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Looking to next year. . .

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

This is my traditional thread.  :)

 

Every year, around this time, I start looking at what I want to do NEXT year.  I look at what worked/didn't work this year, etc. etc.  

 

So, anyone else planning for next year?  What did you love this year?  What didn't do what you hoped?

 

Amy

post #2 of 36

Looking ahead to next year... my son will be 14 and will be "high school".  Sort of.  In my mind, high school starts in grade 10, not grade 9, but our local school system changed since I was a kid, and I know it's grade 9 most everywhere else haha...  

 

I've been offering the question to him of whether he'd like to go to high school.  Our high school actually isn't terrible.  The grade 9 and 10 curriculum is standard, but in 11 and 12 there are TONS of elective options that are really widely varied and interesting.  Things that make him go "ooh!" and that we wouldn't be able to easily do at home.  Plus, he's very much a 'band geek' and I take him to the middle school in town 3 times a week, sometimes twice a day, for band practice.  I'll be glad when that's over.  I'll keep doing it as long as we're homeschooling, but if did go to high school, he'd be right THERE for band practice lol...

 

What worked this year:
IEW SWI-B.  My reluctant and delayed writer can now put together an interesting 3-paragraph research paper.  He really enjoyed it.

 

NOEO Science - Physics III.  We did this in 'double time' he was enjoying it so much.  We'll be finished it next week, in fact, and starting Chemistry III.

 

Live Online Math, Pre-Algebra.  Video-based version.  Not without hiccups, mostly when DS skipped exercises he was supposed to do, or would go days without checking the answer sheets (or giving to me to check) and so reinforced a mistake day after day.  The course itself has been great, he enjoys the videos immensely and is definitely learning.

 

Life of Fred Math, finished Pre-Algebra I With Biology and currently almost finished Pre-Algebra II With Economics.  This is one of his courses that he'll actually pick up and do in FREE TIME!

 

Sequential Spelling, level 2.  We also are doing this 'double time' since he was an older beginner in this course.  I leave out a lot of the repetition when I know he gets the pattern.  Still, it's an easy and enjoyable course and it is helping his writing, bit by bit.

 

KidCoder, Windows Programming and Game Programming.  He really got a kick out of learning to do basic coding in Visual Basic.

 

Intellego - WWII.  He's learned a lot, this one was his choice.

 

Ancient Art and the Orchestra (from Harmony Fine Arts).  Lovely little course.  

 

The Elements (McHenry) -- so much fun!

 

Things that have not worked as well:


Make it Real Math, supplement worksheets.  The assignments are great, but it's hard to coordinate them with what he's learning/learned.  I have the whole set, and everything we try to do seems to be 'too hard' or 'too easy' heh.

 

TenMarks online math.  Glitch after glitch after glitch.  The content is pretty good, but the site execution and implementation is really poor.  Will let our subscription run out.

 

L'art de lire french.  Such mixed feelings about this.  It's a decent program.  There are frequent typos, and other errors such as having a vocab word in an exercise which isn't actually learned until 2 chapters later.  And with the latest site update, I'm no longer able to access the electronic files I've bought and paid for and the creator is 100% unresponsive.  But I've been able to find no better option for young beginning french so far.  Very frustrating.  He's in book 5 out of 6 now, though, so the end is near.

 

Plans for next year (or, for this year, whenever it comes up):

Live Online Algebra

Life of Fred Beginning Algebra

RightStart Intermediate Geometry

History Odyssey: Middle Ages level II

French book - I forget the name of it.

Sequential Spelling 3-4

Logic - forget the name, but it's a book for teens about logical arguments, couple of further materials in this subject as well.

More Intellego -- we have a number of unit studies that he picked last year.

Likely something else from Harmony Fine Arts

Excavating English (McHenry)

 

Not sure what we'll be doing for science once he's finished NOEO Chem III.  Hopefully they'll have Biology III ready by then.  Also not sure yet about writing/english.  We might do the IEW SICC-B, we might do a more specifically 'essay-writing' course.  Might get back into a grammar course.  We'll see.  :)

 

 

post #3 of 36

Now for my daughter!  She's a young 5, and was K/1 this year.  Very relaxed, mostly unschooling free time kind of life, but she does enjoy some 'book work'.  Her reading level is late grade 1, writing level is about normal for K, math level grade 1.

 

Working great:

Right Start Math, finished level A and halfway through B right now.  

Life of Fred elementary math, she loves these stories!

A Beka cursive K4 -- I've been a big believer in 'cursive first' and it was nice to find a cute program actually aimed at the 4-5 year olds.  

NOEO Science Physics I - we've just barely started this, but she enjoys it.  

