Our Curriculum Picks for 2015-2016 (Big Changes)

It's insane that it's that time of year again. Time to start putting in your orders for next year's curriculum picks. Yikes, I'm feeling behind.

I shouldn't though, because I've know for several months what we were going to do. There was even a big crisis over it.

Why does everyone push the new school year stuff so early? Pretty soon they'll be having back to school sales the day school lets out.

Let's cut the chit-chat and get right to it!

 curric post 2015-16

First, Let me tell you what we did last year.

We used KONOS Curriculum, Volume II. I sincerely loved it. I switched for three reasons.

  1. It was so much work. If I got behind I just felt I could never catch up.
  2. The costs added up, buying all that random stuff that I didn't have lying around the house.
  3.  I learned more than the kids did. I had to learn it all, then teach it to the kids.

Sure, I love to learn and want to do that, but I was becoming a crutch for them. I'm not saying they didn't learn anything though, they still spout off random facts and information all the time.

It also ignited their love for history and maps. I'd say that's a win!

They learned to love America (spent a lot of time on the American Revolution).

My oldest still doesn't get that we're friends now with the UK, he still thinks of them as the Red Coats. Ha ha ha.

After about Christmas we switched to Charlotte Mason, by way of Ambleside Online.

It took me a bit to figure out how to navigate it all and find all the resources we wanted. I really liked it, it did cut down on our full days and my work load, however, I still needed something else since I was having to read a ton aloud every day.

With my health issues I needed something that would give my children more independence. And wouldn't make it so if Mom was having a bad day, health wise, that we got waylaid more than could be managed.

Hence the last switch.

Robinson Curriculum is the BIG change. I'll post all about it another day.

1

The Captain, 9, entering 4th

Math -- Math-U-See He'll be doing Zeta (he's still mad at me because I was supposed to get it for him over the summer), and then moving on to Pre-Algebra. The kid is obsessed with math, so I am sure that he'll be in pre-algebra by November.

Writing -- The Writing Course

Reading -- Robinson Curriculum

History & Science -- Our co-op, supplemental materials, and self-interest studies

Music -- Piano: 67 Fun Songs Primer by Jon Schmidt. I'd like to have him start another instrument, preferably a string, but we'll see how it goes.

Foreign Language -- American Sign Language using ASL Done Right Vol. 1  & French

Gymnastics -- We're switching to a gym with a  competitive boys team.

Basketball -- He really wants to join up, but we've never put him in sports and it seems most parents put their kids in sports before they can even walk, so I'm worried about him being super behind. Also, I'm trying to find a team that doesn't play games on Sunday.

Art -- Creating a Masterpiece DVDs & Mark Kistler's Draw Squad. Fun fact, I used to watch him on PBS when I was a wee lass.

Handwriting -- I tried to use Handwriting Without Tears cursive, last year, but I'm pretty sure that stink-butt threw the book away. He denies it, but it's GONE. This year, I'll be switching to this book: Teaching Cursive! This Method Works It was recommended to me by another homeschool mom in one of the many groups I'm in. I'll let you know how it goes.

Typing -- Looking into Keyboarding Without Tears. We used Dance Mat typing, but I'd like something more comprehensive.

2

Little Miss, 7.5, entering 2nd

Math -- Math-U-See. She's going to finish Gamma and we'll also be working on drilling her math facts like crazy. After that she'll move up to Delta.

Writing -- The Writing Course

Reading -- Robinson Curriculum

History & Science -- Co-op, supplemental books, and self-study

Music -- Piano 67 Fun Songs Primer by Jon Schmidt & other instrument during the second semester

Foreign Language -- American Sign Language using ASL Done Right Vol. 1  & French

Dance -- Ballet or Hip Hop

Basketball -- Gotta find a team that doesn't play on Sundays

Art -- Creating a Masterpiece DVDs & Mark Kistler's Draw Squad

Handwriting -- She has great handwriting and is dying to learn how to write "fancy," so I know she's gonna love cursive.  Teaching Cursive! This Method Works

Typing -- Looking at Keyboarding Without Tears

3

The Animal, 6, entering 1st

Math -- Math-U-See, finishing up Alpha & memorizing math facts.

Reading -- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (we need to finish up the book) and books from Robinson Curriculum

Music -- Piano 67 Fun Songs Primer by Jon Schmidt

Foreign Language -- American Sign Language using ASL Done Right Vol. 1 & French

Swim -- Swim lessons to transition to swim team for next summer

Handwriting -- Handwriting Without Tears. He did the first book pretty quickly last year, but definitely needs refinement. It is probably due to the fact that I wasn't so strict on what he turned in to me.

 

4

Sweet Cheeks, 3.75, "preschool"

I'm not a huge supporter for preschool. To me, it's unnecessary and all that. However, my friend said she wanted to put together a preschool group, and I thought it might be nice as a way to have her out and about having fun with some friends and give me some good time to focus on working with The Animal.

I'm not sure if the preschool group is a go anymore though, I haven't heard back about it.

I'm determined to come up with some activities in a bag for her to use to keep her out of trouble (read: my makeup, or the toilet) and focusing on something worthwhile.

I'm going to plan in a set time each day to spend some time with her just reading together and some play time. She has technically two years before she's eligible for Kindergarten so I've got plenty of time to work on reading ;)

 

6

The Babe, 1

Snuggle time! Hopefully, lots of naps and playing.

 

To wrap it up

I'll give a report on how things go with our new curriculum picks after a few months into the school year. For now, I've got to go through the school budget and start purchasing stuff. Agh!

 

Next week we're going to use Easy Peasy (it's free) to get us a bit back on track since we haven't done any school over the summer like we usually do.

 

Leave a link for me to check out what you're doing this year. It's my favorite way to explore new curriculum ideas and to get to know great new people and families.