This year I have changed our curriculum up a bit. With my son now in 5th grade, my daughter in 4th I felt they were ready for a bit more independent learning. With a 3 year to teach preschool and a 1 year old to manage, this seems to be the best option for successfully schooling my children. Here is what we are currently using/doing. I am happy to answer any questions about these products if you have interest.
Math- Teaching Textbooks
I can't say enough good things about this math! My son went from low grades in math (along with a bad attitude towards it) to almost strait A's and he is very excited to do math each day. This year I started my daughter on this math and she too has been enjoying it. This curriculum uses both cd rom teachings as well as textbook work. There is no lesson planning on my part. Their work is graded automatically and it is presented in a fun and exciting way. Can't ask for anything better! The only drawback is math is the only subject they offer. I can't wait for them to ad more subjects. (secular curriculum)
Language Arts- Switched on Schoolhouse
The S.O.S. Language Arts includes English, Spelling, Writing, and Reading. It is also a cd rom based program. Lesson plans and grading are again done for you. Great time saver for busy mama's like me! It includes fun games, virtual flashcards, and tiny tutor videos for added learning. The best place to buy S.O.S. is at Christianbook.com. Cost is around $80 per subject. It's nice that it can be re-used by the next child as there are no consumable workbooks to worry about. (Bible based curriculum)
Again, the ease of the S.O.S. is nice for older kids. However, do be aware their are a lot of quizzes with S.O.S. and so far it is not my children's favorite. They love the games and information, but hate to be quizzed. But, isn't that every child?
The Calvert book we did last year, but it is a big book and so we only got half way through it. It is a good one though and I totally recommend it. My children have learned about so many people throughout history with this book from presidents, authors, inventors, and explorers. (Bible based curriculum)
Science- School of Tommorow
School of Tomorrow is another curriculum that is set up for independent learning. With each subject you get 12 workbooks. I do grade the work for this and 1 test is given at the end of each book. It probably isn't the most exciting science on the planet, but that is where field trips and science experiments at home come in. My son is also taking a creation science class on Tuesdays at a homeschool coop.(Bible based curriculum)
Handwriting- A Reason for Handwriting
This is also the first year we have used this particular handwriting workbook and I am real pleased. Each handwriting lesson introduces a new scripture verse. I really like this!(Bible based curriculum)
Although the S.O.S Language Arts covers some reading, I want my kids to have actual books they read out loud for practice. These book sets are great. Each set comes with 5 books and each book contains 10 true life stories about boys and girls who made a difference in our world. Boys such as Johnathon Edwards, C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther, Billy Graham, John Newton, etc. Girls such as Helen Rosevare, Lady Jane Gray, Florence Nightingale, and Corrie Ten Boon. I wanted my children to be reading something beneficial and encouraging. These sets are just that! (Christian Based)
Health- S.O.S. Health Quest
Just like the other S.O.S. subjects, this is also a cd rom based curriculum. We only do this one 2 times a week. It covers everything from the human body, personal hygiene, exercise techniques, etc. (Bible based curriculum)
Typing- Typing Instructor for Kids
My kids really enjoy this cd rom curriculum. It teaches typing speed and accuracy in a fun way with games and drills. This has been very helpful considering the fact my children have more computer based schoolwork this year that requires typing. (secular curriculum)
Art- Abeka Art A
This is actually a 4th grade art book, however I have both my son and daughter using it and so I went with the lower grade. It's not really a complete art curriculum, but has a lot of easy projects the kids can cut out and work on independently. My children also will be taking formal art lessons in town throughout the school year.(Christian Based)
Bible- The Narrow Way by Pearables
We have been using this book for the past couple years, but it is fairly long so we are still using it. This book teaches character along with biblical teachings from the bible. It is not a watered down children's study, it really gets down to the heart of matters in a way children can fully understand. It would also make a great book for family devotion time.(Bible based curriculum)
Home Economics (for my daughter)- We are doing several things for home economics this year. On the 1st and 3rd Monday nights my daughter is taking part in a Bright Lights girl's discipleship group. I am one of the teachers for this. We have a time of worship, prayer, lesson time and we drink tea (in tea cups) and have treats. On the 2nd and 4th Mondays (starting in October) we will be doing "Keepers At Home Club" with 2 other families. Keepers at Home is somewhat like girl scouts, except from a Godly mindset. We will be doing hands on projects, teaching the girl's life skills, visiting rest homes, etc. Lastly, on Wednesdays I am teaching my daughter and a teenage girl (who does not have a mom) how to sew using the Modesty Matters, "You Can Sew" dvd curriculum. This course teaching all the basics for machine sewing and we will make an apron, dress and skirt by the end. Last week was our first lesson and we took a field trip to a fabric store to identify the basic tools we need to get started. It was a lot of fun and I am excited about this as I am a newbie to sewing as well. Also, on one Wednesday each month we will break from our regular sewing and attend a Mother/Daughter homeschool group to learn various homemaking skills. We start this later this week and will be learning embroidery. :-)
Music- Piano Lessons
P.E.- Walking on trails, swimming, hiking, and running.
Misc. Extra Curricular- On Tuesdays my children are each taking a class at a homeschool coop. "C" is taking the Creation Science, "I" is taking an American Girl History class (I am volunteering to help with this one), and "E" is taking a preschool music class.
On the 2nd and 4th Monday nights "C" will be doing "Contender's for the Faith Club" while Isabel is at Keepers. The dad's will be teaching the boys while us moms are teaching the girls. Contenders is similar to boy scouts as well, but in a Godly manner. The boys will have projects, go hiking, learn lot's of life skills and be taught about biblical manhood.
*I will write a separate post for preschool as this is already a bit long. Stay tuned!
As you can see, we have a very full and busy year ahead of us! I am excited to see my children learn and grow through the process. Homeschooling is never easy. It is a labor of love, but is fully worth it!