Meet the Masters art - she loves it, we just need to remember to do it more often!

First Language Lessons, and Writing With Ease -- didn't think I'd enjoy something this scripted and 'rigid', but golly it's fantastic!  Moves at just the right pace (if I weren't following the script I'd probably try to rush things) and she is really enjoying the narration and the copywork!  So far, for the copywork, I let her choose whether to use printing (which she figured out by herself last year) or cursive (which she's only just learning), and it's neat to see how often she chooses the cursive, even though the words are much longer/more advanced than what she's doing in the cursive workbook!

Little Pim French videos

Reading Eggs website

Dreambox Learning math website

Progressive Phonics

 

Next year:

Continue RightStart Math, I've got the whole set now.  :)

Life of Fred Elementary math, also have the whole set ;)

A Beka cursive K5.

NOEO Physics I (will take our time with this, there's no rush, so likely well into next year)

Meet the Masters

History Odyssey Ancients I

Probably continue the websites

Definitely continue with FLL and WWE

Probably start Sequential Spelling 1 sometime during the year, when her writing skills are ready for it

 

Hasn't worked so well/unsure:

Five in a Row.  Love the concept, has been tricky to implement.  Could be just me, will probably keep trying.  

Christopherus Grade 1.  Again, love Waldorf concepts.  Probably hasn't clicked for us yet because she's still young and doesn't want to settle into a routine yet.  Will try next year when she's more age-appropriate.

 

Really not sure what we're going to do for french.

 

We've also focused on 'non academic' things, in the Waldorf tradition, like learning to knit, songs and music, etc.  No specific curriculum for these but it definitely goes in the "going great!" category.

 

post #4 of 36

I have only one f/t homeschooler left. She's newly 9 and considered Grade 3. I'm hoping we can come up with some new and interesting things for next year, but I'm not sure what.

 

She finished Singapore Primary Math last fall and has been doing Challenge Math recently. She'll finish that by later this spring. We'll probably move on to New Syllabus Math from the Singapore secondary school offerings. I haven't used it before, but I think the format will appeal to her and she's certainly more than ready for the content.

 

We'll continue with TOPScience Chemistry. She'll have finished Analysis and Oxidation 1, and there are two units left after that. She'll also probably do the provincial science text/workbook program from the school system here. It's solid, though not terribly hands-on. She'll have finished the Grade 7 one, and will do Grade 8 next year.

 

I'd like to get her started in Rosetta Stone French. She's done some Japanese in the past, but now that her older sister is living in Montreal she's more interested in French.

 

Language Arts will continue to be natural-learning based. Her skills are excellent, and she challenges herself through interest-led reading and writing.

 

Social Studies: I hope I can continue to encourage her to work through the resources we have covering Canadian history and geography. We have two workbooks from Donna Ward and some supporting textbooks (The Story of Canada, Courage and Conquest, etc.) and the "Canada: A People's History" DVD series, but she lost interest in this last fall. I think she found the workbooks overly simplistic and there was too much video for her liking early on. I think with a bit of effort on my part and a slightly different structure she'll enjoy it if it's presented again, and it's an excellent set of resources so I'd like to see her pursue that.

 

PE, music and art are already very robustly supported through interests and activities, but she may add in the local (adult) community choir next fall since they take well-behaved folk of any age, while the for the youth choir you have to be 13 - 25. 

 

Miranda

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

Last night I posted the question.  Today, I can hopefully put down my thoughts. 

 

What Worked this year:

For my oldest (grade 6). . . not a lot.  Dang, I was disappointed with my selections for her.  As a result, we did mostly interest based learning (which was good, but I felt there were some gaps)

 

Misc. Math resources:  I was filling in gaps with anything and everything.  DD has officially covered all of pre-al through a variety of resources. 

We did finish Singapore 6A/6B.  This is the first time I got frustrated with the program.  I think I would have actually benefitted from the home instructor's guide this year.  It isn't that I couldn't do the math, or that the questions weren't meeting our needs.  But, the textbook wasn't good support for us, and I was expecting my dd to learn from the textbook a bit.  For example.  At the end of 6B, there is a section for triangles and parallelograms.  They don't ever list any rules for congruency (that I found).  So, when the question asked my dd to answer information about the angles in the picture, she didn't know what she could assume.  I remember most the rules (I think), but I had to go through the book looking at the problems in order to know which ones she needed to learn. I think (hope) the HIG would have solved things like that.  I know that it was covered a bit in level 5B, but I think just a little "review box" or a "rules box" would have been helpful.

