Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Curriculum Choices with Quick Reviews

I went to the Arlington Homeschool Book Fair with a list. I was organized and had a plan. Then I got there, and the plan went out the window. I mean seriously! Do you know how many vendors are at a typical homeschool book fair? It is unreal. I went with the full intention of getting the next level of Abeka. I browsed and picked out my books. Then the lady tells me that they don't keep stock. Now maybe this isn't the best reason to ditch a well researched and thought out curriculum choice, but I did. I walked around the corner and found Rod and Staff. I ended up purchasing the full year of language arts for both the girls.

I'm pretty excited about all of the things we are trying this year so for those of you still deciding here is what we are going with for this "semester":

Language Arts, Spelling and Reading: Rod and Staff

Coming from Abeka I thought we pretty much had intense covered. I was wrong. The 1st grade is starting a bit below where Keira is, but it picks up quickly. Brianna is struggling with her attitude with the new stuff. Not because she doesn't know the work, but more because there is so much of it compared to the Abeka. Each lesson consists of 2 phonics pages and 4 reading. She is thriving on it though and once I get her past the tantrums of having to do the pages, I think she will match very well with it. It gives a good phonemic base and has them reading stories that are very Bible based. Even better is it is reasonably priced.

Latin: Song School Latin

We will actually start this on Monday and do it either once or twice a week. I haven't decided yet. It's very basic, using songs and chants to learn vocabulary. The one thing I am worried about is the apparently huge jump between Song School and Latin for Children Book A. I have heard that they are working on Song School Latin Book 2 though. For the cost, this one is definitely worth exploring.

Bible, Science, History and Social Studies: The Weaver Volume 1

This is every parents dream, especially if you have more than one spread over multiple levels. It literally takes these 4 subjects (also included are Language Arts and Creative Writing. We will are not using the Language arts because I didn't feel it was comprehensive enough. The creative writing we wing by using journals and just writing what is interesting to us), and weaves them together. One just flows into the other. Best of all every child stays on the same topic while Weaver adjusts the difficulty to that level! Here is an example of both ideas. One day your Bible lesson is about the wise and the foolish man. You read the Bible story and talk about how Jesus is our foundation and so on. Then you go outside and collect soil samples. You pour water on them and talk about the result. The younger children then talk about things needed to build a good strong house and then build one out of Legos or what ever. Middle elementary makes a list of materials needed to build a strong building, and upper writes a paragraph on what it takes to build a strong building. Now these are just my examples (though some of these are things we have done with Weaver), but you get the idea. For a more comprehensive review you can visit Christa's Weaver Review Here.

Cursive: TBD

I just haven't found anything I love so at the moment cursive is random bits of copy work.

Art: Artistic Pursuits Book 2

We love this art. It gives us the perfect mix of art appreciation and art instructions. And it's real art. I don't feel like I need to be an artist myself to teach this book. However, I have heard some parents say they prefer more art instruction so be sure to check the book out before you buy!

Lot's of Lapbooks:

Because Weaver is designed to last 9 months and we are stretching it to a year (blog coming soon!) we will be adding in lapbooks as a fun way to supplement. Currclick offers lots of fun and sometimes FREE LAPBOOKS.

One of the great things about homeschooling is getting to start fresh and change up the things that didn't work for you. I am very excited and am looking forward to sharing how everything worked for us!


Twinks @ Squirrel Academy said...

Great finds that you got and gotta love the Weaver! Have you check out Lapbook Lessons I believe it's called? They are a great source for free printables as well.

The Princess and the Tot said...

LOVE Rod & Staff!! For cursive, we started with Classically Cursive, which we loved. We now use A Reason for Handwriting, which we are enjoying, as well. Both are scripture based, which is awesome for our family.