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"Family style" curriculum for 3 kids

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Next year I will be teaching 3 kids in kinder, 3rd, and 4/5th.  My oldest is behind several grades due to learning difficulties.  I'm looking for a curriculum that we can teach family style for history, art, and science.  I am hoping to find something that my older kids can understand and it not to advanced for their age.  Please give me suggestions and if you have used it before etc.   

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Story of the World for history of course. Mystery Science for science, Pandia Press if you want textbook secular and Berean Builders if you want Christian textbook based.

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I second Story of the World for history, as well as Jim Weiss's audiobooks on historical topics.  

For science, I really like Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, with Let's Read And Find Out books aligned to the topics.  Although this book is intimidating on first glance, the LRAFO books really streamline it in my opinion.  

I don't have recommendations for art, we have given up on formal art and I just make sure my kids have access to lots of how to draw type books and they can also use youtube to learn how to draw specific things.  They also use youtube to learn how to sculpt various things with polymer clay (fimo clay).  As far as elements of art and art education... I don't have many suggestions beyond the idea of Charlotte Mason style picture study.  

You didn't ask, but Teaching the Classics has some very wonderful information about literary analysis while using picture books or early readers to teach the concepts of literature without using an intimidating text.  You might find that interesting for your age range!  

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I used My Father's World as family style for Bible, history, science, art and music appreciation. It was designed for multi ages in those subjects and you leave out what is too advanced based on you knowing your kids. Then each to own in language arts/math. They'd tell you to look at their world geography year (exploring countries and cultures), but depending how learning difference impact the oldest, you might look at their program with the word Adventures (in the title) for 2nd/3rd grade. it's  an Us history and states overview.  It is Christian if that matters to have or to not have .

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21 hours ago, photogmom2 said:

Next year I will be teaching 3 kids in kinder, 3rd, and 4/5th.  My oldest is behind several grades due to learning difficulties.  I'm looking for a curriculum that we can teach family style for history, art, and science.  I am hoping to find something that my older kids can understand and it not to advanced for their age.  Please give me suggestions and if you have used it before etc.   

You can do that with KONOS. It's a unit study that  teaches everything except math and English skills while studying godly character traits such as attentiveness, orderliness, and wisdom. You teach to the oldest child and let the younger ones come along.

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Just echoing what everyone else has said.  We've used My Father's World (K, ECC and Ancients) and Sonlight (cores 100, 200 Lit, 300).  

Kids # 2, 3 and 4 are back to doing homemade unit studies together.  That's another option.  For us, these include literature, history, science, and art.  I put them together myself.  In January, we're doing a chemistry/robotics/Manhattan Project unit study.  In March, we're going to do a unit study on the American Revolution, French Revolution and possibly Russian Revolution (trying to figure out how to tie in the last with the first two).  

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These 3 subjects would be really easy to do together. I would second those who said SCM picture study (just choose your artist(s) and you're good) and throw in some Deep Space Sparkle for technique when the mood strikes. For science, I would subscribe to something cheap like Young Scientists Club ($119/year) for the fun experiments, and then just get the kids library books in their topics of interest. You really don't need much in elementary science besides getting outside, observing the natural world casually, and passing along the fun parts of science so they will find it interesting. History would work well with SOTW. Fine and done, lol.

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Trail Guide to learning is another one. Also Playful pioneers. Layers of learning actually looks good to me too. For history I use The good and beautiful but I think Beautiful feet would work well too. Also Pretty much any unit study could be multi subjects and family style. 

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A few others not mentioned yet: Mystery of History for history and God's Design science. For art, I usually just find fun projects on Pinterest and do them all together rather than follow a program.

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Possibly Beautiful Feet for history. We read most of the books and discuss together, higher level books I'll either read separately with my oldest or he'll read independently. Then each of my three kids have their own notebooks (binders) that they work in at their own level.

BFSU with related content books works well. Lentil Science works with all three of mine but that is a science methodology program, not content.

Any kind of art projects book works in our house (but the science ones don't!). However if you want something more structured try searching in RR or google for specific artist names for picture books/activity books. I've been able to find a range of books on the same artist from detailed artistic instruction and bios for the oldest down to art sticker books for the youngest.

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Have you looked at The Good & The Beautiful ?  It is family style for Science & History.  Science goes by units so you don't have to be locked into one science study for the whole year and it is is open and go,  very easy to use. 

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We also used Story of the World all together for history, and Apologia for science. Art we do together also, and just have used misc. drawing books, you tube tutorials, craft ideas from online, etc. We also read books about famous artists, and on occasion have visited art museums. 

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Mine are 5th, 2nd and K. By far the most success I have had with family style learning in those subjects is for me to read aloud while they draw. Basically, I have various art supplies out, we start off with a lesson from the drawing textbook and then I let them freestyle. While they are drawing I am reading out-loud either interest led or something I picked up that I thought they’d enjoy. I alternate science and history days but sometimes we get really into a topic and stick with it for a while. We chat as we read and draw, the children ask questions, follow bunny trails, etc. About once a week I ask one of the girls to narrate (with warning). it is a wonderful, relaxed way to gather together for content studies and drawing keeps everyone focused oddly enough. I let this pattern fall by the wayside due to a sick baby but we’ll be returning to it this semester.

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Story of the World is perfect for all. Don't expect a lot of retention or output from your ker in science or history, but include him/her as much as possible. My ker does the same historical topics that my high schoolers do (not story of the world anymore, lol.) But this year we have been covering Am. History. I bought her a stack of historical Dover coloring books and paper dolls of colonial peoples, the Revolutionary War, etc. And we all watch Drive Thru History Videos together. The Ker laughs her head off at those and gets introduced to topics. Then of course the high schoolers do their readings and papers and work. And I read the Ker picture books at her level. 

So if you do SOTW your coloring pages are already included. Your reading lists are included with names of the great picture books for all of your kids' ages, and there are amazing projects. That might even be enough for art if you do a weekly project in different media from the SOTW activity guide. 

I used to pick out a level of What Your X Grader Needs to Know and just do readings and project ideas from the art section when they were little, as well as doing lots of other how to draw books, classes at the library when available and whatever else came up. Was plenty of art with SOTW projects. Plus the What Your X Grader Needs to Know has all topics and lots of poetry, songs, sayings, and stories to read aloud from in one handy place too. 

For science, I liked using Well Trained Mind elementary suggestions. Again I would pick a grade level and keep everybody on the same topics. If you need a curric the elem. Apologias could work- they are a little long and wordy for me, but one of mine LOVED their science notebooks that you can buy to go with them, and they do have lots of hands on activities. I much prefer the new Science in the Age of … series to go along with SOTW. So if you do vol. 1 of SOTW then do Science in the Ancient World By Jay Wile. I like that the science lines up with the historical period being studied, is less wordy, smaller lessons, is varied, not on one science topic for the whole year, has lots and lots of hands on and minimal written assignments. 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy

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