Our Homeschool Curriculum
Choosing a homeschool curriculum doesn’t have to be overwhelming and stressful!
The truth is, your decision for a homeschool program will depend on many factors. How much time do you have to dedicate to school? How many subjects are you focused on within the homeschool day? How do your children learn the best? Will your kids you be using an online platform or a book- based system?
For us, I knew my end goal was to teach my kids HOW to learn, instead of WHAT to learn, and this led my decision as I picked through the hundreds of curriculum choices that are available.
We Had a Rough Start:
In the beginning, our homeschool was a real disaster! There were tears. There was yelling. I was disappointed and frustrated, and my close relationship with my oldest son was getting ripped apart.
This was NOT what I had imagined for us! I had high hopes for homeschool. It was supposed to be field trips, art projects, and my kid was supposed to be so happy all the time! What the heck happened?!
After weeks of failing, I decided to take time off. We both were desperate for a break, and I used the time to find a path back to the original vision. Therein, I found the problem with our homeschool.
It was really hard to admit that the problem was ME. I wanted so badly to give my son the most creative, well rounded education I possibly could, and so I pulled resources from every shiny little project and unit study I could find online. I smashed that together with tons of educational books I already had on hand.
I totally overwhelmed myself AND my poor kid with a patchwork curriculum that took up too much time for his attention span, and required too much daily organization for me to put together for him.
Then, the universe sent me on a short quest to find what would be our saving grace.
I Found The Robinson Curriculum
on YouTube, and the video I watched from the creator, (Dr. Art Robinson) resonated with me immediately!
The premise is that learning requires a certain amount of discipline and personal responsibility. Actually, life requires these traits, and this SELF TAUGHT curriculum is built upon these principles of discipline and responsibility!
The central idea of the Robinson Curriculum is critical thinking- teaching them HOW to learn, instead of WHAT to learn.
RC is a collection of impressive American literature that is required reading for the students. They start at McGuffy Readers and the reading gets gradually more difficult. The core of the curriculum is the reading and vocabulary- which you can print off before beginning each book.
Writing is the next core skill that is practiced daily. From copy work with the vocabulary, to free-writing and summarizing the daily reading. Proficiency in writing is of upmost importance, and a subject that public schools have failed miserably with in the last several decades!
Math is the final core subject in The Robinson Curriculum. Now, I happened to be a VERY BAD math student in high school! I’m embarrassed to say, I barely passed algebra 1.
Thinking about homeschool, I just decided I’d probably need to hire tutors for my son at a certain point because of my poor math skills. But the opposite has happened, because I’m actually re- learning the subject THE CORRECT WAY with my son, now that we use the SAXON MATH program that is required for RC!
The Robinson Curriculum Freed US!
Immediately, I loved the simplicity that this curriculum offered to my family!
I agree with so much of the core values in this homeschool style, because this is a “teach for mastery” type of learning system, with an emphasis on reading, writing and math.
RC goes at the CHILD’S PACE, which I found is substantially faster compared to the public school structure of learning/ testing.
We benefit from this in many ways…
- First, we are continuously building on what we have already covered, which means the boys never forget the basics.
- Second, it allows the kids to feel positive and accomplished with their work, because they are never held back to practice at the pace of slower children in class.
- Third, when one of my kiddos does struggle with a certain concept, they have the freedom to re-read the material and practice a little extra, without feeling like they’ll be left behind!
- Fourth, since we home school year-round, they will be ahead of their peers by months or years compared to k-12 public education!
- Fifth, (and most importantly) RC makes our schedule flexible so we can explore and travel together without hauling around A TON of materials.
- Finally, our ENTIRE school day ranges from 2-3 hours TOTAL. This leaves plenty of time for travel, play and chores (for the kids AND mommy too!)
This is a Self- Taught Program!
I no longer waste hours and hours of time each day reading from books, making flash cards and giving lectures!
I used to sit with my son and explain every math problem, every science concept… I would sit for hours! Both us would be tired, frustrated and defeated at the end of each LONG day. It just wasn’t working.
Need a perfect editable, printable planner to go with your new curriculum? Click on the image above for access to The Bootstrap Homeschool Planner!
How Did I Learn to Implement This Curriculum?
When I stumbled upon Art Robinson’s explanation of the program from long ago, a channel was recommended for this curriculum also, and it covers EVERY ASPECT of how to start!
Karen Rodriguez from Our House Home School on YouTube has been my mentor when it comes to our home school journey.
She truly leaves no stone unturned when it comes to RC- which she uses to home school her many children in a reasonable amount of time each day as a stay at home parent.
If Dr. Robinson’s video captured your interest, you’ll love Our House! Please check her out, and if you have questions, Karen responds extremely fast! So don’t hesitate!
How Does The Robinson Curriculum Work?
RC is collection of CD’s that you can purchase through the Robinson Curriculum Website, though I was lucky enough to find my set on Ebay.
The CD’s contain EVERYTHING you need to get started right away! The curriculum is a reading and math curriculum FIRST. You will begin with the RC book list and vocabulary for each book, found on the CD’s and ready to print. We do order some of our books from Amazon, but all of the books are printable right from the CD’s, and Karen will teach you how to bind them on the Our House Channel.
You can also take “field trips” weekly to your local library to source curriculum books FOR FREE! Library time makes our school days more exciting, and it allows me to work on the blog, finish paperwork and plan our travel, all while the kiddos are reading or listening to story time.
While you get the books and vocabulary from your CD’s, you will need to order the Saxon Math Books. These can be purchased brand new, OR you can order them gently used and discounted.
Get a Sample of the Reading List
Probably the best aspect of RC are the classical and historic books that my children absorb daily!
Get a sample of the book list to see if RC is the right fit for your student.
CD’s? Why can’t you download the curriculum and materials?
I must admit, the Robinson Curriculum is a bit outdated in it’s user format, even for me! But, please trust me that the content is superior to any other curriculum I have found on the market! AND, RC costs a TINY FRACTION of what you’ll pay for other K-12 curriculums!
This is a one time purchase, as apposed to other programs that you need to purchase EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. With the exception of math, (and later) science texts, the cd’s cover the complete education from k-12. I like this program too, because it’s not an age=grade style curriculum. It can go as slow or as fast as your child’s ability and comprehension.
Based on Historical Education Practices
The Robinson Curriculum is based on the learning styles of old. This means that young children do not study 5-8 subjects in a given school day!
The foundation of RC rests on the child’s reading, writing, and vocabulary skills FIRST.
Foundational math is also essential. The premise is, that a student can not fully grasp scientific concepts until a proper foundation of math is established.
REAL science is explained with complex mathematical understanding, and therefore is not introduced until later.
NOTE** I really like this because I believe real science cannot be corrupted with politics. Science, (including physics) is explained by unbiased math.
History is VERY important to me, as a conservative constitutionalist. I love RC because the reading list (from childhood to teenager) incorporates early American literature, biographies and autobiographies.
By the time history becomes a subject of focus for the kids, they already have a firm grasp of early American life and history as told by those who lived it! (NOT from a third-person perspective or opinion.)
Learn More About The Robinson Curriculum
Since using RC, my childrens’ interest has grown beyond what I had imagined for our humble home school
There Has Never Been a Better Time to Home School
I hope I have encouraged you to consider The Robinson Curriculum for your home school. There truly is a wealth of information and support out there for home schooling families!
Whether you’re concerned about the transition to home school from public education, or are ready to start your toddler with home education, PLEASE reach out to me and let me know how I can help!
Also, consider a subscription to The Bootstrap Letter so we can share our homeschool stories and resources! Hope to hear from you soon!