Tag Archives: curriculum

Visit the World Through Video

visit-the-world-through-video

This week on the Virtual Curriculum Fair, we are talking about Exploring Our World: Social Studies and the Exploratory Sciences. Be sure to visit the Homeschooling Hearts and Minds to catch all of the posts related to this, and all, themes of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair.

week-4-exploring-our-worldSocial studies, history, geography – these are all favorite topics of mine both for teaching and learning. There is so much to be gain from any contact with these. Whether it be  reading a difficult text and getting through it or just having fun with a simple game, I enjoy just about every aspect of learning about the world. One of my favorite ways is to watch a video about it.

We keep our Netflix handy and have recently added Amazon Prime. We have shelves stocked with documentary videos and a library system that we pull videos from often.

Nothing can bring you more information about a place than seeing it. But what do you do when you cannot visit in person? Watch a video on it.

smartkidz-media

Other than the previously mentioned resources, we have a couple of other that have proved to have a lot of fantastic videos for learning about our world, geography, and cultures. SmartKidz Media Library has been one of those. We reviewed it a couple of years ago and we still find things on there that complement what we are reading and learning about. Recently it involved castles. I am currently browsing for things on Greece. They have a couple that we will check out soon. Another fantastic resource for video based classes is SchoolhouseTeachers.com. We are so blessed with this resource. They include Drive Thru History as part of their course options and these are going to be fantastic! A third resource that we have access to (through SchoolhouseTeachers) is Right Now Media. There is a large variety of religious resourced at this site, some of it highly applicable to a middle school or high school level history. Missionary stories make a wonderful cultural resource, as well.

schoolhouseteachers-geography

some SchoolhouseTeachers.com geography courses

schoolhouseteachers-history

some SchoolhouseTeachers.com history courses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delving a bit into the science end of the topic (which really isn’t where this week goes but fits with the theme of visiting the world through videos), we have a number of interest DVDs that we enjoy pulling out. Titles of some of our favorites are:

  • Planet Earth
  • Flight
  • Metamorphosis
  • Living Waters
  • Curiosity Quest

Each of the previous resources also have a number of options for science titles.

I just think there is no substitute for seeing something. And when you can do so in person, it is a great option to pull out a video that will show it to them. So, don’t be afaid to pull out those videos and spend some time exploring that place you just read about in literature or a history text. My girls always remember more when it is tied to something else.

At Home.

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Exploring Our World this week:

Note: all links will be LIVE by Monday 1/23 at noon EST.

Notebooking Our Way through History by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Studying the Where and How by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays

The History of Our Mysterious Struggle With History by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Social Science, Science and Exploring our World – Our Path by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Learning History Through Fiction by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

History in Our Homeschool by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Exploring Our World Through History And Science by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Bringing History to Life! by Yvie @ Gypsy Road

History, Living Books and the Imagination by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Exploring our world comes in many different forms. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Bible, History and Geography by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Beyond the Books – Social Studies and Science by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Exploring the World with Living Books by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

High School History & Science without Textbooks by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Exploring the World Starting with Canada by Annette @ A Net in Time

Visit The World Through Video by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Nature Study is Our Favorite Way to Do Science by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

What A Wonderful World by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Time we got Lost in the Woods by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acres

What A World by Jennifer King @ A “Peace” of Mind

If you have written a post related to the theme of Exploring Our World, please link it up!

An InLinkz Link-up

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Blue Ribbon Awards – Our Choices

family-blue-ribbon-awards

If you have been following our adventures for a while, you know that at the end of each Homeschool Review Crew year we vote for our favorite products from all of those that we reviewed during the year. We enjoy sharing our favorites with you over again so that is what we are doing today. When I announced it was time to vote, more than one of the girls hollered “I LOVE THIS PART!”

We truly enjoy these products. Each of these we are either still using or have completed. We would recommend these products to our friends to use (and have often with some of these). When people ask for ideas for curriculum, these are the companies we share.

