Does the New Year really mean new curriculum? Not necessarily, but over our Christmas break I started to really look at and evaluate our current curriculum. I stopped and asked myself if what we were doing was working for us. I mean REALLY working for us, and if it wasn’t could I make it work? While I would like to think I could make it all work since we know that homeschool curriculum isn’t cheap, the reality is that if it isn’t right and you’ve tried making work then maybe… just maybe it’s time to look at other options.
While most of our curriculum is the same, I did change a few things. The video gets into more detail on why we switched as well as a closer look at the curriculum.
First off, what did we NOT change.
Well-Trained Mind: First Language Lessons: I seriously love this curriculum. I had heard and read so many mixed reviews that I pretty much took a chance when we started this. It is hands down one of my favorite language arts curriculum. It is a hands-on learning curriculum so keep that mind, but for us it works. My little guy looks forward to doing this daily. He’s learning the rules of language arts as well as fun little poems.
Soaring With Spelling and Vocabulary: While this isn’t my favorite spelling curriculum, my boys have been enjoying it. So much so, that when I asked if they would like to look at a different spelling curriculum for the next school year both were quick to tell me know. This curriculum is phonics based and there are 5 days worth of work, however we usually complete it in four days since I do choose to skip the pre-test on Day 1.
What we have changed:
We went from using the Evan-Moor Geography to now using Masterbooks Geography. This particular Geography is one that I’m currently using for both of my boys. While this is recommended for grades 4+, the layout makes it easy to adapt for all ages. With my first grader, we do the questions orally, and he also does the suggested activities. Most of the activities are coloring a flag, or a fun recipe based on the area/country we are learning about.
While we do love our Apologia Astronomy, we just needed to take a little bit of a break from it. With Spring approaching, my first-grader asked if we could learn about birds, insects, etc. That’s when we tucked our Apologia aside for a couple of months and started using Christian Liberty Nature readers. These little readers are fun and surprisingly by boys have been looking forward to their lessons. We pull other resources to go along with the lessons and have been very pleased.
We started the year with Story of the World. This was the first year that we used this curriculum and while it’s a wonderful curriculum, it just wasn’t right for us. I was completely losing my first grader during most of the lessons. This is one curriculum that I tried my best to make work since it isn’t really that cheap. We have the teacher books, student book and the reader. After a couple of months of still not being able to keep his interest after tweaking this program, we finally shelved it and moved on. After much research I decided on the Abeka 1st Grade History. We are on our second week and loving it. The lessons are short and written in a way that not only can he read them to me, but he’s able to understand them. We add additional read alouds to go along with our lessons as well as documentaries and films. The only books that I did purchase in the first grade curriculum set was the student and teacher book.
Math wasn’t really changed. We actually completed our first grade math at the end of December which left me searching for a second grade math. After looking at all the options available, I decided to go with Abeka first grade math. We have been using this math for going on three weeks now and so far have been very pleased. The lessons are bright and colorful, they aren’t crazy long and my little guy is looking forward to doing them daily. I think we’re are going to be very happy with our choice. With this I did purchase the student and teacher book.
What have other homeschool moms been up to this week?