A parent recently wrote, “I am in the process of providing an excellent K-6th grade education for 3 children. The secular world has at least 7 different teachers to teach K-6th grade. A particular teacher in the system (either private or public) can get very good at teaching a particular grade level to a classroom of students. Yet, they never can/could provide the individual attention a home school or tutor can provide. Basically, they are handicapped by having way too many students. Yes, a system teacher can get very good at teaching their subject to a classroom of students. Yet, they cannot get down to providing much at the individual level. Often, they just have too many students. So, the learning potential is often very dissipated. I can provide the individual attention since my classroom only has 3 students in it. The advantage of balanced individual instruction is so incredible that it can and does exceed most of what the typical and even advanced classroom is able to achieve. This is a good situation.
“However, you still need a good curriculum. I don't know anyone who can put together a complete K-6th grade curriculum on their own without spending an incredible amount of time, which most just don't have. That curriculum needs to cover all the subject material that is common for K-6th. It needs to be presented in a way that the student can comprehend what he or she is studying at the time. An excellent curriculum needs to have a balanced amount of self-work for the student to do on their own. I have found that a workbook approach is best. If the curriculum and workbook can be combined, this is even better.”
My response was yes, the key ingredient, the most important ingredient in education is individual attentiveness given by a deep, faithful parent. When godly parents give their children an abundance of attentiveness, stemming from a well-honed, holy walk themselves, the children's education is nearly unequalled anywhere in the world or in history. If you have attentiveness, you can teach with nearly any curriculum--even just a plain old children's encyclopedia set.
Workbooks are the second key—if they are of the right sort. Online education is the absolute worst. To sit children in front of a computer for hours each day when their brains are still developing assaults the fragile brain with way too many EMFs, and actually damages the child's brain, eyesight and emotions, even sometimes to the point of putting them into a state of brain fog and bleary-eyed blue funk.
The skinnier the workbooks, the better, for diffusing academic fear (some children cry the minute they see a large textbook set out for the day) and for portability. It is far easier to transport a pile of skinny workbooks (altogether only a half an inch high) than to lug around a set of 1” thick textbooks piled 6 inches high, lugging them outside to study under a tree at a park or to do in the car while traveling.
For the particular choice of workbooks, we infinitely prefer ACE. There is no culling needed for bad material, ever, and it is simply the best for training character via the little cartoon strips at the top or bottom of so many pages, as the child ages and the social and worldly temptations increase. It is like having an additional parent training them in your absence while you are in the other room!
Accelerated Christian Education is on the Web at www.aceministries.com/ This is the only curriculum I recommend for tired mothers. I've seen it take moms from nightmares to daydreams regarding schooling. It has been used by tens of thousands of schools and innumerable homeschools in 141 countries, for good reason.
For a great boost in launching your own homeschool, order our new book, Launching Your Homeschool. It contains half a century of teacher-experienced wisdom.