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The Curriculum Carousel (Round and Round We Go…)

Ask any veteran homeschooler about burn-out, and she’ll quickly get to the topic of curriculum. What mother hasn’t sincerely purchased piles of curriculum only to discover later that her choices were a terrible fit for her family? (Waving my hand here!)

Comparing Phonics Methods

Anne, you state that you use Abeka to teach reading, yet you also say that All About Spelling is your favorite spelling/phonics program.  Do you use both at the same time, or use Abeka for two years (K & 1st) than switch to AAS in 2nd grade, or maybe some other combination altogether? 

How to Teach Vocabulary

Note: We strongly urge you to purchase the following book by Ruth Beechick, before attempting to use our vocabulary suggestions:

How We Teach Vocabulary

When we were students, we remember having lists of vocabulary words to learn each week. 

How to Teach Spelling

Note: We strongly urge you to purchase one of the following books by Ruth Beechick, before attempting to use our spelling suggestions:

Spelling… It was troublesome for me when I was a child, yet my husband claims it was his favorite subject. 

The Importance of Reading

We believe that so much of what we call “Language Arts” is much easier learned in the context of actual language.Not only will your children learn all the separate components of language, but they will also see how real words operate in real-life writing.


We have agonized over handwriting in our house. We have two seemingly conflicting viewpoints: First, we don’t consider handwriting “busy work.”  Rather, we think handwriting should be incorporated into the other subject areas your children are learning, such as Bible, history, science and literature. 

Teaching Grammar

We have fallen in love with a very unique method of grammar, called the K.I.S.S. Approach and designed by Dr. Ed Vavra, a professor of English grammar at Penn College. We encourage you to visit his website and read more about the K.I.S.S.

Creative Writing

Writing is one of the tools God has given us to communicate with others. Not only can writing be a more permanent form of communication (than, say, speech), it is also more closely evaluated than speech. For instance, if we make a grammatical error while we’re telling about our visit to the mall, most people won’t even notice. 

Hints for Homeschooling a Kindergartener

(Originally written in 2001, when my oldest son was in kindergarten, to give some advice to a friend …)

Hi, friend…

My dishes are done and my laundry is folded, so now I can play for a few minutes. I’m going to try to write down my favorites for homeschooling in every area I can think of, to help you get started. 

Trouble with Spelling

Anne, I have seven children, but we’re having trouble with spelling. I used Ruth Beechick’s books for my first 5 children successfully to teach spelling. This has not been the case with my last two boys. I feel swamped at all the choices of spelling curriculum and need to come up with a plan soon to help them be successful (especially the 13-soon-to-be-14-year-old, who still struggles with spelling when he’s writing essays, etc.).