Sunday, December 11, 2011

Curriculum Choices 2012

What do you know! This is still a homeschooling blog after all! I am tired of the deal posts. It is about time to get back to normal around here. We had not planned on starting our year back up until the beginning of January, but things got a bit changed around when we decided to go to Disney in May this year and with my brothers being in town for the Christmas holiday. It is way too hard to do school when there is uncle fun to be had. So we started two weeks ago with the hopes of getting ahead and being able to relax when all the fun starts. It is going well so far.

I have never been a huge fan of hardcore scheduling, but for my husband's sake I decided to give it a go this coming year. I will be reviewing Managers of Their Homes (aka MOTH) this week and sharing with you the new schedule we have.

Along with our new schedule I have nearly completely changed our curriculum choices. Here is what we are going with in 2012:

Math- I started with Teaching Textbooks, which I liked, but I didn't feel was working and I had this nagging feeling that it was contributing to making me a lazy teacher (not that it makes everyone one, I just tend to lean towards lazy anyways). We did about half of TT3 and then got BJU Math. I am LOVING it. The girls are also enjoying it and I do feel like it is working well for us.

English- I also went with BJU for our English. There is lots of writing and less phonics in this one. I may need to add some phonics back in for Keira but for now it is working.

Reading-Mostly just individual reading time. I try to have them both read aloud to me as often as possible and I require at least 30 minutes of quiet reading per day.

Bible- We are using Studying God's Word by Christain Liberty Press. It has a Calvanist slant but is easy to adjust. We are also trying We Choose Virtues (review coming soon) to teach Christian virtues in conjunction with the Bible of course.

Penmanship- Handwriting Without Tears, this book has saved me and my lefty from, well, tears. Just in the two weeks we have been using it, her writing has improved by leaps and bounds.

Spelling- Rod and Staff mainly because that is what I already had from last year. I finally found a spot to actually add it in formally.

History- Another BJU, Heritage Studies. So far we are really enjoying this. There is a map book which gives them something extra to do each week. They really enjoy that.

Science- Real Science 4 Kids which I can not give any thoughts on because it has not arrived.

I hope this makes all my curriculum junky friends feel better about changing things up. Every time I get something I think it is "the one" so I hesitate to say that I think I have finally found what works for us, but as I grow more experienced I do feel like I am getting better at picking out what works. And after all, isn't homeschooling about getting to know what works?

I will spare you the individual links to everything this one time hehe.

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Jenny said...

We have used Heritage Studies for the past 2 years and love it!

I need to find something else for math and handwriting, so I'll look into the BJU stuff. HWOT didn't work for us last year.

hillbillywoman said...

During my homeschooling journey with my (now grown and graduated) kids, I frequently changed out and tried something new. What worked for one child, didn't always work for another. Also, I think trying something new kept me excited about homeschooling. Of course, we did hang on to whatever curriculum seemed the most interesting or the most educational and easy to implement.

Anna said...

Jenny I think what makes a great history is to actually do the hands on activities and Heritage Studies is hands on with out being over the top and undoable. So far we are really enjoying it. We are really liking the BJU. It is colorful without being overwhelming and indepth without being too boring. HWOT, I have heard you either love it or hate it. I was struggling with my lefty and words can not describe. I need to take a picture of how different her writing is now from just a few weeks ago. I mean I actually went back to the 1st grade level because her writing was so unreadable. It has been an amazing change. Of course what works for us doesnt neccessarily work for you.

Hillbillywoman-Yes, I am learning that it is ok to change to make things better. I still struggle with being unsure if the changes just confuse them, but so far they are thriving and since I know my kids best I think I am doing a pretty decent job. I love having something new each year too. The excitement of carefully selecting our curriculum is something I look forward to every time it is time to get new stuff! Every year is a learning experience!

Rachel E. said...

I have to agree that the hands on makes it enjoyable for the kids. Too much hands on is tough on a mommy.

Looks like some great choices. I have tried a lot of those books or publishers. It's funny how we think we have found something and end up not liking it much. I am finding that with this year's choices.

Milk and Honey Mommy said...


I am working on our new schedule for 2012 (CHANGING THINGS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR!!!). I am actually more excited about our new plans than I was at the beginning of the school year.

I may need to look into the history curriculum you're using. I have still not found a history study that I like and we do like hand-on activities.

Hard-core scheduling may no be fun to complete, but I tell you, life has been so much easier when I've done that and actually stuck to it.