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Planning for the Upcoming Year

We are fast approaching the end of our “official” school year and I’m about finished collecting various materials I think we will need for the next school year.  Our youngest is starting K5 and our oldest will be in 2nd grade.  For those who might be interested here is a list of the curriculum I plan to use next year.

For our 2nd Grader:

  • Horizons Reading & Phonics (Alpha & Omega)
  • Horizons Spelling & Vocabulary
  • Shurley English Grammar
  • Horizons Math grade 2
  • Purposeful Design Science
  • Science for Christian Schools (BJU Press) – as a supplement
  • Abeka Social Studies grade 2
  • Story of our World (History) – after we finish the Abeka book

For our Kindergartener:

  • How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
  • Abeka flash cards & phonics book
  • Bob Books (early readers)
  • Explode the Code book C
  • No specific book for Math, but we’ll be working on Counting to 100 and beginning addition.
  • Abeka Science K5

I’d like to explain that though I’m using some Abeka books and materials, I’m actually not a huge fan of the Abeka program.  I feel that they have a solid phonics program, but their readers for 1st-2nd grade are severely lacking in fun & interesting stories.  The quickest way to discourage a beginning reader is to force them to read dull, boring material.  The Abeka science & social studies books that I’ve seen so far tend to be lacking in depth (in my opinion of course).  For this past year I used both the 1st grade and 2nd grade Abeka science books plus many books from the library to supplement.

I’m excited about our youngest starting Kindergarten and I’m sure she will continue enjoying to learn with her brother.  We typically do all of our science & social studies lessons together so she will have plenty of chances to absorb information that may be a bit over her head.

So, what are you planning for the upcoming school year?

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Curriculum

 

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Curriculum Confusion

As a homeschooling parent who likes to research things to death, I find it so very difficult to decide which curriculum to use for next year.  It’s the sheer number of choices that always stumps me.  I want something fun, engaging and a little challenging to stimulate our children’s minds.

With 100s of different books to choose from, how does a parent choose one for each subject without having to buy and sell repeatedly to find something that works for their child?  I found this curriculum website to help me out, so maybe it will help you as well.

There are many curriculum choices that I like….. but then there are so many more that I don’t like.  One of my biggest pet peeves are the hard-core Christian publishers which feel the need to put Bible characters and Bible verses in every single subject.  I love Jesus and the Bible, but from a child’s standpoint, no child wants to copy Bible verses, read Bible stories and diagram sentences about Bible characters.  A simple daily Bible reading and memory verse is sufficient.

We are Christian parents and want to raise our children to know and love God, but we don’t want to bore them to death or shove the Bible down their throats either.  What child seriously wants to write out Bible verses?  I think it’s much better for a child to write about what they enjoy doing or places they’ve been.  Our son enjoys writing little notes to us, things like I love you Mommy or My name is Tom Riddle.  He recently put a note on the door to his room that read No more Legos for Luke (he wrote it after getting in trouble for something).  We didn’t ask him to write these things yet in writing them he is practicing his handwriting, sentence structure and spelling (he often asks us how to spell certain words).  I much prefer the more natural approach to learning.  Education shouldn’t be forced, but should be a kindling of a flame.  With time and patience a child will learn a love of learning.

So, you’re probably wondering what curriculum I plan to use next year?  Well, I already have Shurley English 2 for grammar and ABeka for reading, so we’ll most likely continue those.  For science I have ABeka, but definitely need to get something else to supplement it with.  ABeka’s science program is a bit too basic and quite repetitive from year to year.  I have no idea what I’m going to use for math, but it definitely needs to be something more challenging than what I’m using this year (Scott Foresman Math).

Feel free to share your thoughts on how you managed to wade through the choices in curriculum out there to find the ones that work best for your child.

Edit note 10/27/11: After taking some time to reflect on what I’ve written above, I feel the need to explain a bit more.  Our son is only in first grade.  So for this young of a child, I feel that writing out Bible verses and learning to read using Bible stories are not in his best interest.  For an older child (perhaps third grade and up) writing Bible verses may be a good way to help them with memorization, handwriting and spelling.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Curriculum

 

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