All three of the giggly girls had input with choosing these companies. And later this week the results of the Homeschool Review Crew will be posting. I’ll let you know when those post so you can read about what the final results were across the board, including categories that are not included here because we didn’t review in that category OR we didn’t care for the product that we did review.

Drum Roll Please . . .

Reading Curriculum: Talking Fingers

Writing Curriculum: Writers In Residence

Spelling Program: Talking Fingers

Penmanship Program: Homeschool Copywork

Literature Curriculum: IEW Poetry Memorization

Literature Resources: YWAM: Clara Barton

History/Social Studies Curriculum: Homeschool Legacy

History/Social Studies Supplement: The Cat of Bubastes (However, it was a close call between that, Beric the Briton, and The Dragon and the Raven.)

Science Curriculum: Apologia Astronomy

Science Supplement: NotebookingPages.com

Math Supplement: Times Tales

Foreign Language Curriculum: Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids

Fine Arts: ARTistic Pursuits: Construct (We are using other books by this company, as well.)

Christian Education: Science Shepherd

Christian Education Product:The Familyman Christmas Treasury

Elementary Product: Apologia Astronomy

Middle School Product: NotebookingPages.com

Parent Product: Hey Mama! Planner

Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed: Jolly Phonics & Jolly Grammar

Best Online Product: Homeschool Copywork

Best Book/Novel/Audio Book/Audio Drama: The Glass Castle

Just For Fun: 3 Seeds and Commissioned, both by Chara Games

Personal Favorites:
Miss E: The Cat of Bubastes
Miss L: NotebookingPages.com
Miss J: Talking Fingers
Mom: Working It Out from Everyday Education

Be sure to check out the Homeschool Review Crew post with all the winners from the Crew voting and other families’ favorites. When that post goes live, I’ll put the link here.

Thank your for joining us for our Middle School Monday post and seeing what our favorites were with this year’s Homeschool Review Crew.

At Home.

 

Christian HomeSchool Hub ~ a TOS review

The internet is a wealth of information. But finding it is key. That is when sites such as CHSH-Teach.com come in super handy. Christian HomeSchool Hub (CHSH) is a place where there are tons of digital resources to browse through and for the purpose of this review, our family was give access to the CHSH Download Club for a year. There is so much more there than we could ever use in a year.

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
The Download Club was founded by Lynda Ackert. She has spent many years creating online resources and while you can find her materials a number of places on the internet, CHSH has them all in one easy-to-access location. When you subscribe to the Download Club, you have access to all of the materials she has created and uploaded, as well as a number of resources that she has obtained permission to place on the site for her subscribers. In all there are over 50,000 downloadable pages that subscribers have access to.

The content on this site is not static. Lynda is adding more new materials all the time. Just in the last few days, there have been learning packets for K, 1, and 2 added. These packets have hundreds of pages of printable learning for math, grammar, phonics, critical thinking, science, and more. While I am not using all of them, I have downloaded a few of the pages from the 2nd grade learning pack for Miss J to work on some specific areas in math. Also added to the site are various nomenclature cards for geology and history, some reading comprehension, and an autumn mini-book.download-listing-by-grade

The Download Club has a search feature but I have found that the best way to get around the site is just to browse the listings. The downloads are listed by subject, by grade, and by month. There is also a category for organization and one for miscellaneous. I have found some gems by just clicking around a category and seeing what is there.

Some interesting finds?

