My journey with the Noah Plan® curriculum has had it’s ups and downs. It took me a while to catch on to the method that it uses, to sort through how the curriculum guides and the K-3rd curriculum books work together and separately, and how the red books tie in to it all.
Once that was all figured out, there was the element of time that I wrestled with. We’re talking about a series of years consisting of pregnancy exhaustion and morning sickness, birthing, baby and toddler needs, a move when I was 8 months pregnant with our sixth child one summer, and the strong desire to not want to miss out on any of their childhood … how could I possibly set time aside to research and create reason/relate questions?
Maybe your circumstances have been much different than mine, but maybe we share that one concern about the element of time.
I found myself at a crossroads once I arrived to the 4th grade overview stage and maybe you are facing that for yourself at this moment.
When you’re at a crossroads with the Noah Plan® curriculum for 4th-8th grades…
- What drew me to the Noah Plan® curriculum?
- What do I value in the framework in the overviews for 4th-12th?
- Why are the chosen topics in each subject important to me for my children?
- Is it more the method than the Noah Plan® curriculum that matters to me?
- If time was no object, would I stick with the plan that the Noah Plan® has for grades 4th-12th?
- If time is an object, what does it make possible?
- Are there ways that I can simplify the lessons based on the Noah Plan®?
A curriculum is what you teach. While the Noah Plan® offers curriculum guides so you may choose the content you wish from them to teach your children, you are not confined to the content contained within the guides. Certainly there may be flexibility to fit your individual needs in your homeschool.
The two main subjects that are at the top of the list for me to teach with the Principle Approach® method is Bible and History (as I’ve been counseled by seasoned PA mothers). That being highlighted…
When our oldest was in the fifth grade, the overviews for History say to teach America’s Christian History. To help lighten my load, while using the Noah Plan® as the spine and to chart much of our course, I did utilize the Beautiful Feet Early American Christian History book as a supplement (loved the selected literature!). I could read aloud from the literature or assign readings to my son while I took care of his younger siblings. We’d discuss the questions in the BF guide. I didn’t technically use the 4R method that year though due to my energy levels and time constraints. Please keep in mind that that’s something you’ll still need to take time to do with most curricula brands. Then, for areas that it didn’t touch on regarding the Christian Idea of Man and Government, for example, I covered those with my children from the materials from the Foundation for American Christian Education. I was either pregnant or taking care of a young baby that year, so we didn’t do much in the way of notebook work as much as I wanted to.
I’ve also utilized Pilgrim Institute’s Mighty Works of God: Self-Government curriculum. I love this even more than the Beautiful Feet resource mentioned above. Mrs. Smith has written a reader for students and this has been so helpful to me when I’ve been occupied otherwise. Then I go back and sit with my children and discuss the reason/relate questions from the MWOG teacher’s manual. Be sure to check out Pilgrim Institute’s other educational resources as well.
Sometimes, there are benefits to utilizing other resources that have content already selected in chapters or sections or a means of teaching aspects of lessons. For instance, our Junior High and High school students are using Switched On Schoolhouse English lessons to learn the mechanics of English. However, they learn the Bible Principles of Language with 4R lessons from me. We have several of our children using CTC Math. However, they are learning the Bible Principles of Mathematics with 4R lessons and Key Individuals from me. They’re using Apologia for Science. As you may have guessed by now, they are learning the Bible Principles of Science with 4R lessons and Key Individuals from me. Do you see how having “hired out subjects” lightens my load? Yet, we aren’t missing the Bible Principles.
More Options to help you…
Hopefully some of the following resources will bless you as you stick to what is laid out for topics to cover:
- I recently learned about Covenant Academy, a Principle Approach® school based in Boise, Idaho. They’re offering some courses to homeschooling families at very affordable prices for grades 6th-12th grade.
- Pilgrim Institute and their several Providential View of America’s Christian History resources for various grades. They use the 4R method and offer notebook pages to go with their curriculum!
- Principled Academy’s Chrysalis Membership; if you haven’t signed up for the VIP Wait list, it’s waiting for you! You’ll receive access to a free Bible Principles art lesson and 4R notebook pages for K-12th. This will offer you a taste of how we’re approaching Math, Science and English Bible Principles video lessons as well. The videos for Chrysalis Members are different than the free ones offered for Caterpillar members. I’m actually stepping outside my comfort zone and am filmed teaching lessons in the Chrysalis Membership videos. We have printable lesson content and 4R notebook pages for K-12 based on the Noah Plan® 6th Grade overviews. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a homeschool that uses the Noah Plan® curriculum in full or even at all to benefit from the Chrysalis Membership
The above mentioned solutions are different than teacher training. Rather, they are efforts to come along your side as the parent-teacher and help you reach your goals of teaching with the Principle Approach® method and Bible Principles in your homeschool.
To quote one of our amazingly helpful Beta Team members:
I don’t think there is anything out there like you are doing…I haven’t seen it anyway and I research a lot! The principle approach has NOT been easy for me to get my mind around to TEACH so this way my first attempt at it. I really see the Lord using your passion and understanding of it to help others understand and implement it. So THANK YOU and may the Lord continue to inspire you in this way.
Ann S., A Homeschooling Mom