Jan 312011
 

Sheesh, to say that making these decisions was a hard thing is an understatement.  I started looking at options for next year back in October….Yes, I really like to plan ahead so I just have to tweak things as I go.  And I guess I’m what could be called a curriculum junkie.  I love getting curriculum catalogs in the mail and reading them from cover to cover for hours on end.  Yes, I really do that, just ask my husband 🙂

Anyway, after much research, deliberation and prayer on the matter, I believe I have finally put together what we will use next year.  Yes, this is a change in curriculum from what we are currently using.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Sonlight, and I love my consultant (Hi Heidi!), but for what the Bugs is doing academically I would have to tweak Core 1 too much for it to be cost effective (this is after skipping Core K and she isn’t emotionally ready for Core 2). After adding up what I wanted to do with it and what I would have to supplement it with, the total about made my eyes pop out of my head.  When I broached the cost with my husband, he couldn’t believe it either and told me to find a cheaper option.  Bugs isn’t your normal four-year-old.  She thinks and processes like a lot of the seven and eight-year-olds at church do. Most of her friends at church are older than she is because that is where she is operating at mentally.  Yes, it is scary from a parents’ perspective.  Also, with Sonlight, there were a few books in the Core 1 package that I really didn’t want. Not to get into a discussion of what I think is appropriate at the moment, but some just don’t quite fit into what I would deem necessary for a first grade level homeschool child.  We may return to Sonlight in a few years, but then we may not.  That is one of the glorious things I love about homeschooling.  We can tweak what we have to use it better for us, and change totally if the need arises.

Now, on to the decisions of what we are planning for next year….(like you were all holding your breath in anticipation for this…)

Again, as with the post about what we decided on for the Beans, I’ve just linked to the website product description that had the best picture and description of the item.  I am not affiliated with any of these sites so clicking on the hyper links won’t benefit me in any way (now, if you feel like you wish to send money for our curriculum fund, I sure won’t turn you down 😉 )

I had a hard time deciding on what I wanted for Bible.  It seems like a lot of the stuff out there is fluff for the low elementary and younger crowd. I don’t want repeated rehashings of Bible stories.  So, it was with great joy and excitement that I found Who is God and Can I Really Know Him? from Apologia Press. I’ve linked to CBD’s website for it because for some reason I can’t get a good view of Apologia’s website with my browser.  I really also want to get Leading Little Ones To God, The Jesus Storybook Bible and Mighty Acts of God.  I’ve also recently been given a head’s up on Herein Is Love and it looks really good too, and I wouldn’t mind owning it also…

For Language Arts, I’ve settled on Language Lessons.  I’m still trying to decide if I want Language Lessons for Little Ones 3 or Language Lessons for the Very Young 1.  Part of it will depend on where we are at in our phonics lessons around May. I plan on continuing with The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. We love it!  And for handwriting, I’ve chosen A Reason for Writing K. It teaches writing with the copying of Bible verses.  I really like that! And it is very economical too.

For history, I had to think, debate, decide, change my mind, change my mind again, again and again back and forth between two different products.  I settled on Mystery of History and the activity guide.  It is a providential view of world history that starts with creation and moves forward in history chronologically.  I really like that a lot.  It goes with the Classical Education I am wanting to give the girls.  You go through world history in four years with the Classical model and repeat it again twice, each time going more in depth.  I’m looking forward to it, but then I am kind of a history geek. I will be getting as many books to supplement MOH from the library.  I’ll be working on the book lists over the summer. And to go along with history, I figured that  we should add some geography and I found these two items: Beginning Geography and the Beginner’s World Atlas.  Geography isn’t a daily subject, and I’ll throw a lesson in once every week or two. But we may as well start on it.

For science, we’ve settled on using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy.  Bugs has been begging for months and months to learn about the sun and the stars and the moon.  I’ve heard nothing but good about this program. I also will be getting the notebook to go along with it.  It looks like it sure will be a lot of fun.  Now, if someone has a telescope I could borrow or buy cheaply, let me know (or, you know, it would make a great birthday present for the Bugs for her birthday in September, or for both the girls for Christmas, hint, hint.)

Math is a fun subject (ok, not for me. I hated math in school. I much preferred language arts and I adored history). I think I want to use Horizons Math K. It looks like I can teach it, and it doesn’t require the use of video tapes (I have a math program, but it uses VHS tapes which we can’t use due to our lack of a VCR.  And for various reasons, we don’t want to invest in a VCR). And this program looks like it will fit the Bugs better anyway.

And finally Home Ec.  Yes, I plan on starting early on Home Ec with the girls. I want to use Little Keepers at Home to start. It looks pretty good and I like how it is separated into small projects.  Training to be future homemakers should start early in my opinion.

So, there you go. That’s what I’ve pretty much decided on for next year. If we do find something isn’t working for us, we will change and find something that does. If you have any suggestions on curriculum, feel free to share.  Or just tell us what you are planning in the comments or link to a blog post you’ve written..

