Curriculum Roundup

This is my first time participating in a curriculum roundup.  I really appreciate getting ideas and information from other home school mom’s. So I thought I would contribute. Plus, I just love FiddleDeeDee.

Here it goes-

We seem to adjust our plans as we go along… especially with moving from FL to CO in October and possibly moving again in this coming October.  But I have to thank God for His grace. He always fills in the gaps.

This year we decided to do the core of our school work on Monday through Thursday. That left Friday for science exploration (or Colorado exploration). Many Fridays that meant reading through a chapter of science (or a science book from the library) and then doing an experiment. We have a science journal that RockyA could write down results of experiments or vocabulary from that lesson. Other Fridays meant a field trip. Our thought was that much of science is actually exploration of the world, right? Some of our field trips included museums, nature trails, hiking mountains, a planetarium, planting a container garden, a day skiing, a tour of a Chemistry lab at CU Boulder (thank you, Uncle L!), a Science Day presentation at Lockheed Martin, and even a weekend camping trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park (complete with a lesson from the Park Ranger and a lap book project).

I am happy that we have done this block of science and exploration on Fridays. It helped us to think “out of the box” and really delve into things as a family. And with only having a year in Colorado, it helped us to get out there. To be honest, my kids just thought they were “fun days”. And so did I.

In the interest of full disclosure…some Fridays did turn into catch up days for other subjects. And even a few Science days were canceled and replaced with a “get the house in order” day.  But everyone needs a few of those. Aren’t they called “Teacher Work Days” in some places?

As for the rest of our curriculum- We used Sonlight for History/Geography, Bible, Reading, and Spelling. The Bible and “Leading Little Ones to God” for Bible. WordlyWise for Vocabulary. Handwriting Without Tears. RightStart Math.

My favorite of our curriculum choices is Right Start Math. RockyDaddy is an engineer, and therefore very math minded. RSM earned his enthusiastic approval.  I have always done well in my math classes, but have trouble “doing things in my head”. Teaching with this curriculum has even helped me (:  It is very easy to teach, since everything is written out for you. RockyA really enjoys it because of the games and manipulatives. Not being a fan of “busy work”, I also appreciate that the worksheets are focused and short. Lastly the games really do address math skills in a fun way.

I also enjoy using a literature based curriculum like Sonlight. We are a reading family. “Developing ferocious readers” is one of our goals in home schooling. I am so pleased with the reading list from Sonlight, that even if we chose not to do the curriculum in the future, I would still want their list of books. And even though the Colorado Home Educators Convention might not feel that they are “Christian enough” (you can read my opinions on that matter in my blog entry titled “Rebel with a Cause”), RockyDaddy and I feel that it is a great curriculum for opening up discussions with our children. And because we discuss things with them, we have not found anything that conflicts with the Biblical word view we are trying to teach. We love reading as a family, especially when we are reading Sonlight books!

What will we use next year? Well, because of being a bit behind schedule from our move, we are still finishing last year. But we hope to take a summer break in July. And believe me, its harder on RockyMomma than the RockyChildren. I want summer break NOW!

So, quick summary of next years plans: The Bible, Sonlight, RightStart Math, Handwriting Without Tears, and Abeka Science with Style (that’s my own version of using the Abeka book/tests and our fieldtrips/journal). We are still undecided on Language Arts. We may use ACE or a Cottage School Program offered here in Colorado. It depends where we live and when we move again.

Addendum: I need to add some information. The above information is mostly about the curriculum I used with RockyA for 2nd grade. I also have been homeschooling my twin four year olds.They were not locked in the closet or chained to the T.V….for too long…just kidding. I really did not intend on starting an official curriculum with them. As an OT, I provide a ton of sensory, goal oriented, developmental, and messy activities for them. But dog gone it, if they didn’t start reading and learning to add anyway. To be honest, I could have gone on doing just what I was, and they would have done well. But they were craving some structured curriculum. So I loosly began ABeka’s phonics program, Handwriting Without Tears, and Right Start Math games.

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4 Responses to “Curriculum Roundup”

  1. Need A Nap2 Says:

    I bought Handwriting without tears at homeschool convention earlier this year, it was time to start something structured with my 2nd grader and Kindergartner (reading on a 3rd grade level so I consider her K/1st). I really really really like it. Glad I’m not the only one using it! 🙂

  2. fiddledeedee Says:

    Hold the phone, missy. Whaddya mean “when and if we move”????? I’ve flagged my calendar for October that you’re coming back. And that’s final. 🙂

  3. rockiesfive Says:

    A Florida neighbor just told me that you hit 105 degrees in Armpit, FL. I still have my windows open here in CO. It is hard to think clearly with those facts before me. To be honest, it will be the people that bring me back to FL, not the weather! I miss you! and your chiropractors wife. and quite a few others…

  4. angie Says:

    so am checking in on this post because I think i am jumping into home school for D….the “system” is definitely not a friend to him! Any ideas….after doing a VPK curriculum in public this year and the teacher saying he is ready for K but cant go for 3 more years what do i do?? and we all know he needs structure and to be kept challenged or we may all go crazy!!

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