Monday, August 9, 2010

Our curriculum choices 2010-2011

All right here goes.  I’ve done a lot of thinking, and I like everything we’ve chosen.  I’m pretty confident these are all choices we’re going to stick with for several years.

Reading

 

As I’ve mentioned before we’re using Reading A to Z and I still like it, but have come to the conclusion my kids need more than a bare bones approach that I’ve been using.  They’re very much audio kinesthetic learners, and while this would work for someone who’s good at just sitting and learning, this isn’t working for them.  My subscription is good through May, so I’m going to keep downloading and saving to my computer, but I’m going to add in a more structured lesson set with games and music, Sing Spell, Read, and Write.  I found a great deal through the Homeschool Buyer’s Coop, and bought it at half off.  Otherwise I wouldn’t have even considered it and we’d probably be struggling for a while longer while I looked for something different.  This will be our reading curriculum for the next two years.  I spent enough I sure as heck better stick to it.

 

For writing I’m going to finish up some workbooks we have, and then use the Jan Brett tracer pages to reinforce more.  If you haven’t check out her site, it’s AWESOME!  She has so many activities to go with her books and just for school use in general.  Be prepared to use a lot of ink when you go there.

 

Math

 

I’ve mentioned before I’m using Math U See, and we continue to love it.  Right now I’ve put on h0ld continuing lessons until they’re better at writing numbers.  They could keep going, but I got tired of them telling me the answer, my writing it, and then they’re tracing it.

 

To practice this, I’m thinking I’ll just print off the Jan Brett tracer pages rather than buying a workbook.  I’ve got plenty of workbooks already, and I just need to make them sit and write, write, write.  Which they won’t like, but there are some parts of learning that aren’t fun.  Just like there are some parts of life that aren’t fun.

 

Science

 

We’ve already started going through this, but we’re using Apologia Science Flying Creatures.  I first saw it reviewed over at Homeschool Creations and fell in love with the idea behind it.  It covers one topic per year and covers it thoroughly, unlike most elementary textbooks.  When I was teaching elementary school, most of the teachers (and this is me included) didn’t really use the textbook for more than a guideline of what to teach, and we found picture books to teach the same topic.  This lets me have a science textbook that is actually useful.

 

My plan to document how they’re learning is to create a notebook of what they’ve learned.  I picked up some lapbook templates from Currclick using a gift certificate I won from Chasing Cheerios (Bird Notebooking pages, Insect mini-books, and ready to assemble lap-books).  I’m also going to continue with the Science Journal Jeff started with them last week.  I’m thinking they’ll draw what we read about each day and as they’re writing, write a sentence.

 

And as always we’ll continue to post about this in my weekly linky Science Sunday.

 

History

 

We’re using the Mystery of History primarily.  I LOVE it, seriously.  Have you seen what we’ve done so far for Ancient History?  I had picked up The Story of the World, but didn’t like the way it was written, it just rubbed me the wrong way.  It’s not bad, just not for me.  But, I do like the activity supplements to go with it.  So, my plan is to use some of those when it works with our lesson for the day.

 

Geography

 

For geography we’re going to continue through the United States.  We’re slowly making our way through the 50 states, we’ve covered 8 so far (I think, but I want to go back to Colorado I have no documentation of what we did really).  As part of my gift certificate I picked up some of Teacher Book Bag’s United States stuff, which is apparently mostly in their $1 and 50 cent section).  I thought to use some of that as a game for the kids to play.

 

History and Geography I’ll link over to Debbie’s Geography/History linkie at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

 

Art

 

I’m slacking here.  I’m just going to use the artwork we create in our different projects in other areas (think of all the artwork we’ll cover in history alone!).  That and the stuff we do in stART (over at A Mommy’s Adventures , which I admit is mostly crafts if you want to get technical.

 

PE

 

My kids run around enough right now that I’m not too worried about them.  Me, that’s another matter.  I’m trying to figure out how to get back into going to the gym and manage  the school schedule I want to keep up.

 

Well, that’s our plans for the year.  I’m going to hook this up to Mama to 3 Blessings when she gets the curriculum post up.

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