Tuesday, April 24, 2007

School Musings

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the MACHE curriculum sale. I was only able to go on Friday evening, but that's fine because in May I am going up to the big convention in Harrisburg PA.
Brent and the kids and I all piled into the car for a 2 1/2 hour drive out to Hagerstown. (And no one threw up! Praise the Lord!) BookSavers is an awesome used book store that has millions (no, I'm not exaggerating) of books! They have a beautifully organized upstairs but then you can go downstairs and dig through gigantic boxes filled with hundreds of miscellaneous books. Unfortunately, they were closing shortly after we got there so I wasn't able to go "digging"!
I did however, get a good supply of books for our history curriculum next year.

The MACHE sale was fun, but since we arrived late, I didn't even make through the last building.
I did pick up a few things that I had decided on for next year and plenty of books I just purchased on a whim!
Brent, believe it or not, has gotten addicted to the Lamplighter book booth. Each night before bed he reads a book to everyone that has biblical symbolism or allegory. Many of the old fashioned Lamplighter books fit the criteria, so he is always on the lookout for more.
We ended up with a bunch!
I'm still making lots of decisions for next year, but here are my thoughts as of now. We'll see how much it changes by fall! LOL!

A Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos
A Chapter from the New Testament
A Child's Book of Character Building
Memorize James Chapter 1

History- (trying something a little new this year! of course!)
1.Truthquest American History for Young Students Vol 1
This is basically a total Literature approach to History. It is a guide that has introductory commentaries for each topic. You read the commentary then just read literature books to enhance it. There are no specific books that you HAVE to buy, anything from the library will do, but it does come with a huge helpful list of recommended books.

2. History Scribe- After we read our literature for each topic, we will be creating notebook pages with original illustrations and compositions.

3. Hands and Hearts Kits- This is a pre- assembled kit of projects and activities for the kids to make that correspond to the particular Early American Era. I'm looking forward to this and so are the kids!

Apologia Elementary Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day- The kids requested this topic to study next and since we will have our aquarium membership I was happy to oblige! We did astronomy this past year from the same author and it was a terrific year!
Knowledge Quest Lapbook- This is a cd that we print off pre made lapbooking booklets to make our science a lot more fun. It is wonderful that it is already coordinated to the Swimming Creatures book and I don't have to go find the important information to include! I have good intentions for this, but if it gets to be too much, it will take a back seat to just reading the book!

I still am deciding on what to use, but as per Melanie's suggestion, I am going to try to find a dvd or video based program so we can all do it together.

Typing- I really like Typing Instructor, but the kids found the lessons too long to handle. We'll have to see if we can fit it into our day or not.

Now individual subjects:

Math- BJU 4 and Calculaddars
Grammar- Growing With Grammar 4 (But I'm still undecided. I'd really like to find a grammar and writing curriculum that I am happy with.)
Vocabulary- Wordly Wise
Spelling- Spell to Write and Read- an abbreviated version of it, though! And, studied dictation!
Reading- Mostly she'll just read the literature for our history curriculum, but I am still compiling a list of a few other kinds of fun literature to have her read. I may or may not have her do book summaries on her books! We'll see how much writing she's going to be doing in other subjects!
Writing- if I find a Grammar/Writing combo I like, we'll do that. But, as of now, I'm totally undecided as to whether I'm even going to DO a specific writing curriculum. I'm leaning toward grabbing a few Evan Moore books to play with through the year, but just focus on history compositions.

Math- BJU 3 and Calculaddars
Vocabulary- Wordly Wise
Spelling- Spell to Write and Read- again, the abbreviated version! And, studied dictation!
Reading- Finish up the Pathway Readers and then go to early chapter books from our History Curriculum
Grammar- Growing With Grammar 3-still deciding though
Writing- I think the GWG and history narrations will be enough! Probably too much!LOL!

Math- BJU 2 and Calculaddars
Spelling- Spell to Write and Read
Reading- Move through the Pathway Readers
Writing- Copywork and oral narrations for History

So, there we have it! I wonder how much I'll change by the time we start school! LOL

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