Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Homeschool...What?

Curriculum Choices

I know it is probably early to discuss curriculum, but at least if I am headed in the wrong direction maybe some of the oh-so-wise & experienced homeschooling momma's will lend their advice. Certainly there will be varying degrees of change throughout this process but as of today....here's what we've got (and just let me say, these decisions have not come without countless hours of research.....the Internet is both a blessing and a curse in that way) Hannah will be starting 7th grade & Emma will be starting 5th. Samuel is still Pre-K.

Math
Emma - Saxon Math 7/6
Hannah - Saxon Math Algebra 1/2
I will use some of the lessons from Emma's book to review for Hannah if necessary. I figure if Algebra 1/2 proves to be cumbersome for her we can ease up and add in things from the 7/6 book.

Grammar
Shurley English Level 5
I am teaching both girls at the same level. Hannah's grammar is quite good and so if I see that she is not benefiting from this level I may reconsider.

We will be reading Pathway Readers and working through their workbooks as well. These books are just about the most precious, blessed, wonderful things I have laid my eyes on. They were written by an Amish community and the simplicity is very refreshing. The stories are geared at provoking a child's heart in a biblical way.

They will also be reading some Lamplighter Books which are a literary *must* for our family. I am thrilled and blessed to have been introduced to them and can't wait to start a collection.

History
Veritas - Ancient Egypt & Old Testament
Again, I will be teaching both girls this curriculum at the same time. I am still very intrigued with The Story of the World books and would love a review of how these two differ.

Science
Apologia - Exploring Creation with General Science
It may appear that we are starting with the younger graded curriculum on History & Science, but we don't want to miss any of the biblical lessons through these grades.

Spelling
Really, I am up in the air about this. I have some ideas for how to work spelling into our day without an actual "structured" curriculum. The girls are proficient spellers and I want to be sure and foster that. I am pretty sure I will go with Spelling Power once I make that leap.

I am looking at a Spanish program that the girls can do on the computer. I am very interested in Unforgettable Languages as a primer to just learning vocabulary and then adding something more intense next year, like Rosetta Stone.

The girls will also be taking piano lessons. Hannah will continue with violin & field hockey and Emma with guitar & gymnastics. Surely we will have time for pottery, basket weaving, cooking classes, oil pastels, yoga, french lessons, serving the community, and stopping world hunger.....right?

Oh yeah! You might be wondering about Sammer. Never fear. I just plan on putting him in front of the old tube and letting him watch America's Funniest Videos until his heart's content or it inspires him to jump off the roof. Either that or Little People Big World (People Bid Word- according to Sam).

No, seriously. He is only preschool age through the next school year so thankfully I have a little experience in that area. I plan on beating his sisters off with a stick because they are already dead-set on "teaching school" to their little brother and he is dead-set defeating Vader, all da bad guys, and da berry scary pirates.

Two differing agenda's here, you see?

We will start with the Play'n Talk Phonics curriculum but most likely not until his kindergarten year. He will sit in on Science and History and I have plenty of other preschool diddy-bops to keep him busy :) I know it sounds like craaaaazy talk to not go ahead and push forward when he is four, but isn't that the prerequisite for homeschooling? You gotta talk a little crazy talk, right?

Just kidding.

So. What do you think? Give me feedback on this one guys, especially you all "in the know". I cannot tell you how I value your opinions :)

Blessings!


10 comments:

Leslie said...

For a new homeschooler you sure do seem to have your bearings!! You've really done your homework. We are using those same curriculums with our kids...with the exception of the veritas history program. It's a little dry for us, but my kids are all younger than your girls, so it may be perfect for ya'll. I have read so many good things about it.

I am thrilled for you!! And your excitement is rubbing off on me! Thanks!

Kelly said...

Parker is going to a private Christian school that is classical as well and they use Saxon Math and Veritas. I have heard the study on Egypt is amazing! I'll let you know how it goes with Kindergarten curriculum. The reading is Johnny can Read or Spell. I forget the exact name!
Sounds like you have a great start!

Kim said...

Kim,

You are really on the ball!!!It all sound wonderful! I like everything you have mentioned! My only concern with the Pathway readers are when you get to the older ages...4th grade and up,they start adding some doctrinal things like Johnny is on the evil four wheeler, etc...you may want to proof everything first.
I think they are great for the younger years and I plan on using them with my younger ones!

I kinda describe my homeschooling as traditional with a classical twist...I like a little of both!

I think you and your children are going to LOVE it!!!

Kim

Kim said...

You girls have been a valuable resource during this process! Thanks for the feedback.

Kim- thanks for the info on those Pathway books. That is something I definitely need to look closely at.

Still, aren't four-wheelers evil? Obviously you have never seen me drive one :)

Kim said...

Kim,

I tagged you for a fun little meme...come see!

Kim

Wendy said...

Since my kids are much younger I can't help you on this, but it sounds like from what everyone else has said you are off to a great start. I am excited for you.

I'm going to be using Pathway readers this year, so I was glad to hear Kim's input on the older grades.

I hope you have a great school year. It is great that you are planning early.

Leslie said...

I tagged you! Come see.

Jenn said...

I liked the Play N Talk phonics but I don't know that it's worth the $300. I am going to use The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading this next year and then the Grammar one after that.

Jill said...

By being this organized you will make a great homeschooling mom!

I also was glad to hear someone chime in on the Pathway Readers. I have seen it in catalogs, and was wanting to use it for our 1st grader.

Jill

Tiffany said...

We were discussing the fact that y'all were going to home school next year, and kinda what all you had decided at the dinner table...when Jacob asked if y'all were still going to have homework at night...I told him no cause it would be less hours during the day, and all the work would get done during the day so there wouldn't be any need for "extra homework" at night....he then said..."I'm in!" Julia chimed in..."me too!" Just thought that was so funny! Can't wait to hear all about this wonderful new world of homeschooling...so excited for you and the kids! You are gonna be the best teacher they've EVER had!!!