A lot of people ask me what curriculum I use to teach my children, and I honestly tell them that I’m very eclectic. One day, we might spend all our time on one subject and never make it around to the others. Sometimes I go all Martha Stewart and we do crafts. Some days we unschool. Some days we follow a tight schedule. But I do try to base it all on some sort of framework so we’re heading in the right direction, and a framework that gels for me is the comprehensive curriculum series produced by American Education Publishing.
These books start out at the preschool level and go up through sixth grade, and they include reproducible, full-color worksheets for each topic covered. The entire year’s course of study is outlined in one book, so of course, there’s not room to go into each area in great depth or detail, but I use these curriculum books as my jumping-off point.
For instance, let’s take the 4th grade book. There’s one page on Jacques Cousteau. It gives a brief synopsis of his life and his discoveries. By going to the library and picking up a children’s book on Cousteau, as well as some nonfiction books about sea life, I’ve just created a learning unit to present to my children that I can tailor to their need and level of understanding. I like to take the curriculum book with me to the library and sit down at the computer, inputting the search terms found on each page and then jotting down the call numbers for books that will supplement that week’s curriculum. It’s a little bit time-consuming, but not nearly as hard as it would be to completely construct a course of study from scratch.
American Education Publishing also produces books that are geared specifically to topics, such as reading comprehension and math. However, I do offer this heads up- if you order the comprehensive curriculum, and then you order the math book for that same grade, you’ll find that the pages are identical. You’ll save yourself some money just getting the curriculum and not getting the break-out books or you’ll have repeats.
I’ll discuss some of the other books published by American Education tomorrow. In the meantime, you can check out these curriculum books here. They’re very reasonably priced for what you get in exchange, and I’ve been very happy with their quality.