**This post was supposed to finish out our curriculum week but things got a little crazy around here! With family in town and a double birthday party this past weekend, this post got put off until today. Sorry!**
I decided going into this adventure of homeschooling that we’d try to be pretty flexible on our curriculum. I didn’t want to be tied to anything that might not be the best for either boy. That’s why we didn’t go with one publisher (eg. Abeka, Calvert, etc.) for everything and decided to pick based on my thoughts and others reviews.
So it shouldn’t be too surprising that I want to make some changes for next year. The biggest one is that we’ve decided to have the boys do Classical Conversations next year. It’s a 24 week program that meets once a week and focuses on classical education. At their age level, #1 and #2 will be learning a lot of facts and doing memory work.
When I had first heard of Classical Conversations (let’s call it CC and save me some typing), I didn’t think it was a good fit for us. I love learning the why behind things and I wasn’t too keen on the idea that the kids just learn facts with rote memorization. They learn multiplication/math, geography, historical timelines, science terms, and a little latin conjugation. All great things for a child to know but I wanted to see them delving in a little deeper on some of those things. There’s also an arts class with either music or art and a science experiment every week.
As this year has progressed, I’ve come around to liking the idea of CC more and more. Beyond being highly impressed with the memory recall of these kiddos, I love that there’s a weekly presentation that each child gives. For my shy guy, it’s just what he needs to get used to public speaking. I also think my boys would benefit from the “school environment” one day a week and being with kids their own age in a class setting. And having another teacher besides me to listen to and show respect. The kicker for me was hearing many family’s extremely high opinion of CC. It’s not just the parents either. It sounds like the kids love the challenge and the setting of this program. So we’ll give it a try to see how it goes! If you’re interested in learning more about it – here is the classical conversations website.
While our curriculum for geography was fine this year, we’d like to get into it a little more. And I’d like to have one curriculum for both kids instead of 2 separate books. We’re going to do Road Trip USA by Erica at www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com. I like all the different activities that are involved with this study and we’re looking forward to learning more about our country’s 50 states!
My second grader has already been using Horizons Math but my Kindergartener did not this past year. We’ll be having him start the Horizons program for 1st grade this next year, along with continuing Mathematical Reasoning. We’ll keep our third grader in Horizons this next year too. My older son will also continue working through his Building Thinking Skills book.
I think we’ll be trying out The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease curriculum by Susan Wise Bauer next year. It has great reviews and I like it’s premise of teaching children how to write. I’ve heard that you only really need the work books so I’ll start my first grader with the Level 1 Workbook. I’m still debating whether we’ll do the Level 2 or the Level 3 workbook for my 3rd grader. Since it will be his first year with the program, I’m thinking I’ll start him with the Level 2 and we can work through it quickly if it’s too easy.
We’ll definitely be sticking with the Story of the World curriculum by Susan Wise Bauer. We LOVE it!
We’re doing Astronomy by Apologia next year! Since outerspace is a huge deal around our house, we are very excited about this class. Both boys are also looking forward to creating those cool note booking journals throughout the year.
The All About Spelling curriculum is helping our older son who’s been struggling with this subject. We’ll be sticking with it for him and starting our younger son with it next year with Level 1.
We’ll also be keeping with the Handwriting Without Tears course. The third grader will begin working on cursive and the 1st grader will move up to the next level too.
Music and Art
Since we’re going so slow with the composer and artist unit studies from http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com, we’ll stick with them through next year too. We do really enjoy them but they tend to get left off of our school day when life gets busy.