  • Lots of literature units that employ comprehension questions.
  • A unit study/lapbook on Ancient Egypt which we will use parts of to go with an audio book we just started.
  • A unit on elections, very timely if you are studying that.
  • Various pages on Roman Numerals which we are needing to review.
  • Complete geography curriculum.
  • Classic books that can be downloaded to read, including a number by some of my favorite authors such as Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Sidney, and Frank L. Baum, just to name a few.

downloadable-books-image
My biggest disappointment with this site was that so much of it is worksheet based. Even the unit studies seem to be mostly worksheets with minimal hands-on projects or suggestions. Many of the pages have that “school at home” feel to them, which is perfect for student who really enjoy worksheets and pages of practice and answering questions.

labeling-fractions
The other thing that has bothered me is that there seems to be a pretty sizable gap in ability level. For example, with fractions I found the very simple “Color three of the four. What fraction is colored?” and the much more difficult “Add the fractions (with different denominators) and then reduce.” But I really needed the in between of those ability levels. With time, there was working on hours and quarter hours but I never could find anything to help us work on time telling to the minute.

Even with these little hiccups, there have been tons of things that we can use.

working-on-moneyMiss J has been working on some math worksheets that I found in a larger packet to work on money and fractions. Those are two areas that I noticed her struggling and her math book didn’t seem to be focusing on them enough. So, we pulled up some worksheets from the CHSH Download Club and she has been working with them.

For the Olympics, we did a study and wanted a couple of additional resources. We pulled some information on the host country from a geography program. We printed a couple of puzzles and some of the information pages about the history of the Olympics.

For sign language practice, we printed the various sets of flashcards. We found that these really needed a video component for them so they didn’t work well on their own. We were able to pair them with a video from another site and this provided Miss E some good ASL practice.

All in all, CHSH-Teach.com is a place where you can find just about anything to work for what you need, though it may take some digging to find it. You can, however, find some amazing things and complete curriculum here for most everything. The CHSH Download Club  is one we will continue to find gems from throughout the school year.

At Home.

Please visit the TOS blog to read about how CHSH has enhanced other homeschools.

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club} 

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Apologia Astronomy ~ a TOS review

Stars, planets, moons, orbits, satellites, and oh, so much more! The updated Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition by Apologia Educational Ministries has provided fun, very interesting learning opportunities for our family and a greater appreciation of all that is observed in the skies, whether day or night.astronomy set

It is always fun opening a box from Apologia and this time was no different. Except this time? It was better. The girls oohed and aahed over the beautiful, hard-backed text with full color photographs, drawings, and illustrations. The book was passed around and they took turns finding something beautiful to look at. The notebooking journals, too, brought exclamations of interest and joy.

We received:

 

STUDENT TEXT:

Coupling stunning images with scientific information makes this text a beautiful work of art. It is well-written in language that is sufficiently detailed without being difficult to understand. The writing style makes it work equally well as a student-directed lesson or as a read-aloud family lesson. This is highly flexible so you can tailor it to fit your family’s needs.reading text

The text contains 14 lessons and each lesson can be broken up into the number of days you need. Using the schedule in the notebooking journals, the lessons contain from four (4) to seven (7) days of assignments. We have found some of these to be a bit too long for our 2nd grader but they work just fine for our 5th and 7th graders using the program. The text is detailed enough to make it a good middle school course, especially when supplemented with additional reading assignments of your own choosing. (Miss E is checking out additional books from the library each week related to the current topic in astronomy.)

The topics covered are:notebooking journal

  1. What is Astronomy?
  2. The Sun
  3. Mercury
  4. Venus
  5. Earth
  6. The Moon
  7. Mars
  8. Space Rocks
  9. Jupiter
  10. Saturn
  11. Uranus
  12. Neptune
  13. Kuiper Belt and the Dwarf Planets
  14. Stars, Galaxies, and Space Travel

That is quite a lot of information and all of it is beautifully related to God’s design for life. The relationship is not a blatant one, in my opinion, but author Jeannie K. Fulbright does a masterful job of mentioning the relationship of God to each piece of his creation at just the right time to guide the student’s thoughts to why, how, or in what ways God’s design is perfect. An example of this is when the discussion of gravity is occurring and she directs the student to be thinking about just how perfectly the earth is situated to not be pulled into the sun, not be pushed away from the sun, and be exactly where it must be in order for life to exist.