 

We also finished level 5 of AAS.  I am done with AAS for her.  She was a good speller to begin with, but she had some specific errors that needed remedy.  SS didn't work for her, so I did warp speed through AAS.  Between levels three and four, she seemed to fill in the gaps.  Level 5 was not needed, so I won't do level six.  Instead, we will pull mistakes from her writing and go over them.  

 

History Pockets-- I can't believe these were a hit, but they were.  We did one on Ancient Egypt and one for Ancient Greece.  (I would have been bored outta my mind with them!)  The girls loved them.  They didn't do all the activities, but did quite a few.  They read all the information available in the books and they seemed to remember more from these than anything else. 

 

Rosetta Stone (spanish)--She struggles with the writing sections but otherwise does very well with this program.  Sometimes, she gets frustrated with the "immersion method" and would rather have someone just tell her what something means, but she does seem to learn.  Being online, it is really easy to implement. 

 

For My second dd Grade 3:

We LOVED Science Odyssey!  We did the one on Space and Earth Science.  I don't like that topic much, which is why I tried it!  I knew I wouldn't get around to it without a guide.  I loved that there were book lists--my dd continued to learn from real books vs textbooks.  I loved that there were lots of hands on activities.  Many of the activities really were good at illustrating a point.  For example: the experiment with the water cycle in a bowl.  I wasn't expecting much from it, but that experiment make the whole unit "click".  We bought this for our 3rd grader, but the whole family got into this program.

 

Singapore Math 3A/3B

 

History Pockets (see notes under my 6th grader)

 

Dissection:  We ordered kits for dissection for my 6th grader, but my 3rd grader got the most out of them.  Also, we got "parts" from a local butcher which were very educational.  We also dissected owl pellets and my dd was fascinated.

 

What didn't work for us:

ALEKS math:  we had technical issues mid year, they were hard to get help from and we gave up.

History Odyssey level two Ancients

SOTW Ancients with activity book--it was ok, but I prefer unit studies I think

Spectrum Writing and Language Arts books-- I really don't know why I bothered, but these are terrible for us.

 

 

NEXT YEAR:

I will edit as I make selections:

Grade 7:

We will try the IEW SWI for writing

 

 

Grade 4:

Easy Grammar

Singapore Math 4A/4B

Science Odyssey (I don't know which one yet)

 

Grade 1 (my K kid will be joining us at home)

AAS

Science Odyssey with big sis

Singapore Math (she is already doing 1A on her own, so we will start with 1B and see how it goes)

ETC

Lots of books to read, art to do, games, and cooking!

 

For that matter, we try to read a lot, create a lot, cook, garden, and play a lot with everyone!  That is always on the "it works" list!

 

 

 

post #6 of 36

Thanks for the reminder about Science Odyssey, and the glowing review.  I had actually planned on using that with DD first, instead of NOEO.  But -- we got NOEO Physics I for free.  They shipped a copy to us by mistake -- just the guidebook -- it had my name and address on the envelope but someone else on the invoice inside!  I let them know about the mistake, and they told me to keep it as their thanks, rather than bothering with sending it back.

 

So I figured "why not"... half the books we need, we can get from the library anyway.  I didn't mind spending a few $$$ (for the other books and the experiment kits) for a program I knew would be good, even if I was curious about Science Odyssey.

 

But now with that reminder, we'll probably try SO after all once we're done with NOEO Physics.  :)

post #7 of 36

DS is 11, will be 12 in September.  If he was in 'school' next year would be grade 6, he is working on finishing up Jr high this year.

 

What hasn't worked for us: I have yet to find a decent writing program, I may investigate IEW for next year.  CTY is becoming hit or miss with online instructors, DS loves this program dearly and I won't pull him from it but the lack of actual instruction from a couple of the teachers this year is truly appalling.  I also need to find an art/art history program for next year.  (thinking about meet the masters?)

 

What has worked: DS loves CTY, he thrives in the on-line learning environment for STEM classes.  Rosetta Stone French is great too.  He is officially done with Algebra 1, all 'middle school' science classes at CTY and pretty much able to take anything he wants at this point.  WTG DS!  He is finishing up Middle School Biology and should be done no later then the end of March and he currently has the best teacher we've had in a very long time!

 

Next year 2012-2013 plans:  

Review book for SAT/ACT.  He needs this or something similar to retest for CTY.

Art/art history program, maybe Meet the Masters?

