Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back to Homeschool Week: Curriculum

Well, I missed Back to Homeschool Week last week at Randi's, so I'm just doing it this week. Always late to the party, that's me! And I'm not going in order either. Maybe I'll stretch this out and have a Back to Homeschool month... or quarter. Then I'll have half a chance of getting through it all. I so admire people who every day can write things that are both thoughtful and coherent, rather than endless posts about piles of laundry and pepper shakers behind the toilet. Ok, so I'm giving this a whirl: Back to Homeschool!

Friday's topic was curriculum. I believe my ducks are finally in a row here. We began school the first week in August, because that's when our co-op starts. We start with all the co-op subjects and then I add one or two other subjects a week until we get everything in. John Mark is in 9th grade this year and is fortunate to be taking Biology, Literature, Latin and History at co-op. I teach co-op history and I love, love, love Tapestry of Grace. I wish we could really do Tapestry at the high school level, with all the hands-on activities, literature tie-ins and all, but I only have an hour a week with the co-op kids so I have to pick and choose. This year is ancient history: Egypt, the Israelites, Greece and Rome. Fun stuff! JM is also taking Videotext Algebra, which he enjoys so much more than Saxon.

In co-op, Becca, 7th grade, is taking history, literature, writing and grammar (Easy Grammar), and Apologia General Science. In history, we are using Story of the World Vol I and the History Portfolios from Homeschool Journey. She is doing Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra, and next week, I plan on starting her in Phonetic Zoo spelling and one of the Critical Thinking puzzle books. The boys love the logic and visual puzzles in the Critical Thinking materials, but that's not her strong suit, so maybe this will help her strengthen those skills.

Philip, 5th grade, is taking the same co-op courses, with the exception of Apologia Zoology I instead of General Science. He will be doing Italic Handwriting, Phonetic Zoo, and Teaching Textbooks Grade 6, which is due to be released this month. The kids really like Teaching Textbooks, therefore *I* like Teaching Textbooks, but I think the levels are on the easy side so I have moved Philip ahead.

Ben is in 3rd grade this year and in co-op, that's a big step. He has big-time work compared to last year. In co-op, he is also doing Story of the World history, as well as literature, writing, and Considering God's Creation science. He is studying Abeka Arithmetic 3 this year, Pathway Readers and workbooks, and we will be starting handwriting and Natural Speller this week.

Nathanael, 1st Grade, takes science, art, history, and Draw Write Now at co-op. At home, we add Math-U-See, Handwriting Without Tears, and Pathway Readers and Workbooks (after reaching a satisfactory point in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons).

I have supplemental materials we use when time allows, such as Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and Quartermile Math. In addition, all of the kids have in-depth Bible study with their dad every morning and piano every week.

My list of curricula probably looks overwhelming for new homeschoolers, but then again, I've been homeschooling now going on 10 years and I've had lots of time to do trial and error. Early in our homeschooling career, a speaker at a convention warned the homeschool dads that moms need the freedom to try different curricula and make mistakes- it just takes time to figure out what works for your children, and perhaps more importantly, you!


thruchildeyes said...

I like your laundry and pepper shaker posts! I'm inspired by your homeschool posts, too. It's a few years down the road, but at least I know who to go to for wisdom. said...

I can't wait to start our co-op. We are trying to pull one together.

Happy Schooling!