Our Curriculum Choices

Finally!  Finally!  Finally!  I have FINALLY decided on all (okay almost all) of my curriculum choices for this upcoming school year.  Good thing since I am planning on starting July 19th!!!!  So anyway, here is what we will be using for 2010-2011 . . .

Last year we used the Beginnings I series from Explorers Bible Study and we all really enjoyed it.  This year we will be using Beginners II: Jesus, My Shepherd by the same company.  I also wanted to use a devotion type book with some real life application.  For this I have chosen The One Year Book of Devotions For Boys.  I hope this works out really well - the reviews for it are great.  We'll see.  This year I am going to try out something new for scripture memory.  We are going to using the Charlotte Mason scripture memory system. 

You either hate it or love it . . . Saxon Math!  So far it is working really well for us, but I'll be honest - I was tempted by Teaching Textbooks.  D and D will be finishing up Saxon 3 (hopefully by October) and starting Saxon 54.  H will be finishing up Saxon 1 and will start (probably around January) Saxon 2.

This has been one area that I have struggled to find a curriculum that really works for us.  No joke I used three, count them, three different spelling curriculums last year.  So, for the upcoming year, D and D will be starting Spelling Power.  H will be using All About Spelling.  I used this last year with D & D. (It was the third one)  Honestly, it is a great curriculum, but the older boys just don't need all the bells and whistles that come with AAS. 

Once again, this will be something new for us.  The older boys will be using BJU Press Grammar 3.  I really like that this switches back and forth between grammar and writing.  This is totally new for us so we will see how it goes.  We might switch back to what we used last year (and loved) - Growing With Grammar.  The only reason we are switching is because GWG doesn't cover any writing and I struggled to find a stand alone writing curriculum that I loved.  If we do switch back to GWG, I will probably use Writing With Ease for the older boys writing.  This was a really hard choice for me!
H will be using First Language Lessons.  I am really excited about this!  I bought this last year to use with D and D, but it was a little too simple for them.  I think it will be just perfect for my little man.

Everybody will be using Handwriting without Tears.  D and D will be using the cursive book and H will be using the print book.  Again, this is new for us!

This is another subject where I am planning to keep using what we used last year.  The older boys will be in Wordly Wise 3000 3rd grade and H will be in Wordly Wise 3000 Kindergarten.  I feel totally obligated to state that Wordly Wise is fantastic - starting in Grade 2.  The kindergarten and 1st grade books are totally useless without the teachers stuff (which is outrageously priced) and even with it - it doesn't offer much.  I am only using it because I already had it.  In my eagerness last year, I ordered both kindergarten and 1st grade.  If I had it to do over again, I would not.  Just my opinion!!!!

Everybody will be using Explode the Code for phonics.  D and D will start the year with book 5 1/2 and H will start the year with book 1 1/2.
As for reading, H will be finishing up Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and using Sonlight Readers 1.  D and D will be using Sonlight Readers 3.  (Please note that these readers are included in our history core that we will be using.  I did not have to purchase them separately!)  I am excited and a little nervous about the readers that the older boys will be using.  They go along with our history lessons so I really hope that the boys find them enjoyable!!
And of course library books!!!  We love the library!

We will all be using Sonlight Core 3.  We will supplement this with History Pockets Native Americans and History Pockets Life in Plymouth Colony.  I am hoping to keep us all in the same core for this year and next year.  After that, I am pretty sure that I will have to split the kiddos up and do 2 different cores.  I am putting that off for as long as possible.  If you are not familiar with Sonlight, it involves a lot of reading.  Alot.  Don't get me wrong, I love it - that's why I keep using it.  However, the thought of doing 2 different cores just about gives me a heart attack.  I'm just sayin'. 

Okay, this year we will be using something old and something new.  We will continue with Maps Charts Graphs for D and D.  And H will start his Maps Charts Graphs.  The new part is Trail Guide to US Geography.  Like I said, this one is totally new to me and honestly, I haven't even gotten it in the mail yet.  So I think it looks really great, but we will have to wait and see if I really like actually doing it!

Um, well, um, I still don't know.  Horrible isn't it?!  I know! I know!  If I plan on starting school in a week, I better get on it.  I just can not decide.  I really like Real Science 4 Kids but for some reason I just won't let myself go ahead and order it.  I also keep thinking about Alpha Omega Life Pacs, but I just can't get comfortable with that choice for some reason. I would love some opinions on this!  Comment away!

Art, Music, Health, Critical Thinking
I hate lumping all these together, but let's face it - this post was getting long.  Real long.  Anyway, here they go in good old fashioned list form . . .
Health - Good ole Abeka (I just linked to the 1st grade book.  The older boys will be doing the 3rd grade book.)
Critical Thinking - Mindbenders

So there it is - our curriculum choices for the upcoming school year.  Well, this is what we are going to start with.  Undoubtedly, I will end up changing some, dropping some, and adding some new ones. That's the way it goes!


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