Sunday, August 04, 2013

It's Curriculum Week!

I am a curriculum addict.  There, I said it.  It's true.  Over the last 10 years of homeschooling, I've probably tried, or at least owned, most curriculums.  I'm always researching and reading about curriculums.  I'm constantly searching the For Sale forums and Facebook groups to buy curriculum, for this year, and maybe for next year (yes, I am already planning for Fall of 2014!!).  And yes, it's also true that I've actually bought, sold and bought again, the same curriculum.  My shameful secret.   It's a habit....not going to say "bad habit"...just going with "habit".

Over the years, I've morphed and changed  our curriculum, based on the needs of my children.  My oldest son is a completely different learner than my middle son.  Most of what I used for my first born does not work for my second born.  Thankfully, my third son is an easy student and can pretty much adapt to anything.

I started out as a classical homeschooler, going by the Well Trained Mind thought process, though always open to diverting when need be.  That worked well, but over the years, due to my children needing different options, and as I learned about different philosophies, we've continued to divert.  As a matter of fact, I just sold my loved Well Trained Mind book this month (after reading it about 5 times over the last five years!).  I like to call myself a classical educator with a twist of Charlotte Mason mixed in.  One thing I am determined to do is to STOP curriculum hopping!!  We've got a few things that are working great, and I've realized the grass is not greener on the other side.
Max who is considered a 2nd grader and Cooper who is considered a 5th grader this fall, will be using much of the same curriculum, because I love to work together as a group.  Of course, what they take from it and what they give back, in terms of work, will vary based on their age, and abilities.

This list is the curriculum that we will be continuing with, after successfully using it last year:
1.  Math-U-See.   Both boys will be doing Beta.  While that is NOT grade level for my 5th grader, I preferred to back him up to the beginning to understand the MUS philosophy from the beginning.  There are six worksheets per lesson, so they do one per day, for three days.  The blocks that MUS uses are an awesome visual for my boys.
2. CLE Math (Christian Light Education).  This is our core Math.  This math is spiral and covers every point, and offers lots of practice.  Cooper needs this.    We will continue CLE until at least high school.
3.  Writing With Ease Vol 2.  This is our  main composition curriculum.  It's the copywork/narration/dictation philosophy.  I love the skills it's bring to our day.
4.  Story of the World Vol 2, Middle Ages:  We love SOTW.  We listen to the audio version read by Jim Weiss, on the iPad.  Mapwork is fun, and coloring pages add a nice touch to our history binders.  We also add in Childrens' History of the World by Hillyer, and many many read-alouds that go along with our history studies.   We bring topics to life by watching Discovery Streaming and Brainpop.

This list is the curriculum that we will be using this fall, that we have not used in the past.  We are hoping these are successful and we can continue next year with them.  (No more curriculum jumping, yay!!):
1.  Queen's Language Lessons:  This is a Charlotte Mason based grammar curriculum.  Light and stress free...just how I think grammar should be!
2.  R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earth and Space:  I'm so looking forward to this science program. It's very hands on, and lots of experiments.  My boys are going to love this!  I've got all the supplies on hand (remember that curriculum jumping...means I've purchased lots of supplies over the years too.).  I'm adding in library books to flesh out the information.  It's going to be a great year!
3.  Memory Work:  We will be using Living Memory by Andrew Campbell.  This is  huge 400+ page book, full of all kinds of memory work, in all subjects.  I got it as a download, so saved it in my iPad.  Can't wait to get started on this! I think we will learn Presidents first, then maybe States/Capitals.
4. Prima Latina:  Latin!!  I've actually used this several years ago with my oldest son, and it was a great success.  This time I've gotten the DVD portion so we'll learn together from the teacher on the DVD.

You may notice we don't have any computer-based curriculums.  That comes along with the classical/Charlotte Mason philosophy.  No fear though, my boys are into electronics and are more comfortable with computers than many adults.

I'm so excited to get started!! We will start on August 13th.  Can't come soon enough for me!  My main goal for this year: Focus on nature, get outside, and see the beauty of the world!

*My oldest attends public school for high school, so unfortunately no curriculum planning on my part.

No comments: