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Homeschool Curriculum: Why Natural, Literature-Based, Connected Learning Is the Best
We had a leak… and before long we were getting new carpet. I’ll spare you the details of everything in the ellipses, but it did give me the chance to go through boxes we had stored in our sons’ closets. As we rearranged our empty nest, I found my youngest son’s notebook from Paths of Exploration. He’s almost twenty-three now and lives a couple of hours from us.
Pages from my son's Paths of Exploration Notebook
It’s been years since I looked through that notebook. Seeing his fifth-grader handwriting, his drawings of birds and trees and flowers, and his creative writing brought such a big smile to my face.
Our Path to the Trail Guide to Learning Series
I had heard about a new curriculum and it sounded like everything I had been trying to do on my own. It was influenced by my “educational heroes”—Dr. Ruth Beechick and Charlotte Mason. I looked at the sample online and knew it was right for us, so I marched over to the table at our convention that year and bought it.
In many ways I loved creating things myself, but as a busy homeschool mom, I didn’t have time to put much together beyond their language arts. The Trail Guide to Learning series did for all our studies what I was only able to do for that one area.
It provided a natural, literature-based, connected curriculum.
Homeschool Curriculum That is Natural
Charlotte Mason formed her philosophy of education based on observing the actual children she was teaching. Even though it seems like that would be the way all methods have been developed, many philosophies and methods simply aren’t.
Dr. Beechick spent her career teaching children as well and formed many of her ideas based on her experience teaching in a one-room schoolhouse setting—teaching multiple ages together at the same time. Sound familiar?
As a result, their methods are based on the way kids are designed to learn. Developmental levels matter when it comes to how we teach children. And it’s not based on just theory… It's based on experience.
Children are made to learn. Without ever opening a textbook or doing a worksheet, your kids learned how to speak. They figured out how to walk. And through a bit of intentional instruction, I’m guessing they are no longer in diapers if they are past the toddler years.
That’s because they naturally learn and by paying attention to how, we can tap into those insights to make it easier when they begin more formal studies.
Homeschool Curriculum That is Literature-Based
We all seem to have a love for stories. Sure, some people don’t enjoy reading… but if you look around you realize that story is everywhere. When relatives gather at a family reunion they spend a lot of time telling stories from growing up together. God Himself speaks to us through His word and instructs us through the lives of people. Even marketing gurus encourage companies to attract people through story.
And who hasn’t had a little one ask for one more story at night or heard the words, “Will you read that to me again?”
Trail Guide to Learning takes this love and uses real books—not dry, boring textbooks—to draw kids into the world of history and science and more.
Homeschool Curriculum That is Connected
Most of us grew up going to a public or private school. It seemed organized in a really smart way. We had multiple teachers trained in different subjects. In order to benefit from their “expertise” we traveled from class to class. But there’s a BIG problem with this approach. Each subject became disconnected from the other subjects. And even within some subjects—especially language arts—there were breakdowns into even smaller boxes of learning.
We had a grammar textbook, readers full of stories, spelling workbooks… you get the idea.
But subjects, thankfully, don’t actually fit into neat little boxes. One of the beauties of home education is that we don’t have to approach education in that way. We have the privilege of teaching in a way that is connected—and that is a very powerful learning tool.
This connected way of learning is my favorite part of the Trail Guide to Learning series. Each “path” in the series follows a thread of American history: exploration, settlement, and progress. Students read biographies and historical fiction to make history come alive, their writing assignments are based on what they are learning about, and their science fits what is going on during history at the time.
Why This Homeschool Curriculum is the Best
Here’s why Trail Guide to Learning is the BEST curriculum for teaching kids. The series…
- Takes a natural, literature-based, and connected approach to teaching children.
- Is designed to be used with multiple children at the same time
- Teaches kids how to learn, not what to learn
- Includes all subjects except math
- Gives you flexibility to teach YOUR children, not the curriculum
Try Before You Buy
Not sure if this is a good fit for your family? We’re offering a chance for you to try it before you buy it. Summer is the perfect time to get started!
Try Unit 1 (the first six weeks) of Paths of Exploration along with all the resources you need to complete the unit. Every subject is covered with this engaging program except for math. Your students will see the path of Columbus through multidisciplinary eyes, but always with the same goal: to make learning enjoyable, memorable, and motivating. Learn more about our Try Before You Buy offer by clicking here.
Get 10% off complete package purchases during the month of July! Use code: PACKAGE10