Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Curriculum Choices...

It just occurred to me that I haven't shared what we are using this year in homeschool (not that everyone is on the edge of their seats, but more because I want to get it all down!). First off, I have to say that this will probably change as the year goes on and I get more of a feel for what my kids need and enjoy. I enjoy looking at curriculum way too much
which can get dangerously expensive :)

Science: We are continuing to use good nonfiction books and lapbooks as our science curriculum driven by the kids' interests. Right now we are studying space (mostly because Jon wants to go to the Space and Rocket Center-just kidding but we are excited about going!).

Other topics I am anticipating are reptiles, amphibians, human body and Apologia's birds. I really think following your kids' interests makes it so much more meaningful.

Math: We were using Saxon and while I believe it to be an excellent program, it was just not working for us. Jackson has begun hating math to the point of tears. It was killing me. I am researching going to a more Living Math approach I just don't have the time to get it together right now. I just received in the mail the Math U See program. I think this is a great program at describing why math works. I am also excited to see if the novelty of watching a video to explain math holds their interest! The thing I like most about it is the kids move through things at their own pace. If they get it, you watch the next lesson. If they need extra practice there are 6 pages of practice in the workbook and you can do as many as you need.

Spanish: I ordered Hooked on Spanish for the kids this year. I love it for two reasons 1. it was cheap and 2. they can do it on their own on the computer. They just do a lesson on the computer and practice their new words. Will they be able to travel to Spain and converse any time soon? No, but it is teaching them the very basics.

Next year I will probably do Latin with them because I think it is the key to understanding all languages once you learn their Latin roots. For right now, I am very happy with the Spanish.

Specials: We are taking a PE swim class at the local rec center. We are participating in Open Ended Art meme and doing art projects with our other subjects (plus the art of scrapbooking with mommy :) We found a homeschool music class which is great for Ashton but way too young for Jackson. We are considering getting him the guitar lessons he has always asked for. I dream of doing artist and composer studies, but need 15 more hours in my day to make it happen. We also have baseball and ballet at least once a week. Ashton has also joined a wonderful Keepers group we are thrilled with.

Grammar:We are doing this mostly with the games I make them or through literature.

Reading: Our reading for the first couple of months is a program you probably haven't heard of called- P-R-O-P-O-G-A-N-D-A!!! If you read my family blog you might remember this post which has bothered me since. Even though I am looking at a good reading program a friend is doing, I decided to just spend a couple of months having fun with reading. We are still working on sight words and vocabulary and such, but I am trying to pick out great picture books and read alouds just to brainwash their sweet little minds into loving reading- plus, it's a lot of fun for me. Snuggling and reading- what could be a better way to spend an afternoon?

Geography: The thing I am most excited about this year is Galloping the Globe. I read all the things that Jolanthe was doing on her blog with this program and it sounded so fun. So, we Dodds are traveling the world this year (and probably next). We will be learning about the geography, history, language, and culture about each country we visit. So far, we have completed China and started Korea. I will share our adventures soon. The best part is I am learning so much! We sing geography songs, and I have learned all the countries in Asia! I'm not raising geography illiterate Americans over here :)
Handwriting and Bible: Right now we are still reading out way through a children's Bible. After I read to them they practice their handwriting by tracing a story summary I printed out using the Start Write program I just bought. I really like this program because I can make tracer pages of any thing I want for the kids to practice. It's called killing 2 birds with one stone combining handwriting and Bible! I can print the story summary in cursive for Jackson and print for Ashton so that is nice. After we finish the Bible in about a month we are going to start a Bible study. I'm still researching which one (I'd love suggestions!). We also work on memory verses every day. Right now we are studying verses they are working on at church.
Any way, there is my plan. Thanks for humoring me so I can get it down to make me think it through and stick with it!

No comments: