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The Family Learning Cycle

While schools have a classroom teacher for each grade or subject, a common challenge homeschooling families face is that one parent (often the mother) is typically doing most of the teaching. If she has multiple children, she must split her time among them. This requires the teacher to keep track of many different topics in her head and limits the amount of time each child can spend with her.

The Family Learning Cycle solves this problem with curriculum packages that can be taught to children at several different grade levels all at the same time. The concept takes some getting used to, but it has several important benefits for your family:

  • Compact schedule. Families who start school at 8 a.m. can finish with the books by lunchtime, allowing the rest of the day for outdoor play, sports, music lessons, and self-directed study. (Your 7th-8th graders spend an extra hour or two on advanced math and science.) Since lessons are short, many problems related to attention span can be avoided altogether.
  • Kids learn from each other. Part of the way children internalize knowledge is by passing it along to their siblings. For youngsters, knowledge communicated from an older sibling often adds significantly to a lesson from a parent.
  • Thorough Bible integration. Our unique curriculum structure allows us to juxtapose Biblical and world history in ways other programs can't. Learning about God doesn't just happen in its own class—it's everywhere.
  • Unite your family. Rather than having each child off doing their own thing, the Family Learning Cycle puts everyone around the same table. School becomes a powerful bonding experience as your children spend their days learning together.

Here's how our curriculum works:

Discover for Preschool-3rd Grade

The Discover program provides young children with the building blocks they'll need in future years. The oldest child in a family stays here through Adventures (for 2nd or 3rd grade); kids with an older sibling move to the Family Learning Cycle in 2nd grade, joining their siblings' program.

Investigate for Family Learning 3rd-8th grade

Students in 3rd-8th grade begin the Investigate Family Learning Cycle with Exploring Countries and Cultures. Like all of our Investigate packages, this provides Bible, geography, history, literature, science, music appreciation, and art activities for a range of ages. Our Teacher's Manuals explain what level of content should be taught to each child. A 7th grader, for example, completes assignments more thoroughly than a 3rd grader while using many of the same resources. The Family Learning Cycle keeps the family together when possible and assures that the parent is only teaching one complete curriculum package each year.

Each year, the family purchases one Investigate package, and all of their 2nd-8th graders move to the next stage in the cycle together. After completing 1850 to Modern Times, they return to Exploring Countries and Cultures, learning the curriculum at a higher level and in greater depth than they did the first time; then they complete Creation to the Greeks, and so on.

Declare for High School

This continues for each student until he completes 8th grade. In 9th grade, he exits the Family Learning Cycle and begins the first year of our Declare program for high schoolers.

High school students complete most of their studies independently and have a scheduled meeting with the parent on Friday. Because Friday is a shorter day in the younger children's program, the parent has time to meet with the high school student and accomplish all tasks. This increased independence helps prepare students for college, during which a greater level of self-motivation is required.

Let's see how this works with an example.

Click the "Next" button to work your way through the story.

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Not too complicated. Let's see how this works for a larger family.

Meet the Carpenters, who have just decided to try homeschooling their children.

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See how this might work for your family!

Use the controls below to create a token for each of your children. Then drag each of them onto the platform that represents each child's current grade, and start clicking the Advance button to see how all of them move through the Family Learning Cycle. Play around and have fun!

Important: This is an educational demo, not a placement tool. For best performance, call 573-202-2000 (or click in the chat box below) and one of our highly knowledgeable service representatives will help you customize the Family Learning Cycle to your family's needs.

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Build your family however you like. Experiment to see how the Family Learning Cycle might work for them! The idea of the Family Learning Cycle is that all children in the Investigate section are studying the same material. Please move all tokens in the Investigate section onto one platform.