Among homeschooling moms, the conversation often begins with the scintillating question: "What curriculum are you using?" So, I thought I'd share my wonderful curriculum choices with my reading audience. ;-)
Last year, we switched from Saxon math to Horizons. We started with Saxon because we started out with Veritas Press. They recommend starting K with 1st grade math and so on. However, Megan hated the boring black and white pages, so I went on a search for new, more colorful curriculum. We decided on Horizons, mostly because of its Christian emphasis. Singapore math was a close 2nd. I'm a little conflicted about the K Horizons because the method of teaching addition is a little strange. But everything else is good.
For phonics, I use All About Spelling, which uses flashcards and manipulatives to teach the phonetic spelling of words. Megan was doing the Veritas Press Phonics Museum for K, which was a lot of fun, but only got through the short vowel sounds and the consonants by the end of the year, but expected her to memorize huge lists of words every week. She got so frustrated because there was no predictability. She learned all the phonograms and was reading within 2 weeks with AAS. I like that it does double duty as a spelling and a phonics text and that it utilizes different learning methods--auditory, visual, and sensory. I also supplement with Explode the Code. It's just fun to say. And it does a great job of getting the kids to practice the skills they're learning in AAS.
This year, we're trying out Shurley English. In part because the homeschool program we think we might join at some point uses it, in part because it's a well-recommended part of any classical curriculum, and in part because we're still kinda sorta following the Veritas Press model. I really do like it (Veritas Press & the Phonics Museum), and I would use it again in conjunction with All About Spelling. :-)
For literature, we're using the reading list from Veritas Press. I'm pretty happy that I have a lot of the books on the list already (yes, I have good taste. lol), and we make trips to the library every Sunday, so we'll supplement the rest with free books! Yay!
Handwriting--we use A Reason for Handwriting. I just love that they are practicing writing verses every day. This year, we will be doing a lot more writing. The kids have been writing a letter a week to a friend, so that is one way we're practicing. I think book reports will be in order, and I think I remember seeing quite a lot of writing in the Shurley English books, too. As an comp teacher, I'm always running into the same problem with my students--they freak out so much about grammar and spelling that they can't get their ideas down. So I didn't worry about those things with Megan--just get your ideas down and then edit. But in her 'real life' writing, which she does a lot of, she doesn't do the editing part. SO...we need some more practice. :-)
That's quite a lot already, don't you think?! But we wouldn't be complete without history and science. This year, thanks to a wonderful new friend who let me borrow her book, we'll be doing Apologia Astronomy. The kids spent an hour looking through the book tonight, so I think they'll like it. Megan wants to try all the experiments. And Tristan, well, his ears perked up when he heard Science. Why? Because his book on Nascar says that you have to be good at math and science to drive a racecar. Thank you Nascar! ;-)
I would love to do Story of the World for history, but for now, I think, we're going to continue with the TruthQuest American History we have from last year. This year will be some catching up, for sure. After a year of "fast school," the kids are going to love (I hope) having time to really have fun learning instead of having to rush through everything. That's one of the benefits of homeschooling--it adapts to your life!
Some other things I'd like to throw in--Spanish, cooking, art. Oh! And Megan begged and begged to learn Latin. So, we're going to work on that, too. So, we've got a lot going on this year. Hopefully we'll keep it together. Maybe next time I'll share with you how I juggle all I have on my plate. :-) And I think something that we tend to forget--the overall goals of homeschooling, at least for our family.
Thanks for listening!