Charlotte Mason scoffed at
. . . the sort of diluted twaddle which is commonly thrust upon children
(Vol. 1, p. 176)
For a long time, I didn’t understand just what she meant, however as time went on, and my confidence as a homeschooler grew, I began to understand the meaning of diluted twaddle.
Mason was referring to the watered-down bits of facts and information well-meaning parents and educators pass on to the children in their care. Completely forgetting, that children are born persons, with the capability to reason and understand the whole picture. Not just the bits we consider significant.
As a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschooler, I’m always in search for “non-twaddle” books and curriculum for my girls, and for that reason I’m not always eager to try “new-to-me” curriculum. Specially when someone I know in-real-life can’t recommend it. After some thought I decided to give Pathways 2.0 a try, due to their emphasis on faith, and character.
Though I wouldn’t consider it Charlotte Mason inspired, I would say it’s most definitely CM friendly. This month, I had the chance to preview Grade 8 Heroes, Noah Webster; and I’m happy to say I plan to continue using it this fall.
Pathways 2.0, and the Unit Study Approach to Language Arts
Pathways is divided into 9 units, with a specific focus on each unit. The unit structure is the same across all grade levels, however the person or topic of interest varies by grade.
Here’s a quick guide to the person or topic of interest by grade.
One of the great things about this format, is that it allows me the flexibility to pick and chose which units I want to incorporate in my homeschool, and pass on what I don’t. Pathways aligns with 7th Day Adventist beliefs, and some of the units will heavily promote this worldview. I’ve decided to skip “Hearthwarming Stories of Adventist Pioneers” for example.
I plan on using Pathways with my 7th and 8th graders this fall.
After finishing Grade 8 Heroes (Noah Webster), we will move on to:
- Friends and Family (Eric Lidell)
- Environment (The Case of Monkeys)
- Living Things (Gifts of an Eagle)
- Social Issues (Fever 1973)
This will give us a good mix of topics across the 7th and 8th grades.
What You’ll Need for Each Unit
- Teacher daily lesson guide, with instructions for everything your student will need each day, as well as worksheets and activities for every week.
- Tradebook specific to your focus unit.
- Paired readings (poems, short stories, etc), which I found free online.
Who Can Benefit from Pathways 2.0?
- If you’re into using literature as a basis for your child’s learning, this is the curriculum for you. Pathways 2.0 provides a list of paired reading for each unit.
- If you love having lessons plans completely done for you, this is the curriculum for you. You’ll find an ‘at a glance’ day-to-day set of instructions, as well as detailed plans full of activities and resources for every day of the week.
- If you’re looking to supplement your current language arts curriculum, this is the curriculum for you. Since you’re not limited to purchasing all-or-nothing you can pick and choose what you want, and pass on what you don’t.
- If you’re looking for faith-based curriculum, bible study supplements, character training, this is the curriculum for you. It’s super flexible.
- If you like trying new stuff, but don’t want to commit to full boxed curriculum…. yup, this is the curriculum for you.
Having a literature based approach to Language Arts is something I’m always excited about, and this is why I plan on continuing to use Pathways 2.0 this fall.