Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spring Curriculum 2014

We've had a few changes this past semester in our curriculum as I have read more of Charlotte Mason's original writings and adjusted to what actually works for our family.  It is amazing how SURE I was of our curriculum choices at the beginning of the year and how quickly we outgrew them!  After our first semester of homeschooling, I am more aware of my children's learning styles, my own teaching style, and the unpredictable nature of homeschooling in general - but especially with a feisty toddler around!  Based on this understanding, here is the curriculum that I've chosen for the rest of our 1st year.

The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that I can move the children ahead or spend a bit more time in a particular area based on how they are doing in each subject.  Michaela is more than ready for 1st grade material in many areas, but is still deficient in others.  Rafael, because of his late birthday, wouldn't be starting Kindergarten for another two years.  He wants SO MUCH to do school with his sister, and it is amazing what he has learned just by sitting in on Michaela's lessons.  We have decided to start him in Kindergarten in July (at 4 3/4y) instead of waiting another year.  So basically, for both children, we are using this semester as a transition to the bigger work load they will each begin in July.

Michaela - almost 6 - Kindergarten/1st Grade
Handwriting - Catholic Handwriting Skills - K
We've decided to start Michaela on cursive for many reasons, including it being very helpful for lefties.  This wonderful article was our inspiration.

Phonics - Rx for Reading: Teach them Phonics
Michaela is reading well for her age thanks to our 1st semester curriculum.  We will be reviewing basic rules first and then moving on to more complicated phonics rules that will last into 1st grade.

Grammar - 1st Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind

Math - MEP Year 1
We switched to this from Right Start Math a couple of months ago and are enjoying it.  I've looked ahead at future years and am satisfied with where the curriculum is leading.  The goal is logical progression through and mastery of ideas and mathematical concepts, not simply teaching kids tricks so that they test well.

History - Living books from American History

Geography -  Living Books from each major continent

Literature - Mater Amabilis
Winnie the Pooh
Happy Times in Noisy Village
My Naughty Little Sister
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook
My Father's Dragon

Rafael - 4 - Pre-K

Literacy & Handwriting - Language Lessons for Little Ones

Math - MEP Reception

Literature - Mater Amabilis
Angus Lost
Blueberries for Sal
Make Way for Ducklings
Brambly Hedge Books
Caps for Sale
"Harry" the dog books
James Herriot Treasury
Katy and the Big Snow
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
The Little House
Little Bear books
Millions of Cats
Petunia books
Stone Soup
The Story of Ferdinand
The Velveteen Rabbit
Wheel on the Chimney
Thomas the Tank Engine Collection

Family Subjects

Science - Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding

Nature Studies - Handbook of Nature Studies
This text will be our spine, but we will be following along with lessons on the Handbook of Nature Studies blog, continuing our nature outings with our Charlotte Mason group, and new this semester - working through the activities on Outdoor Nature Challenge with another co-op.

Bible - Catholic Bible Stories for Children
Catechism - Little Acts of Grace 2
Pro-Life Curriculum - The Huntsville Respect Life Curriculum (Pre-K/K)
Liturgical Year/Saint Study - Catholic MosaicMy First Book of Saints
Saint Study115 Saintly Fun Facts
Virtue Study - Virtues in Practice

Art - Drawing with Children

Music - Classic Tunes and Tales

PE - Homeschool Family Fitness

Spanish -Usborne First Thousand Words in Spanish

Habit Training - Laying Down the Rails

Handicrafts - Misc.

I'm excited about our curriculum for this year!  My next post will be on our new schedule!

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