Monday, April 23, 2012

Curriculum Planning

Spring is always my curriculum thinking/ planning/ buying time.  As we near the end of a school year I enjoy looking at what is working well for us and what needs to change.  This year we took a few breaks (baby Isaac, visit from Grandma, etc) so we have a couple of months left to go before being done.  The girls seem to do much better when we stick to our routine of schoolwork in the mornings.  I'm planning to continue some things right on through the summer to give us that structure.  Here are my thoughts on where we are:

Lucy (will be seven this summer, grade 2/3ish):

We are enjoying reading about American history in Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory.  Both girls listen every day and really like the stories.  Next year I think we are going to use My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures.

Lucy does a great job with math for the most part.  We have been using Singapore Math 1A and 1B.  She has done well, but needs more practice.  I am going to be switching to Math Mammoth, starting in level 1 and working through the summer with her on it.  It looks similar to Singapore Math, but seems to explain things more and give a bit more practice.

Lucy is an excellent reader!  We are working through Heart of Dakota's emerging readers schedule.  In the fall I will be using ABeka readers with her.  I'm sure we will read plenty this summer too - Lucy and I are currently reading together the American Girl book Josephina just for fun.  :)

language arts (spelling, phonics, grammar, etc)
The grammar lessons in Beyond are pretty minimal.  I'm looking forward to using Rod and Staff Engligh 2 in the fall.  We are working through an Explode the Code workbook, and will continue through those.  Spelling comes naturally to Lucy, she usually aces her tests.  We will use Rod and Staff Spelling by Sound and Structure this fall.

REAL Science Odyssey is great, but it had fallen to the wayside after having Isaac.  Lucy was excited to pick it back up again this week.  We'll continue it at a relaxed pace through the summer and fall.  Exploring Countries and Cultures has some science in it, but we'll finish this too.

The girls are always doing an art project of some sort around here.  I am getting I Can Do All Things for Lucy to work through this summer.  She enjoys art and this will be something fun to occupy her.

We need to work harder on our memory verses each week!  I'm excited about the Bible content of Exploring Countries and Cultures - praying for other peoples as we learn about them, etc.

Spanish also got dropped along the way.  We have The Easy Spanish and like it, just need to use it more.  I'm hoping to get a computer at home so that Lucy can start Rosetta Stone in the fall.  (We just have a laptop that Ross takes to work.)

I recently came across these critical thinking books at our local homeschool bookstore.  I'm planning to order a few for this summer and fall.  Logic and critical thinking is definitely something that I want to challenge my girls on.  I want them to be able to process information and make decisions outside of their schoolwork.  These books would make great dinner table discussion topics.  (If you are interested in ordering, use my affiliate link for free shipping.)

Julia (will be 5 this summer, K):

Julia listens to all of the read alouds, history, even Lucy's reading, every day.  Often she is the first to answer comprehension questions.  I'm planning to consider her in Exploring Countries and Cultures right along with Lucy this fall.  I will not require her to do much of course, but she will enjoy it I'm sure.

Little Hands to Heaven
When Lucy had a break from school we actually kept going with Little Hands.  It was easy to do and gave the girls a bit of focus to their day.  Now that Lucy is doing schoolwork again I struggle to get this done.  They both want to listen to each other's things, so I have to wait until Lucy is done with her work and can listen too.  Hopefully we can work through the rest of it this summer.  This covers letters, early math, Bible, art, and more.

We are working through The Reading Lesson ever so slowly.  Julia enjoys it, but does not focus for very long.  I'll pick up the pace by fall for sure though.  I also got the first three Explode the Code books to reinforce phonics with her this fall.

There are plenty of early learning math toys around our home for Julia to use.  I picked up this math workbook for her to use in the fall.

Julia will use A Reason for Handwriting this fall.

edit: I just ordered Polished Cornerstones from Doorposts.  It looks great to work through for character building!

Phew, it took me a while to get that all figured out and there are only two of them in school so far!  What are your school plans this year?


  1. Sounds like a good plan! Evan and I just finished our K year with HOD LHFHG (we actually stopped at week 24), and we went back to MFW and are using First Grade. We love it! The phonics incorporated withing the curriculum is what was desperately missing for us!

  2. What a cute picture! Shows their personalities:) You're a busy mama! Your kids are so lucky:)