Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's Your Favorite Curriculum?

Sammy is forcing me to make next year's curriculum choices earlier than I was planning to. In fact, he's saying I need to make those choices now. How is he saying this? By finishing up his first grade work early.

Sammy has been doing more than I expect of him which has put him ahead of schedule for completing the year. Yesterday, he finished his phonics work by doing 7 pages. I didn't tell him to do this, he just did it on his own. He only has a couple of days left in reading comprehension. He's on schedule to finish the rest of his language arts probably by the end of April and math by the end of May. I gave his the choice of just being done for the year when he finishes each thing but he doesn't want that; he wants me to buy next year's work so he can start it now.

The problem with him starting now is that I'm considering changing our curriculum choices next year. I'm not sure if we'll keep doing what we are doing, change just some things, or change everything.

Part of me wants to keep with what we are doing; I've already made a few changes anyway. I've scrapped Saxon Math for Math U See; Sammy will start Math U See as soon as he's done with this years math. I've scrapped Spectrum Writing for Writing Strands and was planning on doing the same for Sammy. Other than the math change, I'm not sure what I want to do. Part of me wants to teach writing as part of a unit study type curriculum rather than as a separate topic like Writing Strands is. I KNOW I need to change what we are doing for history and science. If nothing else, we need to be on the ball with getting more done the Konos way. Part of me wants to stay with Konos and commit to something. Part of me wants to change. I've looked at Tapestry of Grace; it sounds great but it also looks like way too much work for my liking. Part of me wants to look at Heart of Wisdom's methods because I keep finding it over and over again when I start searching for ideas and answers. I don't know what to do.

Any suggestions? What curriculum do you use? Do you like it? Why or why not? How time intensive is it? That latter one is important to us because we want to live life, take field trips, be involved in extra-curriculars and not be stuck at home doing school 6 hours a day.

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Anonymous said...

Wow! That's a toughy because I was going to suggest Konos. LOL! I don't use it but many moms in my homeschool group with multiple children swear by it. They even have a Konos co-op. I use R&S and will add on more R&S subjects next year. It's set up for an classrooms with multiple ages as the amish teach so the lessons are short and I love that it's so affordable yet great quality. I have looked at TOG too and was driven away by the teacher intensivenss also. I've also heard excellent reviews about Heart of Dakota. I will use their pre-school curric. with Hip Rider this year after she turns 2.

Anonymous said...

Now this post is right up my alley! Next year, I am looking to shake up the studies a bit! Soooooooooo... I'll be checking back for any follow-ups on this post.

~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

My favorites...
A Beka for math b/c it breaks everything down into teeny tiny baby steps and I need all those explanations!
Winston Grammar for grammar. It's quick and fun and my kids learned a LOT.
Sequential Spelling. My oldest is a horrible speller but he's improved greatly in the two years since we started S.S. I don't know if it's maturity or the curriculum but I'm not going to give up the curriculum to find out. LOL
Handwriting w/o Tears for cursive writing... so simple, so effective, so cheap!
Apologia Exploring Creation series for Science. We just finished Astronomy. The boys loved it so much, they'd read the book on their own time and quiz me about things they'd learned. We're doing botany next year.

Stephanie said...

I am no expert but I will tell you this year we began Sonlight. I like it and I don't like it. I tend to be more eclectic so having a set schedule doesn't always work for me. I would much rather go on a field trip but I felt since Hanna was 8 yo now I needed to do something with more structure. Well it definitely has more structure but doing everything we need to do in it everyday along with math, spelling, and handwriting it is just way too much for me. I have only one child but I still don't want to spend 3-4 hours stuck at a desk. So we are using it but going through it much slower than they recommend. Hanna enjoys it more that way too. We use Math U See also, and Writing Strands. We also use English for the Thoughtful Child. Hanna loves it. I don't think I will be spending $400 on a curriculum again for awhile. So, I wish you the best of luck in your choices and I will be watching to see what they are. Cause I might want to try them too!