The Robinson Curriculum was a solution birthed in the aftermath of a tragedy.
Laurelee Robinson died suddenly after an illness that lasted less than 24 hours. Her class containing her precious children Zachary, Noah, Arynne, Joshua, Bethany, and Matthew – then ages 12, 10, 9, 7, 7, and 17 months – now were left without a mother and teacher.
Dr. Robinson taking on her household responsibilities, as well as continuing his work, was left with no time to teach the children in the conventional way they had planned.
What followed after, by the grace of God, was remarkable. Out of necessity the Robinson curriculum was created, allowing for self-instruction and powerful study habits that have not only impacted the Robinson children, but children all over the world who implemented the same approach.
My personal story with the Robinson Curriculum was brought on by a difficult circumstance.
During my 6th pregnancy, a clot developed and due to an unknown congenital heart defect, I suffered a stroke. By the grace of God, I had no real permanent side effects and my baby was born perfectly fine.
What followed after though was a difficult time with excessive doctors appointments and an emotional rollercoaster. Trying to stay on top of homeschooling was stressful enough during that period, but compounded once I had a 9 yo,7yo,5yo,3yo,2yo and a newborn.
As a family of 8 on one income and dealing with additional medical expenses, there was no extra money to shop around for better curriculum that might work better for us. I tried the free public school option of school at home. A large number of boxes arrived with manipulatives, textbooks and accountability and support that I thought would be helpful. I soon found out that all subjects, for all children on different levels, was even more overwhelming. I had heard of the Robinson Curriculum before and I called asking information on the scholarship. After writing to Dr. Robinson about my situation, I soon received in the mail a box with the CD set. It has been one of the most precious gifts I have received in my life. I owe Dr. Robinson a huge debt of gratitude. That is why I am very passionate about spreading awareness for this curriculum. Behind the CD set is not a corporation only driven by profits, Dr. Robinson truly cares about the individual.
For more information on the Robinson Curriculum and to purchase the Cd’s or online program– CLICK HERE-
The Robinson Home School Curriculum Version 2.2 includes:
- Course of Study: A 120 page discourse by Dr. Art Robinson discussing all the aspects of how you setup and run a self-teaching homeschool using this curriculum which also incorporates the experiences of the many families who have found this to be most effective in their own homes. 12 sections in all:
- Study Environment
- Science and Mathematics
- Oral Learning
- Books to Buy
- Ordering and Registration
- Newsletter Vol. lll, No.12
This is essential reading … and rereading. It takes a concentrated effort to get on a different track for our children and deprogram ourselves from an institutional model of dependent learning.
- Books: More than 250 very high quality books. Academic knowledge is in books – especially books that are carefully chosen. See ‘Best Books‘ below.
- Encyclopedia: The complete 30,000 page 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica with special onÂscreen reading software for its use. The 1911 Britannica is generally acknowledged to have been the greatest encyclopedia ever written. Its depth of knowledge and the erudition of its text are remarkable. For the 98% of recorded history that occurred before 1911, this is the most definitive source.
- Dictionary: The complete 400,000 word 1913 Webster’s Dictionary with special onÂscreen software for its use. This dictionary contains five times as many words as the original Webster’s dictionary and yet preserves the literary beauty of the original work.
- Science Texts: All of the required science books and answer keys. (Current Caltech 101 Science texts.) Also included are advanced science texts for use by students with unusual ability.
- Fast Software: Software that operates very quickly in both the on-screen viewing and printing modes. The on-screen viewing software is the best of its type available anywhere. High quality “scale-to-gray” gives your screen a 300% increase in virtual resolution to look as much like paper as possible. Flying magnifier makes details easy to check out. Maximize mode lets you take full advantage of your screen real estate to display pages by temporarily removing all but the essential page navigation controls.Minimum computer requirements are an OS – Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 – running on a PC or a Mac (using Apple’s Boot Camp or with RC for Mac). Actually, you do not need to own a computer at all – you just need access to a computer with which you can print materials from the CDs as needed.
- Special: A large number of woodcut illustrations with special emphasis on early American history and geography. Especially noteworthy are over 1,000 detailed woodcuts of civil war events that were produced before 1890 from sketches by individuals, including many famous figures, who actually participated in the war. Study of this collection of illustrations and the accompanying narrative gives the student a very clear understanding and visualization of the events.Also of special interest is a very beautifully illustrated travelogue of the United States published in 1872. This provides an unusual opportunity to see our country Â both its cities and its wilderness Â in the era before it was extensively populated and developed.Also included is the original King James Version of the Bible – the 1st Issue of the 1st Edition in 1611 (The Great He Bible). This volume is noteworthy for its beauty and historical significance. It is the foundational book of the Curriculum.
- Examinations: Over 50 SAT style examinations with answer keys. The advanced tests being in essay form. Tests follow specific books. Also included are bonus exams for the Chronicles of Narnia series by CS Lewis.
- Language Skills: Penmanship Practice pages by Bethany Robinson, extensive Grammar Text written especially for the Robinson Curriculum by Jane Orient with Primer, Main Course and Reading Passages, Answers to the Grammar Exercises and Basic American English Spelling.
- Phonics & Arithmetic: Printable flash cards for phonics and arithmetic (all that is required before Saxon 54). These flash cards are easily made with any computer printer. (See books 503 and 504 in the Books list.)
