Saturday, August 14, 2010

Curriculum Choices - Part 1

I've made a lot of changes for the upcoming school year. I'm excited about our new curriculum choices.

Here is what I'm using for Thing 3:

Singapore Math
- This curriculum is different than the "drill and kill" math we are used to from our public school days. The goal of Singapore Math is to "teach our young to think creatively and apply knowledge innovatively"
and to develop "creative independent learners". It moves quickly and may not have enough practice problems for children who need more time on a particular concept. We used it last year, and it was perfect for my kiddo who enjoys math.

Life of Fred Math Series - I love this humorous, creative math series. It's self-teaching and requires kids to use their critical thinking skills. We will alternate Life of Fred with Singapore.

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts, Level 2 - I'm crazy about this Language Arts curriculum! I can't wait to start using it. It was written by an expert on gifted education with gifted children in mind. It covers grammar, vocabulary, poetry and writing. The text is both beautiful to look at and read. It's very engaging. I think we're really going to like it! (Hat tip to my neighbor, good friend and fellow OE mom, Mel, for turning me on to both MCT and Life of Fred.)

Lively Latin - We started Latin last year but used a different program. It was DVD based and just didn't work that well for us. I've had a chance to read through Lively Latin and I think it's going to be great! I like that it incorporates history, art study, and culture. It also has games and hands-on activities to make learning Latin more fun!

English From The Roots Up - This is just a fun, easy way to improve vocabulary. We work on four or five of these roots every day while the kids are eating breakfast.

Oak Meadow History and Science, Grade 5 - I have searched high and low for secular History and Science curricula. (While I am a Christian, I would rather teach History and Science from a secular view-point.) I finally found Oak Meadow and I really like it. It's a Waldorf-inspired curriculum, and it incorporates a lot of art, nature study, and projects.

Our Beautiful America Copywork Book - I use this for handwriting practice for Thing 3. We started it last year and he really enjoyed it. The family who wrote this book took a trip to visit all 50 states. Along the way, they recorded interesting facts about each state. This book has two to three information entries for each state.

Spelling Wisdom - We use this for spelling and dictation practice. The book is filled with inspirational writings from great authors, politicians, speakers, and some from the Bible.

Rosetta Stone Spanish - We started this last year, too. Thing 3 really enjoys it. I like that it's self-paced and he can do it independently. I'm not sure it's the best way to learn fact, I'm sure it's not. However, it works well for us right now. I anticipate having to find a real, live Spanish teacher one of these days. Until then, we'll continue with Rosetta Stone.

That's the formal "stuff" we will use. In addition to those things, both kiddos will journal, work on nature journals, work through a reading list of classics, and take music lessons. We will go on lots of fun field trips, and will continue to see lots of live theater through the Young At Art program. Both children want to start blogs, too. We'll see how that goes.

It's going to be a good year!

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