Sunday, January 9, 2011

Full speed ahead...

Full blown school starts around these parts tomorrow. I've readied the room, prepared my lesson plans, put a couple of orders for new supplies in and the kids are brimming with excitement and eagerly awaiting the moment when I wake them up at 7a.m. tomorrow to start breakfast and devotions before getting into school topics at 8:30. (ok, so the last one.. not so much. I can dream, though, right?!?).

I began the school year with one plan and that plan, is still, relatively intact. I've made some tweaks and adjustments and full on abandoned other things altogether.

Here's what's working so far...

*Spelling Power. This program is wonderful, quick and easy to use. It contains the 5,000 most commonly used words in the English language that the kids work through, semi-independently. I say "semi" because I read off the words to them in our daily 5 minute test. I also check for mastery and retention in different phases each day. I opted not to purchase the activity cards in the beginning but have since re-thought that and have made that purchase. We will be implementing that component this week!

*Teaching Textbooks. I REALLY love this math curriculum!! I'm so glad someone recommended it to me last year!! While it doesn't have as much review/repetition as I'd like, that's easily remedied with supplemental worksheets/workbooks.

*Apologia Science - YES! LOVE this curriculum too! I can't wait to do Botany and Anatomy with the boys (they aren't as thrilled about Anatomy as I am. They're a bit squeamish). I highly recommend this curriculum, especially if you're teaching multiple ages in this subject. Great stuff!

*God's Great Covenant, OT - This is an excellent curriculum to provide a foundation for biblical knowledge. Put out by Classical Academic Press, it is very well organized and structured for optimum retention of the facts. This gets a high recommendation from us!

*Charlotte Mason/Unit study approach to History - having attended the unit study workshop in the summer really improved how we approach history (and even science) now. LOVE this structure for this topic! Another high recommend!

What's in the works...

*Mapping the World by Heart - I purchased this curriculum in the summer with the hopes of beginning it in the first semester. Clearly, that didn't happen. This is an intriguing curriculum that I'm excited to incorporate THIS semester. It looks fun, has a hands-on creative approach and seems manageable to incorporate into our school day.

*Spanish for Children - another Classical Academic Press product! I can't wait to get my hands on this!! It comes highly recommended by my mother in law, who checked it out and is fluent in Spanish.

*Shurley English - grammar that's fun?!? As one who holds a degree in English, *I* can't even claim that to be true YET a very good friend has highly recommended it after using it this first semester with her own kids.

I'll keep you posted on how these curriculum choices panned out in our homeschool!

So, here's to a new year and a new semester of school!! Yippee!

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