Throughout, there are blue banners that are titled Think About This and blue boxes titled Wisdom From Above. In these, Fulbright is a bit more direct about connecting the topic at hand to the Bible and Christian faith. With a Bible verse and a thought, fact or quote, she directs the students to be thinking more deeply about the connections to God. I personally love these and the girls have really seemed to get a lot out of the connections that are pointed out.

Each lesson has a few experiments/explorations. We did several of the ones that included items we had right here at the house. We did not have to go buy anything in order to complete these. One had to do with creating a model of the solar system. Another dealt with the sun’s heat and rays so we melted chocolate. Making a sun viewer was also one that we were able to do with what we had. Each lesson has several of these types of directly related activities that strengthen the understanding of concepts within the lesson.

Something that is easy to miss but should not be is Apologia’s course website created to go along with this text. Using a password that is found in the front of the text, you can access this course website through their site. There you will find videos, articles, star charts, biographies, and so much more. (A number of the site links are broken but there is still more there than I can possibly absorb!)

The end of the text contains an appendix that has a couple of helpful resources. One is a listing by lesson of all materials needed for the experiments/explorations included in the text. There is also an answer key for the What Do You Remember? sections for each lesson.

NOTEBOOKING JOURNALS:

Our schedule during this review period has been to do at least two days a week of the astronomy course. This is easy to do with the schedule that is set up in the front of the notebooking journals with check boxes next to each day’s activities. For both the teacher and self-guiding students, this is a fantastic help for “do the next thing.” It is all written out for you.daily schedule example

As you can see from the example of the schedule, there are a variety of activities for the students to do in the program: readings, activities (experiments/experiences), minibooks, coloring pages (jr. notebooking), science kit activities, puzzles/games, and writing opportunities. They are encouraged to do additional learning activities such as reading books related to the topic, watching educational videos, and taking field trips. (We reviewed Apologia’s Field Trip Journal last year and it would fit in well here.) Visit Apologia’s site for the astronomy course to download samples from the notebooking journals for more information.

The notebooking journals are a way for the students to use what they have learning in the readings and experiments/explorations from the text. The open-ended response pages allow the students to show off what touched them, what they remembered, what was interesting to them. I have found that these opportunities to share what they found important allows the girls to internalize much more of what they are experiencing. Even the minibooks, as a whole, do not have a lot of specifics to them other than the gist of the topic they are related to.

minibooks on sunIf you have a student who balks at writing, these might be a bit more difficult to use but they would work equally well with the student dictating orally and someone transcribing their words. We have done that with a couple of the pages where Miss J had so much she wanted to share that she couldn’t possibly get it all down on the page. Her mind was just moving too fast for her pencil.

The notebooking journal and the junior notebooking journal are very similar. The biggest difference between the two seems to be the lines are for writing. The junior notebooking journal has the three-part lines: solid bottom line, dotted center line, solid top line. This is great if you have a student who is struggling with penmanship or letter formation. The notebooking journal has single lines. The junior notebooking journal has coloring pages at the end of the lesson while the notebooking journal has a What Do You Remember? page. The journals have a Bible verse for copywork and contain both a print and a cursive example of the verse. The minibooks are the same for both and the activities seems to be the same. This makes it simple to use as a family course. At the same time, these are very easy to use for a self-directed student. So, adapt it to fit your family!

AUDIO CD:

This was our least favorite part of this fantastic curriculum. The audio CD is an MP3 version of the text. It can only be read by a MP3 disc player, such as a computer. It is not downloadable and cannot be transferred from the disc to a portable player. The controls are simple to use and pop up on the computer screen, to be manipulated with the mouse.

This would be great for a student who struggles to read, doesn’t like to, or perhaps can’t for some reason (recovering from an illness comes to mind, here). It reads the text, just as it is in the book.

