Friday, June 24, 2011

Working on Curriculum

Last year was our first year of homeschooling and since I did not find any one curriculum that I loved or could afford I decided to "put together" my own.  Ummm... not such a great idea!

For this next year I bought a few curriculums to put together. 

Here is what I bought:

BJU Science 2
A Reason For Handwriting T
A Reason For Spelling C
Positive Action for Bible 2nd grade
A Beka for History/Geo. Our America
A Beka for Health, Safety and Manners

For the other subjects, including Math, I will just grab from workbooks that I love. 

Now, I am putting together the exact lesson plans that we will use and I have run into a few issues, a few things that I am very disappointed in and a few things that I LOVE!!

Disappointments and Issues: I was super excited about my BJU curric. but I will never order it again :(  I am spending hours looking for experiments and examples for our science curric.  The book jumps around soooo much, which is fine if you like that.  I don't.  Some of the "experiments" in the book are too simple and sometimes seem to not really relate to what the topic was.  Some of the experiments are great!  I am really, really dragging out the pages and I am only able to get 1 day a week of reading from the book and 1 day of their experiments and mine.  I am adding another day to some weeks in order for K to do an actual experiment write-up.  I thought this would last us a year but even only doing 1 day a week it will only get me 20 weeks worth of school.  The book is very well written though, besides not staying on one topic for more than 1 1/2 pages. 

I am also really having to supplement the A Beka History and Geography.  Like big time.  This one is not as hard as the science, but it is still a pain.  Also I can only drag it out for 20 weeks.  I think that it is made to last longer, but I don't see much info being learned if it was done for a whole year. 

LOVES:  I LOVE the Positive Action for Bible lessons!  Love, Love, Love!  Totally recommend it!  They share how you can do their plans in 3-5 days a week.  We are easily getting 4 days work out of it and it will actually last for 35 weeks!

I also am totally IN LOVE with the Reason For lessons in Spelling and Handwriting!!  I might actually get this whole curriculum next year!  I am barely going to make it through 1/2 of the Handwriting book this year and that is doing it 3 times/week.  The Handwriting book works on a Bible verse for the week and at the end of the week you get to write the verse on a cute border sheet that the child can also color.  They have suggestions for what to do with those sheets, including sending them to prisoners, the elderly, family, making them into placemats, etc. 

Both of the Positive Action and Reason For currics are written so well for both the parents and children.  They offer so much extra ideas and tips!  Cannot get over them!  I am thrilled that we have found at least some currics that I love... and I'm pretty sure that K will love how bright and vivid and playful the lessons are. 

Here are the links to their sites (and no I have never recieved anything free from either of them... I just love them!):

Some of my other LOVES are: Little Critter workbooks.  We only have the writing book, but I might get the others.  I LOVE it!  It is soo thorough and teaches great skills!  I wish they made them until at least 4th grade... I think they stop at 2nd or 3rd.  I also LOVE this workbook that is filled with almost every subject and it all relates back to the Bible.  I pull from it all of the time.  I also use Everything for 2nd and 3rd grade workbooks all of the time.  They last forever! 

All of those books I got from Mardel, which is my favorite store ever!  Ok, besides maybe Hobby Lobby.  They ranged from $3.99-$5.  You cannot beat that! 

What curriculums are you using?  Do you have any LOVES you want to share?? 

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