Goals of Education

When Kid Uno was about five years old, DH and I brainstormed some pretty rough educational goals for our children. Four years later, I have more specific goals for our kids. Everything beyond Year 3 is very much a work in process, and the years we have completed (so far, Years 1-3) will continue to be modified for each child. These goals will be modified and updated at least once a year 😉 I picture each of our children receiving an education somewhat tailored to their interests and gifts, while also exposing them to common cultural knowledge and developing necessary skills. I like the idea of starting broad, and narrowing/deepening as they grow up, and grow into themselves. At this point, I am only considering ages 6-14; after that, I expect them to have a fair amount of input as to the direction they want to take with their lives. Maybe an Associates Degree at age 18? Maybe some shadowing or technical training for a chosen field of work? Maybe college, grad school, internships? Maybe studying at home with me? Who knows!

So here are my very-much-in-process goals and curricula for the next few years (the first part is goals, and the second part is subjects broken down by year):

Goals for Years 1-8 (age 6-14)

a ? or blank space means I’m undecided or playing with ideas or haven’t researched enough yet

special studies means something tailored to the student or designed with his input

AO is Ambleside Online and MA is Mater Amabilis



  • to learn to read fluently through phonics and plenty of practice reading aloud
  • to enjoy reading and be competent in various types of reading
  • to pronounce words correctly, have pleasant elocution, and be comfortable with public speaking
  • to separate personal opinion from that of the author
  • to be able to comprehend the main point of a text upon a single, careful reading
  • to have a long attention span and an ability to concentrate on and understand difficult text


  • to learn to print and to write and read cursive
  • to be precise and neat
  • to be exposed to lots of good writing
  • to learn to summarize through oral narration
  • to learn to compare/contrast, notice setting and character, order events chronologically, assign motive, etc. through oral narration
  • to learn to type
  • to master English grammar and spelling
  • to be able to write effectively in any format


  • to master addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction, percents, ratio, English and metric weights and measure, time, money, algebra, geometry
  • to enjoy math competency and see how it is used in daily life
  • to understand statistics
  • to manage personal finances
  • to be aware of higher math which might be required in or enhance various fields


  • to observe carefully
  • to replicate what is seen by using perspective, line, shading, etc.
  • to achieve a level of proficiency which makes drawing an easy and enjoyable way to communicate


  • To have very minimal use of screens at young ages
  • To learn word processing and programming at appropriate ages (when needed for efficiency)
  • To know her way around a computer (able to create, save, and organize files; navigate the Internet; make purchases; send emails; etc.)
  • To use reliable sources for research
  • To use common sense in communication


  • to be exposed to all forms of lit (rhymes, fables, folk tales, fairy tales, myths, novels, plays, sci fi, utopian, dystopian, humor, essays, speeches, satire, allegory…)
  • to have deep and broad cultural literacy of western civ
  • to have broad literacy of non-western cultures and non-dominant viewpoints (ie, Anansi and other trickster stories, creation myths, Sherman Alexi…)
  • to learn empathy and to look at life from various points of view
  • to enjoy Shakespeare and appreciate his role in shaping culture


  • to enjoy the beauty, power, and humor of reading poetry
  • to strengthen memory by regularly memorizing portions of poetry
  • to have deep and broad cultural literacy of western civ
  • to have insight into and enjoy flavor of other cultures
  • to appreciate the role of oral traditions of the past (epic poetry)


  • to spend many hours outside daily to build connection to local nature
  • to spend time traveling and exploring to be exposed to diverse nature
  • to have many real experiences with things and events so science remains tangible
  • to enjoy the world and be amazed at natural phenomena and human technology
  • to see patterns and organization in the chaos of life
  • to have resources and time to create and experiment
  • to read at least one living book on every topic imaginable, including topics usually left for specialists (ie, architecture, anthropology, coding, cartography, time travel, medicine…)
  • to regularly go deeper with topics of personal interest
  • to learn to separate science from pseudo-science
  • to thoughtfully consider origins
  • to identify hidden agendas in the sciences


  • To have a bird’s eye view of human history from creation to present
  • To understand integration of Bible and church history with world history
  • To view church history from different denominational and cultural angles
  • To know when events happened worldwide in same time periods (ie, American and French Revolutions)
  • To read many biographies of key people
  • To read several narratives of time and events
  • To understand difference between primary and secondary sources
  • To approach several controversial events (ie Civil War, Trail of Tears, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam War) from at least two opposing viewpoints
  • To become familiar with family history and learn about the past through older relatives
  • To visit local areas of historic interest
  • To spend time traveling and exploring to be exposed to diverse historic interest
  • To give more attention to world rather than American history
  • To study history through various lenses (ie, art, horses, explorers, inventions)


  • To understand different types of government and how American government works
  • To appreciate the role of individuals within societies (Plutarch?)
  • To have a working knowledge of societal systems (economics, law, taxes, community resources)
  • To learn to serve others and live in communities


