Homeschool Curriculum - So many choices are available to homeschoolers. And the number of choices seems to grow every year. While it can be a blessing to have so many choices available, it can also be a curse, in that it can sometimes be overwhelming to make final decisions.
Which learning style fits my child? How much does this program cost? What grade level does this book teach at? What prerequisites are there to be able to understand this program? Which series allows for multi-age teaching? These questions and more go through our minds as we narrow down our choices for the new school year.
If you read my post from Monday on Homeschool Methods, then you might remember that my teaching style has changed and progressed over the years. Going from the complete package deal to a pieced together "melting pot" of what works best for us.
I will share some of the choices we have made for this year and little bit of why we made these choices. I am currently homeschooling a daughter for 8th grade and a daughter for 5th grade, and as you will notice, I don't always pick the same publisher for the same subject for both daughters. That is just one of the many beauties of homeschooling. I am free to pick and choose. I don't have to use the same publisher for all subjects for one daughter. And I don't have to use the same publisher for a subject with one daughter that I may use with the other daughter.
Here is my review for this program.
Teaching Textbooks (8th grade) - This has been a good fit for my my daughter. It is a little like having a personal tutor. The instructor gives you a lesson on the CD-Rom. CD-Roms also include solutions to the problems, to help explain any issues you might have with a problem. Some of the Teaching Textbooks even allow your student to answer the problems on the computer, for automated grading.
Easy Grammar (both daughters) - We have been using Easy Grammar for about 3 years now. It has worked great for both of my daughters. It is a Charlotte Mason style, with a little of a spiral style. It is just keeps building on learned skills, starting with the basis of the prepositional phrase. This series has broken grammar down into bite-size chunks, as my daughters are truly getting it.
Beautiful Feet (both daughters) - Traditional textbooks for history have not been good fits for our family. They briefly touch on a subject and move on, without spending much time on any particular event or person. I discovered a few years back, living books work so much better for us. We pick a topic and dive in. We read books and magazine articles. We watch movies and documentaries. We visit museums. This is a new learning style for us, breaking away from the textbook. But I love it and it works. A friend recently recommended Beautiful Feet to us and after looking into it, I decided it could be a great asset to us, helping me pull all the resources together. I am excited to try it out.
Lightning Literature (8th grade) - This is another item we recently reviewed for the TOS Homeschool Crew. Turns out a few of my friends have already been using it for years and really like it. We used it briefly for our review, and I was impressed with what I have seen so far. We plan to continue on with it in the next school year. I like the selection of reading, mixing it up with shorter and longer selections. The workbook contains a nice variety of worksheets. The writing assignments give choices, to help make it more interesting for the student. It is a Charlotte Mason style, which I am slowing working into.
Here is my review for this book.
Write Shop (5th grade) - Again this is a Crew item that I was impressed with. This curriculum is very hands on. Incorporating so many learning styles and so much creativity. It is a delight. I love the concept of the "sloppy copy". For the rough draft, you encourage your child to just right. Don't worry about mistakes; just right. It is your "sloppy copy". Then when you do the edits, you start by highlighting some of the things your child did right, before pointing out anything they need to correct. How cool is that?
Here is my review for this book.
These are just some of the books we will be using this coming school year. Some, I have already been using and have been impressed with; others I have checked into and am very excited to try it. This coming year, like all the years before, will be an adventurel. We will gain knowledge from the curriculum; but, we will also gain wisdom and experience from our choices, which we can put to use next year when we begin planning again. It is a journey.