Our two child things (5 and 2) are currently in Hawaii, but we are a military family, and we live where the Army tells us. This blog is designed to keep us in touch with our family and the friends we have made along the way, to offer insight into our turbulent military lifestyle, and to share our experiences as we try out "homing school." So glad you stopped by!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Long Rambing Post About Curriculum

It's only Spring Break, but I'm feeling the need to prepare a homeschool curriculum for next year. Truth be told, I have been considering different curriculums since way before Christmas. This year, we are doing pre-k at home, and I was very loose with the curriculum, but next year, if I go ahead with homeschooling, we'll be official.

Not that the state of Hawaii is has strict rules about homeschooling or record keeping. But...it will still be official.

This year, I bought the phonics program from Abeka Book. I have been happy with the results. The child thing is reading, and that speaks for itself. We actually finished up the pre-k program and are working on the kindergarten one now. This curriculum may be a little too repetitive, but I think we are going to stick with it for next year for reading/phonics.

The history and literature programs from Abeka do not really appeal to me, though. They seem a bit hokey/not challenging enough/overly Christian. That may sound strange coming from someone who's a Christian, but I don't want to shelter my kids from viewpoints that are different or "brainwash" them.

So I'm having a hard time deciding what sort of curriculum I'd like to do for subjects other than reading. I'm liking the Sonlight curriculum for history and literature, and I love that they buy into the living history book theory. This curriculum has everything included and planned out for you already, so that means less prep work for me. That sounds good! But then again, choosing what you want to teach and not having it all planned out for you is one of the benefits of homeschooling, isn't it?

But I also bought The Story of the World Vol. 1 by Susan Wise Bauer, and I find it very intriguing also. It is not completely planned out, so I would have to be more involved in the lesson planning, but it is still very inclusive. For each unit, you read a short chapter from the book, and it provides coloring pages and maps that correspond with each chapter. It also gives suggestions for projects that relate to what you're learning. And these are not hokey activities...they are cool. Like to go along with ancient Egypt, it has instructions on how to mummify a chicken! It also includes suggestions on other books and biographies that you and your child could read to delve deeper into any unit. It seems like it would be pretty fun and pretty challenging.

And math, well, I don't know. If I buy from Sonlight, I will probably buy a math program from them, too. But if I don't go with Sonlight, I may try out Abeka's math, too.

So this turned in to a long, rambling post, and I kinda doubt anyone has stuck with me so far, but if you have...sorry I have rambled for so long. If any homeschooling types have opinions/suggestions on any curriculum, I'd love to hear them!

1 comment:

Bag Blog said...

My kids did not start homeschooling until 5th grade, so I missed out on teaching them to read. My DIL is using Abeka, I think. She may use other things as well. I will ask her. I totally understand your views on Abeka's reading and history. Although I liked the way they organized the history, they were a bit "off putting" in their religion. Having been a teacher in public high school, I thought Abeka's English and Lit were about the same as you get in public school. Abeka worked well for us in math until algebra came along. Then we switched to Saxon, which was great. I actually know the lady who wrote the curriculum for Saxon Phonics. She homeschooled and her son who was dislexic - so she wrote lessons for him.

We used to attend the NM homeschool convention every spring. It was great to see and talk to all the book vendors. There were also lots of workshops and such. It was like a family vacation for us.