This is our second year homeschooling and I am super excited to be done with the first!! I know a little better about what works, what we all like and what's important.
foster to adopt. That will change things up, of course, but I think that our main curriculum will stay the same. We cannot homeschool any foster children and starting at 3 they are supposed to be in a Headstart program.
Sooooo... I have been working on curriculums and a plan for a while now. Here is what I found when I first started... loves, likes, dislikes and very strong dislikes :)
Handwriting and Spelling: A Reason For---love these lessons!! I had so little to do to prepare for them. 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. The Spelling book has some fun and creative games and ideas. These books have wayyyy more packed in them than any other curric I've seen.
Bible: Positive Action's Finding God's Promises. I am also very excited about this curric! The pictures and stories (that tie in with the Bible lessons) are super colorful and fun!
Writing and Grammar: I am just pulling from a few resources, which include a Little Critter Writing book, a Bible Activities workbook, and Everything for Math and Reading workbook. We are also part of a small group at church that is doing Shurley English.
Health, Safety and Manners: One day a week we will be doing the work from the A Beka book. This will only last us for the first semester of school.
Social Studies: We are switching this, Social Studies Made Simple workbook, with the Health for our 2nd semester.
Science: We are using BJU and it was one that I was disappointed with. I had to work soooo hard to make a plan still that would go a little more in depth, because, in my opinion, it does not ever go below surface level on any topic. Using this curric and adding in my own further in depth info we will only get 2-3 days/week for only 20 weeks out of this book. I think we are going to order A Reason For (the same as Handwriting & Spelling above) for the rest of the year.
Math: Another subject where I am just going to pull from the resources I have. I have lots of workbooks including the Everything for Math and Reading workbook and Bible Activities workbook. I get these workbooks from Mardel, which is an awesommmee store that you hopefully know about! The prices are amazing... like $3.50-$8 a book. Monday & Wednesday will be worksheet days, Tuesday will be flash cards and Thursdays will be word problems, which I think are important enough to have their own day... that knowledge and those skills might actually be used one day!!
Artists/Hymns/Composers: This did not work so well for us last year. For some reason it just seemed like I really had to drag it out to last longer than 5 minutes, so we are doing much less of it "formally" this year. We are just going to listen to one composer/quarter during our quiet/car/etc times. Hyms (I include other important songs) will be mostly patriotic in the 1st semester since that is what we will be studying in History at that time. Our first artist will be Renoir followed by Monet.
History: A Beka's Our America, which was another disappointment. 3/wk will only get us through 20 weeks so we will just be reading some great books for the majority of the 2nd semester.
Geography and Map Skills: We are really just focusing on memorizing (and hopefully learning) the states, capitals and oceans. In the dollar section, Target has some great easy workbooks on the states and on some other topics.
Typing: We are using http://www.freetypinggame.net/. I really wanted a free program and I think I have found a good one. A tip on typing: when I was in school our typing teacher would have us fold a paper in half and stick on edge in the top above the numbers with the rest sitting on our hands so that we couldn't see the keys. We all learned to type very well and very fast.
Then of course we have reading time, misc lessons and piano lessons. It sounds like alot, especially when I type it out like this, but we are really only doing school for about 3-4 hours a day 4 days a week, plus 2 hours of co-op school time 2 days a week.
On Fridays I hope to do more volunteering, field trips, adventures, etc.
I am very excited for school to start and again I feel completely blessed that I am able to homeschool our daughter!