- Vocabulary: This 6,400 word vocabulary program assures that the student’s reading produces an active vocabulary (words used spontaneously in writing and speaking) rather than a passive vocabulary (words understood, but not actively used).a. Vocabulary list in flashcard format with word Â definition and word Â sentence for each of the 150 books in the core read order. On average, about twoÂ-thirds of the words and sentences in each list are actually drawn from the books themselves. The other third are drawn from previous SAT exams.b. The flash cards also appear in a second iteration with book numbers printed on each card and both Sentence and Definition appearing on the same card. The format is more traditional. (See book 502 in the Books list.)c. The curriculum also includes a complete set of printable Vocabulary Exercises. Each book has its own set, or sets of exercises. Each of the words for that book are represented in every exercise and these include:- Vocabulary List – a list of the words and definitions
– Word Find – containing the vocabulary words as clues
– Crossword Puzzle – with clues to words across and down
– Word Find – containing definitions as clues
– Matching Game – matching words with definitionsd. For the older student there is an onÂscreen vocabulary exerciser that tracks the student’s progress and adjusts his lessons to emphasize those words with which he is having the most difficulty.This is followed by the answer keys to all the exercises. (See book 501 and 503 in the Books list.)
With over 14 gigabytes of information on 22 CD-ROMs conveniently organized in a durable metal case and accessed with simple, user-friendly software, it can be honestly said that there is not now any home school curriculum for sale anywhere that provides as high a quality home school education as does this Robinson Home School Curriculum Version 2.2.
How do you start a child on the program?
Let’s talk about Math!
Exerpts taken from the Robinson Website-
*When a parent judges his child is ready to begin ‘school’ his first year in Math must only be comprised of learning all the math facts.
Yes, they need concrete aids to conceptualize but only at the start (and do this however you please) but always remove the aids when the concept is learned as soon as possible, otherwise the aid will become an ongoing crutch and will impede their progress. An occasional review with concrete aids is acceptable. RECITATION and FLASHCARDS
*Only the facts the first year and then into Saxon 54. Yes, children have different capabilities but your response to that is to allow them to work less problems from the lesson, even if they solve only one problem a day successfully but completely independently.
Introducing other workbooks and such he says is “a waste of time.” I have found it also works against self-teaching because any workbook I have used requires Mommy to be teacher. This brings me to his 3rd point.
*Needing help is self- fulfilling. You must be careful as a parent not to become the child’s crutch: that they expect you to help them with the problems they find difficult. And we as parents must be willing to let them solve problems without being their ‘teacher’. Point them to where it is taught in the textbook (and it has been), fine, have them read the instructions and work it out orally (for a beginning student to the parent), fine. Education is learning, and learning is hard work. they must solve the problems.
– Each fact group can be introduced separately for a short period but transition quickly into MIXING UP the facts groups.
– If they are younger (4/5) when starting mix up all the add. and sub. facts from below 5, in time add more facts from both groups. Have them pick favourites from the higher level facts to add as well. They feel quite proud to recite these each day.
– An ABACUS is a great tool. Invest in a good sturdy one. No more loosing manipulatives all over the place. Have it handy for working out the new problems.
I had my children start MEMORIZING the multiplication facts (with the CARDS) well after they were using addition and subtraction. Sometimes they had already began Saxon 54 which doesn’t start multiplication till about 20 lessons into the book. They then stopped the lessons and began to do the multiplication cards and then mixed those with the addition and subtraction facts before they went on with Saxon. For awhile I would have them run through the cards in mixed order each morning before resuming the written work. (I know this deviates from Dr. Robinson’s experience but this is what worked well for a couple of kids who got severely bored and lacked motivation with the cards.
Let’s talk about Phonics
It is essential that each young child first receive instruction in a phonics based language program. Although the Robinson Curriculum has phonics flash cards, they are not an instruction program, only a componet of one or a handy review. Dr. Robinson himself says that:
There are several good phonics programs . These consist of various procedures for teaching the sounds of letters and letter combinations and for gradually combining these into words and sentences. It is absolutely essential that reading be taught by phonics and not by the so-called “look-say” methods currently in vogue in the public schools. If the child is not taught to read correctly, then the entire school program which follows will be so difficult that the child will have a very great disadvantage. The phonics instruction does require interaction with an instructor for a few weeks … After the child can read, then he or she should be encouraged to read several hours each day in books of gradually increasing difficulty in order to build reading skills and confidence.”
Here is a FREE resource I recommend!
-What a Typical First Year Can Look Like-
Math – learning the facts through flash cards
Phonics and Language instruction – I personally like Word Mastery and Blend Phonics Lessons.
Writing – penmanship practice with the worksheets found in the Robins Curriculum CDs and Online.
Reading, reading, reading. – at first require at least 15 minutes of them reading to you to make sure they are reading correctly and be their listener as they gain mastery.
Literature for the first year that you will find in the Robinson Curriculum:
- McGuffey’s Primer
- McGuffey’s 1st Reader/2nd Reader
- Nursery Rhymes
- Childhood’s Happy Hours – various authors
- Sophie May’s books (Dottie Dimple, etc.) 7 books listed
- Arthur Scott Bailey’s books – 6 included (Solomon Owl, etc)
- Bobbsey Twin books (11 books) – many more at the library.
- (Penmanship Practice)
What about Pre-K?
To Screen or not to screen? If space for books is an issue, a Kindle is an excellent space saving and convinient tool. If you do go this route, they say the paperwhite one is the best option for the brain and eyes.
Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers
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