Posted by: chrisdavis | April 17, 2014

Buying Next Year’s Curricula

‘Tis the season for most homeschoolers to purchase their curricula for the next school year.

How about you?

I just received an email from a friend and fellow pioneer homeschooler. She has been attending homeschool bookfairs and she wrote the following sad note:

“I have been attending lots of HS conventions lately and the focus is on earning credit hours…”

Most of you know that one of my favorite people is John Gatto, who spent 30 years as a New York inner-city public school teacher. After being presented with the NY State Teacher-of-the Year Award, Gatto had this to say to homeschooing parents:

If you want to know how to educate a child, find out what the public school does and do something else.

The problem is most homeschoolers would not know what else to do.

That is why I wrote my latest book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally. In the book—and in the spirit of Gatto’s comment to us homeschoolers—I take each subject and provide practical ideas of how to do something else.

Am I suggesting you don’t need to follow the pattern of the public schools even though most curricula (including homeschooling curricula) does just that!

That is exactly what I am suggesting. Why? Because you have been called to do something higher than simply preparing your children for a job or for college. Jobs and college are byproducts of the higher things we have been called to do with our kids.

Here is a quote from my book:

“High school graduation requirements drive most homeschooling parents to take the [traditional] Scope & Sequence seriously even if they have not taken it seriously until High School. After all, how can a child graduate until he has satisfied the requirements for graduation?”

In my book, I answer this question…

The Kindle version of my book is less than $10.00. Please do yourself a favor and read it before you spend lots of money on graded, subject-specific curricula. The book is available at Amazon in both paperback and as an e-book.

You can also visit my website ChrisDavisRecommends where I have placed all the curricula and homeschooling materials I recommend:

Have a great summer (and consider joining me in Israel this year)
Chris Davis


Posted by: chrisdavis | April 14, 2014

Incorrect address

I apologize for sending the wrong link to the movie about Common Core. This should do it and It is definitely worth watching: 

Posted by: chrisdavis | April 5, 2014

Please Watch This!

I rarely pass on videos I consider a “must see”.

But, I have just watched a video I consider something every parent must watch.

Why? Because publishers of homeschooling materials are rushing to revamp their curricula to match Common Core standards…

Is that what you want to put before your child?

Here is the link: (if the link doesn’t work, go to the trouble to copy it and paste it into your browser address line).

Watch it.

Posted by: chrisdavis | March 20, 2014

Meet Fred

Why do we have to learn math from a book?

Here is a radical thought: Why can’t math (and any other information for that matter) be learned in Context? By context I mean, learn something because you have a practical need to know that something.

For instance, we learned the Pythagorean Theorem by fencing in part of our backyard. Voila, an actual reason to know a math concept!

My next favorite way to learn a math concept (if you are stumped with creating a context) is to find a math game that will at least make learning the math concept fun (i.e. Muggins Math Games–see my website).

My next favorite way to learn a math concept is this: Create a series of stories around a fictional character and put that character in situations where he must use math to get through his day.

Well, guess what? A fellow homeschooling family from Michigan just introduced me to The Life of Fred. Fred is the brainchild of math professor, Stanley Schmidt, PhD who presents math concepts through the life of a rather unusual (?) 5-year-old math genius and professor at a make-believe college. Fred is faced with all sorts of crazy situations in which he must use math to solve the problems faced by a typical (?) 5-year-old math genius.  The course begins with the most basic concepts of number recognition and ends with college-level Calculus. Filled with wonderful Fred adventures, one mother wrote that her child wanted his Fred books read to him at bedtime!

The books are large, hard-bound, and, compared to other hard-bound math books, cheap. The most expensive in the entire series (at over 500 pages) is Life of Fred, Beginning Algebra Expanded Edition: As Serious as It Needs to Be ($39.00).

I have listed the books under the appropriate Age/Grade Recommendations section (the author’s recommendations) but students may jump in at their appropriate age/grade level.

Take a look at Fred by going to my website, In the drop-down menu, Age/Grade Recommendations, look under the Math section for the appropriate Fred books for your children.

Then, let me know what you think of Fred

Posted by: chrisdavis | March 19, 2014

Uniqueness or Uniformity?

Much is made of the uniqueness of snowflakes. Or, the uniqueness of fingerprints. A religious person might say, “When God creates, He has unlimited possibilities and He uses them all.” Even a non-religious person might say, “Nature abhors standardization.”

Forcing children to spend large amounts of time in a common, age-grade institution—one that must prioritize uniformity—violates everything we know about human beings and everything we see in nature.

Posted by: chrisdavis | March 15, 2014

My New Website

My New Website

The ultimate listing of Great Books for boys!

Go Here to view a list of Great Books Especially for Boys in my new website

Write a response, below, to let me know what you think…

Posted by: chrisdavis | March 7, 2014

New book from Chris Davis

Gifted book cover

Go here to see reviews of my new book and “look inside”. It is available in both paperback and as an e-book.

Posted by: chrisdavis | February 26, 2014

Grand Rapids, Michigan Homeschool Gathering this Saturday

I will be speaking at the Grand Rapids Area Homeschool Gathering this Saturday, March 1. If you are anywhere near this meeting, I look forward to seeing you. I will be sharing from my new book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally

Check out the website for this time together. 

I hope to see you this Saturday!


Posted by: chrisdavis | February 20, 2014

Homeschooling materials recommended by Chris Davis

Some of you remember The Elijah Company Catalog.

I have now created a webpage containing most of the titles recommended in that Catalog…

…and I have arranged them by age (approximate grade level).

Take a look…

Chris Davis

Posted by: chrisdavis | January 22, 2014

Call it like it is

I hold in my hand a Scope and Sequence Chart from A Beka Book Company, which has been one of the more popular homeschool curricula for decades. The Chart’s 14 pages contain a detailed list of every requirement necessary to educate a child from age 2 through high school graduation.

It is considered Christian, as are many other popular curricula such as Bob Jones, Alpha-Omega, and A.C.E., to mention only a few.

They may be Christian, but—and this is my personal opinion—I would not consider them Biblical. Why?

Virtually every Christian curriculum begins with a secular worldview of what a child must learn to be considered educated and then the curriculum publisher attempts to infuse that curriculum with Christian principles. We might say the publisher has “Christianized” the traditional, secular academic process.

By contrast, a biblical curriculum begins with a biblical worldview of what a child is and how that child should be raised in order to fulfill his, or her, reason for having been placed on this planet.

Most Christian curricula (though infused with biblical principles) is still the same, basic curricula that any child would face in any public, or private, school in this country.

I am not saying these curricula won’t educate your child. Each has been used successfully by thousands of families and each has produced educated adults. Like any curriculum, one child may thrive using one of these curricula while, for another child, that same curriculum would be tantamount to child abuse. But, this difference is due to the individual child more than to the curriculum being used.

What I am saying is this: If you are using a Christian curriculum as you homeschool your child(ren), is it Biblical? How would you know?

In my new book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally (publication scheduled for February, 2014), I attempt to share what I consider to be a biblical worldview regarding what a child is and how to raise (and homeschool) your children for a purpose other than employment or to “become a productive member of society” (the 2 main goals of a public—and most Christian—education).

If you are reading this and would like a free copy of Part One of my book (Part One is entitled “What is a Child?”) simply email me at and include in the subject line “Send Part One” and I will send it to you right away. After reading Part One, I would appreciate any comments you have about what I have to say. Again, the entire book should be available in February of this year as both a paperback and an e-book.

Happy Homeschooling! Chris Davis, your Pioneer Homeschooler

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