Sunday, July 31, 2011
Last year I participated in the Not Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Heart of the Matter Online and had so much fun I decided to do it again! It's always interesting to meet other homeschoolers, find out what curriculum they're using and how they've set up their learning spaces. If you're a homeschooler, hop over there and join the fun!
This week the theme is curriculum. Since my kids are close together in age, we do everything together except math and reading. It's been a great money saver for me to not have to buy separate grade levels for each subject. Not to mention the time it saves me in preparation each day!
We always start off our day with Bible reading and prayer. Our church has a children's ministry that uses the Word of Life Olympian curriculum, so we use their daily devotional book as a guide. It's been rewarding for me to see my children grow spiritually through their devotions.
Next comes math. We use Bob Jones University Press for both kids. Mr. Lego is in Grade 5 and the Princess is in Grade 4. I usually send one of them out of the school room to work independently on something else while I do the math lesson with the other one. That seems to work well for us.
For science we're going to continue using Apologia. This year we're studying anatomy. I can't tell you how excited I am about this! I bought a notebooking journal for each child so I wouldn't have to come up with notebooking activities on my own. The price was well worth the time I would have otherwise spent trying to put notebook stuff together. Yay for premade notebooking journals!
Last year we discovered The Mystery of History. We're starting Volume II this year. The series is written by Linda Hobar, a homeschooling mom. She writes in a very conversational style that is easy to follow and understand. Both kids greatly enjoyed the first volume, as did I.
I'm also going to incorporate some geography into our lessons using Galloping the Globe. This is a unit study approach to learning about the continents and specific countries. I think it will be a fantastic addition to our studies this year.
For language arts, we are continuing with First Language Lessons. We will be finishing up Level 4. The teacher's edition has been so helpful and makes preparation a breeze. I cannot recommend this curriculum highly enough. Both children have greatly benefited from the foundational grammar they have learned.
Last year we started using All About Spelling, a program that I really love. Both children are excelling in spelling. Click on the button on the right sidebar to see what AAS offers. Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of AAS, so I make a little money with each purchase when you click that button. Even if you're not in the market for a new spelling program, it's worth checking out.
I don't use a formal reading curriculum with either child. Once I knew they could read, I let them go! They are free to choose their own books for the most part. I always have the final say. I read aloud to them as well. I ask them questions about what they read, and they give me the equivalent of oral book reports. This year we will probably start written book reports, too.
I also don't use a formal handwriting curriculum. We do copywork and notebooking assignments that give them lots of practice. Many times the copywork goes along with their history or science lesson, so they're getting some great review at the same time!
For art, we're using God and the History of Art by Barry Stebbing. I love that this curriculum combines history and art along with Bible truths. We will probably use this once or twice a week.
So what curriculum are you using this year? And why did you choose it? Does it require a lot of prep work for you? I love hearing the opinions of others on these topics.