IEW writing?  I am searching for something that is 'student directed'

Continue with CTY for STEM classes, Geometry, Problem solving in Algebra 1, Computer programming, possibly an Honors/AP Science class (Chem or Bio)

Continue with Rosetta Stone

Continue with American History (or maybe just do 'art history' or 'French history')

*DS isn't loving history at the moment and there is plenty of time to read history.  We did American History this year.  I am fine with just holding out and covering it all one time at the high school level for credit.  (he is semi-obsessed with French and all things France so I have no problem studying French history)

Forgot to add: continue with free reading and reading some classics and award winning books.

post #8 of 36

Right now I'm trying to balance what my husband wants (he'd like a school at home approach) to what Id rather do (something more relaxed and child led).. It seems to be a never ending discussion, its been going on for a couple of years now dizzy.gifI think we might have agreed on a balance and at least hes agreed that preschool (beyond what the child wants) is not necessary and that home school would be the best choice. Its a beginning. BUT I had to go back to the drawing board again with the planning since hes finally agreed there was to much there to adequately cover in the amount of time Im willing to dedicate to schooling (Id prefer no more than 1 to 1 1/2 hours per day, broken up among the day.

 

My oldest is 5 (Jan birthday) so Kindergarten age..

 

What has actually been decided on:

Alpha Phonics

Math-U-See (thinking of getting the primer and Alpha set, she really REALLY loves math and goes through it faster than I can keep up)

Star Speech (she speech has really improved but there is a sound or two she needs work on, mainly needs to slow down and enunciate better)

Draw, Write, Now- my oldest loves these books, she has one so Im going to get the rest of the set for her. Drawing is her favorite quiet time activity and for 5 she is pretty good at it. The other day she drew a giraffe for her brother and its better than the one I drew redface.gif (should I be admitting that??)

Swimming in the summer and perhaps gymnastics in the fall/winter

For science I was sticking simple with doing some simple experiment books we already have mixed with magic school house books/DVDs (they love these). We also live where there are trails to wander and our backyard seems to be awesome at attracting wildlife (the other day I saw 2 different types of rabbits, chipmunks, several different types of birds and some butterflies). The girls want to plant a garden and have asked if we could do a butterfly habitat and catch tadpoles. We have to see about the last 2.

 

Things we are thinking about:

Countries around the world- this was asked for by my oldest, shes fascinated by the different cultures and languages around.. I thought about doing stories and cooking from different countries then talk about the different languages and how different people live.

Debating doing a second language, either german or Japanese. I speak some german from when I was in school and we lived in Japan for 4 years almost so we have some background in each of them.. not sure though since honestly theres a lot going on as it is.

Something for writing..

 

I was thinking of doing like a workbox type of set up. Putting activities in different boxes and refilling as needed. The only thing Id like her to do daily really is reading. I figured she could do 3 activities a day and then after that as much or little as she wants.

post #9 of 36

My girls are 5 and 7: in the fall will be equivalent to K and 2nd grade respectively.  We continue to have great success with unschooling, even by academic standards, and will continue in that vein for next year.

 

I've tried to make this somewhat random post more readable.  (I also wanted to comment that pps have been helpful in recommending other resources-- Thank You!)

 

For my 5yo: her birthday was Oct 30, so she straddles the K age.  She has been busy looking at stacks of guidebooks, and we supplement our home collection with ones from the library.  She does some amazing things with them: "paints" them with a watercolor brush, traces letters with a feather quill ala Hermione Granger and even has used them for math, adding up the number of pictures on one page with another.   She made herself a little cardboard desk that is so adorable to see her at!  She enjoys copywork and puzzle books and will sit herself down and work at them for long stretches.  She also keeps me on my toes (and fingers, looking online) with science questions from her own discoveries during playtime.

 

Next year for dd2:  In the end, I won't be changing anything for her next year.  She seems to be on par academically for her age, and will have plenty of opportunities for reading and math practice with just what we have around.  She loves building sets, and I think I will start investing in Kiva blocks.  I know her dad will love them!  

 

For my 7yo:  She has taken off with her writing, always a struggle learning to control her pencils and drawings.  Her reading has become self-sufficient, on par with her "grade" level.  She loves contemplating math and loves to show what she knows, and from that I know she has a grasp of addition and multiplication, and finally "got"subtraction.  I thought she had the concept before, but she had an "aha!" moment while we were talking about it during bedtime preparations.  She still loves documentaries on the TV, and her puzzle books as well as her horse books.  She loves reading the graphic novels I find for her, and Garfield collections.  She will read for herself now if I am quiet enough and there isn't a new Harry Potter to read together.  We continue to have long story sessions and has always been a champion listener.  Recent favorites have included the Hobbit (original and in graphic form) the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and endless Greek and other myths (she loves monsters!)

 

She and her sister love learning words in other languages , and I am able to teach them some Spanish and basic German.  We love the "Usbourne First Thousand Words in....." series, and I intend to start using the online program because now they want the French book and hell if I can speak even a word of French!  We also love Bill Nye (a bit over their heads with all the pop-culture references), Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock videos.  Board games continue to be great opportunities to use their reading and math skills.  We have been involved in 4-H, which has been a bit slow so far but will speed up and hopefully the fair will be an exciting experience for both.

