We have recently decided to create our own curriculum and to share it here for others to use. We are calling it Restored Education, an Education for all LDS Families. We will be adding to it as quickly as we can, but we’ll list the basics here.
When you decide to educate your children at home, you need to start with your home in order. Do not leave your children in school, please, remove them and make the following three things a permanent habit. At first, these will exhaust you (esp. going sugar free), but I promise, it is worth it! Do these things together, even with the littles… this too, will be worth it! If you are finding your days long and boring, being adding the next list, but only one at a time.
1. Exercise daily.
2. Study and follow the Word of Wisdom. For us, that means very little meat or dairy (really only when it is offered to us by others) and no sugar, as it is an addictive substance.) For many of you, this will mean learning a whole new way of preparing food. This page contains the links to my favorite online resources for food preparation.
3. Sleep. Because we have children of many ages, we tend to all go to bed early and those that need less sleep wake earlier. Study the sleep requirements for different ages, here.
4. A House of Order. “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God” (D&C 88:119). For our family, it has meant dejunking, lots of dejunking. We have freed ourselves of the burden of possessions. The more you have, the more time you spend cleaning and organizing. I’ll not lecture you on what you need to get rid of, but start noticing what things are taking up your time. If you plan to make the education of your family a priority, then it is time to prioritize your time and energy.
Side Note: Now is a great time to decide what you are going to do about TV and computer games. Make a serious study of the psychological impact of TV and computer games on your children. This is a great subject to ponder on at the Temple. Our family has ditched the TV and we do not use computer games because of their addictive qualities. We have found that our home is more peaceful and our children much calmer without the influence of TV or games.
5. Chores. Delegate! A mother is not the only person in charge of the home. Teach your children to participate in the daily/weekly/monthly upkeep of the home and yard. Do the work together until all of your children have jobs that they can do without your supervision. We have a list on the fridge that rotates the jobs through the family (that changes as children get older and more responsible) and everyone knows that it is the first thing that they do every morning. Chores help children feel like they are part of the family unit and that they are contributing to the function of the home.
6. Weekly Dates. Eric and I have made the decision to spend our weekly time together at the temple. Our weeks just go better that way. It gives us the opportunity to pray about the things we are teaching our children, how to help a particular child, or what we need to do to improve our family. After a morning session, we’ll take the time to have lunch together before getting back to our children. It is on the MUST list, and it isn’t an optional item.
After you are exercising together (daily), eating as close to the Word of Wisdom as you can, are sugar free, have your house in order, it is time to start learning.
Must Have Books
These are the books we suggest you spend your first homeschool dollars on. Please do not be tempted to buy “story” versions of these books, not yet. Start reading the actual scriptures with your children, and they will learn the language, just like they learn any other foreign language. It takes practice and patience, but it will happen. Have all readers participate and make sure you look up words as you go and study the definitions together. Slow going at first, but so worth the time. Larger portions of learning with come with time.
- Your Core Scriptures & The Founders’ Bible
- The Founders’ Constitution (5 Volume Set)
- American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Facsimile Edition)
- Family Prayer “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21)
- Scripture Study
- Hymn Practice
After you have made a habit of the 6 items above and have started reading the scriptures and learning about the founding of our nation with your family, and when you are comfortable with all of that… start adding these other subjects. I suggest that if your children are bored, it is time to add something new. Also, you can start buying books from the Free Reading list for them.
This is when you will start doing some study on your own. Set aside time every morning (after your personal scripture study and prayer) to learn about education. I suggest you start with the following works:
- Teach the Children: An Agency Approach to Education
- Teach Ye Diligently by Packer, Boyd K. (2005) Paperback
- Charlotte Mason
We use a memory system that has yielded incredible results. My children love it and I do too, because I know that the things that they are learning are retained and permanent. You can find the program on the Simply Charlotte Mason website, on the Scripture Memory System page.
- Prophet & Apostles
- Articles of Faith
- LDS Scripture Mastery
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World
- The Living Christ
- Freedom Memory Work – A group that we created on Facebook so that our friends could memorize principles of Freedom along with us.
- Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization
Donna Young (Free)
See our Learn Chinese With Us page.