Our Educational Road Map
What learning materials we use and what will be at the top of our recommendation list for creative students.
We tried a lot of materials over the years, as we were looking for the best fit for our children. And I am happy to share with you the materials that we liked and found very effective. The materials we either use currently or will use again if we would start all over.
First of all, when our children were small babies we started with using Glenn Doman’s method for their language, literacy, general knowledge and physical development. To talk about these in detail would require a separate post, but one of the most effective materials we used following Glenn Doman’s philosophy were
and Little Math
All I can say that using these 3 curriculum was easy, engaging and it laid solid foundation in our children’s lives. We used them with computer or an iPad, but you can print out Little Reader flashcards and create your own engaging reading and vocab lessons for 0-5 year old.
Just a few minutes of day Little Reader lessons and A LOT of book reading together (book reading is our hands down favorite activity!) resulted in all of them becoming fairly early readers, which literally opened the doors of learning and discovery for them. Personally we are glad we were able to skip grueling phonics lessons, and simply enjoy and have fun reading together. If you are starting later then us or have not been reading together with your kids a lot from the very beginning I heard that “Teaching your child to read in 100 easy lessons” is a great way to introduce reading.
We also used Little Reader for learning languages with our little children, and I think it provides an amazing vocabulary base, language exposure and consistency in a format that works for young children, using immersion method. And since the younger one starts introducing a foreign language to a child, the better it is for his second and third language development abilities later on in life, I think discovering Little Reader curricula for young children for French, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish was like hitting ajackpot for us personally.
Here are all the languages Little Reader offers:
Little Reader Mandarin (traditional or simplified)
For languages we also used to watch Little Pim to supplement our language lessons and just attempting to practice each language every chance we spotted someone speaking it during our travels or outings.
At the moment we are working with Mortensen Math and believe that this approach works amazingly well in our situation. We use blocks and resources available for Mortensen Math online. And you can get some ideas for math games and learning different concepts reading some of the blog posts here.
We like how hands on it is, how kids are able to discover advanced concepts and mathematical patterns just through playing with the blocks and how it helps them to develop logical reasoning. Kids are learning arithmetic, geometry, measurement, algebra at the pace comfortable for them through play and discovery.
We also use Life of Fred books alongside with Mortensen Math, for us it is a good fit, because children are really into reading and different math concepts are nicely incorporated in a silly storyline of the Life of Fred books. If you are looking for curricula with teacher manuals and workbooks, it is definitely an exact opposite of it, and might not work for you. But it works wonderfully for us at this very moment along with Mortensen Math.
We also read living math books, any we can get our hands on.
Story of the World was our choice for many reasons. We love the narrative style of it, we love fun activities, coloring pages and map work, we also like how both Bible and other accounts are included. Last year we were listening to the Story of the World audio, this year we are reading the actual book and do mapwork and some of the proposed activities.
We accompany Story of the World with a variety of history fiction and non fiction ( age appropriate) books. Kids love reading and so far having books available for them to read and study works the best for us.
We study maps and play with maps in variety of ways and settings. Maps are fun!
After original Glen Doman approach to raising our children when they were babies, we ultimately chose classical education approach,which reflected in our choice of language curricula, social studies and arts.
For language, we have been using First Language Lessons, going through 3-4 short lessons a week. They are fully scripted, no preparation is necessary and very fastflowin. It was easy and surprisingly effective. It provides a few poems for memorization throughout the year, which is nice, but we usually supplement the poetry part by simply reading a lot of poetry together. We believe in importance of poetry, classical music and art.
We were considering using All About Spelling for children’s spelling practice, got the first book, but it was going a bitslow for the children. For now we switched to using a very simple straightforward iPad application, called Simplex Spelling, and then just practicing. Surprisingly my 5 yo is extremely good with spelling and can spell most everything, with no specific spelling lessons. At the same time my 6 yo struggles with spelling complex words. Not unusual for her age at all, so she just doing a few lessons of Simplex Spelling of her choice every week. It is working nicely.
We also started Writing with Ease with them and like it so far. We also do random games of picking up any book and looking for antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, etc
In addition we introduce some Latin and Greek by learning 1 Latin saying each week and learning Latin and Greek roots, based on “English from the Roots Up” Book
These are the main areas we are covering at the moment.
We also use a number of Public Domain Books for our poetry, science, math and language resources. I will be sharing some of our favorite ones in the next few days, so stay tuned.
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