Monday, October 29, 2012

More Curriculum!

One of the things I wanted to do while we were in the US was pick up school curriculum for next year. While I can have most of it shipped to me with little to no trouble, the cost can sometimes be great enough that I could have purchased more curriculum. Taking advantage of our geographical location seemed a wise, & economical, choice. Of course, coming home & trying to put it all on the book cases has proved another thing all together! Wondering what we got?

1. Sonlight Core F -- this will be Morgan's main school for next year. It should be a lot of fun, & I know he'll enjoy it as it's all based on geography. This kid is a map freak!

2. Children Around The World -- I actually owned the instructors guide to this so I picked up the other bits & bobs we'd need to use the curriculum. Morgan may use a few pieces here & there with his Sonlight next year as Sonlight doesn't cover as many different countries as Winter Promise does.

3. Animal Worlds -- We've reached that bitter sweet moment with the boys were separating them for learning has come. I don't want to put Jayden in Core F because of his age & grade level. Basically it would mean he'd be finished with the Sonlight Curriculum a few years before he'd be done with school. Knowing his passions I discussed with him what he'd like to do & gave him some options. Winter Promise's Animal Worlds was top notch on his list, & we were blessed to have it passed on to us so we only had to purchase all the wonderful bits & bobs that go with it. I'm really excited to start this next year too!

4. Story Starters -- Morgan has always loved to play with words, & with his increasingly better vision he's itching at the seams to do much more with writing! Only problem is getting started with the story can be the hardest part for him, boy do I know that feeling. He often brings me his notebook & asks me to write something to get him started. He's so excited to dig into the Andreola's Story Starters, I'm excited to see what kind of endings he'll come up with. He really is very good at it!

5. Writing With Skill -- I hadn't intended to put the boys into any formal writing curriculum, but Morgan is just so much more eager then I feel capable. I know my mother would fully disagree with that, because she has so much more faith in some of my abilities then I do, aren't I blessed? After much debating & looking & thinking I decided to pick up Writing With Skill for Morgan in regards to writing non-fiction next year.

6. Writing With Ease -- If Jayden was asked to name the one subject he hates the most it would be copywork. He despises the time it takes to sit still & form perfectly neat & legible letters when there are so many better things in life he could be doing. While looking at Writing With Skill {WWS} for Morgan, I spotted Writing With Ease {WWE} & after even more pondering & looking knew it would be a really good fit for Jayden. I can't say he's jumping up & down with excitement over it, but I am!

7. A Reason For Spelling -- Morgan is still doing awesome with his Sequential Spelling, but it's not a good fit for our Jayden. The boys learn on different levels, & this is one area where that difference requires different curriculum. I was content to keep Jayden going in Spellwell, but he lodged the complaint that he felt the books were babyish. I disagreed, but because I want him to actually apply himself & do the work once he finished his current spelling book I researched other spelling programmes. While I wasn't jumping up & down to purchase a new spelling curriculum, I am extremely grateful for the extra character training this book will give him. He's all ready enjoying using it!

8. Saxon 7/6 -- Morgan is seriously in love with the Saxon math curriculum, & because he is so am I. I have to admit though that the middle grade books are nothing like the younger grade books & I really do love the way they choose to approach each new topic. He loves the "mathiness" of them & has no complaints when asked to do his math. So we picked up his book for next year.

9. Teaching Textbook 4 -- Remember the minor accident one of the discs we were using had? We picked up a replacement for just that disc while in the US.

10. Algebra 1/2 -- I purchased this used too. We've been using the homeschool editions of the middle grade saxon, I'm not certain if this one is, but it was a fantastic deal. Of course, as Mr S points out, "It's not a deal if you didn't need it!" We did need this book however, so prayerfully it's the right one!

11. Sonlight Science F -- This will be Morgan's science next year so we picked up the instructors guide & worksheets while we were there. In fact, we found all most all the books used as well which was a huge blessing too!

12. Better Binders -- Generally I don't purchase US binders for use in Australia. US paper is fatter & shorter then Australian paper. Thus using Aussie paper in a US binder is pretty much not gonna work. Not to mention the hole punchers here can't make big enough holes to use them either! However, our Sonlight Instructor Guides {IGs} come prepunched so having the Better Binders was perfect for them. I heard tell that these binders can stand up to the test which is great because these IGs aren't small, especially when you put the science in with them. Incase you're wondering, you'll need a 3-inch Better Binder to hole a Sonlight Core IG, mixed with a Sonlight Science IG, with the SL numbered tags, & the Sonlight Science Worksheets filed in the back. I did, however, pull out some of the "extra" stuff that's included every year in the SL IGs.

13. Misc. Books -- Mr S & I went through our shed while we were in the US & I snagged a few books that I'd been itching to read, books I wanted to read to the kids, etc. I couldn't resist snagging In Grandma's Attic, do you have any ideas how many times I've read that series of books? I want to share them with my boys now. Books for me included a few homeschooling books, Elizabeth George Bible Study books, & a perpetual Calendar of Bible verses.