 

Next year for dd1:  She would probably like some child-led, single subject curriculums or programs around the house, and I am keeping my ears out for those that are unschooling friendly because that approach seems to be working so well for us.  I'm just thinking about them for sometime next year, perhaps closer to her 8th birthday in Feb.  I think then she will be more comfortable with her handwriting (busywork has always been a turnoff for her, preferring to answer out loud) and will enjoy more academic work as a result.  

 

For both, I would like to continue adding to our guidebook collection, an encyclopedia, especially ones about science, world cultures and history.  Sort of like a "look what there is to learn about" catalog!  More science experiment books from the library, more foreign language stuff, especially putting their words into sentences.  I'll be teaching them more about using the online library catalog and some other computer use.  We will continue teaching them about money via their allowances.  And, of course in an election year, reading more about elections.  Just in general, I've been finding fun books about White House pets, George Washington's teeth (I even think that was the title of the book!), and other stories that illuminate American history in a fun way.  I am planning to purchase a globe, a map puzzle of the US to have around, and perhaps a simple atlas.  We hope to use their new woodworking tools a bunch (I hope) and construct new coops for our chickens on our new property.  

 

In general, I think we will just offer more time for both of them to internalize what we've already been learning, to sharpen writing and reading skills and the four functions of math.  Science, though rather random it seems, just kind of "happens", and I am forever bringing home books from the library on whatever subject I feel inspired by at the time.  And sometimes, sometimes it is a big hit.  

 

We are really just getting going!

 

 

post #10 of 36

Hey Sweetsilver, if your dd likes Harry Potter and Greek myths, have you checked out the Percy Jackson series? Just thought you might enjoy them!

 

Great thread, I'm enjoying reading and will hopefully get back here soon as I put together our K year for the 1st time!

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

Hey Sweetsilver, if your dd likes Harry Potter and Greek myths, have you checked out the Percy Jackson series? Just thought you might enjoy them!

 

No, but I'll check them out now that I have the recommendation.
 

 

post #12 of 36

As it's tax time, using part of my return for next year's materials is vital so I have to start looking at next year.

I'm still on the fence as to what to use for DS, who will be in first grade.  We did well with Ambleside Online's Year 0 layout, and Easy Pack A from Queen Homeschool.  Unfortunately Singapore Earlybird math was too hard for him, and I failed on two phonics programs before I have finally found something that works.  These lessons will be over soon though, and I want a structured phonics curriculum.  He also loves science very much and I want something that has more hands-on.

 

I'm looking at online academies (K12, Connections, completecurriculum.com, Compass Learning through Keystone Homeschool Coalition), school in a box (Calvert, Oak Meadow), unit studies (Epi Kardia) or just doing a mix of Ambleside Online's Year 1 booklist and schedule with a little bit from Simply Charlotte Mason, Easy Pack B from Queen Homeschool, and separate phonics, math, and science curriculums. 

 

Looking at We All Can Read, Happy Phonics, or Explode The Code for phonics, RightStart, Math-U-See, Math on the Level, Math Mammoth, Math Lessons For A Living Education, Professor B Math, or Making Math Meaningful, and Real Science-4-Kids or NOEO Homeschool Science.

 

I'd like to throw in a second language too....though I don't know if it's better to wait until he can read English more fluently or not.  Looking at beginning Spanish, or Greek or Latin (ds says he wants Greek though I know he does not have any clue about the language lol).

 

 

In other words, too many choices for my son....not sure which is the "right" choice.  The math in particular has me concerned and since Singapore was a bust I need to do whatever is considered pre-k-Kindergarten math again just to make sure he has mastered the beginning stuff before moving on to simple addition, subtraction, etc.   I'll continue ReadingEggs.com and Dreambox.com for him regardless of what he gets for school.

 

My daughter is 3....nothing huge for her.   I admit that Moving Beyond the Page, Great Books Academy's nursery and preschool curriculums, Timberdoodle's toddler and preschool packages, and Calvert's and Oak Meadow's pre-k packages are nice.  She does not NEED any of that I know.  Still likely stick with her Kumon and Spectrum workbooks and using the Ambleside Year 0 reading list and lots of outdoor time.  I'll also keep using ReadingEggs.com for her too.  I'd like to see if I could start Muzzy Spanish with her as well.

post #13 of 36

yes, i'm looking ahead for sure. i'm still undecided though.  we'll definitely use CLE for math with both kids.  for writing i'm leaning toward IEW or essentials in writing. science and history are still uncertain, as is everything else.  sigh.

post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkiMom View Post

Things we are thinking about:

Countries around the world- this was asked for by my oldest, shes fascinated by the different cultures and languages around.. I thought about doing stories and cooking from different countries then talk about the different languages and how different people live.