I Think I’ve Finally Decided…

 Beans, Bible, curriculum, homeschooling  Comments Off on I Think I’ve Finally Decided…
Jan 272011
 

On what we want to do next year for homeschooling for the Beans.  Yes, I realize she turns three next month, but she’s showing signs of starting to be ready for a few things, and she is picking up a lot while sitting in on the Bug’s phonics lessons.  I mean A LOT!!!

This year has been fun with the Bugs as pretty much the primary student.  Beans has listened in and has picked up quite a bit, more than I thought she would, so next year she is getting some school of her own.  She doesn’t know it yet though 🙂  It has taken me quite a long while to decide what it is we are wanting to do, and I’ve been wavering on several things the last few months.  Things that I like, but question if it is truly the best choice for next year. So, since I’m still debating and comparing a few things, I’m just going to list what I’ve chosen for the Beans. Hopefully I will have solidified my history and Bible choices for the Bugs by next week.

For the Beans, I have chosen [I decided the easiest way to show what I’ve chosen is to hyperlink to a product description.  For ease of linking, I just used Timberdoodle‘s website.  They are a great resource and you can get 5% back on your order, so if they are bit higher priced, take into consideration their shipping is super cheap (4.95 for any sized order) and you’ll earn 5% back to spend on future purchases which would help even that out a bit.] I am not an affiliate so clicking or buying through these links won’t get me any income.

Mathematical Reasoning PK

Building Thinking Skills Beginning Both children will benefit from this (and it looks like fun!)

Language Lessons for Little Ones 1

and

I Can Trace Big Skills for Little Hands We used this book with the Bugs and we all loved it.

I also wanted Mind Blowing Science, and my wonderful MIL already bought it for us.  Doesn’t it look like a blast?

I want to get the Owl Puzzle and the Bug Puzzle, but we won’t be getting these unless we have the extra money.  Don’t they look like a hoot?  Ok, so I just realized the pun there in regards to a hoot and the owl puzzle.  Not intentional, but I’m not changing it.  I guess I’m just a punny person.

Beans can tag along with the Bugs for our history choices and phonics lessons and Bible curriculum.  She seems to be absorbing a lot from just hanging out with us while we do school, and they are close enough in age that we can incorporate quite a bit of things.  I’m just planning on getting the above items just for her.  She’s been jealous of school time with the Bugs recently to the point where it has been nearly impossible some days to conduct school with her trying to crawl into my lap between me, the Bugs and the books (yes, I tried spending time with her before school, after school, diverting her with another project, all to no avail.  I think she felt left out and wanted included with her sister.  After doing a few things with her, I think her comprehension is close to where her sister’s is, so I figure why not do as much together as we can. Hopefully they’ll get along, they’ll both enjoy it and I won’t lose any more of my depleted sanity level).

I am comparison shopping so if I can find any of these items at an incredible deal, you had better believe that’s where I will be getting them (if it is cheaper with shipping and the five percent back).  We will also be reading lots and lots and lots.  No, I don’t have a book list at the moment, but that is something I plan on working on probably after Easter and my crazy insane need to reorganize my house is over (and simplification of said house).

If you are looking for ideas, hope this helps you a bit..

Jul 122010
 

Well, it is now close to the middle of July. Where has this summer gone? For that matter, what happened to the month of June? It seems like I blinked and now we are quickly approaching the start of our “official” first year of homeschooling. Wow. This is for real. I always pictured myself being a homeschooling mom. It always seemed like the day we would start true academic work was a long way off. However, the Bugs is getting close to being four-years-old. Nearly all her friends at church and in small group are at least a year older than she is and they are all going to kindergarten this year. She isn’t. She has asked and begged to go to kindergarten like all of her friends. After explaining to her that she was too young and she had two more years before they would let her start because of her age and where her birthday is, and that we were going to do school at home, she hasn’t stopped asking to do school. We did some school work type stuff back in the spring. She fell in love with some work book pages, and she has always loved being read to. Next month, we are going to be truly starting and keeping track. She isn’t of legal compulsary age yet, but I still plan on keeping track of school days this year. I’m not so worried about grading her work though. Most of what we will be doing is read alouds and basic skills. Stuff that we don’t move on with until it is mastered. Granted the curriculum we chose for this year is equivilent to our local public school kindergarten and first grade work, I figure that the Bugs is only going to be four, so I’m not going to put the pressure on either of us. Beans is going to tag along for the ride. She can listen in to the stories and play with play-dough and manipulatives along with her sister. Whatever she absorbs, great, we will repeat this program with her in probably two years. She doesn’t turn three until February anyway. She loves to do what her big sister does and is just as smart too. I still can’t believe that our eldest is old enough to start preschool and do school already. It seems like yesterday I got the positive pregancy test with her. And then holding her in my arms for the first time and looking into that tiny, wrinkly face and telling her that I loved her. Time flies when you blink. I wouldn’t trade the last four years with her for anything. She has taught me so much.

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