Sunday, February 12, 2012

NBTS: 2012 Curriculum

Our Worldwide Classroom

This week's Aussie Not Back To School Blog Hop is about the curriculum we're using this year. For a long list of reasons, I'm not going to share right now, both of my children use identical curriculum. They do, however, use it at their own grade level for math, spelling, & reading. So, you won't see a major breakdown of lists here for each student, but rather one list of everything we aim to use this year. Of course we could get a few weeks in and totally change our minds. That's happened before...

Sonlight Core E {5 Day} -- This year we're finishing off the second half of US History with Sonlight. We actually used Winter Promise last year, but opted to switch to Sonlight for this year. There were many factors in this choice, but one of the biggest was that I knew my children would enjoy the book selection more from Sonlight then would have from Winter Promise this year.
HomeSchool In The Woods -- Once again we're using the Time Traveler Cds. I could rave for more time then I should about this wonderful company & their amazing products, but I won't. This year we're using their Civil WarIndustrial Revolution Through The Great Depression, & World War II cds. These cds are loaded with historical information, notebooking pages, lapbooking pages, crafts, recipes, games, & more! I will be matching them up to the topics we cover in Sonlight so the boys can continue with a hands on theme for US History.


Teaching Textbooks -- We switched from a Living Math {homemade} curriculum with the boys to a more standard curriculum last year. We're continuing down that path for now and sticking with Teaching Textbooks 3, 4, 5, & 6 with the boys. No, they will not do two grades each in a year, it has more to do with where they were on their cds when we stopped for our summer break and how quickly I think they will progress through their studies over the course of a year.
Math Mammoth -- I am not a fan of this curriculum. In fact, I can't stand it, but we own a few that we've picked up for free & there are certain areas, at times, when I think my kids need a bit of review on a certain topic here or there. We will use Math Mammoth during those times alongside games to help reinforce math principles.  {I just find this curriculum far too textbooky, dry, & at times utterly confusing, but my children' have never complained when presented with the work. Another thing I was unimpressed with was the Metric Book measurements were off when we used our rules. That bugged me to no end!}
Life Of Fred  -- Morgan will be using Fractions {& Decimals} every other day alongside his Teaching Textbooks. We had some really crazy busy days last year where I had him do more computer based math then Fred. Morgan was less then impressed by that because he really loves the Fred books and does ridiculously well with them.

Language Arts:
Sonlight Language Arts -- I will be using two different grades here that best match my children's reading abilities. I noticed, while doing my research, that people either loved SL LA or they hated it. Personally what I saw of it I really liked and I'm very eager to get going with it. Both boys were suppose to use this last year, but our package with Morgan's book was lost in the mail somewhere and I had to reorder and await it's arrival. Jayden's arrived & he started on it, but I slowed him down because I didn't want to have them both in the same book should Jayden have finished his before Morgan's arrived. 
SpellWell -- Both boys will be continuing with SpellWell, or rather Morgan will continue with it while Jayden begins with it. I wasn't sure if Jayden would truly need a spelling programme, and I'm still not. He's got a photographic memory that serves him well in many of these situations, but he's requested spelling so he can "learn to do it right." 

Apologia Science -- Our original plans for science last year didn't pan out the way I had hoped. It was probably teacher error, but regardless I felt the need to pick up in this area of our homeschool a bit, especially with highschool so close for Morgan. Thus, we've decided to go with Apologia Science & had hoped to start last year. I wanted, very badly, to do Biology with the boys, but they chose Zoology 1, which we had to wait ages for because the Jr Notebook for Jayden was suppose to be printed at the end of October but got pushed to the end of November & was eventually pushed to the end of December. So much for that jump start on science! Funniest part was, had we gone with Biology we wouldn't have had to wait. The boys have since decided they'd also like to do Biology so we're debating ordering Biology & doing 6 weeks of one 6 weeks of the other, but I'm very undecided at this time.
NaturExplorer Nature Studies -- I would love to say I'm capable of using these as our sole science curriculum, but I'm not. It's that simple. I do own many of these though and hope to get good use out of them this year. We'll see how that pans out.

Beautiful Feet -- Last year we purchased their History Of Science while we were waiting for the Apologia Science, but I had a hold up getting a few books we needed. One couldn't be sent directly to me for some absurd reason & the others took a while for me to round up. 

