Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Curriculum Thoughts

There is a Curriculum Fair in my area this weekend, so I've been busy researching and making lists. (I love this stuff!) I will be making a few changes next year. This year has been such a learning process... as I'm sure every year will be.

And next year Will will be a Kindergartener! I've never homeschooled a Kindergartener.

My early thoughts....

Hannah : 2nd grade/8 in November

Math - Saxon 3, with additional Singapore Workbooks ("Fun Math" as she calls it). I would switch to Singapore altogether, but she likes Saxon and I think it's a good fit for her.

First Language Lessons - We have used it this year and loved it. Though I have rarely used their poetry selections for memorization. I go to The Harp and Laurel Wreath for poetry.

Explode the Code - She'll start on Book 6 next year.

Spelling - I am considering Spelling Wisdom. I have heard so many good things about it. She did Spelling Workout this year and neither one of us really liked it. Hannah says it's "goofy."

Handwriting - Cursive. I am hoping to look through some books this weekend. I'm using Handwriting Without Tears with Will, but I don't like the look of their cursive writing. I'm a handwriting snob. : ) I actually don't really like the look of their print either, but Will's a lefty and the program works for him.

Science - Earth/Space is the plan. No idea what we will use. I have some ideas, but I'd love more...

History - I was planning to start using Mystery of History next year. Story of the World Vol. I has been ok. Hannah has not loved it. The main problem... it's Ancient History and she is all girl. There are not Ancient History American Girl dolls. Hmm.... Babylonian and Assyrian dolls with corresponding books and cute accessories, that would have really helped us. SOTW has lots and lots of battles, brutality, conquerors, weapons. Her interest level is pretty low. And, quite honestly, I love the book, but don't really like the SOTW Activity Guide. History has been the least favorite part of her year... and I was expecting it to be her favorite. I have to this point felt strongly about learning history chronologically, but she has been asking if we can study American History next year. (American Girl and Little House on the Prairie influence to be sure.) I'm considering the change and getting excited about it... because I want her to love history! Oh, and we live in American History Wonderland! With Will in K, I think I could more easily find something that would appeal to both of them. Looks like Mystery of History will have to wait for the year after next. Now to find an American History curriculum... Sonlight has one I am considering, but I really know very little about Sonlight.

Geography - I am looking forward to using A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth, along with other resources.

Foreign Language - I hope to start Spanish with Rosetta Stone Homeschool. But it's pricey. We'll see.

Will : Kindergarten/6 in December

Math - Probably Horizons K or Singapore for Will. Math seems to be his thing. He has worked though Singapore's K materials this year and loved it. For K, I want to try a new program since I don't already own one. And I don't really want to but blah looking Saxon in front of this kid for K.

Phonics - Continue with Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. Explode the Code.

Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears.

History, Science, Geography, Art and Music with Hannah.

Now that I type this out I see how many decisions I need to make. I thought I had a better grasp than I do. : )


  1. Thanks for sharing your insights...I am still trying to make some decisions for Jesse next year. I looked into Mystery of History and Tapestry of Grace per your suggestion and really liked Tapestry of Grace...it seems like you may be able to start where you want with that curriculum (as far as starting with Am. History) and that there are activities for both Hannah and Will...just a thought. I think I will go with TOG when Jesse starts first grade, it looks really great!

  2. I still need to decide about History too. I've heard good things about Mystery of History.

    I'd love to hear what you end up deciding on.

  3. Hi! I have been looking at next year and planning with all the lists too....lots of them. :) I am glad you shared the struggle you have had with Ancient History from a girls perspective. We have a boy in first but our daughter is 2 1/2 and I always assumed she would just follow the same (when her time came) but had worried about it not being her "thing" either. I appreciate your willingness to change too...sometimes I feel like I am stuck in a box and that if I switch something then I have failed somehow. Thanks for sharing and have a BLAST at the curriculum fair!

  4. i don't like handwriting without tears either for cursive. i do want something simple though, nothing fancy. i'm curious about your research.do you mind posting what you find? btw, have you looked at winter promise for american history?


  5. It all sounds wonderful! Regarding history, I love Sonlight's Amer. history, too. Have you heard of My Father's World? Look for them at the curric. fair and check out their Amer. history stuff. You might like it. I can't WAIT for Amer. history! I never thought about how bloody and gruesome ancient history really is. Now wonder my boys love it. We have actually had the opp. reaction to history- it's their favorite this year. I wonder if Lydie will hate it?? We are continuing with Mystery of History vol. 2. They can not wait for the Medieval stuff...castles and knights, a boys' dream. Any way, I do love all of your choices! They sound very much like mine. I might check into Spelling Wisdom. We used Sp. Workout, too. The boys never complained, but it never seemed to challenge them. Regarding earth and space science, I like the simple format that The Well-Trained Mind suggests. The newer edition recommends some extra resources, too, I think. Happy planning! I keep telling myself I need to think about next year!!

  6. We love, love, love Spelling Wisdom! Thatcher has learned to much and not only about spelling. The quotes have been great conversation starters as well. I hope you love it as much as we have!


  7. I forgot...I taught both boys cursive this year (kindergarten and second grade). I used Abeka's K5 cursive workbook. It looks very elementary, but the slow, steady progress has been easy for them to pick up. We do the front and back of the sheet- usually the front is a new letter, the back is review. It takes 10 minutes and we're done.

  8. After going through the Sonlight book with you last week I'm thinking about Sonlight 1 for history (plus their readers and read alouds). I think I can pull activities from Konos to match up with Sonlight and will probably do my own science units using Konos and Lapbooks. Let me know if you decide to come to Richmond. I will be working at the Konos booth Thur-Fri and attending Sat.

  9. Oh yeah, I'm thinking about a reason for handwritting for the fall. I too don't like the look of HWT, but went with it b/c I liked the blocks and Micah is a lefty :)



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