So it feels like now we know what we're doing, most days. :)
- Group For Bible, we are using our Bibles, a novel idea, I know. We're also using a devotional book for kids. It simply asks a daily question and answers with scripture. We read, discuss, and pray. Easy Peasy.
- We have Co-op for P.E. and Science this year, using Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space Science. The text contains weekly Scripture memorization, and we'll expound upon that at home.
- For History, we are using A Child's History of the World, Usborne's Time Traveler & Usborne's Book of World History as our spine, then we're using several other books both here and from the library. History will be mostly unit studies for us this year, beginning with Creation, and getting as far as we want. I don't want to speed them up if they're really interested in the topic at hand. My goal is to encourage the desire to learn more!
- Both children will use Smart Kids Who Hate to Write until I find they don't need it anymore. They have separate learning issues that we hope to help by using the same program (among other strengthening and occupational therapies).
- Spanish!!! I am excited to introduce Spanish to them. We aren't using a curriculum, and we're only doing this one for fun. We have the cheapest set of flashcards I could find, and we'll probably only do one card per week. Again, just for fun, no pressure!!
- Both kiddos will keep nature journals. We won't pull them out everyday, but they will be a regular part of our year. My young naturalists enjoy getting out and exploring! The journaling part not so much.
- Thoughtful begins third grade. We are beginning Learning Language Arts Through Literature, and he'll use the Yellow Book this year. We're sticking with Math U See, moving on to the Gamma level to learn and master multiplication. All About Spelling is new to us this year, starting with the recommended Level One (he isn't excited about that), and hopefully getting through Level Four - we'll see, there is no pressure here. This is the only "real" core curriculum for him.
- Thoughtful will have a mapping book to work on throughout the year for fun. He loves that kind of thing! And last, US States: I'd love to say that he is going through US States and Capitals this year, but we'll see. He will keep a notebook of states, with little facts, including the capital, and where, geographically, the state is located. We will also incorporate typing, on a regular basis, into Thoughtful's days.
Spunk begins first grade. Spunk will stick with A Beka Book for First Grade, working his way through the "special sounds," and working on reading fluency. We are using this program for Language, Phonics, and Reading (not spelling, I learned with the oldest, the second benefits). He too will use Math U See, advancing up to Alpha level, learning basic addition and subtraction, and lots of place value. We are using a Dolch sight word list as part of his day, spending as much time as needed on each word, but only working on the one word at a time, always reviewing learned words. Spunk also has some fun workbook stuff, Mazes, Connect the Dots, Time, and a drawing book that he's super excited to try out. I'd love to put together a calendar notebook to keep throughout the year, but I haven't quite figured that out.
- We used Sonlight's core A, an Introduction to World Cultures for our History, Geography, and Social Studies this year. It was a peak into the rest of the world. This helped us attain our goal of learning that the world is bigger than our backyard. Sonlight's IG is easy to use, but there was a lot of flipping back and forth to notes and maps. My understanding is that the IG is changing to alleviate this problem. The cost is high, but the payment plan helps.
- We also used Sonlight's Science A. I liked the wide variety of lessons taught. I purchased the additional Science kit box which is advertised as containing all of the consumable supplies needed to complete the experiments in the IG. It does not. It contains a lot, but each week, I still had to find some things.
- Thoughtful moves on to second grade.
Math-U-See, Beta - We love MUS, I don't see any reason to change our math program. Beta Level reinforces place value, skip counting, word problems (math stories as known in this house), and the focus is multiple digit addition and subtraction. I've been thrilled to pieces with the real life math examples this program uses to teach and practice math. Thoughtful is reading gas gauges after this level - how's that for practicality?
- Spunk comes home for Kindergarten.
Math-U-See, Primer - This one gets the young child ready for Alpha. I think that Spunk could've sped through this one, and moved straight to Alpha, but we stretched it out. Skip counting, shapes, writing and identifying numbers, time, place value, and basic addition and subtraction (by 1's and 2's), were all covered.
I only schooled Thoughtful during our first year while Spunk spent half days at VPK. It was our learning year, and Thoughtful was in first grade, officially in my school-at-home mind.
A Beka Book, 1 - We used this program for Phonics, Language, Spelling, & Reading. Thoughtful wasn't reading at all entering First Grade. I can't praise this curriculum enough. Yes, it is VERY teacher intensive, but I think when teaching children how to read, all curricula requires lots of teacher time. I really liked how the lessons were spelled out for me. The subjects are nicely tied together too, always reinforcing what has been taught. If you choose this one, be prepared for lots of review.
Math-U-See, Alpha Level - This manipulative-based program teaches place value from the beginning. Adding & subtracting single digits makes up the bulk of this level. Basic algebra by "solving for the unknown" is practiced regularly as well.
Horizons Math 1 - I was afraid that we weren't getting in enough math, so we supplemented with Horizons Math 1. I now know that we didn't need to, and the adding and subtracting methods only confused Thoughtful. He learned extra skills in other areas like number lines, graphing, time, and money.
Unit Studies - The remainder of our time together was spent in very basic unit studies. We did projects and read books based around the holidays, or whatever interested Thoughtful at the time. I left the choices wide open.