Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teachable Tuesdays: Homeschool Curriculum Choices – Part 1

Mister Bull schooling! Don't let this smile fool you...he's really just trying to appease his Momma! Inside he's saying, "Oh please hurry this up! UGH!!!" LOL

Our third official year of homeschooling will begin June 4th. Our oldest will officially enter the 2nd grade and we are so excited!!! Actually…I keep telling myself that and avoiding the fact that he’s growing up so fast right before my eyes! It’s just seems crazy that I have an almost 2nd grader!!

We have had our ups and downs with school. This year we’ve had the most trouble with papers, specifically Math. Nevertheless, we’re sticking with the same curriculum as last year, just adding some supplementals. I did a LOT of research to find a new math curriculum, one that would offer both what he needs and what I believed necessary. But, there isn’t one out there. So…we’re pairing our curricula with manipulatives, games and more hands-on activities to give him what he needs. More on that in a minute.

I am going to give you a break-down of our curriculum choices for our upcoming school year. The links I am providing in no way give me commission or any compensation. It’s merely to give you a reference. I did not necessarily purchase my products from the site I link to. I researched and found the least expensive option and ordered/bought from there. I will explain more about that next week, in part 2 of this series as well as Preschool Curriculum choices for the Middles.

But back to 2nd grade…here we gooooo!

HISTORY: Mystery of History – we started this in First Grade and are half-way through the first book. We will continue to work through the next 18 weeks of lessons, taking 2 weeks per lesson. There is a lot of information in each lesson and some great activities at the end of each week that we never seem to get to. So we’re going to structure a little differently this year and really take our time.

BIBLE: Apologia’s “WhoAm I? And what am I doing here?” This year we did the first book in the series, so we’ll move on to book two for 2nd grade. Some of the lessons are a little over his head in terms of wording, but we sit and talk about it and he asks some GREAT questions. So for us it’s a win-win! Teaching A Biblical Worldview through God’s Word!! We did not use any of the additional products this year, but I have purchased the journal for 2nd grade. I think it has some great thought provoking questions and writing starters. We are not using the coloring book, as my son is not a color-er.

SCIENCE: Apologia’s Exploring Creation Series, “SwimmingCreatures of the Fifth Day”, which my son chose. Yes, it says to do the Zoology 1 book first, unless you have an understanding of Zoological terms. I figure if we don’t know it…we can look it up. He was really interested in this book more than the others and from our experience, he does much better when he’s interested in the subject. I also purchased the Junior Notebooking Journal. The writing, puzzles, questions and activities are just what he needs to supplement the reading work!

HANDWRITING & SPELLING: AReason for Handwriting B and AReason for Spelling Level B – We used book A this year and loved it!!! Or at least I did! My son could care less about writing. I like how it coordinates with our Spelling curricula. I also like how they encourage Scripture memory, spelling and hanwriting skills at the same time! It’s like a triple dose of Bible each week! Another reason I like this series: there is only ONE teacher book for the entire Handwriting series, so I got that last year. YAY!!! And, I can usually find the Spelling guidebook on Amazon fairly cheap.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: ElementaryGreek: Koine for beginners – Some people may say we’re crazy…and most often they’d be right! I actually purchased this last year with prompting from the Hubster. Our plan was to do it together (Mom, Dad and Mister Bull). But we quickly realized it was just a little above his level still. The flash cards were fairly easy for him, but the workbook and reinforcement work was too much. So we decided to table it until this year and try again. I’m both nervous and excited about it and the Hubster is beyond thrilled. He learned Greek in college and is so excited to review it along with us. Yes, it will take us some extra time, but in the long run I think it will be good. Why did we choose Greek? The Hubster believes in order to better understand God’s Word one must be able to read the original Greek language. I don’t guess it matters much…it’s all Greek to me! Haha (I know…poor attempt at a joke!)

MATH: Horizons: Math2 – We used Horizon’s this year as well. There are many things I love about it. The colorful pages keep the children’s attention, it breaks up daily lessons, review of past lessons in the daily work and it just keeps building on previous concepts. What doesn’t work for Mister Bull is that it is ALL paperwork!!!! It’s like pulling teeth to get him to sit and finish the paper!

I looked into several different Math options to see if they’d work for us, but alas…I found nothing. The closest I came was RightStart Math. I love all the manipulatives and hands-on activities, but I just feel he needs the daily paperwork as well. My reasoning: He’s going to have to do it sometime! Algebra is not done on a scale! I know this probably wouldn’t bother most of you, but for Mister Bull, once you set a precedent for something he’ll think  that’s the only way there is to do it. Translation: BIG TIME PROBLEM in the future! So, for now we’re sticking with Horizons. But, I am going to intentionally add some games, flash cards (we’re really bad about doing these right now) and our own manipulatives to reinforce new concepts.

READERS: ABeka Readers for 3rd grade. This is the area we’re ahead in…surprisingly! But, he started reading very early in Kindergarten and has just taken off from there! This year we’re going to do this a little different. The A Beka readers will be our read alouds because he has some new chapter books that he’s really interested in and loves reading! Not to mention the great stack of Hardy Boys books I found at a garage sale this past weekend!!!! SCORE!

So, that’s our curriculum for 2nd grade! What’s your favorite curricula? Do you use a Core Curriculum and supplementals or a mish-mash of whatever works?

Feel free to share in the comments or leave a link back to your own post!! I love reading all your tips and ideas! I am always open to researching for new curriculum to see if it would work for us! We learn by sharing!! Thanks for stopping by!


Linking up to these parties:


Kate said...

You have a very full and fun curriculum. I hear you on the ups and downs...we have lots of swings as well. But God is good and with pressing on, "it all comes out in the wash."

Thanks for linking up!

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

Thanks Kate! I will share how we accomplish so much during our school days in a couple weeks! It is full and I can't wait to plan in the FUN!!! I'm trying to be much more intentional on that end! And, you are so right...God is so good! Thanks for hosting!!

Sarah Avila said...

I always enjoy reading about what others use for curriculum. As soon as I finalize my choices for next year I plan I writing a post about what we will be using.
Next year I will have a 5th grader, 3rd grader, Kinder, preschool and 2 toddlers tagging along.
We are starting MOH this year and I'm really excited. I haven't found a history I like yet, but I have good feelings about this one.
We also use Apologia for science and love it. This year we did Astronomy and next year we are doing Botany.
One thing I'm still deciding on is Bible; I've looked at the Apologia you mentioned, but the verdict is still out!
Thanks so much for sharing!

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

I always enjoy reading others choices too! I've changed a few things in the past because of what I've read about on other blogs. I'd love to read about your choices when you finalize everything! Thanks for stopping by!!

What Joy Is Mine said...

We are in the third book from the Mystery of History books and love them. We don't always get to the projects either but that's okay. When my kids were younger, we did Horizon Math and A Reason For Writing. Excellent choices. Thank you for sharing at What Joy Is Mine.

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

And you loved them, Naomi? I've not met anyone who's done MOH too!!! We should chat! I'm going to be more intentional this next year about trying to get the activities done. I think he (and I) needs the hands-on part! Thanks for your words. They really encouraged me!