Updated to add: I’m also linking this to The Heart of The Matter Online’s “Not Back to School Bloghop” – you can hop over there to find MORE posts about school curriculum. =)
I am a SERIOUS school supply, office supply, and yes.. curriculum junkie. I have to keep myself in check when this time of year rolls around and it can be really hard sometimes to make decisions over which curriculum to go with. I know, I know, I could just pick an all-in-one, straight out of the box curriculum. I’ve tried to go that route, but I’m just not really happy with it. I most prefer picking and choosing things based on how well they fit our needs, my kids’ strengths and our budget. Besides, while browsing I get to drool over all kinds of interesting books and creative learning tools.
I’ve actually had most of our curriculum planned out for weeks (though I have yet to actually buy anything) but I still like to peruse up until the very last minute.. just in case I change my mind. 😉 Most likely I won’t change my mind (much) and here’s our curriculum as it stands right now:
Math – Finish Switched on Schoolhouse 5th Grade & then move on to LifePac 6th Grade. We switched to Teaching Textbooks and are so happy with it!
Language Arts – Finish S.O.S. 5th grade and then Lifepac 6th Grade. Maybe. Or I may just use McGuffey Readers (probably the Fourth,) the McGuffey Speller, A Shorter English Grammar With Composition, etc. After all, they’re free, and they’ve worked for generations and generations.
Math – Horizons Math, 2nd Grade (She’s already about a quarter of the way through this and we LOVE. IT!)
Language Arts – McGuffey First Reader, First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, the McGuffey Speller. I also have a Houghton Mifflin public school spelling book I can use with her. For handwriting (I’m kind of ashamed to admit this…) several leftover workbook halves from big sister to be used up. I’m also looking at several free penmanship books on Google Books, let me know if you know of a good one!
Math, Reading, Writing – with mom, hands on, as his attention span allows. When he’s ready, the McGuffey Primer. I have several dollar store and Walmart pre-k/k workbooks with activity pages and basic skills when he wants to work in those. I also REALLY want to have a variety of hands-on items available to him throughout the school day, like this Gears! Gears! Gears! set and these Tinkertoys He likes to do things with his hands, it keeps him busy for hours, and he learns a lot through it, too. I also have a lesson book that goes along with the first four Magic Treehouse books, which he received for Christmas. It’s for early elementary kids but it will be very easy to adapt down.
Supplemental Reading– Weather (Usbourne Beginners, Level 2), Sun, Moon And Stars, Level 2: Internet Referenced (Beginners Nature – New Format), Planet Earth (Usbourne Beginners, Level 2), Gilgamesh the Hero, The Tales From the Odyssey series by Mary Pope Osborne, and Favorite Greek Myths
As you can see I truly AM an eclectic homeschooler. Not only do I mix and match curriculum but also methods, teaching styles and whatever else I need to use. I adore the older books such as the McGuffey readers but I also love a well put together and brand spanking new math or science curriculum. I want both structure and routine but also “free learning time” with a variety of games, books and projects available to them. This method has it’s advantages but also a bit of extra work involved. Still, it’s my favorite way. =)
A lot of how I choose our curriculum does have to do with cost, and free is definitely my favorite amount, but it’s not our only deciding factor. It was very important to me that I found a biblically based science curriculum and a history curriculum with a biblical worldview. I needed science and history programs that I could easily use with multiple grades. I also wanted to find things that would make it easy to incorporate a variety of teaching methods and learning styles. The math curricula are chosen specifically for the child’s ability with math and learning style. All these things together are what have guided me through my choosing process.
Princess will be finishing up her history and science this month and then we’ll begin our new year with her current math and language arts to finish but that will free us up to do all of our group subjects together. Drama Queen already has a jump start on her 2nd grade math book & McGuffey reader so she’ll just dive right back into those after taking off this month while I help Princess wrap up and while I work on getting ready for the new year. I can’t wait to get started with the new curriculum. I need to get that science and history ordered!!
Now it’s your turn:
If you haven’t already, tell us what your children will be learning this year. Tell us how you pick and choose. Or write about one of the other topics if you haven’t already. Everything links up on the linky list on Monday’s post. There are also linkies for your homeschool blog and a curriculum-for-sale post if you have one. There are so many options! (It should be obvious by now I LIKE options! So go ahead, link up!
Check out the:
- Original Carnival Post
- Monday’s post about organizing, planning & scheduling (with the linkies)
- Tuesday’s post about my “students.”
- Wednesday’s post about our school day.
(All Amazon items are linked with my Classic Housewife affiliate id.)