Monday, August 6, 2012

"NOT" Back-to-school Blog hop - Curriculum Week!

A complete listing of our curriculum for this year (with links!) can be found on my 2012-2013 Curriculum page.  Below are the subjects we are covering this year and my thoughts on some of our curriculum choices. 

Dale (4th Grade)
Social studies

We are loving our Bible curriculum so far!  If you are interested in several approaches and memory keys to getting a broad overview of the Old and New Testaments, definitely check out these materials on Amazon.

Singapore math is still working well for Dale in our 4th year.  We have also gotten lots of help from these multiplication memorizer cards: 
267555: Multiplication Memorizer Kit Multiplication Memorizer Kit

  For a very visual learner (and his Mama) they have been a life-saver!

This is our first year trying Natural Speller.  I love the combination of "do-it-yourself" with the convenience and accountability of a purchased curriculum.  I also like that the daily activities focus on actually practicing the spelling words (and occasionally other skills like grammar) without wasting time on busy work.

Alan (1st Grade)
Alan could be more accurately be described as Kindergarten and a Half.  Or even Two-Thirds.  But for simplicity's sake and the enthusiasm of a new school year, I'm going for it and calling him "First Grade".  I expect by the time we take our baby-break this fall he will be fully into First Grade work.  Don't you just love homeschooling? :)

Social studies

Alan and I are studying Biblical examples of positive character traits using two different online sources.  They combine well with plenty of Bible stories, memory verses, teaching tips and game and activity ideas.  Hubbard's Cupboard is suitable for preschool through young elementary, and Kids of Integrity would easily stretch for an upper-elementary student.

After knowing about it for years, this is my first time to actually use Explode the Code.  So far Level 1 has proven to be just below Alan's skill level, which is ok for reinforcement and foundation-building.  The only trick for us has been the writing exercises, since we are learning cursive first.  We skip the writing exercises in the book (or do them orally) since we have only just begun cursive and I don't want to practice manuscript at this point.

Since Singapore has worked so well for Dale (and we have 3+ years' worth of books laid by) I am starting Alan there as well.  We did reach back and begin with the Kindergarten B book for some extra work with place value and numbers to 20.

Tyler (2 1/2)
I believe preschoolers (ie any child not ready for sit-down work, from babies on up) should:
1. Be read to - lots!

2. Make stuff.  
Both free-style and parent-guided, with a good variety of supplies.

3. Do stuff.
Hands on things like sorting and puzzle working, 
and bigger things like finger plays or singing songs.  
In other words: play.

Sometimes I wing it, and sometimes I find a curriculum helps.  We are currently loosely following the Joyful Learning Curriculum for 2 year olds at Hubbard's Cupboard.
For us that means checking out lots of books from the library on the current 2-week topic, using some of the ideas from Hubbard's Cupboard, and searching the Internet for other ideas that fit with the theme.  One or two activities a day is plenty for us.  

As we play, make, and read through this year I will also begin gently introducing letter sounds to Tyler, along with making sure he knows his colors and other basic skills.  He's not even three, so there is plenty of time.  At the same time, kids this age are ripe for learning, so why wait and miss opportunities?

Linking up with:

1 comment:

Betsy said...

It looks to me like you (as in you and Greg) are giving your kids a well rounded education. They are learning things that the kids in the same grades wouldnt get in the public schools. Carry on!! Nana