Teaching Tuesday – Teaching Younger Children

Since I have had a specific request for ideas on homeschooling younger children, I will make that my focus for today.

Our state is a wonderful one to live in as far as schooling requirements go, and we did not have to register the children until they were 7, so I chose not to.  Before that age I did work with them on learning to read.  I used the book “Alphaphonics” for all 5 of the children and was very pleased with the way each concept is built on the previous one.  That book appears to be out of print, but you can probably find it used somewhere.  If not, I have heard that “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” is a good book as well, but I have never tried it.

When we began more formal schooling, here are some of the things I did:


Miquon Math with manipulatives is great for teaching the concept of numbers. The Miquon books with manipulatives and the math we use now (Teaching Textbooks) I purchased at Timberdoodle, which is one of my very, very favorite homeschool sources ~ I have probably bought more from them than any other place!  They have wonderful hands on learning supplies.  MathUSee does the same thing with math, except it uses videos to teach the children.  I used both of these at different times.

The Robinson Curriculum suggests that young children should concentrate mainly on using flashcards and timed drills (I used Calculadder, which you can make copies of over and over within your own home) to learn their basic math facts until they are mastered backwards and forward (about one year) , inside and out and then begin with fourth grade math.   They suggest Saxon Math at that point, and we did use Saxon for several years, but I found that I like the Teaching Textbooks even better!

History and Science (below) from Eagles Wings

God’s Awesome Acts for history, geography and social studies.  Very well done, with an emphasis on Biblical history.  The students learn about ancient cultures, how to draw and more.  It is a unit study and create-a-notebook type curriculum,and is very well laid out for the teacher.

Along with this we used Considering God’s Creation, which is science with a creation approach.  This is the Create-a-Notebook approach.

For reading, I bought simple books that were written about people, nature, or history from a Biblical worldview.  My favorites are the “Jewel” books by Rod and Staff.  These can be purchased for a great discount at the Milestone Ministries website.

For handwriting we use  Italic Handwriting, which IMHO has an easier transition from manuscript to cursive than the traditional writing method and it’s very attractive.

For grammar in the early days, the children wrote a page in their journal one day a week, were scribes one day a week (copy scripture into a notebook, following capitalization, and punctuations exactly), wrote a one page essay one day a week, and wrote a letter or thank you note to someone one day a week.  Some of these ideas came from the Robinson Curriculum, and some were also from the books listed below.

My early philosophies in homeschooling were very similar to my present philosophies.  The books that influenced me most at that time were Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson, For the Children’s Sake by Susan Scheafer-McCaully, Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore,  and Ignite the Fire, by Teri Camp.  These are very similar to the two books I bought this year by Robin Sampson, except that Robin goes back to our earliest Biblical Roots, which is what drew me to her books. The two homeschooling books I bought by Robin this year are: What Your Child Needs to Know When, and Heart of Wisdom

If anyone would like MORE details or you have questions, please feel free to ask.  I would be happy to explain further!  Overall, I think that the Heart of Wisdom approach encompasses nearly everything I did with the exception of my Handwriting and Math choices, but they (Heart of Wisdom) add a Biblical Roots dimension that I haven’t seen anywhere else.


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