Monday, October 5, 2015

Why FIAR Is A Good Fit For Our Homeschool

Every Spring I start the task of planning our homeschool for the coming year, as I now many of you do.   There are so many wonderful curriculums out there that it can become overwhelming.

But, when it comes to looking for a curriculum to add to our homeschool it needs to meet a few requirements.

1.  Does it have a Charlotte Mason type emphasis?

"The idea that vivifies teaching... is that 'Education is a Science of Relations;' by which phrase we mean that children come into the world with a natural [appetite] for, and affinity with, all the material of knowledge; for interest in the heroic past and in the age of myths; for a desire to know about everything that moves and lives, about strange places and strange people; for a wish to handle material and to make; a desire to run and ride and row and do whatever the law of gravitation permits.  Therefore... we endeavor that he shall have relations of pleasure and intimacy established with as many possible of the interests proper to him; not learning a slight or incomplete smattering about this or that subject, but plunging into vital knowledge, with a great field before him which in all his life he will not be able to explore.  In the conception we get that 'touch of emotion' which vivifies knowledge, for it is probable that we feel only as we are brought into our proper vital relations."
- taken from School Education Charlotte Mason

If your unsure about who Charlotte Mason was, just click here.

2.  Is it full of good literature and living books?

3.  Is it open ended enough to allow for flexibility and rabbit trails?  But, has some guidance on the days when we just need to get a little learning in?

4.  Will it be enjoyable for myself and my children?

5.  Does it go against the biblical foundations that we are trying to teach our children?

One of the joys of homeschooling is being able to suit what fits our family, so why not choose something we enjoy?  Something that is truly meaningful.  Why waste our time with things that are aren't?

"I don't consider education from the perspective of filling buckets because I don't consider children from that perspective.  When I look at a child, I see a living, breathing person, made in God's image, for whom God has a plan.  As parent educators, we need to embrace a notion of learning.  We need to help the child discern the Lord's will and equip him to answer his particular call.  It is the heart and soul of the child who has a heart in order to effectively educate the child.  Our vision of a well-educated child is a child who has a heart for learning, a child who has the tools he needs to continue for a lifetime and a child who has the love to want to do it.  He has been led to a lifetime of learning all the time."  -Elizabeth Foss

For me, good literature for my children is important.  But, I have to admit that in the past it wasn't always receiving the attention it deserved in our daily lessons.  It had become just one more thing to add to our day, instead of becoming 'the thing' that our school revolved around.

We have seven children, five of them under the age of eight.  I love the fact that we can all sit together for our reading and glean something from it, no matter what the age.  Even my teenagers stop and listen to the story sometimes.

When we head to the table for our lessons we are all on the same page.  We can share our thoughts on the story in a fun meaningful way.  I just adjust the work for the age level making sure that the older ones are challenged, and the younger ones aren't overwhelmed.

I really enjoy the fact that the books and lessons are there and ready for us, but I don't have to go in any particular order.  I can match up the books with the seasons or time of year.  I can pick a book that compliments some of our other lessons.   Or, I can just pick one that looks interesting.

The books themselves become a wonderful jumping off point for further study into other areas.  Geography, history, domestic arts and handiwork.  Really the list is limitless and is only limited by our imaginations.  We have been doing a bit of this in the past, but this year I decided to make the commitment to order the lesson plans and jump in with both feet.

We are so glad we did!

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  1. It is good the way lessons are adapted to your own family and different ages, makes things far more interesting and enjoyable.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  2. We used BFIAR and loved it!! Glad you found a good fit for your homeschool :)

    1. Thank you , Misty. I very rarely hear anyone talk about not liking it... it says a lot.

  3. We used BFIAR and enjoyed it! I definitely developed a love for quality books through that curriculum! Thanks for sharing this! Feel free to link up at:

    1. Thanks Branson. I agree, it can be overwhelming when it comes to picking out children's books... there are so many. This curriculum helps find the gems.