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kyphilosopher
06-14-2014, 09:31 PM
My wife and I have an extensive collection of books (over 3,000) and I have been working on organizing them into academic genres. It occurred to me a person could become quite well educated (in a broad general knowledge sense) if they simply read 5 or so books in each academic subject. I've been working on formalizing this idea into a curriculum which, while structured, still allows for freedom in choosing which books to read in which academic subjects. What does everyone think of such an approach?

Maela
06-16-2014, 02:40 PM
My plans for this school year include a huge amount of reading (independent and read alouds). My kids love it, and they're always learning something new from a book. So I'm experimenting this year with spending most of our time reading books, playing board games/puzzles/etc., and spending a lot of time outside.

farrarwilliams
06-16-2014, 02:44 PM
We do content subjects based on living books almost entirely. We just read a lot.

There are a lot of programs that are based on books as well. Charlotte Mason's philosophy is very based in learning from books and classical programs are typically focused on learning to read the classics so you can enter the great conversation. Build Your Library is book based, as is Book Shark (secular Sonlight). Moving Beyond the Page relies heavily on books. Five in a Row is a full curriculum for kindergarten based on books.

Books. :)

banjobaby
06-16-2014, 03:11 PM
We live near a very nice library. Part of my kids' education is that I bring them each week and help them find a science book, a book about a historical period or event, a "how-to" book, a biography, a classic novel, a poetry book, and what I call quality literature: our library displays Battle of the Books, Newberry winners, etc... and I ask they pick something from there. We have an hour long quiet time each day when the children are expected to read. I don't monitor which book they choose, but just by having it available I find they keep relatively diverse reading. However, we do more formal learning as well.

ejsmom
06-16-2014, 03:38 PM
I think you have a nice idea. There are curriculum options already available based on using books, but another option for homeschoolers certainly wouldn't hurt anyone. Most people are always looking for more options. You would have to pick a set of books not only for each subject, but for each year. One potential challenge there may be that kids are more advanced in one area over another. For example, we struggle sometimes because my child's reading/spelling/vocab level is post high school, but he's just wrapping up his 4th grade year of homeschooling. Finding appropriate books for a child as far as content, that are still written at a level he enjoys reading can be difficult. Another consideration may be allowing your consumers the option of buying the books, or using the library, and then your curriculum would offers guides or lesson plans or project ideas and maybe a supplemental website with links, virtual field trips, quizzes, etc. You would need a math option (or let that up to the consumer), and in some states homeschoolers have standardized testing we must do each year or so, to be legal, so we would need to know that some basics were covered on that end. The concern I would personally have (and others may as well, as most homeschool kids read A LOT), is that with only 5 books per subject my kid would finish reading all the books in less than a month.

BTW, your avatar reminds me of the Mythbuster dude, Jamie. Very stylish!

aspiecat
06-16-2014, 04:58 PM
I think it's an excellent idea. Even if you use online curriculum or you buy hard copy workbooks, having your home library organised in accordance to some system or other (I'd personally use the Dewey Decimal...maybe LOL) will mean you have immediate reference material when something needs further explanation or extension.

I used to have an extensive home library back in Australia...my ex has my books now...I really miss it!

Aspie

kyphilosopher
06-19-2014, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the feedback. My idea is continuing to evolve and I'm sure will change as my daughter grows up. I'm fortunate to live in a state where there is not much governmental oversight regarding homeschooling. We don't have to take standardized tests in various subjects.

I also recognize that in some respects I am preaching to the choir because a lot of homeschoolers already do extensive reading as part of their homeschooling activities. What would be interesting to me is how to bring the idea of just reading good books to a wider audience of parents and kids in public or private schools. As a college professor I see the result of years of schooling which for many students ends up being a lack of passion for anything, a lack of curiosity, and a lack of exposure to real books. Inevitably the students who avoid these problems tend to be the ones who are homeschooled!

Thanks for the compliment on the avatar! I designed that for a free eBook I have on my website titled "Think Like a Philosopher."


