The A to Z of Using Weaver (part 4)

Over the past few days we’ve covered letters A-S. Today, we’ll complete the series.

Teacher’s Binder — Unless you purchase Teacher’s Friend (or talk to another Weaving mom), you won’t know about this little gem. Designed as a “quick start guide” for those new to using Weaver, the Teacher’s Friend will walk you through how to set up your own teacher’s binder. This will become your lifeline for using Weaver. Instead of working from those huge binders each day, you’ll have everything you need in one smaller binder — it will, literally, become the most valuable school supply you own; and it will go with you, year after year after year, through this adventure called homeschooling.

Units — This is what Weaver is all about: separate units that are all focused on one thing — the Bible. The Weaver Curriculum is a unit study approach to learning. That means each section starts with the topic being studied (found in the Bible chapter you are studying at the time) and weaves in history, science, art, etc. Everything you’ll study in all the subjects will point back to what’s being studied in the Bible lessons. And that’s really how it should be! Everything we do in life should be a direct result of what we are studying in our Bible. Remember: if you start with the Word of God, everything else falls into place!

Volumes — There are five official volumes that make up The Weaver Curriculum. Each one is color-coded the same way (white for everyone, or teacher papers; goldenrod for Kindergarten; dark pink for first grade; light pink for second grade; blue for third grade; yellow for fourth grade; green for fifth grade; and salmon for sixth grade) and broken up into nine units covering anywhere from 180 to 220+ days for teaching. If you follow the Day by Day, and take breaks for the usual holidays, you will finish the first three volumes in one year each. Volumes four and five will each take a year and a half on the same schedule. That means you will get through all five volumes in a six year period. After that, you start over using the 7-12th Grade Supplement that corresponds with each volume. As you can see, this is a very cost-efficient curriculum!

Wisdom Words — This is the grammar program written by the author of The Weaver Curriculum. It is designed with the idea that you have already taught your children how to speak properly, so now you want to show them what proper speech looks like on paper. You are encouraged to have your student write for 5-10 minutes each day. From that writing, you will pull examples of nouns, sentence fragments, predicates and more. Wisdom Words is color-coded the same way the volumes are, plus it contains all the manipulatives you’ll need to teach the concepts. The suggested course of study for Wisdom Words is included in the Day by Day for each volume.

X-tra Help — Homeschooling is not always easy. Support from other homeschooling moms is important! That’s why there is a huge network of extra help out there for those using the Weaver curriculum. If you desire to purchase new materials, you can shop at The Unofficial Weaver. If you’d rather buy used, you can find items listed at the Buy/Sell Board — or, you can see if anyone has posted anything for sale in the Facebook group or …

Yahoo Lists — Before there was Facebook, before there was a Buy/Sell Board, before there was a store, there was a single Yahoo list. Over the years, that list has grown into multiple lists, and this blog was developed. The goal of these various helps has always been to glorify God by helping other homeschool families. If you have a question about Weaver, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Zulu Time / Zoo — Weaver can be done anytime, anywhere! Whether you live in the USA or in Australia (or anywhere in between) you can use Weaver. You may have to find a different history program to suit the needs of your country, but it can be done! Weaver can also be done at the kitchen table, on the couch, on a blanket in the back yard, in the car or at the zoo! Weaver will open your eyes to the world around you, and every opportunity will become a teaching opportunity.

I hope this list has given you a better understanding of The Weaver Curriculum. I cannot stress enough that this curriculum is a tool, not your master. You are the teacher. You decide how, where and what will be taught. You want what’s best for your children, and nothing compares to the goodness of God’s Word. With Weaver, that’s exactly what you’ll be giving them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you start with the Word of God, everything else falls into place!


Comments

The A to Z of Using Weaver (part 4) — 3 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the insight…I think for this year at least, we will just use the 6th grade curriculum. I am not a teacher and never thought I would homeschool, but with all the school violence and, in Texas, the schools “teach the test”…I really feel we need to homeschool. I’m so glad I found this website and the FB page!

  2. I will be homeschooling my three boys, incoming 4th, 6th and 7th graders. They have been in public school until now. I have purchased the Basic Five Starter Set and I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival. I have read everything I can find on the curriculum, but I have a question. If I buy the supplement for my 7th grader, will he still be doing the same lessons as my younger two? Is the supplement just more in depth projects? I had considered just letting him do the 6th grade work for this year since we are all new to homeschooling. Should I get the supplement or does it matter for this year? Thanks!

    • Hey, Kelly! If you buy the Supp, you will see the same lessons for the most part (more in-depth, of course), but there will often be times when he’s studying different things. When the Supps were written, it was understood that the child had already been through all five volumes in the younger grades (Interlock for K, Vols 1-3 for grades 1-3, Vols 4 & 5 for grades 4-6).

      Having said that, I know many families who were new to Weaver with children similar in ages to yours and they chose to let their 7th grader use the 6th grade objectives. Their reasoning was because of the change in academics. There is a lot more research and reading involved in Weaver. It’s very different than what they do in most public schools, and that makes it more challenging for students switching to it.

      If you choose to go that route (letting your 7th grader do 6th grade work) your first year with Weaver will probably go smoother since you’ll be getting used to teaching. When I had children those ages, I would “teach to the oldest” … in other words, my “lecture” or whatever I needed to teach, was geared toward the oldest, and then I’d give him his assignment and he’d leave to work on it. I would then turn to the next two and talk about their assignments with them and then release them so I could work with the youngest two. You’ll find a rhythm that works best for your family as the year goes on (it won’t happen overnight!).

      If you choose to get the Supplement you need to understand that it isn’t like the Volumes. There is no Day by Day to go with it, and it doesn’t always match up with the corresponding DbD for the Vols. For the most part, the topics are the same. I had the Supp on hand as I taught the younger grades and often referred to it just to see “what could be” in the future. It gave me a good idea of how I would be teaching someday. That’s something to keep in mind: get the Supp and have it on hand to pull from in case you feel your 7th grader needs more of a challenge than the 6th grade objectives.

      Since it’s still June, you have some time before you start. I’m going to send you a Sample of the Supp for Vol 1. (I am guessing that’s the Basic Five set you bought?) Look it over, and see how it corresponds to the same chapter (Ch 2) in the Volume. The sample is for grades 7-8 only. The Supps are broken up into three sections for each chapter: 7-8, 9-10, 11-12. Within each section there will often be specific notes for each grade, but the majority of the info is for both grades.

      Having said all of that, I’ll state once again: it’s really up to you. You can use the 6th grade objectives to ease into homeschooling. You can get the Supp if your child is more academic and enjoys research, reading and writing. Look over the sample I sent. And keep in mind that not all objectives need to be completed. Choose the objectives that teach new info. And if your child says, “But I know all of this already!” then require a detailed report. 😉

      I see you’re already part of the Facebook group — great! You’ll get lots of encouragement there.

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