Introduction to The Family School – COMPLETE CURRICULUM – Part 2
P H I L O S O P H Y A N D M E T H O D O L O G Y
Each lesson of The Family School contains proven philosophies and methodologies that have been refined over four decades. Many of the methodologies we use were adopted from the Foundation for American Christian education (FACe) and adapted to fit a restored gospel perspective. These methods are fundamental to the program. Some will be more familiar than other, but as you follow the Spirit and ask for the guidance of the Lord, your understanding of these true principles of education may become one of the greatest blessings to your family from this program. Your children will begin to see God’s hand in all academic studies and in all areas of their lives. As Alma counseled korihor,
“…and all things denote there is a God…” ~Alma 30:44Your children will develop the ability to research and then reason and relate material to their lives and to the Gospel. They will discover and reason true principles in everything they learn. A more complete introduction to these philosophies and methodologies is provided following this Family School introduction (not in sample), and we strongly encourage you to take time to become more familiar with them.
Your understanding will greatly influence your access to the Spirit as you teach The Family School.
In the Guide to the American Heritage Family School Philosophy and Methodology you will learn about the following methods used in each lesson:
• The Principle Approach
• 4 “r”ing (research, reason, relate, record)
• Word Studies
• The Notebook Method
• The Timeline
• Celebrations of Learning
L E S S O N P L A N F O R M A T
The following will help you understand the composition of each lesson and how each part contributes to accomplishing the “Desired result.”
• Desired result – This is a concise statement at the beginning of each lesson that identifies the lesson objective for each child.
• Principles – each lesson follows the “principle approach.” At the foundation of all materials taught are specific principles of truth. These principles become the foundation of a Gospel-centered education. The principles are highlighted in the beginning of each lesson are then reviewed at the end.
• research, reason, relate, record – 4“r”-ing. Children will apply this process to
their learning as they research (gather information), reason (discover true principles), relate (see applications to their own lives), and record (take action on what
they have learned).
• Attention Activities – Throughout the lesson you’ll notice several attention activities designed to keep children moving, helping, doing, and being engaged in the learning process.
• Review and Testify – At the end of each lesson you will find a section for review and testimony. This is an opportunity for the mother to review and testify of the true principles that have been researched and discovered that day. encourage the children to share their testimonies and experiences relative to these principles. This will be one of the most special times in each lesson.
• Literature (reading time) – each Core lesson includes 15 minutes for reading good literature together as a family. This literature will enrich the understanding of each subject. As you read together the children will discover many things about the subject being taught. You may want to use a marking pencil to highlight the things you see specific to the subject. During this particular reading time you will focus on the specific subject being taught, but every good piece of literature teaches gospel principles (for example: obedience, kindness, patience, learning, growth etc.) and you will want to highlight these as well.
• record – The final “r” in the 4“r”-ing process is “record.” The record section is the culmination of each lesson. it provides opportunities for families to do activities, games, and assignment together with “All Children” or individually using the adaptations for older and younger children. All record assignments are placed in the notebook and become the children’s record, or evidence, of their learning.
• Family Follow-up – The final portion of the lesson provides enrichment ideas, giving children opportunities to share, extend and apply their learning with all family members in home and community settings.
Because homeschooling families live in many different circumstances most of our lessons are based in the home or yard. There are, however, many things you can do with your children in your communities and surrounding areas to reinforce the lessons you are teaching. Museums, zoos, parks, libraries, historical sites, local businesses, greenhouses, and church history sites are just a few of the many resources that can greatly complement The Family School. Please, take advantage of the rich experiences available in your area as a Family Follow up.
G E T T H E M O S T O U T O F T H E F A M I L Y S C H O O L
First, remember that it is your opportunity as the teacher to give your children many things to think about and to explore, to lead them into understanding new ideas, and to help them learn to think like a geographer, musician, scientist, artist, writer or historian. But you’re not alone! The Holy Ghost will also be your best companion and teacher.
“…and by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” ~Moroni 10:5
The Holy Ghost will increase understanding in both you and your children. “When the Holy Ghost confirms in our hearts as true what we know in our minds, understanding occurs.” (elder David A. Bednar, Increase in Learning, p. 67)
The Holy Ghost will touch your heart and the hearts of your children and will bear witness to truth as you learn together.
As was already mentioned, each lesson was designed and developed to include more material than you may be able to cover each day. Feel free to expand or omit as the Spirit guides. There are ample questions in each lesson to direct and encourage participation.
While it is your task to teach, it is the children’s role to be engaged learners. At the beginning of your school year, take a few minutes to talk with your children about your individual roles and responsibilities. Here are some ideas for discussing the behaviors involved in being a true learner with your children:
• Be respectful. What does it look like to be respectful?
• Be responsible. What can you do to show you are responsible?
• Be a good steward. What are some things you will need to take care of for our
• Be willing and desire to learn. What would that look like? Why is that important?
• Do your best work. Have you ever made a beautiful picture? How did it make
you feel? That’s how you should always feel when you finish your work, whether it is writing or drawing or creating something. This is Your learning—do your best so you can enjoy it and share it!
R E F E R E N C E M A T E R I A L S
The children will need to have access to reference materials in order to complete their research and assignments. Access to public libraries, the internet, and other home encyclopedias or reference books will be extremely helpful. remember, the internet can be a wonderful tool to help you quickly and efficiently connect with great sources of learning. However, it is always recommended that children be parent-guided to protect children from exposure to inappropriate or harmful material. It is also important to recognize that some research sources are far better than others. Children need to seek quality reference sources. Check with your public library for access to print or electronic encyclopedias (such as World Book) appropriate to the age of your children.
G A T H E R A N D P R E P A R E
The Family School requires some basic materials and also some materials that are unique to individual lessons. Some materials you will find at home; some you will need to purchase; others you will find on the internet. For example, the handouts for each lesson will be found on the ldsfamilyschool.org website. You will need to decide how many copies you need and print them ahead of time. You will also be directed to go to this website for links to other online media resources for most lessons.
Below is a list of general materials you will need for The Family School. it will be
helpful for you to gather these materials before the start of your school year.
P R E P A R E T O T E A C H E A C H D A Y
read over The Family School instructions and lesson materials well ahead of time as the lessons contain preparations that need to be completed before you begin teaching, such as preparing handouts and gathering necessary materials. each lesson will reference online resources, which are all available online at:
When teaching, be sensitive to the Spirit. each lesson was written with the family format in mind. The goal is to be able to teach several children of various ages at the same time. if the language used is too simple or too complicated please feel free to make adjustments. At the conclusion of each lesson there are several suggested assignments for all children, for younger children, and for older children. Be prayerful. Select the assignments that best suit your children and have them do as many as time permits.
You may not have time to complete each lesson in its entirety. The lesson is more of a guide than a rule. You may be given ideas that better suit your children, your situation, and your understanding. You may find a better internet site for a picture or video. if you feel impressed to add ideas, truths, or personal experiences to the lesson, do so as guided by the Spirit.
As you have questions, new ideas, and feedback please share them at www.LatterDayLearning.org—“Network.” These posts will greatly assist us in refining this program and will be helpful to the other families using the curriculum.Take the opportunity to bare testimony whenever the opportunity arises. Help your children recognize they are known and loved by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that all Their creations are evidence of that love.
To purchase The Family School – Complete Curriculum click here.