Sunday, July 31, 2011

Curriculum Choices 2011-2012

Obviously when I started this blog I had absolutely no idea that we would end up becoming one of those crazy homeschooling families! I remember for YEARS thinking, "I could totally do that.  NO, I could never do that.  I could totally do that.  NOPE, no way, not ever."  I have been so very blessed by ending on the "yes I can" thought!  So I never really wanted to make this a homeschooling blog, cause it is really just our virtual baby book.  Some day when there is extra money laying around (ha!!)  I am going to get it printed by year for each of the kiddos and ourselves.  So what I mostly try to record is special events and then general tom foolery by the kids.  But this last year I've started to realize that SO much of our life is homeschool, so I might as well blog about it! I have been terrible about photographing  school, but this year I am hoping to document a lot of what we do on this blog.  With the first thing being our curriculum choices!

We had to do some re-thinking about our choices due to Josh's cancer diagnosis.  We have no idea what the future holds for us, but we have had to think about what *could* happen so we are prepared.  Part of this is that at some point the kids might have to go to public school (this is Josh's worst nightmare and he has planned out exactly what we should do so this NEVER happens, but I just need to feel prepped for it).  So it has now become important for us to keep them somewhat in line with what public school kids are doing.  If you aren't familiar with homeschooling often times parents choose to use a completely different timeline for introducing topics and subjects (like the history cycle, or a mastery math vs. spiral).  We also realize that we might have to have other people pick up a day of school here or there for us, so we wanted to choose something that would be easy for say, my mom, to pick up and complete.  And the lastly, we just really rethought the whole reasons for why we homeschool, and decided to go with curriculum that fits with those goals, instead of what seems to be the most fun, or even the best.  It may seem like a lot, but it is really not as much as it looks like! :)

Noah James - First Grade
Noah's main course will be My Father's World First Grade.  I 100% believe with the Hazell's viewpoint on schooling, so we decided this would be the best bet.  This covers Bible, phonics, science, and some math.  We also picked this because we will then be able to focus on U.S. History next year, and then jump into the four year history cycle for third grade, when Wyatt will be in first and they can start with ancient history together.



Bible and Character:
Bible Study Guide for All Ages - we're continuing where we left off last year.  I know this makes 2 Bible curriculums but the children love this one so much there was no way we weren't going to do it again.  I can honestly see us continuing this program as long as it is around!

A Child's Book of Character Building - Wyatt specially requested that we finish this, so I happily obliged!  We only have a few left to learn, so I will try to find the second book to finish off the year.



Language:
First Language Lessons - A gentle intro to grammar as well as poetry memorization.  We've only schooled for six days and he has already memorized his first poem thanks to this!

Writing With Ease - copywork and narration

Explode the Code - Phonics practice... we're in book 3 right now.
All About Spelling - We tried to begin this last school year, but it just wasn't working out. So I have decided to put it on hold till he is reading better.  He was getting frustrated with it and so was I.  I'm thinking we will begin the second semester.
A Reason for Spelling - This is what we are starting the school year with since we put AAS on hold.  So far he is very happy with it.



Math:
Math U See - we're still finishing up Primer since we started so late, but then we will move into Alpha.  Noah is loves watching his math teacher on the DVD!

Math literature choices - MFW has an amazing list of math literature we have started reading through



Geography:
Expedition Earth - We started this last year but never finished, and the kids love it.  It is a nice supplement to the rest of our curriculum.



Art:
Drawing with Children - We just started this, but Noah is LOVING it.  It is really building up his confidence.

Meet the Masters - We got this so cheaply from Homeschool Buyers Coop and I'm hoping it will be a hit.



Reading:
Honey For A child's Heart:  We are shooting to read as many pic as we can from these lists.
Read Alouds:  We have a huge list!  I have these sitting here on my shelf, and I am anxious to get started on them.  We are also working our way through a Mother Goose treasury and a couple of poetry collections.  Right now we are in the middle of Pooh Corner!


§  The House at Pooh Corner
§  The Story of Dr. Dolittle
§  Capyboppy
§  My father’s Dragon
§  Dolphin Adventure
§  The Sword in the Tree
§  The Cricket in Times Square
§  Key to the Treasure
§  Mr. Popper’s Penguins
§  Sarah Whitcher’s Story
§  Pagoo

Supplement At this last conference we ordered Christian Light's Learning To Read program for Noah.  He is already reading, but he is having a hard time moving beyond the point he is at.  The MFW program seems as though the phonics portion might move too quickly, so we decided to give this a shot.  If we continue with this we will probably drop/shorten some of the other language activities.   This is a one semester phonics course that I am hoping will push him over the hump he is stuck on!

 Wyatt Cade - Pre-K

Our main goal for Wyatt this year is to focus on reading!  By the end of the year we hope to have him reading CVC words. He will be joining Noah for the extra science, geography and art activities.  And he also listens in on all the books!

Bible:
Bible Study Guide for All Ages and A Child's Book of Character Building and the scripture memorization from MFW 1st

Math and Language:
Confessions of a Homeschooler K4 program (and some of the letter of the week activities)