Featured Posts

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Curriculum 2012/2013



Now that school is figured out, we are looking forward to summer! Next Friday is our last day of school and I feel like a kid I am so excited!


After 2+ months I have officially finalized the kids 2012/2013 curriculum! With the new baby boy due Sep. 27th, I wanted to have the summer to prepare for him and not stress over school. So now that this huge decision is figured out I can stop stressing.

Now beware... Yes, this is going to be a long post, and we are doing a lot of curriculum's, but that is b/c after a year of an all in one curriculum, I realized that it wasn't for us. Ethan did absolutely great with his curriculum this year, but it can get kinda boring when every subject you do is the same teaching style. So this year we are breaking it up and doing a variety of styles.

This year we will have a 1st grader, prek'er, one in tot school plus a newborn. :) So I had to make a very loose schedule that will help us stay on track and be able to move with the flow and change things up when we need to.

Note: You can click on the names of each program and it will take you right to their website!
Curriculum-


Ethan- 1st grade-

1. Circle Time- Calendar Flip Chart
- The kids want to do a circle time every morning and this chart is perfect. We saw it at Books a Million, but you can get it cheaper on Amazon. It comes with a CD with 25 songs and each page in the chart shows the lyrics so the kids can sing along. It goes over months, days of the week, seasons, and more. (10 minutes 5 days a week)

2. Bible- Grapevine Studies
-I chose this bible curriculum b/c it is a drawing based and has a fun learning style. All the kids will join in for this, although I know Callie won't really understand she will enjoy the art. Basically every day I go over a bible passage and draw a stick figure drawing on our timeline to represent the story. The kids then follow along and make their own stick figure drawings. I have heard so many great reviews on this product and can't wait to use it! (20 minutes 5 days a week)

3. Phonics & Reading- Horizons Phonics & Reading Plus Explode the Code
-Horizons Phonics & Reading is a colorful fun workbook that Ethan can do on his own. He has done workbooks this past year, and knows how to work great independently. Some independent work is a must for me so I can focus my time and energy on the girls too. Explode the Code has been recommended by so many homeschooling parents I had to check it out. We are going to use it as a supplement to Horizons. So whenever we feel like it he will do some work in ETC just to change things up. (20-30 minutes 5 days a week)

4. Writing- Winning With Writing
-Winning With Writing was a big choice for me. I was looking for an open and go writing system that would be simple to use and did not require any prep work. It's great that Ethan can just open the book and work away. This is another book that he can eventually start working on independently plus it is at a great price too! (20 minutes 5 days a week)

5. Math- Math Mammoth & Life of Fred
- Math Mammoth was the hardest choice for me. There are so many great math programs out there, but this seems like the best fit for us. Ethan's best and favorite subject is math. I wanted to make sure the program I chose would keep him entertained & challenged at the same time. Math Mammoth is a mastery program like Singapore (which is considered the holy grail of math programs for homeschoolers), but I like that it had a LOT more review. You can do as much review as you want or just skip over it if they've already masted the topic. The price was amazing too! You can get either a cd or pdf file so I can print it for all kids every year. The best part is how many homeschoolers state how this program really helped their kids master math and move on to high school level math with no problem. Most kids test way above their grade level after using this curriculum too! But to make sure he was entertained, we are supplementing with Life of Fred. Life of Fred is a textbook which is great so I can reuse for each kid. It is super cheap, and is written like a novel with a humorous story line. Kids follow Fred through his life as he encounters all the funny reasons why he needs math. (30 minutes 5 days a week)

6. Read Alouds- Classic Books & Classic Literature Unit Study
-Everyday I will read a few chapters to the kids while they eat lunch. Right now we are reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. They love drawing pictures & making crafts afterwards to illustrate what we've read. The unit study covers 10 classic children's books. We will be reading them through the year and make the lapbooks to go along with each story. Stories include-



  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Black Beauty
  • Charlotte's Web
  • The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • Stuart Little
  • Treasure Island
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  • (30 minutes 5 days a week)

    7. Grammar- Growing With Grammar
    - Growing With Grammar is from the same publisher as Winning With Writing. I like it for all the same reasons. Easy to open and go, no prep work, students can work independently, great price, but best of all a very strong program that teaches grammar in a easy to understand way. (20 minutes 3 days a week)

    8. Spelling- All About Spelling
    -I am going to guess that All About Spelling is going to be one of my kids favorite programs. Hands on, engaging, and praised to be one of the best ways to teach kids spelling. Quick lessons that actually teach how to spell, not just how to memorize a word. That way kids can spell anything. Not just what was on last weeks test. The best part is kids have so much fun, they don't realize they are learning. I love that it is a phonics based program and will also help with reading. (20 minutes 3 days a week)

    9. History- Elemental History
    - I feel so blessed to find this program. I looked high and low for a 1st grade introductory program into United States History. We plan on doing a 4 year study of the world in the coming years, but I wanted to make sure he had a knowledge of our country before he started on the world. The first page of this website just spoke to me.  "You may be planning to do a four year chronological history cycle beginning in first or second grade. However, you may not want to wait until your child is in third or fourth grade before they learn the stories of significant people in American history. This program will expose your student to these important people and their stories, and will provide a great foundation for more detailed studies in future years."   That is exactly how I felt. I love that is a lot of reading, and exposure of famous people and events in history like Native Americans, Pilgrims, colonial times, pioneers, Civil War, American Tall Tales, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, Lewis & Clark, Benjamin Franklin, etc. Plus it studies the 50 states which will go hand in hand with our geography studies. Also I will be ordering the pdf version which is really cheap and I can reuse for each kid! (30 minutes 3 days a week)