Debating doing a second language, either german or Japanese. I speak some german from when I was in school and we lived in Japan for 4 years almost so we have some background in each of them.. not sure though since honestly theres a lot going on as it is.

Something for writing..


OkiMom-

We have done the "countries around the world" thing and I must say "DO IT!!!"  We had so much fun with this, I think it is the best way to do social studies for early elementary.  We plan on doing it again as the kids get older, so it might be my favorite for older kids too, but I can't say yet.  If you celebrate Christmas, it is fun to do Christmas around the world during December.  We organized a homeschoolers "Christmas around the world" event--each family did a country.  

 

About writing, you mentioned that your dd liked the "Draw Write Now" books.  So does my dd.  She also uses them for "composition"-- the pictures prompt many stories, and we have been able to run with that.  Of course, copywork is available within the books too.  

 

Amy

 

post #15 of 36

Good timing, this has been an ongoing discussion in our home.  We have been touring schools as a possibility for next year for older dc (12, going into 8th).  We had really high hopes for some of the local options, especially the public school, yet were left sadly disappointed by the staff that she’d be working with.  Interestingly enough, it is leading us back to the possibility of homeschooling both kids yet again!

 

What we have done this year for DC1(12/7th grade currently):

Language Arts- Paradian publishing Literature and the Language arts,  Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar Communication in action, lots of classic literature and fun literature

Math- McGraw Hill Algebra1

Science- Prentice Hall Life Science

Social Studies- McMillan McGraw Hill Our World

Art- Draw Write Now, art lessons

Music- Chorus participation, listening to different styles of music

PE- Lots of walking and biking, outdoor play, Wii

 

For dc2 (9/4th grade currently):

Language Arts- Reading Street by Scott Foresman, lots of additional literature, Sylvan workbook

Math- Sadlier Oxford Mathematics, Sylvan workbooks

Science-McMillan McGraw Hill Science 4

Social studies McGraw Hill Our Country

Art- Draw Write Now, art lessons

Music- Chorus participation, listening to different styles of music

PE- Lots of walking and biking, outdoor play, Wii

 

What has not worked:

For dc1- We did need to find a tutor for Math which was partly the curriculum and partly it being a bit over my head.  Also the grammar is pretty advanced and not really a book set up for independent work. It has topics that are certainly suited to high school or college (my mom was an English major and is shocked by some of the stuff in it). Those 2 topics tend to be LONG and can be pretty boring!

For dc2- The sylvan math is fun and makes things click for dc2, but doesn’t cover all the topics I’d like. Sadlier Oxford is a bit dry for dc however covers the topics I’d like to see. It has been interesting marrying the two.  Also getting dc2 to write in general is a challenge, but we have worked with the computer a lot to try to work around when we can. DC2 is stubborn so some things work better than others on a day to day basis iykwim.

For both the social aspects have been tough. Most hs'ers in our area have either really little kids or much older kids.  We have been welcomed with open arms, however my older child feels like she is not mature enough to hang with the older teens and she is too mature for the littler kids.  It has made it very awkward for her especially!

 

What has worked:

Most of it, I think (we won’t have a review of how the state thinks we did for awhile still).  Scheduling can be rough (it is school hours most days at this age), but we were able to pack up to help out a family member who needed it.  We have worked through a lot of things, and have come to appreciate some of the kids personality traits.  We have also worked hard on some of the challenges that led us to homeschool to begin with.  Planning and scheduling are struggles that we have worked the kinks out of, now I like that I make up their schedule and assign their work (as a former teacher this is more natural to me).  Most of all it has led dh and I to the conclusion that next to marriage, homeschooling is the biggest commitment in our lives!  It is challenging but worthwhile.  

 

For next year... as it stands now:

We are planning to hs dc2 again.  We will continue to utilize some of the same curricula if at all possible, however we may add Life of Fred to math for him.  I am looking at some grammar and science programs also.  For dc1, I am not sure. Dc hated the math and grammar programs! I would have to look to high school work, which I am not excited about as the parent or teacher.  There is a public high school program that we need to look into for the following year that is a specific program while still being college prep.  If that is not one we remain interested in, I can look more seriously at pushing the academics forward.  I also would need to continue to maintain my p/t job which may or may not be an option due to restructuring at my employer.  Lots up in the air, but I feel oddly okay with that.  I guess I can’t believe that we are starting Quarter 4 of our first academic home school year!

