Saturday, July 17, 2010

Curriculum

So, when I get excited about something I tend to obsess about it.  I apologize to all my family who I'm sure are sick and tired of hearing about my homeschool curriculum choices, but I finally placed my final order on Friday and I think Jovi, Corbin and I are going to have a really fun school year.  I've got some really great stuff and just for those of you who might be considering homeschooling, or preschooling your kids I thought I'd share what we are planning on using.

For my main curriculum I am using a unit study called Five In A Row .  The idea is that you read the same classic storybook five days in a row focusing on a specific subject every day; Social Studies, Language Arts, Art, Science and Applied Math.  Every time you reread the book the kids get a review of what they learned the previous days.  As soon as I heard about this curriculum I knew it would be perfect for me and Jovi.  I wanted something literature based and she doesn't like reading more than a few books a day.  She is much more a doing girl than a listening girl.  There are a lot of literature based programs out there, but most require several books and/or pieces of books to be read each day.  I like this plan much better for our family.  There is also a Before Five In A Row for 2-4 year olds, a lot less focused on academics and more on making memories that I plan on using with Corbin so he can have his own "school" time with mommy.  I also found a wonderful FREE site full of ladies who love this curriculum and put together their own book unit studies and lots of resources for the Five In A Row books as well, called Homeschoolshare (really neat FREE stuff).

We will be using Horizons Math K for Jovi's math program.  I really like the scope and sequence, the hands on approach and the colorful, appealing workbook.

I chose Handwriting Without Tears for her handwriting program.  I previously wrote about my personal handwriting issues and decided that I just couldn't teach her D'Nealian.  This program is supposed to be very developmentally appropriate and has lots of ways for children to avoid letter and number reversals (something Jovi struggles with)

Although science is covered with Five In A Row, I want Jovi to have a very strong science background and found the awesomest book Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 .  Instead of giving an overview of science, touching on a topic here and then one there like most elementary science books do, Dr. Nebel takes a foundations approach having each lesson build upon previous ones so that children can see how all science is related. And you can't beat the price anywhere, $23 for 3 years of GOOD science lessons that teach the scientific method. I'm very impressed with what I've read in this books so far.

I agonized over the decision on how to teach Jovi to read, really, just ask Juan.  Reading and a love of reading is THE most important thing I feel you can teach anyone because with that skill you can begin to learn just about anything else, so I wanted to make the right choice.  I searched high and low and read tons of reviews.  I made a decision and then second guessed myself, but I finally choose the very reasonably priced and very classic phonics approach used in Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling.  It looks like a truly solid program, it is priced right and it includes several game ideas (something I know Jovi will enjoy).

For scripture study, I bought A Real Mom's Guide to Homeschooling with The Book of Mormon.  It actually gives more information and activities than I plan on using. But it has all the things I was looking for; a weekly scripture verse to memorize (shortened for younger children), a children's song and a hymn to learn/sing, gospel art to go with the stories, and a family home evening lesson that goes with the weekly reading. Most of this is just a reference to other church publications, but it is SO helpful to have it already planned out. We should end up reading the Book of Mormon (Stories version) in 36 weeks.

I also have a manners curriculum that I plan on doing twice a week. 

We will (hopefully) be starting school on August 16th.  I hope you guys found something you could possibly use and I will blog about how all of it is working for us as we go along.  Now to read all the teacher manuals and plan our days (am I weird that the thought of planning everything out makes me happy?).

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Sounds like a great plan. I would love to hear more about your manners curriculum! Thanks for sharing!