    10. Geography- Road Trip USA & Evan Moor Beginning Geography
    - Road Trip USA will be a fun study of the 50 states. We'll explore each state learning fun facts, making crafts, and cooking local cuisine. Evan Moor Beginning Geography is another publisher that comes highly recommended. I picked this program so Ethan can learn mapping skills. We will be using lots of other workbooks they have for holidays and fun history crafts too.(30 minutes 2 days a week)

    11. Science- Elemental Science
    -Elementary Science was another program I am glad to have found. I eventually want to use Apologia's science programs. But they only cover one topic for a year so they can go really in depth. I want Ethan to be exposed to all sorts of science topics before he dives into just one. So with this program he will be studying an intro to science. I love that it uses 3 different books. The textbook, an experiment book, and a nature study book. It gives us a variety and only requires 2 days a week. :) (30 minutes 2 days a week)

    12. Art- World's Greatest Artists, Draw Write Now, and Kumon Art Books
    -World's Greatest Artists is a FREE curriculum that studies 8 different artists. It gives kids a chance to learn how the artist worked. Example: Tape paper under a table, have the kids lie on their backs under the table, and try painting the picture so they can see how Michelangelo felt painting the ceilings. How fun is that? Plus they are learning facts and great art techniques. Draw Write Now is another program I think my kids are going to LOVE. The book can be reused for each kid which is great. The point is drawing, and writing both take hand coordination. This way they can practice writing and learning how to draw at the same time. Ethan loves art so I know he will enjoy this. Lastly I plan on picking up some Kumon art books for his age level just for fun. The World's Greatest Artists will be art I need to instruct, while the other 2 will be programs Ethan can work on his own. (30 minutes 2 days a week)

    13. Handwriting- Horizons Penmanship
    -I chose this program simply because it looks fun and is not the typical copywork. This level has a space theme and is perfect for little boys. When Ethan saw the samples of this program he asked immediately if he could work on it. Anything that makes him want to practice handwriting is good in my book. It is also independent work. (20 minutes 2 days a week)

    14. Health- Horizons Health
    -This program seemed to cover a wide range of health topics and really explains to the kids the need for personal hygiene/health, good manners, community health, family life, and more. This is not a must and will just be worked on as we can. It is a workbook so Ethan can do it independently and I'll probably use it when I need some one on one time with the girls. (20 minutes 2 days a week)



    The way I plan to handle 3 kids school work is the workbox system. If you haven't heard of this check out Confessions of a Homeschooler. Basically it's an organizational system that shaves hours off your homeschool day. Instead of each day kids asking "Whats next? When am I done? Where is the supplies I need for this project?" etc. they have all the answers. I will fill the boxes each night. Each drawer will hold one subject and all supplies needed for that subject. Ethan will have more boxes full then the girls of course. And some drawers will be just fun stuff. Like art, a snack, or a puzzle. I will stagger boxes between the kids for independent work and work they need me for. That way, hopefully no kid will need me at the same time. Making a kid sit around bored waiting for mommy is not fun. They will start at the top of the workboxes and work their way down so they can physically see how much work they have left, whats next, and will not need to look for scissors, pencils, etc. whenever they start their work.


    Ethan's schedule will include these subjects each day, but they don't have to be in that order. How ever I fill the workboxes will be the order in which he completes the work. My plan is to have main subjects done before lunch. Do read alouds during lunch, then do hands on subjects after lunch while the girls nap like science, geography, and art.

    Monday-
    1.       Calendar/Circle Time
    2.       Bible- Grapevine Studies
    3.       Horizons- Phonics & Reading
    4.       Writing
    5.       Horizons- Math
    6.       Read Alouds
    7.       All About Spelling
    8.       History
    9.       Geography
    10.   Art

    Tuesday-
    1.       Calendar/Circle Time
    2.       Bible- Grapevine Studies
    3.       Horizons- Phonics & Reading
    4.       Writing
    5.       Horizons- Math
    6.       Read Alouds
    7.       Growing with Grammar
    8.       Science
    9.       Health
    10.   Handwriting

    Wednesday-
    1.       Calendar/Circle Time
    2.       Bible- Grapevine Studies
    3.       Horizons- Phonics & Reading
    4.       Writing
    5.       Horizons- Math
    6.       Read Alouds
    7.       Growing With Grammar
    8.       All About Spelling
    9.       History
    10.   Geography

    Thursday-
    1.       Calendar/Circle Time
    2.       Bible- Grapevine Studies
    3.       Horizons- Phonics & Reading
    4.       Writing
    5.       Horizons- Math
    6.       Read Alouds
    7.       Growing With Grammar
    8.       Science
    9.       Health
    10.   Handwriting

    Friday-
    1.       Calendar/Circle Time
    2.       Bible- Grapevine Studies
    3.       Horizons- Phonics & Reading
    4.       Writing
    5.       Horizons- Math
    6.       Read Alouds
    7.       All About Spelling
    8.       History
    9.       Art

    Basically after doing our circle time and bible together Ethan wll only have 7-8 things to do. Which will include fun things like art, read alouds, history readings, hands on things with mommy like science and geography.

    Since this is such a looonnnnggg post I will stop and post the girls curriculum tomorrow. I promise it will be MUCH shorter!




    Now let's get back to the fun stuff!

    2 comments:

    1. I think this is awesome can't wait to read the girls!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thank you!! I hope this didn't come across as too confusing. I promise the girls post will be a lot easier!

        Delete