14. Grandpa's Watch -- When Mr S's father died his mother divvied out a few of Grandpa's more precious belongings. Among them was his beloved watch. The one he was very meticulous about winding up each day. This is one of the items given to Mr S, except that he doesn't really wear a watch & so Grandpa's watch sat above my kitchen sink until we moved & I packed it up. It's a tradition in Mr S's family to give out a watch on a child's 10th birthday. Something like a right of passage. This was a big deal for Mr S to purchase Morgan a watch when he turned 10, all though it turned into a small disaster for the poor man. When I spotted Grandpa's watch Mr S lamented that he didn't know what to do with it stating that he wasn't likely to ever wear it. I smiled & said, "Let's give it to Morgan for his 18th birthday!"

15. Pencils!! -- When my local home education group asked me what, if anything, I was going to get while in the US, I told them pencils. I wasn't kidding either. I can't stand Aussie pencils. I'm sorry, but it's true! I want my pencils to have erasers on the end, the good kind. The kind that erase not scratch the paper. A few months ago we purchased some pencils from Amazon, they were a real treat. I had planned to pick up more while I was in the US, but came home with a bunch of mechanical Pencils {clutch pencils}. Normally I hate that type of pencil & find they scratch the page more then write, but I found a papermate brand that is just so smooth on the paper!

16. Prisma Colors -- On my school wishlist was the Prisma Color Coloured pencils. I've heard a lot of good things about them, but can't seem to find them locally to me. I hear tell I can buy them from the mainland, but when I discovered the price I nearly choked on my own idea. I had hoped to pick up a couple of packages of them at Hobby Lobby with a discount coupon. You know, a package for everyone. Only to my great shock, horror, & disappointment Hobby Lobby failed me. They didn't sell them!! I removed the plan from my list & carried on as normal, but when we were in Staples getting those better binders I couldn't resist a trip down the pen & pencil isle. I never can, nor the notebook isle. In fact, taking me into an office supply store is like taking most people into a chocolate store. Anyway, down the pencil Isle I spotted several tins of these awesome Prisma Color Pencils. I wanted to get the medium sized tin, but even in the US they are a tad pricey so I went with the smaller tin, the one with the little girl smiling on it. I decided if after use we think they are that awesome, I'll dedicate a bit of our education budget to buy each person their own packet.

17. US Flags -- I saved a space on my wall for a US flag, except I didn't have one. Crazy, huh? While there Mom gave the boys a largish stick flag. I'd actually meant to get a bigger one that I could hang on the wall too, but this one will do just fine. While at Hobby Lobby snatching up greeting cards, because seriously Hobby Lobby has awesome cards, I saw packets of little US flags & we decided to get some to share with our local Home Education group.

18. Remote Control Airplanes -- Okay, so these aren't curriculum for next year. They were my father's & Mom offered them to my boys who were absolutely delighted to have them. I was worried they'd be confiscated, but they made it through all the checks with no issues. The guys took them out to fly them this past weekend & have a bit of learning to do because first they couldn't get the crazy thing up & then they nearly lost it when they did get it up. It might have helped if I'd snatched the user's manual.

19. Cross -- that's also not part of school for next year, but our Jayden decided he had to buy Mommy & Daddy a surprise. So he picked out a funny US football with a santa cap on for Daddy, it's actually a Christmas ornament. He picked me out the metal cross that says Love on it. I was so relieved to see them in the bag because I'd honestly thought they'd been forgotten & Jayde was near tears over that thought!

20. Paracord -- equally not official school curriculum. Dad was making paracord bracelets & he'd just stocked up for another round, as I understand it. Mom asked if I wanted the supplies, & at first I was thinking, "I don't know how to do it!" but then I decided it'd be a nice distraction at times.

21. Beyond Five In A Row -- I was so excited to finally be able to snag up my BYFIAR manuals! We had opted not to move Morgan into this last year due to his vision issue. I didn't want to compound the problem by handing him books I knew he'd struggle with or ask him to do research I knew he'd be incapable of reading up on. However, we're debating using them with Jayden next year mixed in with his Animal Worlds.

22. American Art History -- Oh my, this is such an exciting blessing too. I've been writing for a homeschool review blog where I simply write reviews about curriculum we use. I rarely accept curriculum in exchange for a review, it's just one of those weird quirky things about me. However, the writer of this curriculum offered it up & no one else who writes for the blog seemed interested. Art is a place our little homeschool can often struggle with, so I decided to take a second look. I was so caught up in the sample that I couldn't put it down. Needless to say I offered to use it in exchange for a review. This company blessed our family beyond measure with the amount they sent to us! I've been so excited to start this since it all arrived at Mom's front door!!

23. Odds & Ends -- erasers, a few notebooks, bubble gum {Mr S bought some fancy flavors for a friend}, Easy Buttons {same as the last}, Sock Monkey Ornament {for a niece}, tiny metal tins {art project for the kids & the tins were all of $1}, etc.


Butterfly said...

Wow, that's a huge stack! Have fun trying to home it and put it to use! :)

Multi-tasking Mama said...

I love new curriculum (and admit to having an unnatural love of stationery). I also really like to see what other people are using in their homeschool endeavours. You look like you have some fun looking stuff there, look forward to hearing how it goes. BTW have you ever used Derwent pencils? They were terribly expensive but used to be our choice of pencils when we were kids.

Tracey said...

Now that is what I call advanced planning. I barely no what we are doing next week, and I have no idea about next year.

Kendra said...

Ha, Tracey, unless something changes between now & then I know what my kids will be doing between now & the time they are officially done with highschool {including, for any Aussie's reading} Grades 11 & 12. I might have a mini planning issue. Ha!