Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our Curriculum

I’ve decided to write a little about the curriculum we are currently using as well as some of the things we have tried in the past. I only have one child that I have been teaching so far (he’s in 4th grade). The other three are 2 and under. Yes, I did say 2 and under. Life is busy.

Math: This is our main focus right now since we are somewhat behind. We are doubling up on lessons, but we are on track to finish up 4th grade math by the end of June, if not before. We’ve switched math curriculums several times, trying to find a good fit for my son. We tried A Beka & Math U See, but we weren’t very happy with either one.

I have several friends who love Math U See, so I thought I’d try it, but my son hated it. Funny thing, though… the morning we decided we would stop using it & try something else, a friend of mine posted on our local homeschool yahoo group that they were looking to buy the Math U See curriculum. So I was able to sell it that day. Was that God or what?!

So the past 2 years, we have been using Christian Light (CLE). It’s been working pretty well for us. The only reason we’ve gotten behind is because I keep having babies, plus all the hubbub with building a house & moving. But we are done with both of those, so I’m looking forward to being caught up on this subject. It’s a workbook style & my son is able to do it pretty independently. He also checks his own work when he is done, which is a HUGE help for me because I’m terrible at getting around to that sometimes.

Language/Arts: My son loves, loves, loves to read so this subject is a pretty easy one for him. I plan to post his book list sometime that he’s read over the past few years. His bedtime is 8:00, but since he was in first grade, he has been allowed to read in bed until 9:30 each night. He also reads off and on throughout the day.

(Below is something I came across in the living room a couple of years ago... haha... isn't he creative?)

For kindergarten, he learned to read with A Beka phonics. It was so easy & I really enjoyed teaching him how to read so I’ve kept all my flashcards, etc to use with my other children.

In first grade, we began using My Father’s World (MFW). It’s a unit study & the first grade curriculum includes language/arts. But I have to say, although I really like MFW, I didn’t really care for their first grade language/arts. It just didn’t seem like it had enough to it, I guess.

The past few years, we’ve been using Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLATL). It’s been pretty good, although I’m still looking for something better. I’m also getting ready to add in Spelling Power. I bought it awhile back but haven’t had a chance to start using it yet.

Science: We spent a couple of years just checking out the Magic School Bus series from the library. It was a fun way to learn science for that age. We also have looked through a lot of the DK/ Eyewitness books. The visuals on those books are excellent & it’s so easy to learn things when you’re not even really trying. Videos/Documentaries have been good for that too.

Although I’m sure my son would enjoy doing science experiments more, we’ve really only done maybe a few of them. It’s just not my thing & trying to coordinate stuff like that makes my head hurt. Maybe when he’s in middle school, we’ll do more of that.

History/Geography/Bible: Our main curriculum is My Father’s World (MFW). It's the "fun" part of school. This is our 4th year using it, and we’ve been really happy with it. We’re taking it at our own pace, working around our busy family life. In 1st grade, the focus was on Bible stories (Creation to Moses).

For 2nd grade, we did MFW Adventures, which was American History (The Vikings to the American Revolution). That was a really fun year… I was learning many things for the first time, right along with my son. To finish off the year, he watched the entire series of the Liberty’s Kids videos. I highly recommend this. It really added a great visual to what he had learned.

For 3rd & 4th grade, we have been doing MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures (ECC). This is what the MFW website says about ECC: "Take a trip around the world and explore diverse countries while learning geography and being challenged by true stories of missionaries."

Since I had two babies during the past year & a half, we have spread this curriculum out to two years, which has worked just fine for us. It’s allowed us to take breaks when we need to. So the past few months, we’ve taken a break from it (since my baby was born in November) & just focused on math & language/arts, but on Monday, we’ll be adding it back in. My son has been asking & asking if we can do it again (a good sign that he really likes it), and I’m finally feeling ready to add it back in.

So there you go. That is our curriculum. Of course, so much of life can be considered part of homeschooling too. We do the occasional read-aloud, audio books, guitar/piano lessons, arts/crafts projects, cooking, outside activities, etc.


Mrs. Sugar Plum... said...

Thanks for sharing. I was thinking of e-mailing you soon to ask what you use. Perfect timing. I am going to start homeschooling Emma for 5th grade. Always planned on starting in 5th or 6th grade. Don't want my children exposed to the world on steroids (or some people call it middle school). The pre-teen stuff is already happening and thought I would start in 5th. Can't believe it is almost here. Emma is excited and can't wait. I am going to a convention in March and am reading some books. Any other suggestions would be great. I will also send my friends info. she gave for your info. Thanks again.

Valerie said...

So neat to see what your using! We are going to start LLATL Yellow book next week! And my kiddos have learned so much from Liberty Kids (yeah netflix!)

The Frugal Family Manager said...

Thanks! I'm glad it was helpful for you. :)


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