I thought I'd do a post about what we will be using next year for school. I put in an order for the last of it at convention, and am eagerly awaiting a package from Rainbow Resource this week! Since Sawyer and Campbell are so close in age, we'll be doing everything together. This makes it a lot easier for me, and the kids are best buddies, so they think it's fun to be working on the same things. We will be doing workboxes this year, which is new to us. Here's a link to the book which started this craze in homeschool circles not too long ago. The idea is to foster independent learning by helping kids move through their studies with minimal need for mom's help. There will be activities we do all together, but there will also be things they work on alone, which will free me up to work with the little ones as well. I'm really excited to see how this goes!
Bible- We are using Bible Study Guide For All Ages. This is a great program, because you can teach it to multiple ages, and it's interactive. The kids have activity pages they will work on during our story time that will help with their comprehension. BSGFAA does a complete survey of the Bible. It's a great way to help them see the big picture of the Bible. We will also be using their Non-reader timeline, and the CD which has songs helping them learn the books of the Bible, twelve tribes, apostles, etc. This will give them a good overview of the Bible, and then in the evenings we will continue going through Leading Little Ones to God, and The Children's Story Bible.
Math- We will be continuing with Math-U-See. The kids really like it, and I love that it's concept based, instead of the spiral approach used by so many other math programs. They get lots of practice on one principal before moving to the next thing. We will hopefully finish up Primer by January, and will start Alpha then. We will also be playing with our Evan Moor Take It To Your Seat learning centers. I got the K-1st set, and the kids have had lots of fun with them. These are math games that they do alone. I'll be able to use them in their workboxes to help reinforce math principles.
Phonics- We will be continuing with Spell to Write and Read. I can't begin to tell you how much I LOVE this program! It is so simple, and my kids are doing so well with it! It is a pure phonics program, and was developed to help children who struggled with dyslexia. Right now, we play with the phonogram cards, making words and so on. Once they are able to write well we will start the spelling dictation. (Proud mommy story: We've had a real reading breakthrough with Sawyer this week. He had been refusing to try reading out loud to me. Last night I told them after family devotions that they could stay up a little later if they were reading to me. They did each book together, alternating pages. We breezed through 5 BOB books! They did great! Then this morning Sawyer came up the stair carrying the books so he could read them to daddy!)
Handwriting- We have been using Cursive First. I had been getting a little frustrated because it felt like we were moving very slowly in this area. Campbell especially didn't seem to be getting it. Then another wiser mommy kindly reminded me she JUST TURNED FOUR! It's hard to not have the same expectations for her and Sawyer, since she acts so much older than she is. So, I ordered her a program called Ready Writer. It is a series of worksheets that helps with writing readiness. I think she'll really enjoy it. Sawyer will continue with the Cursive first. I will try to remember that they are only 4 and 5! We'll just be moving at our own pace.
LA, Science, Reading, History, Social Studies- I'm so happy to say we'll be doing ALL of this through Five In A Row! I love this curriculum! It is based on the Charlotte Mason style of gentle learning. We will "row" one book for a week, reading it each day for five days. Each day we will focus on a particular subject, and relate it to the book. We were very blessed to receive most of the books for Christmas and Birthdays, so we have quite a collection of them! Most of the books are classics. You can see a complete list of them here. We really liked this last year, and it will be nice to have Grace do it with us this year also.
We will also be doing some fun unit studies sprinkled in throughout the year. I purchased a Pirate unit from In the Hands of a Child at convention, and the kids each requested a few they'd like to try. We will get those from Homeschool Share.
Art- We started using Artistic Pursuits this summer with two other families. We are meeting at a park twice a month, and taking the older children through the lessons. So far I am extremely pleased with it! The kids are learning wonderful techniques as well as art history, and it is so simple to teach! We will be doing it all summer, then continuing throughout the school year.
We are excited about the new things we are adding this year, and I'm praying that we will be able to find a good routine, even with all the chaos of moving. I feel so blessed to be able to be at home with my little charges, and can't wait to watch them continue in their learning!