Sunday, February 20, 2011

So I know it's only February...

but, I'm totally deciding on curriculum for next year already! We started 1st in April of 2010, and it's coming up on April of 2011 now. For various reasons (dealing with his Autism diagnosis, taking time off to move, me watching my nephew twice a week), 1st grade took us a lot longer than Kinder did (Kinder took about 150 school days), and that's alright. I think we've done about 120 days so far for 1st. We have about 2 months more to go on his math curriculum, and then he is basically done with 1st. My main concern this year has been mastery. Some of the math concepts he has really struggled with, and at one point we flipped back in the book about 30 lessons and repeated them. The second time through he really understood things better. He is so advanced anyway for his age, I really have no concerns about the timing of the school years. We will move right into 2nd grade work when he finishes his 1st grade stuff. Here's what I'm looking at (the basics anyway):

By the way, I recently made a list of all the homeschooling and educational resources I have, and boy am I blessed! Between stuff that I have purchased and stuff we have received through the Homeschool Crew, I feel so blessed!

Math--Right Start Level C. I really like Right Start. I plan to use it all the way through.

Handwriting--Handwriting Without Tears Cursive. I'm excited about this! He has intuitively picked up how to read (sort of) cursive, so I'm hoping he will like learning to write it.

Writing--Writing Strands, Level 2. I really stink at coming up with writing prompts and promoting interesting ways of writing. I hope this curriculum will help with that.

Vocabulary--Word Wisdom. Little Bean has a good vocabulary, but this curriculum looked really fun and I thought he would enjoy it. One of my goals this year is making school more enjoyable. It's not easy when you have such a rigid child, but I hope to do some daily things that he finds fun and rewarding. We'll see if that's realistic of me!

Spelling--All About Spelling Book 3. I have really grown to like All About Spelling. And his spelling is really, really good for his age, so we are staying with it this year.

Grammar--Easy Grammar. He has learned the very basics of grammar (capitalization and period or question mark), so I want to move beyond that. This stuff looks fun to me, but I have always liked grammar. I wonder how he will like it. It reminds me of All About Spelling in that it repeats a very predictable pattern for every lesson, and it teaches the rules explicitly. I know he does well with that kind of style, so I am hoping he will enjoy this!

History--Story of the World, Vol. 1. Yes, we used Story of the World this year with our Winter Promise curriculum. And we did finish Vol. 1 this year. Some of it he has really retained, but some of it he isn't getting. This year I would like to get the Activity Guide and the testing materials. History was really put on the wayside this year because of our issues with his behavior during school time. I hope to give it more of a focus next year. These are both PDF downloads--kind of cool, huh? :) I have also downloaded a 50 States notebooking project, but we will start that this year and may still be at it in 2nd.

Science--Magic School Bus Science Kits. I love these! My mom got them for Little Bean for Christmas, and they are really fun. I have a lot of science resources already, so I wont have to purchase anything, though I'm totally tempted to, but I have too much already to justify a purchase, I think.

And let's not forget Miss O. She will be 5 this summer, and will "officially" start K in the fall. I really can't believe it! She is already doing a lot of K work now, so this will just be an extension of that. For her, I will use:

Reading--I See Sam Sets 2 through 4 (which I already have), and then will purchase additional sets as needed. She is already partially through Set 2 (and has finished Set 1) and IS reading! I'm super excited we have found a curriculum that she is having success with. I will be writing a review on this in the near future.

Math--I have two choices, lol, and they are both already purchased. I can use Right Start Level A with her, which I have from Little Bean's K year, or I can use McRuffy K Math, which I bought a while back and have started with her already. We'll see how it goes. She really wants to do Right Start like Little Bean, but when I tried it with her, she just didn't seem to get it.

Science--Again, I have two choices, both already purchased! She can use McRuffy Science K, which is left over from Little Bean's K year, or she can follow along with us on our Magic School Bus stuff. I also have Little Bean's current Science curriculum which is Winter Promise The World Around Me. Lots of great resources to pull from with that set, but I probably won't use the schedule. This year I discovered schedules like that are a little too binding for me at this point.

Handwriting--She needs a lot of handwriting work still, but she is interested in writing and knows most upper and lowercase letters. She can't figure out how to write on lined paper yet. I will probably just print worksheets with my Startwrite software for her this year for extra practice.

Spelling--She is already partially through All About Spelling Level 1. I think she is close to lesson 10 out of 25 or so. She is really doing well with it. We will continue that and then move on to Level 2 probably.

She will not do any real history, other than just tagging along with us. I can't really see her doing much journal writing or copywork for K either. We'll see how it goes!!

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Jenny said...

Great post :) Im glad Im not the only one looking onto "2011" curriculum...I love planning :)

Jackie said...

Thanks so much for the update, I really look forward to these. We are using Right Start for my grandson and so far he really likes it, especially the abacus. We got a real slow start on this year, but now I am scheduled and ready to go. We are using Ordinary Parents Guide for learning to read. He is 4, but knows all his letters and sounds so he was ready. I will be real interested in your review. Thanks again.

Elizabeth said...

We love RightStart too! My Kindergartner is on about Lesson 60 in level A. We've been able to skip a few lessons here and there because she really gets it (maybe she takes after me...math was always my best and favorite subject! :P ).

How did you like McRuffy Science? We're doing the McRuffy Phonics/Handwriting/Spelling/Language Arts 1st grade and I LOVE IT! It is my favorite of all the curriculum stuff I have. It's so easy to follow and the materials are really well put together. I was very pleased with everything I got for what I paid. Anyway, I was looking into the Science portion today for next year, because I'm not super crazy about what I've been using. What did you think of it when you used it?

Jennifer said...

Elizabeth, McRuffy K Science was really good for K. Likes--it comes with a kit with all them materials you need. The approach is very gentle. I moved away from it for 1st because I felt I wanted to go a bit more in depth this year. But I will probably be using it with O for K as well.

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