We thought this would be a great fit for our oldest who has recently enjoyed using audio CDs so she can listen, learn, and do something with her hands, such as cross-stitch. This was not a good fit for her. The reader’s voice is quite monotone. While easy to understand, it is not enjoyable and quickly became hard to follow. The lack of expression and enjoyment in the reader’s voice meant that it was difficult to maintain attention . This CD is not something I would recommend.

ONE MORE THING:

Apologia has recently released a kit to go along with the astronomy course. We did not receive the Astronomy 2nd Edition Science Kit as part of this review, though it would be quite an asset to this course. According to information available, there are additional experiments for the course included in the kit. I cannot speak to the contents of it but it looks like it might be pretty neat.

notebooking work

USING WITH OLDER STUDENTS:

We are currently using this course with our middle school/7th grade student. The text is detailed enough to make this appropriate for this age. The notebooking journals, however, are not a good fit. In order to show understanding and comprehension of what is read and the activities, Miss E is using notebooking pages to document her work. She uses the same reading schedule as her sisters and then prints a page to write about her understanding and interest. The activities are one of the areas where this is very good for her because she is understanding enough of the cause/effect that she is actually able to do a large portion of the explanation for her sisters. This allows her to fill her big sister role and act as a mentor while having to put her understanding into words that someone else can follow is a critical thinking aspect that she is really benefiting from.

CONCLUSION:

Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition brings together the fascination of space and astronomy, clearly written instruction, and stunning photography and imagery then melds it with the understanding of God’s hand in all of His universe. If you are looking an easy-to-use, easy-to-implement program, this is definitely one to look at. With the pieces able to be purchased separately, you can get exactly what fits your family’s needs and your budget.

At Home.

Find Apologia Educational Ministries  on social media:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/apologiaworld @apologiaworld
Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/apologiaworld/

Click on the banner below to read additional reviews on the astronomy set by other Crew families.

 

Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition Review 

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7th grade curriculum

7th Grade Curriculum

We’ve talked about schedule so I figured I would fill in the details of what the curriculum pieces are that actually fill that schedule.

 Bible: Bible Bowl materials for Lads to Leaders this year cover Ruth, Esther, and Job. So her daily reading is over one or more of those books. She has a binder with study helps, questions, and other materials. We also use Quizlet to help us go through the questions. We also do a KidSing memorization program at church and she is working on the fourth card, covering all of Genesis.

Math: Horizons 6 – We are working through book 6 at a steady pace. We aren’t out to win any medal with this but rather to understand the concepts and to get through it with peace.

Science: Apologia Astronomy – We are using the newest version of the Exploring Creation with Astronomy (review coming up in a few weeks). So far, it has been lots of fun and Miss E completes notebooking pages (remember NotebookingPages.com?) for each reading. The family does the activities and experiments together.

Literature: various – We are creating a reading list that will include a large number of classical literature books. She will do several notebooking pages to go along with each book.

Grammar: Middle School Grammar by Brookdale House – Miss E is completing a couple of pages of this book each day. It covers all aspects of grammar and includes extremely high quality passages as copywork.

Writing: Jump In by Sharon Watson – I stumbled upon this program and bought it because it was on clearance. I really like it and Miss E seemed to be pretty excited about it after reading the letter that the author wrote to the student. She covers one skill per day.

History: Olympics and Texas History – These are the two things we are covering this fall. The Olympic study will be a short term unit covering the events and working on a lapbook or two regarding the events and Brasil and history of the competition. Texas History is still in the works, though I found a good program that I am looking pretty closely at to make sure I am happy with it. These history studies tie in with her literature program.

Spelling: Phonetic Zoo from IEW – This is a challenging list of words that only takes a few minutes a day. We will keep on with this program.

Poetry: Poetry Memorization from IEW – This is a fun memorization program that takes a few minutes a day and Miss E is doing well with it.

