Categories of Instruction — My Top 10 Weekly Subjects for Improving Your Studies

When I began creating our curriculum I was pretty overwhelmed by all of the subjects that begged to be taught. Fearful of omitting something vital, I found myself loading my preliminary schedules with so many subjects that it pushed me to the point of frustration. If I found it tedious, then I was certain it would be too much for the boys. So I sat down with pencil and paper and listed every subject that I might want to teach or that the kids might want to learn. As I examined them I noticed that many overlapped and intertwined. Then, after a personal “Eureka” moment, I arranged these subjects into 10 broad categories. The categories are not scientific or academic; they are practical for a mom who is teaching herself to teach her children.

Some of the subjects lend themselves to daily instruction, while others are taught weekly. Every day we do devotions and a bible story, then we move to Language Arts, Math & Reading. We devote one day a week to History, Social Studies, Life Skills, Science, Character & Electives. In addition, everyone must participate in 30 to 60 minutes of free reading every day during their free time.

The Weekly 10

  • Religious Study (daily): Bible stories, devotions, Christian Martyrs, Bible study & application, Christian Classics, Hymns, Catechism, Christian Biography.
  • Language Arts or English (daily): Spelling, Vocabulary, Phonics, Grammar, Composition, Public Speaking, Letter Writing, Literature (see below), Poetry, Memorization & Recitation, Penmanship, Latin & other Foreign Languages.
  • Literature or Reading (daily): Classic Fiction, Mysteries, Science Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories, Girls Books, Boys Books, Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, Fables, Legends, Tall Tales, Historical Fiction, Shakespeare.
  • Mathematics (daily): Arithmetic, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus.
  • History (weekly-Monday): State History, American History, World History, Ancient History, Biography, Historical Documents, Historical Fiction.
  • Social Studies (weekly-Tuesday): Geography, Map Making & Reading, Civics, Economics, Current Events, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, Women’s Studies.
  • Life Skills (weekly-Wednesday): Consumer Math & Accounting; Home Economics: Cooking, Cleaning, Sewing; Computer, Internet & Touch Typing; Driving a Car; Shopping for Food & Clothing; Pet Care; Doing Chores; Hunting & Fishing; Gardening; Home Maintenance; Carpentry & Repair.
  • Science(weekly-Thursday): Nature Study, Physiology, Health, Biology, Mechanics, Chemistry, Physics, Botany, Agriculture.
  • Character (weekly-Friday): Morals, Manners, Decision Making, Modesty, Proper Dress, Proper Attitude, Proper Conduct, Plutarch’s Lives.
  • Electives (weekly-Friday): Art, Music, Photography, Camcording, Handicrafts, Emergency Preparedness, Sports, Hobbies, Games.