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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let's Talk Curriculum!

Well, it's that time! We start school on Monday. We've had a blessed summer and some much needed family time and rest.

I have a love/hate relationship with choosing curriculum for the boys. In the past it's something I've tortured myself over. There are so many choices!

But, this year I really have a peace about everything we're using, and I'm so excited to see what God has planned!

I thought I'd share our curriculum choices with you, and I'd love to hear from you too!

There are so many choices out there! What homeschool curriculum do you use and why? What do you love about it? What curriculum have you tried in the past that you didn't find worked for your family. what have you fallen in love with?

Share your thoughts. Any thoughts! Let's talk curriculum!

So without further ado...

OUR 2011-2012 CURRICULUM

BIBLE
We're starting the year with this 12 week study.
The Young Peacemaker:Teaching students to respond to conflict God's Way!
It's a 12 week study with 12 workbooks for each week's lessons.
My boys are at that stage where they bicker and argue about anything!
It's the perfect time to hear what God has to say about all that fighting.

I also have individual devotionals for each of the boys.

For my youngest I use Explorer's Bible Study.
This curriculum is broken down into 30 weeks, 5 lessons a week.
Even though my son is going into 1st grade, I use the first set designed for ages 2-6. (He is 6!)
The lessons are totally adaptable!
 I use this curriculum as a guide and extend the lessons for more enrichment.
It was more important to me to go with the younger level and make sure he gets the fundamentals rather than worry with what grade he should use.
I find it's a great way to teach the basic foundations and plant seeds!

For my oldest I found what looks like a great devotional for teens.
The daily devotionals are short and introduce Old Testament people while teaching character lessons.
It's a 48 week, 5 day a week devotional. Perfect for the school week!
No, we do not do 48 weeks of school! But, he can continue to do it over the summer.

Now onto 7th grade...

MATH
Math-U-See is awesome!
Last year I made the switch from traditional math techniques mid year.
I took him back to where I found his struggles took root, and began Epsilon.
He'll be completing the end of the Epsilon workbook, and then moving into Zeta.
Math has been a struggle for him until we started using this!
 I highly recommend it for any child who struggles learning math the traditional way.

LANGUAGE ARTS
Instead of going with a general Language Arts curriculum, I decided to piece together a set of subjects I think will be best for him and his learning styles.
Spelling Power and Easy Grammar Plus look awesome!
I cannot even begin to explain the Spelling Power system, so you MUST check out the website!
I can't wait to see how he likes them!
Wordly Wise is pretty traditional and easily done independently.

READING
We're going to being using Progeny Press for several book studies this year.
Progeny Press offers study guides for literature from a christian perspective.
We're going to work through the Chronicles of Narnia!
Beginning with book 1, The Magician's Nephew.

I love book studies because there's so many directions you can go.
We will study the author, compare and contrast the books and movies, study the historical backgrounds and settings, and so on.
It should be a lot of fun!
***2nd Semester Updates***
At the beginning of the year we had the chance to see A Wrinkle in Time live in Orlando. I decided to put Narnia aside and take full advantage of seeing classic literature come to life. We began the year with the novel by Madeline L'Engle, and worked our way through the Progeny Press book study.

It was great to read the book, see the play, and compare and contrast. My son loved the novel, however, The book study was rather long. I still have the study above on The Magician's Nephew, and will still use it, but I think I will use it more for a guide to study rather than working through the whole thing page by page. 



We are currently reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. 
We'll be doing a unit study on the Holocaust and visiting the Holocaust museum in Orlando. 
I have some book study aids I found online and Scholastic I will be using along with it. 
We're taking a break on Progeny Press for this one. 

numberthestars.jpg (78657 bytes)

SCIENCE

General Science 2nd Ed. Exploring Creation with 2-Book Set
This will be our first year using Apologia. It looks great!
16 lessons designed to complete in 28 weeks.

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

LIFEPACĀ® 7th Grade History & Geography Set
We're giving Alpha and Omega Publishers a try this year for History.
Their LifePac sets include 10 workbooks for the year.
 Each workbook is completed in about 3 weeks.

KEYBOARDING
We're enrolled in our fist online class with Florida Virtual School.
Totally free for Florida residents and Florida homeschoolers!
He will be taking their Business Keyboarding course.
I'm curious to see how he does with the online environment.
I think he'll like it, and we may add more in the future.
***2nd Semester Update***
The online class went so well last semester that we signed up for a 2nd one. 
This semester My oldest will be taking Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. 
Hoping it grows those exact qualities!

Whew!

Now how about my 1st grader...

MATH

My youngest is more of a traditional learner.
So far it's not nearly as challenging to find curriculum that works for him.
We love Saxon Math!
 It's comprehensive, thorough, and the spiral review is excellent!
I started with him in preschool so he'll end up completing Math 2 this year.

READING


Hooked on Phonics worked for me!
We started with the preschool set a couple of years ago, and he's learned so well!
We use this for phonics and read whatever else we can get our hands on!

I'm actually thinking about doing some book studies from Progeny Press with him too.
I just haven't decided on the books yet, but I'll keep you posted!
They have an excellent selection for lower elementary.
Storytime is our absolutley FAVORITE  time of day!
He will complete the Hooked on Phonics 2nd grade set this year!
Good for you, honey!

SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES
Zoology 1 Exploring Creation with


Bob Jones is also pretty traditional.
One of my favorite things about this publisher is how the teacher's guides are set up!
They really take the guess work out of lesson planning!
*** 2nd Semester Update***
I recently added Apologia Zoology 1 to our science lessons. 
LOVE IT!!

HANDWRITING

Each of the 5 daily lesson works up to a Bible verse at the end of the week.
Love that!

PHYSICAL ED
We also enroll in a homeschool P.E. course at the local YMCA. 
The boys go twice a week.

MUSIC
My youngest plays piano and takes lessons once a week.
My oldest started guitar last year,
but took a break when he began having struggles over our move.
I'm praying he will pick it back up!


I'll be sure to share about field trips, activities, and everything God has in store for us this year!

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

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3 Comments:

At August 16, 2011 at 11:22 AM , Blogger Annette said...

stopping by from the Hip Homeschool Hop and I have to say I love Math U See, it has been a huge help to us.

 
At August 16, 2011 at 2:26 PM , Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

You had so many choices to make. The Narnia study looks wonderful. I love those books.

 
At August 17, 2011 at 2:01 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

Some good choices. I'm looking at Apologia General Science for my oldest next year. I hope to see that you're liking it this year.

 

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