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

Hey Sweetsilver, if your dd likes Harry Potter and Greek myths, have you checked out the Percy Jackson series? Just thought you might enjoy them!

 

Great thread, I'm enjoying reading and will hopefully get back here soon as I put together our K year for the 1st time!



I second that recommendation!  I loved the Percy Jackson books, and we are now using them as read alouds.  

 

Amy

post #17 of 36

Ooh, we're going to world cultures for grade 2 (so not next year but the year after).  I'm excited that others are doing that as well, and hope you will share your ideas so I can pilfer them.  Sheepish.gif

 

We've done Waldorf-inspired hsing this year for kindy and have loved it.  Dd (6) has really thrived.  She's taught herself to read; her writing and fine motor skills have vastly improved; and her artistic and music abilities have just exploded.  I'm totally hooked.  We did our own variation of Little Acorn Learning.  Essentially I set up our own "circle time" format and used the month guides from LAL, along with other Waldorf resources, to create our own curriculum.  Our circle time consists of songs and movement, a felt board story (I draw the pieces each week and then laminate and add felt to the back), a page in a creative workbook (http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Play-Learn-Book-Activity/dp/0811862542/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330958457&sr=8-1), and then daily handwork.  Monday is drawing (we use block and stick beeswax crayons along with watercolor crayons and crayon rocks), Tuesday logic games (we have a variety of ThinkFun games like shape-by-shape, rush hour, chocolate factory, and Set), Wednesday clay modeling, Thursday a special craft or game to go along with the "theme" of the week, and Friday bread-baking.  It has been great for both of us.  We also do nature walks, sporadic finger-knitting and origami, sporadic needle-felting, and weekly wet-on-wet painting.

 

I've been thinking a lot about grade 1, and want to keep the circle time outline but insert grade 1 lesson material.  I do not want to do lesson blocks but rather do one subject and one handwork per day, since that seems to work really well for us.  Mondays will be LA/drawing, Tuesdays Math/Logic, Wednesdays Nature/Clay, Thursdays Math/hands-on math practice, and Fridays LA/knitting or bread-baking again (I need to learn to knit, but bread-baking is Plan B if I don't).

 

For Grade 1

 

Language Arts:

 

I really like the Waldorf way of living deeply into letters (my child can already read so I don't consider this to be "teaching" her anything other than exposing her to good literature and some neat drawing techniques) so I want to do that.  I'm still looking at resources for this that are not part of a full curriculum package.  Right now I'm considering using this book from Oak Meadow: http://www.oakmeadowbookstore.com/Curriculum/First-Grade/First-Grade-Fairy-Tales-p2748.html .  This would be for Monday's lesson.  For Friday's LA, I want to do grammar and spelling.  I like this book from The Critical Thinking Company for introductory grammar:http://www.criticalthinking.com/getProductDetails.do?code=c&id=01001.  I think reading will be easier to her once she understands some basic grammatical rules, and this looks like a fun workbook for that.  I also think understanding spelling will help her reading progress since she'll understand phonograms and build-up a list of sight words.  All About Spelling gets such rave reviews, that that's probably what we'll go with.

 

Math:

 

I'm still on the fence about math.  I want our math to have a Waldorfy-imaginative feel and be exploratory rather than drill and kill.  I love the idea of Singapore-style math (like Math in Focus: http://rainbowresource.com/product/sku/047454/6a410865482ea5ba73e28429) for grade 2 and higher but I'm thinking not so much for grade 1.  I'm seriously thinking that Miquon will be the best fit for now since dd really loves to "discover" concepts on her own.  I also like that all 4 processes are introduced (like in Waldorf) and it will complement our Noble Knights of Knowledge really well.  I'm planning on doing Miquon on Tuesdays and NKK on Thursdays.

 

Nature:

 

I'm thinking we'll read with the Thornton Burgess story books (http://www.amazon.com/Favorite-Thornton-Burgess-Animal-Stories/dp/0486276341) and do a poem and song from Cicely Mary Barker-inspired alphabetical flower fairies: http://www.amazon.com/Flower-Fairy-Alphabet-Various-Artists/dp/B0000C3I1W/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2YGHPHCGCL3RP&colid=32DCLMHKYR42R and http://www.amazon.com/Flower-Fairies-Alphabet-Cicely-Barker/dp/072324832X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2344CXKJSYZ2Q&colid=32DCLMHKYR42R.  (Dd loves wildflowers and fairies!) We'll model these wildflowers out of clay each week.  Either on Wednesday night or on the weekend I plan to do a family science night of experiments (dh is a polymer scientist, so this is HIS thing!).  I'm liking the Usborne Science Activities Series right now: Vol 1 (light/water/magnets/mirrors) http://rainbowresource.com/product/sku/026264/6a410865482ea5ba73e28429 , Vol 2 (plants/kitchen/air) http://rainbowresource.com/product/sku/026265/6a410865482ea5ba73e28429, and Vol 3 (weather/body/batteries) http://rainbowresource.com/product/sku/026266/6a410865482ea5ba73e28429

