Saturday, August 10, 2013

Robinson Curriculum

I have been studying this method/curriculum for a couple of weeks now (while sorely neglecting my other responsibilities).

I have decided I don't really like the curriculum. I have the books on the list I like already so don't see a point in getting the whole thing, unless its just to get the instruction disk.

The method, however....

RC is divided up into three parts: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

The official rule is "Start the day with 2 hours of Saxon math (one lesson in most cases)" I will do this, except we will use Math U See. I used Saxon in the past and it was NOT a good fit for my family; too slow paced, repetitive and confusing. Add to this that one of my younger kids has ADD and doing Saxon would be a nightmare. She would get lost transferring every problem to paper. we would be frustrated and exhausted by the end of every day. MUS lets you write in the book.

MUS is sequential instead of spiral in method (spiral= you study a little bit of everything every day. Sequential= you study one thing [i.e. addition] in all its complexities until you master it. Then you move on to the next thing.) America in general uses the spiral method. Asia and Europe uses the sequential method (according to my brother who just got his masters in math). Guess who does better on the international tests?

And my kids love MUS. They hate Saxon with a passion.

The only changes I will make with math will be:
  1. Do it first thing after Bible study.
  2. Add the mental math lesson that Saxon has for each lesson, the only fun part of the curriculum!
  3. Buy an abacus. I think my ADD child will do better if she doesn't get distracted trying to find all the manipulatives in the box to work each problem. With an abacus, nothing gets lost or buried in the bottom of the box.
 Writing. RC requires each child to write one page per day, and then to rewrite previous day's work until they are perfect (spelling, grammar, etc). Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns also recommends this. I have even read of unschoolers who did this. We have been very lax in our writing until now, but we had already started adding this before I began studying RC, so we will ramp it up.

Reading. RC requires two hours of reading a day. I think I will too, but from my own list, not his. We have the resources on hand to cover almost every subject in depth, and only need a book or two for the ones we are a bit shy on.

Other stuff. That is all that is officially required in RC but I will continue the Bible we have done since Joy was little (and Dr Robinson does Bible with his children. He just doesn't call it part of school so it isn't in the curriculum). We will also continue:
  • Poetry memorization (just cause its fun:-)
  • Piano lessons (now being taught by Joy since mom isn't really up to it. Joy has been subbing for mom in church while she has been sick. Now i am hearing all sorts of beautiful music all day long:-)!!! (Dr Robinson got piano lesson for his children too. He just didn't consider it part of school)
  • Grammar. I love Analytical grammar and it fits with the RC phylosophy quite well.
  • Penmanship for the little ones, until I can read their writing!
  • And drawing lessons. This is a skill I believe has not been given enough importance in America.
All in all, unless I change my mind for some reason in the next few months, I will be moving this way a little at a time over the next few months.