down to decide exactly what it is you need.  Usually, by high school, our better halves have gotten enough raises and we have figured out how to cut costs and even create a (mostly) pay as you go homeschool, so this is geared more toward the early years.

  • Math curriculum and Language Arts are key, so don’t stint on these, but don’t overspend either.
  • Science and Social Studies (we call it History) can by anything or the same thing until you hit high school, so follow your interest or what you can get your hands on within your budget.
  • Other non-core subjects are fluff and flutter that you can create on your own or download for free or find for $1 at used book sales.  This is an area where we all overload/overspend.
    • This is NOT saying these items are not worth their weight in gold.  Much of the non-core learning is vital in connecting neuropathways beyond the basics.  IT IS GOOD but not necessary to spend money on.  Be creative.
      • I used to hand draw and make copies for my future/upcoming children
      • We had a math bean box that cost less than $10 and covered math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, larger, smaller, organize, and beyond
      • Friends gave us leftover, unused, partially used workbooks that we picked from just for fun along the years—and then we passed that along to friends
      • Our library (now) consists of hundreds of resource books that cost less than $1 each



This totally depends upon your child’s age, motivation, and diligence, and is why Faithful Scholars places greater emphasis on diligence and character than on the particular books you use.  Focus on these two items will bring about the ability and willingness to listen, give merit, obey, do, learn.  Without it, you will be battling the child’s temperament, attitude, wants, wills, and desires before you can even begin to present the day’s lessons.

  • Kindergarten
    • 15 to 45 minutes of sit down, snuggle up, traditional looking learning
    • Hours of observation, discussion, drawing, read aloud
    • Hours more of consistency in training toward being able to request and receive obedience, self-control, and timely diligence with a good attitude from your child(ren)


  • Elementary
    • Add 15-30 minutes of traditional type learning per year
      • If you have allowed lollygagging it will take far longer
      • No tricks or best way to overcome except create a system and be consistently on top of expectation and follow through
    • Hours of observation, discussion, drawing, read aloud
    • Hours more of consistency in training toward being able to request and receive obedience, self-control, and timely diligence with a good attitude from your child(ren)


  • Middle School
    • Student should be self-paced but only begin to be self-driven unless they are a firstborn
      • It’s a maturity thing that has to do with coming of age followed by more training
    • Parents model what you expect to receive
      • Get lost in your texts, emails, housekeeping and they will get lost in something non-school related as well
      • Moms, Dads, these children are watching what you do with your free time- who do you want them to be when they grow up?
    • Create a system of Checks and Balances (this sets you up wonderfully for high school!)
      • Set a specific day of the week or time of each day as works best for your family.
      • For us it works best for me to sit alongside doing my work and checking theirs on the fly a couple of times a week, but at least once or they know I am not watching and the fall back is not pretty….and the fault lies with me (I hate that!) because they are just being children.  So, the way we work it:
        • They do their lessons and date them
        • You check their lessons and date them marking areas of required (not requested) corrections
        • They make corrections and date them
        • You check corrections and accept or require a re-correction and date


    • Student’s should be on their way to being self-paced, self-governed, and self-driven
      • Be gracious with yourself and them, we are all still in process
      • Especially if you are just beginning to homeschool
    • Many classes are taken through programs outside of the home which is wonderful because the world of a high school needs to get larger as they prepare to be in the world (but still no need to be of the world).
    • Use electives to dive into areas of  passion or explore seeking that area
      • Should ‘read’ on the transcript like a minor degree or a seeker
      • LOTS More on high school here