  • To be able to locate and identify everything on the globe
  • To understand how physical features influence political events
  • To appreciate our neighbors’ cultures (Samoan, Tongan, Mexican, Salvadoran, Burmese, Cambodian, Sudanese)
  • To be familiar with Canadian and Mexican history and culture
  • To be able to read road and topo maps and orient oneself


  • To begin studying Latin around age 10 for logic and deeper knowledge of English language
  • To study Greek and Hebrew [maybe][this might be good for Bible study, but I don’t know how useful otherwise]
  • To speak, read, and understand a living language of her choice (or ASL or Braille) to communicate with many other people and to appreciate more cultures
  • To be at least somewhat familiar with Spanish if it is not her language choice


  • To be exposed to diverse musical styles
  • To learn to listen carefully
  • To understand basic music theory (rhythm, melody, harmony, tones)
  • To identify diverse instruments and musical forms
  • To study an instrument to the level of enjoyment
  • To learn common hymns and worship songs
  • To learn folksongs for fun
  • To be comfortable singing and be able to carry a tune to some degree


  • To be exposed to great global works of art
  • To learn to observe carefully
  • To understand basic art theory (color, line, perspective, shading)
  • To identify diverse works of art and schools of art
  • To experiment and create with various media
  • To become proficient in some art form of personal interest
  • To be able to critique current art—film, photography, architecture

Bible/Spiritual Reading

  • To read the entire Bible at least once
  • To memorize books of the Bible, passages of scripture, a creed, several prayers
  • To learn how to read and study the Bible critically
  • To read bios of saints and influential Christians from all three streams (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox)
  • To be familiar with basic doctrine and why it is important

Practical Skills/Handicraft

  • To learn enjoyable hobbies
  • To become proficient in skills necessary for competent adult life

Sports/Physical Activity

  • To enjoy using bodies
  • To use energy and competitiveness in a healthy way
  • To learn teamwork
  • To understand the rules and basic play of several major sports (basketball, baseball, soccer, football, tennis)
  • To enjoy some form of personal physical fitness




YR 1: complete phonics, practice McGuffey primers and 1st reader

YR 2: practice McGuffey 2nd, read aloud poetry, practice other readings

YR 3: practice McGuffey 3rd, read aloud poetry, practice other readings

YR 4: Practice McGuffey 4th, read aloud poetry, read aloud one reading per week

YR 5:

YR 6:

YR 7:

YR 8:




YR 1:  complete printing, begin cursive, oral narrations (summaries)

YR 2: continue cursive, oral narrations (mostly summaries, sometimes other questions)

YR 3: continue cursive, oral narrations (summaries and other prompts), begin dictation (words), one uncritiqued written narration per week

YR 4: finish cursive, oral and written narrations, dictation weekly, begin critiquing written narrations, begin daily grammar

YR 5: oral and written narrations, perfect essays, dictation weekly, continue daily grammar

YR 6: oral and written narrations, perfect essays, dictation weekly, continue daily grammar

YR 7:

YR 8:




YR 1: work through Ray’s Primary at least add/subtract, work through Miquon, read I Love Math books

YR 2: work through Ray’s Primary multiply/divide, begin Intellectual and Practical, work through Miquon, read I love Math books

YR 3: continue Ray’s Intellectual and Practical up to fractions, work through Miquon, SU half of red, read a few non-fiction math books

YR 4: continue Ray’s Intellectual and Practical through common and decimal fractions, finish Miquon, SU half of red, read a few non-fiction math books, Number Stories From Long Ago

YR 5: finish Ray’s Intellectual and continue Practical through percent and ratio, SU half of yellow, use some fun supplements

YR 6: finish Ray’s Practical, SU half of yellow, SCM business math?, AOPS?, begin Jacob’s algebra?

YR 7: Jacob’s algebra?, SU half of blue

YR 8: Jacob’s geometry?, SU half of blue




YR 1: start yellow book

YR 2: finish yellow book

YR 3: work through drawing book options (Colored Pencil, Human Figure, Drawing Lessons)

YR 4: Private Eye and drawing options, (Colored Pencil, Human Figure, Drawing Lessons)

YR 5:Private Eye, Prang?, anime?

YR 6:

YR 7:

YR 8:




YR 1: informal

YR 2: informal

YR 3: informal

YR 4: learn typing?

YR 5: learn word processing?

YR 6: learn spreadsheets?

YR 7: learn graphic design/video/photo?

YR 8: learn coding?




YR 1: fables (Aesop)(Just So Stories), fairy tales (Blue Fairy), animal stories (Herriot), Shakespeare (Lamb’s)

YR 2: Understood Betsy, Wind in the Willows, myths (Robin Hood), Shakespeare (Lamb’s), Pilgrim’s Progress

YR 3: fairy tales (Princess and Goblin), myths (Heroes)(American Tall Tales)(People Could Fly), Tom Sawyer, Jungle Book, Shakespeare (Lamb’s), Pilgrim’s Progress

YR 4: Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island or Kidnapped, myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), short stories (Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, Isaac Asimov), long poems (Paul Revere, Hiawatha, Evangeline), Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays

YR 5: myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), King Arthur and His Knights, Oliver Twist, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea?, Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays

YR 6: Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays, Oscar Wilde play?, myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), The Hobbit, Animal Farm, The Illiad, Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes/Agatha Christie

YR 7: Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays, Don Quixote play?,  myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), Spanish lit? CS Lewis Space Trilogy?

