Kris over at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers is hosting a Curriculum link-up and it’s the push I need to really get down to it. As homeschooling is going to look very different for us this year with the older two boys going to a brick and mortar school and just the five younger kids at home. The kids who will be here are all within a few years of each other and most are at approximately the same level. There are some unique learning needs in the mix with two English as a second language “students”, one with Aspergers, and one with a neurodevelopmental disorder! I need to give this year’s curriculum a lot of thought and have spent most of the summer worrying about it.
I tend to be drawn towards a very relaxed approach to homeschooling, but some of my kids NEED structure and routine and I am working towards that.
Here is what I know I am going to be using because it worked for us last year:
Lapbooks (Hands of a Child and various free internet printables)
Unit Studies using notebooking, lapbooks, reading, projects, crafts, activities
Memory Work (poetry, quotes, memory verses)
Color the Classics (Music)
Heroes for Young Readers
Art classes, swimming lessons, gymnastics
I am still completely undecided when it comes to Spelling, Geography, Math, Reading, Handwriting, Devotions, and copywork. I am considering all kinds of things.
It seems like a lot of people are talking about using All About Spelling this year and that is what I am leaning towards for Spelling because it incorporates sight, sound, and touch, which seems like it has the best chance of working with multiple kids. Does anyone have any experience with this curriculum?
For handwriting, I am torn between A Reason for Handwriting and Handwriting Without Tears. I have never used either. Any opinions?
For Science, I’ve looked into several options, but it seems that many of them require a fair amount of prep. work on my part or going to several different stores to purchase materials for experiments and I know that I won’t find success with that. I have a few friends who have suggested Sonlight. Science is not a passion of mine in the least and so I am nervous about the decision.
Math is where I am the most nervous though. I am not strong in the least in Math and feel inadequate to equip my kids with a solid foundation in that area. In the past, we have used Abeka, Switched on Schoolhouse (Fred really liked that, but our computer has been plagued with other problems and so I can’t use a computer based program), Life of Fred, and Math U See (that worked really well for awhile and then Fred hit a brick wall with it). So, I am stuck on what to use with the younger ones. Last year, they just used various workbooks. I may try Math U See with the three 9 year olds and see how it goes. Any other suggestions?
I really want to find a great Devotion to do with the kids this year. Last year, we did 2. We did a Veggie Tales one about honesty that was designed for younger kids, but adapted perfectly for them. The one we did after was a one year devotional and it was too advanced for the kids and the reading parts were too long every day to hold their attention. So, I am looking for suggestions for that too! And for reading and for geography and for anything else!
I guess instead of this being a summary of what we are going to be using this year, it is a plea for help. I need to know what has worked for others. Keep in mind that I need something that takes minimal prep. work for me and that some of my kids have special needs and that I am hopeless when it comes to Math and Science.