Are you thinking about homeschooling? Maybe you’ve already decided to take the plunge. Either way, we want to make it easier for you to feel confident about what you’re doing. In this blog series, we’ll walk you through what you should know and some of the choices you’ll have to make to give your child an amazing education at home. Like this one.
What subjects will you teach?
Whether you grew up homeschooled, public schooled, or as a private school student, your education consisted of some common academic subjects: English & Language Arts, Science, Arithmetic & Mathematics, and History. To these four, we think Bible is just as important, even if your state’s department of education doesn’t require it.
Here’s a look at what each of these subjects entails:
English & Language Arts
Growing to appreciate the English language starts with a strong foundation. Your younger children will learn how to recognize letters and the sounds they make, then what happens when they’re combined with other letters, and so on. Once they learn to read, they’ll begin to write, which means honing their penmanship, spelling, and creative writing. As they grow, they should improve their ability to communicate well as they learn more grammar rules, read and comprehend more complex literature, increase their vocabulary, and write clearly and persuasively.
Arithmetic & Mathematics
Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing: these are probably the first things that come to mind when you think about arithmetic. But really, math starts with recognizing numbers and can span all the way through algebra and pre-calculus in high school, with side trips into time-telling, measurements, and personal finance. Despite the bad rap math gets—admit it: you’re terrified of algebra—it’s an essential to our modern world.
As the term implies, history is the story of the past. Children need a knowledge and appreciation of what’s happened in the past so they have a context for the world they’ll step into one day. As they grow, the scope of history they learn should expand to include key events, figures, and trends as well as geography, economics, government, and even philosophy.
STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—are all the rage. That’s why a science program should provide children with a broad foundation that focuses on basic science but touches on lots of different sciences: general science, physical science, biology, geology, astronomy, ecology, and even chemistry and physics. That may sound a little intimidating, but science can be the most fun subject your children will study. Who doesn’t love a baking soda volcano?
Academic studies won’t build character in your child by themselves. After all, knowledge isn’t the same as wisdom. A good Bible program will help you focus on your children’s spiritual development, giving them a familiarity with the stories of the Bible and their meaning, as well as a strong foundation in both Old Testament and New Testament studies.
School doesn’t have to be solely about “reading and writing and ‘rithmetic.” Here’s a few of the other subjects you should plan to include as part of your family’s homeschool program:
- Physical Education
- Foreign Language
Check the HSLDA database to find out which is these subjects is required in your state and if applicable, what grade your child is supposed to take it.
Subjects From Abeka
Abeka offers everything you need to homeschool with confidence—all of which is designed and written from a biblically founded set of convictions. That means academic excellence infused with Bible references, themes, and truths throughout.
Abeka treats language as a gift from God. English starts with a proven phonics approach to reading that blossoms into a comprehensive language arts program where children understand and appreciate the rules of grammar, gain a love for poetry and the classics, and learn to write well.
Mathematics is a challenging, college preparatory program with Abeka, beginning with an elementary arithmetic sequence that includes basic geometry and algebra. We believe that math works because the laws of mathematics were created by God. So when parents and kids follow a more natural sequence for learning, success is always within reach.
We recognize that God is the author of all history, so it only makes sense that history be told from a hopeful point of view. Our emphasis on geography ensures that children get to learn about interesting places as well as the compelling stories of individual figures who made a difference throughout history.
Science, which includes Health in several grades, celebrates God as creator, teaching children the fundamentals of the scientific method and giving them a broad overview of the sciences. With Abeka, children often observe or participate in scientific demonstrations, learning to recognize the difference between science and speculation.
Abeka’s Bible program includes an age-appropriate plan of study. For younger children, lessons lean heavily on visual storytelling that captivates their attention. As they grow older, their studies deepen to include Bible history and key biblical figures including David and Paul. The learning of facts is always combined with an application of Bible truths.
As for additional subjects, Abeka offers courses in art, music, foreign languages, and other electives, depending on your children’s age.
We hope this article leaves you with a good understanding of the subjects a child should learn and some insight into Abeka’s proven, time-tested approach to helping homeschool families succeed. If you’re new to homeschooling, think about which subjects you’ll teach your children this coming year. In our next article, we’ll talk about what resources your child needs to learn.