YR 8: Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays, myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), Russian lit?, Jane Austen? Willa Cather?




YR 1: A. A. Milne, R. L. Stevenson, anthology, memorize 3

YR 2: Walter de la Mare, James Whitcombe Riley, Christina Rossetti, memorize 3

YR 3: William Blake, Vikram Seth, Marilyn Singer, Sarah Teasdale, memorize 3

YR 4: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Aussie Poets (Lawson, Paterson, James), Emily Dickinson, memorize 3

YR 5: Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Naomi Shihab Nye, Canadian poets?, memorize 3

YR 6: Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, memorize 3

YR 7: Shakespeare’s Sonnets, ?, memorize 3

YR 8: John Donne, Pablo Neruda, John Milton, memorize 3




YR1: four One Small Square books, Among the People, non-fiction organized by BFSU

YR 2: four One Small Square books, Among the People, non-fiction organized by BFSU

YR 3: four One Small Square books, Among the People, non-fiction organized by BFSU, oceans (Pagoo), food chain (Wild Season)

YR 4: non-fiction organized by BFSU, human body (Golden Book), architecture (Building Book)

YR 5: non-fiction organized by BFSU, astronomy, oceanography (Cousteu? And Kon Tiki?), inventions

YR 6: non-fiction organized by BFSU, periodic table, weather, geology

YR 7: non-fiction organized by BFSU, history of science, origins, psychology

YR 8: non-fiction organized by BFSU, original writings (Faraday, Darwin, Mendel, Newton, etc.),  naturalists (Abbey, Muir, Carson, Thoreau…)




YR 1: stories (50 Famous, Viking), American bios (Pocahontas, Franklin, Washington, Buffalo Bill)

YR 2: half of world history read aloud (CHOW), British/French history (Little Duke), Signature bios

YR 3: half of world history read aloud (CHOW), British history read independently (OIS), Signature bios

YR 4: world history read independently, age of exploration through Landmark bios

YR 5: state history leading into US history, special studies through Landmark bios,

YR 6: sideways history through Genevieve Foster, special studies

YR 7: sideways history through Genevieve Foster, special studies, Daughter of Time

YR 8: opposing viewpoints through primary sources




YR 1: informal

YR 2: informal

YR 3: informal

YR 4: Bill of Rights, Pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner

YR 5: Plutarch, government (Courts of Law), economics (Penny Candy?)

YR 6: Plutarch,  Constitution

YR 7: Plutarch, religions

YR 8: Plutarch, Utopia by More?, essays by Francis Bacon?, statistics




YR 1: US/Canada (Paddle)

YR 2: US (Seabird, Tree in Trail)

YR 3: US (Minn), Asia focus (MA Russia, China), India (Mother Theresa bio)

YR 4: World (explorers bios), Americas focus (MA)

YR 5: State and US, Africa focus (MA)

YR 6: World E and W (Halliburton)

YR 7: physical? Horse? Food? Guns, Germs, Steel?

YR 8:




YR 1: Spanish exposure

YR 2: Spanish exposure

YR 3: Spanish exposure

YR 4: chosen language

YR 5: chosen language, Latin

YR 6: chosen language, Latin

YR 7: chosen language, Latin

YR 8: chosen language, Latin




YR 1: Great Composers, instrument

YR 2: variety, instrument

YR 3: variety, instrument

YR 4: Young Person’s Guide to Orchestra, instrument

YR 5: history through music?, Story of the Opera?, instrument

YR 6: instrument

YR 7: instrument

YR 8: instrument




YR 1: picture study, begin Usborne,

YR 2: picture study, finish Usborne, begin Foresman

YR 3: picture study, finish Foresman

YR 4: picture study, Private Eye, Draw 50 Buildings

YR 5: picture study, Mapping World Through Art or Geography Through Art

YR 6: picture study

YR 7: picture study, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages?

YR 8: picture study, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages?


Bible/Spiritual Reading


YR 1: AO Bible, Saints I, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 2: AO Bible, Saints II, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 3: AO Bible, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 4: Special Studies, Screwtape?, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 5: Special Studies, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 6: Special Studies Bible, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 7: Special Studies Bible, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 8: Special Studies Bible, memorize 3-6 passages


Practical Skills/Handicraft


YR 1: individual

YR 2: individual

YR 3: individual

YR 4: individual

YR 5: individual

YR 6: individual


YR 8: self-defense


Sports/Physical Activity


YR 1: individual

YR 2: individual

YR 3: individual

YR 4: individual

YR 5: individual

YR 6: individual

YR 7: individual

YR 8: individual


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