Curriculum Nitty Gritty


  • Visual Learners- diagrams, pictures, working models, video, hand motions
  • Tactile Learners- using his/her hands, building, drawing, doing
  • Auditory Learners- listening
  • Successful Learners- exposed/taught all methods

You already know your child is stronger in one method of learning.  You have been giving instruction toward their learning style for years.  Do you make them look you in the eye, repeat back to you, do both, do neither?  Continue through formal home education using it as your teaching base while utilizing all teaching methods to expand their abilities.

Homeschooled children become amazing auditory learners because we mamas love to lecture, read aloud and verbally process.  This is wonderful as it is the one learning style that is not taught in traditional school settings but used broadly in college!



Style/Method addresses what could be termed the approach and personality of your school.  It has everything to do with your end goals, family style, and student grade level.  It changes grade by grade and even as life challenges and changes our families.  It is fluid and flexible.

Ex:  We begin as Unschoolers; move into child focused/Christian Waldorfian toward elementary; on to Charlotte Mason in early middle; slowly stepping toward Independent and Traditional methods as we approach high school;  high school is fully Traditional, but all of it is deep, rich, and classical regardless of our method.

All of this is done in a peaceful rhythmic relaxed approach.  If our work is not completed one day, we do not ‘make up’ yesterdays work; we simply continue where we left off- learning at a diligent and consistent pace.

  • Perhaps cost is key which means selecting from various and sundry books/sources
    • This is called Eclectic (in my humble opinion, the richest and least expensive option)
  • Perhaps life is stressful enough and you need school to be real but not over taxing
    • This is called Relaxed (woven with eclectic it cultivates amazing days of learning)
  • Perhaps having work, scope, and sequence laid out for you is key
  • Perhaps having a 3rd party leading the course and expectations
  • High Schoolers take most of their classes through online, local homeschool programs, or dual credits.  Look through the info on the High School page for more…..



Schooling year ’round allows for a sweetly relaxed pace.   Counting out a planned 180 day calendar would lend toward Type A, non-flexible expectations that would encourage lack of joy for/from mama to everyone else.  There is a fine balance between loosely scheduled and rigid.  Time spent homeschooling will help you find that balance, and I am always just an email away should you need suggestions.

Can a mere mortal truly expect to find a peaceful rhythm while happily entrenched 24/7 with children week in and week out?  It is ever elusive, but it is there and attainable enough to let you know that it is worth the effort to grab hold of such peace/joy as many days possible along the way.    Just remember that the vital ingredients are ‘relaxed yet diligent’.  These are your beloveds.  For the most part you will succeed, but know that occasionally you will let everyone down, but take a deep breath, re-evaluate, and have another go toward your ideals.  Be merciful on yourself, a mere mortal.

And, as you get to know what sort of teacher you are, you will recognize what methods allow too many days to slip by and, guess what? –you will use a different approach.  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.

There is nothing wrong with either approach/method aside from trying to force your personality into a different category without allowing for grace filled time to change slowly….if that is what you feel drawn toward.  How you best operate indicates how your family, home, and school will best operate!  Trust yourself while re-evaluating as needed.

You will naturally adjust to assure that all needs are being met but occasionally this takes a bit of brute force.  We call this Eating the Slimy Toad (not our concept).  When maths fell off our plate for the fourth day in a row, we put it first thing after tea and read aloud.  When it continued to fall off, we put it with tea before read aloud.  You get the idea.



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 typical 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.

In the end, you teach yourself what you need to know in order to teach your child(ren).  Which has nothing to do with purchased curriculum.

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 saving a dollar and/or making a dollar stretch.  Just dump the mentality of, “I need…”, and sit down to decide exactly what it is your child needs beyond a vested interested parent modeling what it means to learn.

  • Math curriculum and Language Arts are key, so don’t stint on these, but don’t overspend either. US edition is my math guru/teacher/better half’s favorite for teaching the How along with the Why and it is totally affordable and do-able up through 5th grade.
  • Science and Social Studies (we call it History) should follow your/child’s interest or what you can get your hands on within your budget.  Explore/Discover alongside read alouds is a fabulous approach and exceedingly affordable!
  • Other non-core subjects are fluff and flutter that you can create on your own or download for free or find cheaply book sales.  This is an area where we all overload, overspend, and underused.
    • This is NOT saying these items are not worth their weight in gold.  Much of the non-core learning is vital in connecting neurological pathways beyond the basics.  But these are areas that can flourish freely under your creativity.  Ex. coloring/art for handwriting readiness teaches the brain to slow down, the hand to strengthen, and the eye to pay attention to detail.
      • make copies of hand drawn creations for future/upcoming children
      • math ‘bean box’ (various dry beans in a box) for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, larger, smaller, organize, and beyond
      • Welcome free workbooks regardless the publisher/quality and even if partially used
      • Collect books from hand me downs to garage sales to thrift stores.  YOu can easily build a home library of hundreds of literature and resource books for pennies on the dollar


This 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 and rate or progress.  Focus on the needs of your child’s future self to create a Honey and Vinegar list of ‘encouraging consequences’.  Ex:  5 minutes to wake for breakfast to receive tea/read aloud OR sleep in, waken at minute 6, go to be right after dinner, no tea, no read aloud.

Being equipped with this Honey/Vinegar list will aviod those blustery empty threats that we come up with when our children’s natural bent to push the limits catch us unprepared.  Having a quick, calm, appropriate response brings about the child’s willing ability to listen, obey, 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