Arts (foreign language, music, dance, art): Miss E is studying ASL and will be taking lessons with a wonderful teacher from church. She has begun studying the hammered dulcimer and we are working on finding a book to teach her from but her ear is pretty good for it and she is picking things up pretty quickly already. Dance is just a daily practice session of what she is doing in her dance classes each week. Art will be a combination of Artistic Pursuits lessons (either from the grade level books or from Construct), lessons from the internet, and classes at the Art Center.

As a list, this looks long and full. She does most of these four days a week (math and Bible are five days) and if she finishes something ahead of her scheduled time, she can either push forward and go on to the next thing or she can go read a book until the next scheduled time comes up. We haven’t been at it long enough yet to know how it is going to work but I have high hopes.

At Home.

Choosing Curriculum – Our Way

Homeschooling 101 Blog Hop week is here! We will be talking about the various aspects of homeschooling this week from curriculum to home management to just plain ol’ encouragement. I hope you join me each day!

Today we are talking curriculum. There are as many options as there are people it seems.

choosing curriculum our way

The beauty of homeschooling is that you can choose the curriculum and approach that fits your student, you, and your family. There is no single right answer. Even within a family there are any number of different items that might works for a single student with a single subject.

So, how do you choose? I don’t know but I will share what our family does and how decisions get made here.

1 – We use what we have.

We have been blessed in a number of ways with curriculum options. Whether it be from the amazing reviews we get to participate in through the Review Crew or  curriculum being gifted to use or just a good find at a garage sale or used book store, we look first through what we already have available. Having to pay for something does not always mean that it is the best and the most expensive is, in our experience, often NOT the best. I don’t get rid of something just because it doesn’t work now. Because it might work in the future and I might can use some small part of it that will be just perfect for a unit study.

2 – We use what has worked. And the correlation of this is to not use what didn’t work.

When we find something that works well, we do try to stick with it. We enjoy unit studies that focus on a lot of books. So we do that. We found out a few months ago that the girls, especially Miss E, absolutely adore creating notebooking pages. We much of her curriculum will be showing up in her notebooking notebook rather than a workbook. We don’t use computer or online math programs. They don’t work for our girls, who need the concepts explained in more than one way. So, we don’t bother with them.

3 – We talk with the girls and get their opinions.

The girls have to spend a lot of time with their curriculum. Therefore, we feel it is a good idea for them to at least have a small bit of input on the choices. We give them some options and then listen to what they have to say. This has made a huge difference in our math choices and literature adventures. For math, we took them to the local education store and gave them several choices to look through. We asked what they liked, didn’t like, what appealed or not, etc.  Their opinion was taken into consideration for the final decision. For literature, Miss E was able to clearly express that she did not like answering someone else’s questions about what she was reading. She wanted to tell about what she got out of the book, what impact it had on her, what she found fascinating. So, notebooking pages it is for her.

When we are able to show the girls that they are important in the process, much of it goes smoother.

4 – We are not afraid to change what is obviously not working.

We make mistakes. We all do. It is okay to admit that a mistake was made, hopefully it was not too expensive, and then move on. Choose something different and try again. Not everything will be a good fit and that is okay. Isn’t that part of why we wanted to educate them ourselves? I know it was for our family – what the public schools were doing for the girls did not fit them and was not in their best interest. So, when something needs to change, don’t be afraid to change it. The sooner you find what does work, the better.

5 – We work with the concept of “progress, not perfection.”

Some of you will disagree with me on this one and that is okay. But this is a really important concept. Perfection is not attainable so we strive for making good progress. If we strive for perfection in their work, we may lose the joy of learning in the process and that is just not acceptable. We want our girls to be lifelong learners, not ones who check off the list and call it enough. By allowing them to work hard and make progress, we place the value on the effort rather than the grade.

It isn’t about doing more and doing it better. It is about each child as an individual, getting what they need to move forward in their understanding of life and how to be a productive part of it, honoring God through all they say and do.

At Home.

