First timer, curriculum feedback please?

Discuss the pros and cons of various curriculums, or get help on which to choose!

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WImami
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First timer, curriculum feedback please?

Postby WImami » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:28 pm

Ok so this will be our first year homeschooling, last year we did public virtual with K12 and that went alright, but jumped around too much for my taste.

DS is 8, entering 3rd grade. He is a strong reader and cant seem to get enough of it. He is between a 6th and 7th grade level, depending on which test we use. His handwriting is seriously lacking though so I'd like to focus on that a lot this year. We have decided to go with a Classical education and I have already read TWTM and picked some stuff that I think will work. I'm just not sure if I have enough. I also would like to stay as secular as possible. Ok so, enough rambling, this is what I have. Opinions?

First language lessons 3
The complete writer 3
Spelling workout 3
HWT level 2 (repeat from last year) and level 3 if we get to it
various lit from the library
Lively Latin
Usborne internet linked-world history
History Odyssey-Early modern level 1
R.E.A.L. science-Life level 1
Usborne internet linked-science encyclopedia
MUS gamma
various math workbooks to keep a little variety

hscoach
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Postby hscoach » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:16 am

This looks like a great plan to me! You seem to have everything covered.

cycle1667
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Postby cycle1667 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:14 pm

Have you considered a phys. ed. regime? Just to break up the coursework and provide coordination training?
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WImami
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Postby WImami » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:41 pm

cycle1667 wrote:Have you considered a phys. ed. regime? Just to break up the coursework and provide coordination training?


Yea we live in a condo with lots of kids of different ages, some public schooled and some home schooled so there is never a shortage of playmates. My oldest is in and out during the day as he pleases.
We tried a few of the Phy Ed recommended activities last year during our experience with K12 and they were way too immature for him. He also goes to the Boys and Girls club in town a few days a week after public gets out to play with "peers" during open gym.
Aside from that he participates in parks and rec Jr. Naturalist programs through the seasons. So far this has been plenty to keep him busy so unless something changes this should be sufficient for Phy Ed.

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Postby heidijo » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:27 am

It looks like you have plenty of material picked out. You can include some music instruction by playing classical music quietly while you are reading or doing workbooks. You could have a composer of the week or month.

Just be sure you're not trying to do too much. If you see yourself or your child burning out, step back and change things up a bit. Don't forget that drawing is also penmanship. They are trying to get their fingers to write what their brain is telling them to write. If you continue to get resistance with writing, just get some new markers and pencils and have some drawing time. Or if you read to him, let him draw while you're reading.
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Postby Blissfulteacher » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:13 pm

That looks like a good curriculum. I am afraid I don't have that much for my son... I had better keep looking, researching and gathering... :shock:

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Postby buffalogal » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:08 am

What about art? Kids at that age are so attuned to visual things, and making things with their hands and there is a lot of research showing that art helps students do better with their academic subjects. I'd try to organize a few art projects that build on the other topics by linking them to books he's reading or science topics he's learning. For my son, art is the place where he can express himself and feel competent without feeling constricted by the rigidity of workbooks and study plans.

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Postby Theodore » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:26 pm

Might be interesting to see whether it's the break from organized learning, or the spatial manipulation aspect, or both, rather than art per se. If it's a boy, you may be better off getting him building sets (legos, tinkertoys, blocks of various sorts, etc.) since those are a way to express himself while still building spatial manipulation skills that come in very useful later on in the hard sciences and math.

Of course, modeling clay and markers won't hurt either, just don't put too much emphasis on trying to tie the art into other subjects. Plenty of time for organized art later on.

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Postby buffalogal » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:16 am

Theodore, that's a good point about spatial manipulation and building activities. My daughter was a great builder when young, and her teacher said this prefigured math talent, which it did! However, without being prescriptive, I think one can certainly get boys interested in other kinds of "making"--especially in drawing. Roy Fletcher's book, Boy's Writing, which I highly recommend, makes an interesting connection between boys' love of drawing (especially comics) and their literacy skills. He suggests, for example, letting boys use comics as a way of brainstorming and outlining writiing projects. In general, I'd say just see what kinds of manipulative activities your son is drawn to, and build on those.

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Theodore
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Postby Theodore » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:23 pm

That's odd, because while I enjoyed technical art now and then as a child, I was never very good at drawing anything that couldn't be represented by geometric shapes. And I could read at a high school or college level by probably age 7. I can see how drawing might tie into handwriting skills, and vice versa, but any purported link between art and literacy beyond that is probably correlation, not causation.

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Postby buffalogal » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:12 am

Fletcher doesn't suggest causation, just a way of building on what kids do best to extend into other areas of thinking and creating. He also suggests that teachers should be less censorious about kids' interest in doodling and stop seeing this as antithetical to writing tasks. This has been a helpful insight for us with regards to my son.

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Postby desertsuncat » Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:37 pm

Not sure if this is still relevant as the fall is already here, but I'm new here and wanted to share my 2 cents worth.

It looks like you've done a lot of planning for this venture! That is great! I hope it is going well for you.

I started out with Sonlight which is a literature based curriculum with a strong history/geography core. We've used it for 3 yrs. and really like it. My dd is 8 and an avid reader as well. She doesn't want to put the books down when the lesson of the day is complete. Many times I catch her reading ahead (what a problem!)

Anyway, just wanted to share it with you.

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Postby buffalogal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:32 am

That sounds really interestiing--I'll look into Sonlight. Thanks!

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Postby narrow4life » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:40 pm

We did Sonlight for a year. It was good for us, but not great.

Switched to My Father's World and like it better. Has some really simple crafts the kids love, and we still do plenty of reading.

Both companies give portions of their profits to good things, so we really like that about each of them too.

They are different, depends more of what works for you I guess.
We use My Father's World Homeschool Curriculum for our 2 kid's homeschool education.

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homeschool curriculum

Postby WTM.Mom » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:27 pm

When you said his handwriting was lacking, did you mean printing or cursive? I wouldn’t even begin cursive until 3rd grade and if you meant printing you have made a good choice to work on it this year. You want to get that handled before getting into cursive.


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