Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Great Curriculum debate

So I have spent the past few weeks trying to decide on what would work best for our family this school year. I have to decide this week because I have GOT to get my Association paperwork submitted. The thing I dislike the most is the paperwork, record keeping stuff.
Anyway, I keep debating going 100% Abeka or putting my own together???? There are pros and cons to both. Abeka is a great curriculum but it needs some adjustments.
Tyler is a very hands on learner and I need to be able to include Megan in as many assignments as possible, she is too smart to be left behind.

So far this is what I have.

For Math: Saxon 2 for Tyler------His enjoys this math, therefore I can not imagine switching. We both love the hands on part of it, and it is easy to include Megan in alot of it.

For Science: Notebooking idea from the Well-Trained Mind, with the study of :
Human Body
(we've already began to switch over to some of this) Tyler naturally enjoys putting together his own little books and so it only make since.
Also the Zoo offers Homeschool Mondays so it would be very easy to work these into our lessons plus Tyler could make some new friends.
I have the Abeka Science book that I am thinking we will most likely have time to cover the good parts of as well. It's kind of small, but it has some neat little projects in it. Again very easy to include Megan.

For History: Story of the World vol 1,
I read some of this to the kids and they were interested. The projects are hands on and look like they would be fun. Once again easy to include Megan.
As with Science I also have the Abeka History book which is very strong American so I could also have a study with it. It's kind of small and we can use the better stuff out of it.
I was also eyeing Galloping the Globe I think the kids would really like it, They love maps and there talking globe. And guess what, If it's fun they have no idea they are working, And i would rather they do this for fun than veg out in front of the XBOX.

Music: We really love the Abeka Song books and CD's And with thanks to the barbie princess movies the kids really enjoy classical music.

Art: 1001 things you can make and do, these are pretty neat books. And maybe the Abeka Art books again. The kids have some fun with them and they are pretty easy to use. Arts and Crafts are never a problem around here.

PE: I do not even have to list anything here. I have a very Hyper little boy and a little girl that tries her best to keep up.

But now for the hard part, the biggest Debate at the moment:
Yes, it's Language arts.
There are just so many overwhelming choices for this and so many directions to go in.
1. Abeka's program is really hard and time consuming at this level. I could scale it back alot and cut down on some of it's work load. They offer so many postive things in there stories. Tyler's Phonics is really great but his reading seems slow. They push the phonics alot, and I know that we did not spend as much time with the readers as they called for.

2. We bought Phonics Pathways, Reading Pathways, spelling workout and Bob Books -----After using these just a little bit Tyler's reading and confidence sped up. I would use these this year but I don't know what grade level it would would place him at. Even though it says K-3 on the book. I do not want him to fall behind. Plus I do not know what readers I am suppose to use. If I did this I would also combine it with First Language Lessons----I glanced through some of it and It appears to be a good book too, it's teaching some things that I had in 6th grade English growing up.

3. I'm also considering Learning Language Arts Through Literature It looks like it would be fun. We've been reading alot of the books from Five in a Row and they are such great stories that the kids love hearing. I was really considering trying out LLATL but I'm not sure about spending the money and then finding out it's not a match after all. The readers look like books Tyler would enjoy.

It doesn't seem like teaching reading and writing should be this complicated. I know I worry so much more than I should but it is hard to know that it's all on me. I don't want the kids to get to 5th grade and find out that are behind and it's my fault. I've been to a bunch of review sites and it doesn't help any because everyone is different and all programs are different too. Maybe I should just flip a coin.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Sounds like you will have very full fun days! I've been a little disappointed with First Language Lessons because it is so repetitive. We keep skipping past whole sections at a time to get to something new. So this year my 2nd grader (Danya, who just turned 7) is doing "Writing Strands" level 3. They have two earlier levels that you might look at for your son. My 1st grader (Gloria who is almost 6) is doing "Writing Skills" which is simpler, includes drawing and matching more than just writing, and still teaches about adjectives, run-on sentences, and such.

Also, if you get the Story of the World workbook it includes kids book suggestions. That way what your child is reading will be on the same topic as his history lessons. That will help him to remember it better. And the library is free!

Don't worry. Grammar at this age isn't too complicated. You'll do fine.