I think you have a nice idea. There are curriculum options already available based on using books, but another option for homeschoolers certainly wouldn't hurt anyone. Most people are always looking for more options. You would have to pick a set of books not only for each subject, but for each year. One potential challenge there may be that kids are more advanced in one area over another. For example, we struggle sometimes because my child's reading/spelling/vocab level is post high school, but he's just wrapping up his 4th grade year of homeschooling. Finding appropriate books for a child as far as content, that are still written at a level he enjoys reading can be difficult. Another consideration may be allowing your consumers the option of buying the books, or using the library, and then your curriculum would offers guides or lesson plans or project ideas and maybe a supplemental website with links, virtual field trips, quizzes, etc. You would need a math option (or let that up to the consumer), and in some states homeschoolers have standardized testing we must do each year or so, to be legal, so we would need to know that some basics were covered on that end. The concern I would personally have (and others may as well, as most homeschool kids read A LOT), is that with only 5 books per subject my kid would finish reading all the books in less than a month.

BTW, your avatar reminds me of the Mythbuster dude, Jamie. Very stylish!

Maela
06-20-2014, 12:23 AM
Thanks for the feedback. My idea is continuing to evolve and I'm sure will change as my daughter grows up. I'm fortunate to live in a state where there is not much governmental oversight regarding homeschooling. We don't have to take standardized tests in various subjects.

I also recognize that in some respects I am preaching to the choir because a lot of homeschoolers already do extensive reading as part of their homeschooling activities. What would be interesting to me is how to bring the idea of just reading good books to a wider audience of parents and kids in public or private schools. As a college professor I see the result of years of schooling which for many students ends up being a lack of passion for anything, a lack of curiosity, and a lack of exposure to real books. Inevitably the students who avoid these problems tend to be the ones who are homeschooled!

Thanks for the compliment on the avatar! I designed that for a free eBook I have on my website titled "Think Like a Philosopher."
Can't wait to hear more about your ideas.

jess
06-20-2014, 02:51 PM
I also recognize that in some respects I am preaching to the choir because a lot of homeschoolers already do extensive reading as part of their homeschooling activities. What would be interesting to me is how to bring the idea of just reading good books to a wider audience of parents and kids in public or private schools. As a college professor I see the result of years of schooling which for many students ends up being a lack of passion for anything, a lack of curiosity, and a lack of exposure to real books. Inevitably the students who avoid these problems tend to be the ones who are homeschooled!

Take a look at http://www.honorsacademyofliterature.org/index.html - it's a literature-centered charter school in Reno, NV. Unfortunately, they don't go into much depth about their curriculum, but that's one example of a non-homeschool option.

popsicle1010
06-21-2014, 05:36 AM
Your idea reminds me of the Great Books program and its various offshoots over the years. Here is an overview, presented by a contemporary Great Books program for homeschoolers:

Great Books Movement (http://www.greatbooksacademy.org/great-books-program/great-books-movement/)

kadylaha
03-15-2015, 07:35 PM
Brilliant. Our classical style includes a lot of room for exactly this. We are all book fanatics, too! Your idea should work well as long as your kid is as big a book freak as you. :)

CrazyMom
03-15-2015, 09:45 PM
Books are a delight. We have hell of a home library, too. But there's something so wonderful about going to a bigger library! We went twice a week while my daughter was homeschooling. Hubby and I go most Saturdays, still:)

Suggestion for everyone....do a small unit with your kids on The Dewey Decimal System. It's still in use at most libraries, and if you know which numbers correlate to which subjects, you'll always where know to find things that interest you:)

Here's a chart if you forgot:) http://image.slidesharecdn.com/deweydecimalsystem-110924193307-phpapp01/95/dewey-decimal-system-1-728.jpg?cb=1316910820

ikslo
03-15-2015, 10:21 PM
Suggestion for everyone....do a small unit with your kids on The Dewey Decimal System. It's still in use at most libraries, and if you know which numbers correlate to which subjects, you'll always where know to find things that interest you:)


Or you can read Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library as a read-aloud (or have the kiddo read it if they are able) :)