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..