This is always one of my favorite posts of the year. The curriculum post. I wrote this past weekend about how I’m practically a curriculum-tester…remember? Yeah, it’s true. I love curriculum. I get the same rush from new curriculum that I get when I see all the pens, pencils, and backpacks out at Wal-Mart every summer. It makes me happy. I’m nerdy that way.
This year, I have a fourth grader, a third grader, a kindergartner, a pre-k kiddo, and a partridge in a pear tree….wait….more like a finch in a half-dead tree? Not the same effect huh? Okay, okay, on with the post! Here are our curriculum choices for the 2015-2016 school year:
THIRD & FOURTH GRADE
My boys will be doing things pretty much together, and I’ll simply be tailoring things to their individual needs. Of course, once again this year, we will be using our absolute favorite, Sonlight. We did the first half of Core D last year (American History) and we will finish up that core this year. I have really enjoyed taking two years to complete this core because we have had the opportunity to expand each topic through projects and extra activities. It’s been really fun. Click here for my Pinterest board on Sonlight Core D to check out all our extension ideas for this year (and last year too!). We’ll be using Sonlight for our Reading & Literature, History and Science.
For Math, we will be using Right Start Math. After two and a half years of struggling in Math, I am so happy to say that after half a semester with RSM, Isaac happily claims that his favorite subject is Math…along with history, reading, and science. I am tickled pink about it! We love RSM because it’s hands-on, activity-driven, and the workpages aren’t too intense for my reluctant writers. With Isaac, we will be finishing up Level C and moving to Level D. With James, we will be starting Level C.
Last year was the first year that I actually felt really good about writing. I finally felt that we had hit a groove, and I knew what worked. However, I still feel like I am missing a lot of the mechanics and grammar of the writing process. So, I’m really excited to be trying out Here to Help Learning’s writing program. My kids and I have already checked out the first lesson, and my oldest son has officially declared that it “might be kinda cool”. That’s 9-year-old code for, “Wow Mom, that’s amazing! I can’t wait to start this writing curriculum!”
Penmanship….I feel like this is where the gloomy music begins playing in the background. Do you hear it too? This is the one subject where my oldest son absolutely rares up and starts bucking. The child hates to physically write. We realized last year that he had a pretty significant fine motor delay, so we worked with a therapist all through the year last year, and made significant improvements in his writing. I’m encouraged with the progress we made last year. In that line of thinking, I’ve decided to go with a therapy-approved cursive curriculum this year. The big thing that attracted me was that the practice pages were minimal, so it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Also, there is actually a method to the way the swoops and loops are taught. It’s called Handwriting Helps for Kids, and I’m optimistic about our Handwriting time this year **smiles**
KINDERGARTEN AND PRE-K
Again, we will be using Sonlight Core A for my girls this year (big surprise huh?) for reading, history, language, and science. I will be supplementing with Bob Books (just because she loves them so much) and we will continue using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I really like that book, and so far, it’s done a great job getting our girl on an early start to reading. Click here for my Pinterest board on extension ideas for Sonlight Core A.
For Math, we will be using Right Start Math Level A. We started this last year, and the girls just ate it up! They loved the card games and the activities, and who can beat the Yellow is the Sun song?
For Handwriting, we will be using Handwriting Helps for Kids manuscript for my kinder girl and pre-writing level for my pre-k girl. Again, I’m excited about this program, and I think it will be a good fit for us.
As far as Bible goes, I’m looking for a little deeper study for my older ones without losing my littles, and I’m considering the Picture Smart Bible. What are your thoughts on this? Any experience? What do you use?