Monday, June 23, 2014

Homeschool Happenings

Now that the end of June is approaching, I've locked in my curriculum choices for the fall for K-5 and thought I would share the plans.  I've spent the last 6 months or so looking through other blogs that I follow and researching various curriculums and ideas.  Then I asked a friend of mine what she did with her son when he hit Kindergarden and she gave me great ideas which finally solidified some questions I had on what to do with the boys. 

Our plan for 2013-2014

Bible - I've always felt like I needed to teach Bible to the boys because, well, it defines who we are and I felt like that if I didn't teach it I was slacking.  Then I talked to my friend and she gave me a lightbulb moment.  The boys attend Jr. Church and Sunday School every Sunday and, this fall, they will be in AWANA (Cubbies and Sparkies).  All of those areas give us items to work on - we can review the stories they learn in Sunday School and they will have plenty of verses to learn and concepts to review from AWANA.
 I also have these two versions of the Bible - "My First Hands-On Bible" and "The Jesus Storybook Bible".  Both offer fabulous retelling of scripture as will as activities and conversation starters.  They will be great additions to what they learn on Sunday and Wednesday without overloading them in this one area.

 I also have the two books pictured here to use for Bible lessons as well.  My mom picked them up at the Creation Museum awhile ago for me!  I'm excited to see how they fit and, if they work, I'll see if I can get more!

Phonics - This past year in our homeschool group, Agape, during Friday School the teacher in the Kinders used  "Sing, Spell, Read and Write" and Josh really did well with it.  He figured out how to start sounding out words just from the 10+ lessons he went through once a week. 
This was really a "God thing".  I borrowed the curriculum from a parent at Friday School to review.  I then e-mailed her to find out the price (the used version runs about $230.00-$250.00 for the set) which is when she said, "You must not remember me telling you that it is yours, if you can use it.  There is no cost."  That is when I had no doubt that this would work for us throughout this next year. 

Math - I struggled with what to do for Math this first year.  There are so many options; so many ideas; and so many opinions!  This is another area where I took my friends advice and scratched my first ideas.
First, we'll be using "Life of Fred" which presents math in a new way by teaching it in a day to day format.  Making it easy for kids to grasp and apply the math concepts.  Then, we will use the Singapore Math workbook for some basic math skills.  I'm not 100% sure yet if we'll do one unit in "Fred" and the one in the Math Workbook or if we'll do every other day . . ..I need to look at the lessons a little more and make that decision.

Reading - I've known for awhile what I wanted to do for reading so this was an easy pick.
We'll be going through "Five in a Row".  This curriculum spends one week focused on one book.  Then, each day the students learn about a different aspect such as Art, History, Science, geography ect. as it relates to the book.  Right now my thoughts are that it may take us more like 2 weeks to get through each book as I'm not sure if we will do this every day or just 2-3 a week. 

History/Geography - This area of study will be something we take slow.  I did pick up a great USA curriculum called "Road Trip" that we will start this year but it will be something that grows with us through
the next several years.  With this curriculum, we'll travel through the states and learn basic facts.  My main goal this year is just for the boys to get a basic over view of our country and what each state has to offer.  In future years we'll add more and more information.  I am also going to order a "God's World" subscription for each of the boys to use.  Finally, I plan on doing holiday studies with them too. 

Science - At the advice of my friend (she's awesome!) I'm going to order subscriptions of "Ranger Rick" to use with the boys and also search out some Discovery Channel shows that will teach them about animals.  We also have a set of "Zoo Book" magazines that I ordered a year ago using a Groupon.

Calender Time - We will spend time each day talking about the month/day/date as well some time and weather.  My goal is to keep this to about 10-15 minutes each day.  The boys know quite a bit already, we just need to really get the concepts nailed down. 

Other - I have a Homeschool PE Curriculum that happened to go on sale for FREE during teacher appreciation week that I want to implement at least one day a week.  Also, the boys love art projects so I throw those in as well.  Finally, I am also going to get a year membership to a computer program such as ABC Mouse or More Starfall.  This will give something for one boy to work on while I work with the other one or to use as an award system as well.