Artistic Pursuits -- I'm still desperately seeking someone in my area who will teach the boys art {drawing}, but until then we've decided to continue forward with Artistic Pursuits. We'll be using some of the books from the K3 level and some rom the 4-6 level. 

Grapevine Bible OT -- We've spent the last two years working through the New Testament with the Grapevine Curriculum. We had times when we took the lessons very slowly and allowed ourselves to really stroll through it quietly. We also had times when we picked up the pace considerably and ran headlong forward until I felt we should really slow down. So this year I'm really looking forward to going back to the Old Testament with the boys {especially Jayden who only remembers some of the more famous things from the OT}  & starting again. We'll be using Level 2 this time.
Bible Memory Box -- which is more fondly known as the Memory Box in our home. This box is packed with Bible verses, some from the lessons we've done, some that are ones that apply to certain situations a family member might have needed to concentrate on, or perhaps a family favorite. The box is still brimming and we're still adding to it. Last year the boys worked their way through Luke 2 with this system {as well as many other verses} & I really need to video them saying it.
Sonlight Bible -- Sonlight offers a few different ideas for Bible in all their cores. We will try them all and what we like we will stick with, if some don't fit for us that's okay too. However, one that I do plan to use is reading through the Bible with the boys. They have you read in the NT & then go back to the OT for a bit. When we do this, I'm planning to use The Picture Smart Bible. I thought it would be a fun way to help them remember what each book of the Bible that we read is about.

Sonlight Geography -- within our core this year we'll be learning about Canada & South America. I'm curious to see how this geography will play out because we were sorely disappointed with our geography last year. I like that this year we'll learn about missionaries to certain countries, and from what I can tell without actually doing the lessons this year looks so much more promising!

Mystery State Series -- I bought these books when Morgan was in 2nd grade or less! They were on special via The Mailbox company. Each book has stories inside and then you solve the mystery. Obviously each one revolves around maps and locations. We'll be using these for our upcoming Mystery/Spy unit.

Tools For The Geographer -- this a new to us book that I believe is out of print. I was feeling very frustrated with our geography last year. My kids know plenty in regards to continents, oceans, major countries & cities. But I wanted to go a bit more in depth. This book was recommended in one of the Rebecca Rupp books & I was able to hunt it down and try it out. Basically each page/lesson gives you coordinates on a map and you have to find that exact place. I think the boys will really enjoy using this book!

{Things we may use, we may not use, or simply do not fit into a category above}

Notebooking pages {vary}

Of course, we're still waiting for some of our things to arrive, so we're going to start the new school year off with a fun unit study about spies/detectives! Should be fun, the boys have been waiting far too long for this unit study so here's hoping it's everything they were looking for.


Caz said...

Looks like an exciting and busy year ahead :) I had a look at Math Mammoth and I have to agree, it looks like it would cure insomnia ;)

Sheryll said...

Great to see your choices! I will be scouring your blog when we start our American history studies.

Nancy said...

Hi Kendra,

Looks like you have a great year ahead of you. We will be using Sonlight E this fall. I am considering adding in the Homeschool In The Woods stuff as well but just worried it will be too much and I will get overwhelmed. I will be interested to see how you integrate it.

We are doing Sonlight Core D this year. For Geography, I like the Map Trek CD from Knowledge Quest. These give us extra historical maps to do. I also have a historical atlas that we look at during our studies. I will usually do more geography than what Sonlight suggests.If they suggest mapping Jamestown, I will use the historical maps to have my son add in other places as well. I like to add in surrounding areas.

I am also printing off state maps from the Map Trek CD and we do a couple a week and just use an atlas to learn some basic info of the state and put in the capital and other major cities and rivers, lakes, landmarks etc..

We also like the games 10 Days...We have 10 Days in the Americas that match up with Sonlight D and are really enjoying that!!

Nancy said...

By the way, I am a fan of the Sonlight Language arts! I agree people either love it or hate it!LOL

Erin said...

Some really good resources there! Looks like a wonderfully promising year. Happy Learning:)

pasmit said...

Wow, thanks for showing us the resources. I love seeing pictures of resources. It helps me understand them more than just a name and review.

Sheryll said...

Just a thought on Math Mammoth's metric it because you are printing on a different size paper here? I have MM but haven't printed those sections yet. Wonder if choosing no page scaling rather than the default of Fit to Printable Area would help.