 

Extra Stuff:

 

I thought since we've been doing regular wet-on-wet painting for years now we'd change things up occasionally by doing the activities in the Usborne Art Treasury book: http://rainbowresource.com/product/sku/042293/6a410865482ea5ba73e28429.  Dd has also been really interested in learning piano so I think we'll start with the Bastien series' primer sets and theory books.  I plan to do about 10 minutes of piano instruction in our circle time each day (it will take the place of our felt-board story now).

 

Anyway, I think that will make a good grade 1.  I'm really trying to build up a good foundation of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and inspire a proficiency and love of the arts.  

 

post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post

For Grade 1

 

Language Arts:

 

I really like the Waldorf way of living deeply into letters (my child can already read so I don't consider this to be "teaching" her anything other than exposing her to good literature and some neat drawing techniques) so I want to do that.  I'm still looking at resources for this that are not part of a full curriculum package.  Right now I'm considering using this book from Oak Meadow: http://www.oakmeadowbookstore.com/Curriculum/First-Grade/First-Grade-Fairy-Tales-p2748.html .  This would be for Monday's lesson.  For Friday's LA, I want to do grammar and spelling.  I like this book from The Critical Thinking Company for introductory grammar:http://www.criticalthinking.com/getProductDetails.do?code=c&id=01001.  I think reading will be easier to her once she understands some basic grammatical rules, and this looks like a fun workbook for that.  I also think understanding spelling will help her reading progress since she'll understand phonograms and build-up a list of sight words.  All About Spelling gets such rave reviews, that that's probably what we'll go with.


We really didn't like that book from Critical Thinking.  Lots of "reading instruction" built in too.  Just our opinion, but for us it was a big waste of money.  I just used it to make sure I didn't miss any topics.  

 

Amy

 

post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post


We really didn't like that book from Critical Thinking.  Lots of "reading instruction" built in too.  Just our opinion, but for us it was a big waste of money.  I just used it to make sure I didn't miss any topics.  

 

Amy

 


 Well, phooey.  The sample looked really good.  Can you elaborate on why you didn't like it and thought it a waste?  I want something with basic grammar info and colorful pictures.

 

post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post


 Well, phooey.  The sample looked really good.  Can you elaborate on why you didn't like it and thought it a waste?  I want something with basic grammar info and colorful pictures.

 



Well, we were using the grade 2 version, so I can only speak from that.  My goals for the book were to have an introduction into grammar and basic punctuation.  The book is over 300 pages long, yet only 8 of them dealt with parts of speech.  They touched on nouns, verbs, and pronouns.  For more grammar, they worked on word usage.  This would include when to use a/an, good/well, was/were, am/is/are, me/I.  They also briefly (one or two pages) touched on subject verb agreement.  There are about 30 pages that work with sentences.  These were fine pages, but I came to realize how I really didn't need a book for 2nd grade grammar/punctuation. 

 

I didn't want their reading or spelling chunks.  I already used all about spelling and was happy with it.  My dd uses materials for reading that are geared towards dyslexic students.  That rendered the first 81 pages useless.  Even if I wanted a reading or spelling component, I thought this book was poor .  One of the pages has the child sort words based on vowel use.  (r-controlled, diphthong, digraph, short, and long).  Vowels take up 14 pages alone.  These words are done by pictures --so the child spells the word and then identifies the vowel type.  So, I guess that is part of the spelling component.

 

They also have a section for making predictions, setting, theme, characters, conflict, etc. in regards to a story.  However, this didn't go beyond what we do naturally when we read together.  Also, it wasn't something that my dd could just sit down and do.  So, I felt that it was more fun to cover that material with actual books.  

 

I did like that it reminded me to teach alphabetizing :-)  I didn't even think of that.  

 

If I remember right, it was $30.  I just felt that $30 was WAY too much for this book.  I have found better ways to cover these topics in the early years.  I won't use any sort of book until 3rd/4th grade for my youngest in regards to grammar.  

 

Amy

ETA:  I just looked at it online again.  It appears that they have made some changes to it; I notice that adjectives are now covered in the 2nd grade version and that the table of contents is a bit different than my copy.  Unfortunately, they don't include page numbers in the TOC so you can't see how much time is spent on one topic.  Also, I noticed that I was wrong about the price and that it is nearly $43 for the book.  I can't imagine paying that much for this book--even if it is greatly improved.  

 

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