5 Days of Homeschool 101 

This post is the first in a series for 5 Days of Homeschooling 101 and is part of the TOS Review Crew Blog Hop.
Monday – Curriculum
Tuesday – Planning
Wednesday – Home Management
Thursday – Traditions
Friday – Encouragement

Some of my blogging friends participating in this blog hop are:
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans
Melissa @ Grace Christian School
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through the Open Window
Rebekah @ There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Steph @ Indy Homeschool
TaMara @ Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

Looking for more information on curriculum – whether it be advice for choosing it or looking for a specific grade level, please visit the blog hop linkup.
LinkyTools is acting up for me but please visit the Review Crew post that anchors the curriculum discussion today. You can see all the linkups from there. 🙂

 

Favorites: curriculum

Favorites.

That word is quite loaded, isn’t it?

What does that actually mean? Well, if you look it up, it means “preferred before all others of the same kind.” So when we are talking about curriculum, it means what is our preferred curriculum.

Still, that is pretty loaded. Do I go with what I prefer and like? Or the giggly girls? And which giggly girl? For which subject?

Miss J – age 7

Favorite subject: Math

Miss L – age 10

Favorite subject: English (specially cursive and poetry)

Miss E – age 12

Favorite subject: art

 

Horizons math cover

 

For math, we are using Horizons for all three of the girls. It is working well and it has taken us a while to get to this point. Miss J really enjoys math and will ask to do more than one lesson each day. She enjoys math games and has fun with all things numbers. We also enjoy using the free games from Sheppard Software and they have some pretty challenging math games.

 

 
For English, we are very eclectic. It also kind of depends on what you determine English to be. If it is Writers In Residenceparsing sentences, we don’t do that. If it writing, Miss L has been using Writers in Residence. She still is enjoying that and I think it is still a very good curriculum. For cursive, we have used a couple of different things (see New American Cursive) but really, once she knew her letter formations it was just a matter of encouraging her to put it to use every day. She really enjoys working on making it beautiful now. If you are looking for literature, we are using NotebookingPages.com. This opens up the critical thinking options and gives each child the opportunity to give her own take on the story or passage we are reading. We have researched a bundle of different book lists and ask the girls to read some specific books but overall, their literature comes from unit studies we are working on. Poetry? Well, Miss L really meant writing poetry. She doesn’t mind memorizing poetry, which we are doing, but she just enjoys the flexibility and freedom of creating her own poetry.

mobileMiss E? Well, she would rather not have to do school at all. So, she has absolutely no favorites. She really seems to enjoy art and we do that locally with The Art Center of Waco. They do a weekly artist study during the school year and we love attending that. We tend to try to do some additional study of that artist during the week and we have learned a lot of techniques with that. (See three posts I have shared about the Art Center: Matisse, Art Camp, and Rendon/Chagall.) We have also used Artistic Pursuits several times and we do keep that available for picking up a lesson here and there. (See reviews on the grade levels and on Construct.) Additionally, we enjoy using the art lessons from HodgePodge. Quick and easy yet applicable to many different studies we are doing.

 

My favorites? History. I really enjoy studying history. We do that a number of ways, much of which is literature based. We read and study a number of non-fiction books for each topic we cover and so far, we have chosen topics based on interests from the girls. Will that continue? I don’t know. With Miss E in 7th grade this year, we probably need to focus on some more specific topics so this area is up for debate at the moment. Hopefully, I will have this all parsed out in the next couple of weeks.

We will jump back into full time school at the beginning of August so I guess I’d better get moving on those plans.

At Home.

Favorite Curriculum 2016
I am sharing these somewhat random thoughts as part of the TOS Review Crew Round Up of Favorite Curriculum Choices. Looking for something in particular? Head over to the lineup and see what others have shared. (This goes live on Friday, July 22, at 8 EST so if you click over there ahead of that time, you might get an error. Come back and visit after the link goes live!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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