Archive | July, 2010

More Curriculum

23 Jul

Today  I got more curriculum in the mail.  These books came from Rainbow Resource.

More Curriculum

  • Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLATL) Green Student Book (equivalent to 7th grade level)
  • LLATL Yellow Student Book (equivalent to 3rd grade level)
  • A Reason for Handwriting: Transition Level
  • Patty Paper Geometry Student Workbook (using this as a supplement to Jacob’s Geometry)

The only book I am now waiting on is Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek, which is the textbook for my son’s Greek class with The Lukeion Project.  I should have that in the next few days.  I like the settled feeling I have when all the curriculum is in hand.  I can stop considering options and focus on the choices that have been made.

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Curriculum Choices

19 Jul
2010-2011 homeschool books

Most of our books for this year

Choosing curriculum can be a challenging task, even for veteran homeschoolers.  For new homeschoolers, it can be downright overwhelming.  Every year (sometimes it seems like every week) I evaluate the curriculum I have been using to see if I still like it and if it fits my kids’ learning styles.  I have tried and discarded some curriculum choices within the same school year, while others we have used many years in a row.  Math curriculum has been the one subject that challenges me the most in my decision making process.  We have tried multiple math programs: Saxon, Singapore, Videotext, Life of Fred (yes, there really is a math curriculum by this name), Making Math Meaningful, and Teaching Textbooks.  In the elementary years, I like and use Singapore Math, but in later years, I prefer curriculum that provides teaching via video (e.g., Videotext and Teaching Textbooks).  This year for my two older kids, I am using Jacob’s Geometry along with the Ask Dr. Callahan DVDs.

Some people go with “packaged curriculum,” which is curriculum from a specific publisher designed to cover all the core subjects for a grade level.  Some of the more popular choices of packaged curriculum are:

  • Sonlight
  • A Beka
  • Calvert School
  • Bob Jones
  • Alpha Omega
  • Horizons

This is a good way to go if you do not have the time or the confidence to wade through the superabundance of curriculum choices available or if you want a curriculum that is more uniform in style across the board.

Other homeschoolers take the eclectic approach, picking and choosing elements from a variety of sources.  This shouldn’t be a completely random process.  Having a grasp on the scope and sequence for your child’s appropriate grade level allows you to customize your curriculum.  This approach is advantageous if your child is at different grade levels in different subjects or if you have more than one child and want to teach them at the same time.  This method also allows you to choose unit studies that fit your child’s interests.  I am an eclectic homeschooler.

An important thing to remember when you have chosen a curriculum is that you are not locked in to that choice forever.  Take it year by year, or even semester by semester, if you need to.  If it is not working for you or your child, there are so many other choices out there and there is bound to be something that suits you better.

Here’s the rundown of the curriculum we are planning on using this coming school year.  I have most of it on hand now, with only a few more purchases to make.  My favorite educational catalog is Rainbow Resource, but I do purchase items from http://www.homeschoolclassifieds.com, Amazon, http://www.half.com, and http://www.vegsource.com (their homeschool swap page).  I also like Teacher Created Resources for science and history unit studies, although their material is written for a classroom setting.

11th Grade:

▪ History, Government, Political Theory, Philosophy, Literature—Worldviews of the Western World

▪ Geography—Runkle Geography

▪ Math—Jacob’s Geometry along with Ask Dr. Callahan DVDs

▪ Science—Apologia Chemistry

▪ Second Language—Greek 1 (Lukeion Project)

▪ Logic—Traditional Logic 2

9th Grade

▪ History, Literature—Beautiful Feet Medieval History

▪ Geography—Runkle Geography

▪ Math—Jacob’s Geometry along with Ask Dr. Callahan DVDs

▪ Science—Apologia Physical Science

▪ Second Language—Rosetta Stone Arabic

▪ Spelling—Spelling Power

7th Grade

▪ History, Literature—Beautiful Feet Medieval History

▪ Geography—Runkle Geography

▪ Math—Teaching Textbooks 7

▪ Science—Beautiful Feet History of Science and Unit Studies (usually by Teacher Created Resources)

▪ Second Language—Spanish (at Co-op)

▪ Language Arts—Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Green)

▪ Spelling—Spelling Power

3rd Grade

▪ History, Literature—Beautiful Feet Medieval History

▪ Math—Singapore Math

▪ Science—Beautiful Feet History of Science and Unit Studies (usually by Teacher Created Resources)

▪ Second Language—Spanish (at Co-op)

▪ Language Arts—Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Yellow)

▪ Spelling—Spelling Power

Halcyon Days

16 Jul

During the halcyon days of summer, I am the type of homeschooling mom who wavers between enjoying less structure and longing for the routine of the school year.  But I know well enough now, six years into our homeschooling adventure, to enjoy the unique pace of summer and the time to accomplish projects that are put on the back burner the rest of the year.

This summer I have found time to put in some raised beds in our backyard garden, clean out a creepy lean-to shed, organize closets and read for enjoyment.  By no means have I completed my summer to-do list, but I am already looking forward to the new school year.  I have some of the supplies, most of the curriculum, and have my next year’s school plan mapped out.

I started this blog to help me maintain my momentum, catalog our milestones this coming year, and hopefully encourage other homeschool parents in their journeys. I certainly don’t have all the answers and every semester is a progression on the learning curve of the homeschooling commitment, but I know that I have received the most affirmation and encouragement through hearing other people’s stories, ideas, challenges, and victories.  So come along with me this school year and let’s share this journey together.