July 09, 2008


So far, I have resisted buying a pre-packaged curriculum. Maybe it's because I like to go against the mainstream, or because I like having control of what I teach and how I teach it. So, in my search for resources to tailor my daughter's schooling to fit she and I, I discovered Design-A-Study books. Kathryn Stout, the Christian author of these books, is a former school teacher who home schooled her own children. Each book is a complete resource for teaching a particular subject from K-8 in most subjects, and through grade 12 in others. These thin paperback books provide specific content of what to teach, and a wealth of ideas on how to teach them.

I first acquired the "Natural Speller" book, and was so impressed with it (imagine, being impressed with a spelling book) that I got the rest of the series, which includes "Maximum Math", "Comprehensive Composition", "Critical Conditioning" (which is about teaching critical thinking, reading comprehension, study skills, etc.", and "Science Scope". There's also a history book called, "Guides to History Plus" which suggests how to do unit studies for this subject. There are other books on the website also worth considering for history and literature.

As of this writing, I am using "Natural Speller" weekly for my word lists, and most of the other books for reference. I used them heavily in planning for first grade. I expect I'll gradually use the whole series more frequently as we enter 2nd grade. I can see, by flipping through these again that I need to add some of these suggested books to my library list that will enhance the study of some of the topics we're currently into.

So browse Katherine Stout's website at http://www.designastudy.com/ and maybe you'll find something you can use.

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