Tuesday, April 21, 2009

School Stuff

I've been walking with Mama-Aya - our kids are participating in an upcoming marathon together and we meet at the park to walk really slow around the track and run our mouths a hundred miles an hour do some serious training ourselves while our kids get in shape.

The topic comes up, as it inevitably will between two homeschooling moms, curriculum. What's the plan for next year? Mama-Aya, she's got it planned out to the $dollar$! I feel a little, um, behind. So I decided to put my plans and purchases out there too. (They are nothing like hers, just goes to show that homeschoolers are different!)
So here goes....

Big Sissy is in 10th grade - how this can possibly be, I don't know - this year. Here's what's on here agenda:

Math U See Geometry - Thankfully, we've already bought the rest of the math that she needs to finish high school. I'm requiring her to take this class and Algebra 2 to complete her high school math. I think she was relieved to know that there will be and end to math and she can see the light.

Rosetta Stone Spanish 2 - Last year she took French using Power Glide tapes. Although she felt like she learned a lot, Rosetta Stone is far above the other program. However, it has been difficult for us as we've switched through several computers this year and you have to start over every time. That's been frustrating and there is some catch up work to do with Spanish 1.

A Beka World Literature - She enjoyed this year's Themes of Literature and wanted to stick with the A Beka program again.

Spectrum Science - This will be a big expense for us this year. Some of the materials are consumable but a good portion can be re-used by the next high school student in the family. She took Rainbow science two years ago and, although she didn't love it, I appreciate the fact that it was a true lab science class but I didn't have to fish around for an orange, a globe and a flashlight 3 minutes before the experiment was to begin, if you know what I mean. The book is really well written with great pictures and everything you need to do everything is in the kit. When I saw that, I new it was for us!

Washington State History - This is required by the public schools and I thought it was a great idea. It's important to know the history on the state in which you live.

Bible Study - No ideas here. I need something good.

Music - We are thinking about looking for a voice teacher for Big Sissy. She's completed all of her the things she wanted to learn for this year, cake decorating, sewing, quilting, except for this last one, singing lessons. It's been cost prohibitive, but I think we're really to jump in.
Current Events - We subscribe to multiple magazines: God's World News, Acts and Facts, World, Seasons at Home (that one isn't exactly current events but has a lot of practical info for women but also the whole family).

Macho Man will be in 6th grade this year:

Horizon Math - He did do Math U See for the first two years and did miserably. I finally gave up on it and switched him to Horizon and he's done so much better! Sometimes it is good just to switch, forget your pride, forget the time/money investment, do what's best for that child. So for him, I forgot about the super great, hands on approach to Math U See. Now he does workbook pages. And likes it.

Building Spelling Skills - I used this with Big Sissy too, after tons of trial and error to find the right program. There were many tears in our house over the unmentionable big orange spelling book (I am withholding the name in case any of you also have similar emotional issues due to that program!) The only difference now, with Macho Man, is that I make him get them all right before he moves on. Works for us.

Rod and Staff Progressing with Courage - Every year of homeschooling I've had Macho Man in the Plaid Phonics workbooks. This year I have to face the fact that my little baby is in sixth grade with a post high school reading level. His test scores do show that he needs help on all the fun things in English like parts of speech and diagramming sentences. So, Ive decided to go with the sixth grade book, it sound just like what he needs.

A Reason For Handwriting - I love these books. He's got boy handwriting. Good combo.

Discover 4 Yourself - He's doing the Revelations books next year. Great studies for kids.

The Colors Science - Same as Big Sissy, but for 5-7 graders. Expensive, but again, worth it!

History - None. Really. I just get some good books for him to read. Get rid of your TV, video games, and computer and you too will find yourself with an avid reader than eats up any and everything you bring home.

Geography - Well.... I do have a map on the wall....

Creative Genius will be in 1st grade:

Horizons Math - Easy. I do have the Math U See stuff for this grade, we'll see how it goes.

A Reason For Handwriting - Just yesterday he did his first page with a verse on it. I'm going to frame it, it's just precious.

Plaid Phonics - When it's good, stick with it.

Art - classes

Reading - I am using Bob Books with him this year. Depending on where he's at next year we'll begin easy readers and, it seems to me, they just straight in to Boxcar Children and other chapter books from there.

Other than these things listed, I try my best to do lots of family activities, building and remodeling projects with Dad, cooking and kitchen projects with me and other educational-y things. And, really, when you are a homeschooling mom, everything you do turns in to a teachable moment.


mama-aya said...

Yay! Just what I wanted to see! I love the descriptions. Spectrum/Rainbow/Colors Science looks so cool- I have the hardest time finding science stuff that is fun, interesting, really educational, and has a scope beyond one year. Thank you for posting this.

Kimberly said...

You might check some local churches for your voice lessons. A local churches music pastor here gives piano and voice lessons as part of her ministry at a family friendly rate. We have 3 children studying with her, and if it weren't for her generosity, we could never afford lessons. God may have someone like that for you too

The Ties that Bind Us said...

Your list looks great! Looks like a good year. In answer to your lapbook question that you left on my blog. I would be delighted to show pictures and give resources for our Thanksgiving lapbook. There are so many things you can talk about when it comes to the "first" Thanksgiving and I realized it would take a few years to complete it, so we did not complete it and we will pull it out again this year in Nov. I like lapbooks for mini studies of something.

Carrie said...

Great List Jennifer....We do have similar issues with that big orange spelling book too...
I totally agree with you about letting go of things that do not work for a child or more...we had the same issues with things that worked for number one DID not work with number 2, but I may be able to come back to them for 3,4,5, etc...It is worth it to extend grace to your children by getting them what works for them...
I am so enjoying your blog...thank you SO much for it!