Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Curriculum Week Link-Up

It's that time again, can you believe it? Back to school is upon us and here at our home, we began our school year this week. We decided that we wanted more breaks throughout the year to avoid the crazy burn-out we often face, so we're off and running. This year, I have an 8th, 6th and 3rd grader. I can't believe my babies are growing so fast! 

I'm happy to be joining again with the iHomeschool Network's Not Back-To-School Blog Hop. So in honor of Curriculum Week, here's what we're all studying this year:

3rd Grade 6th Grade 8th Grade
Math MUS Gamma MUS Zeta MUS Pre-Algebra
Science MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures BJU Earth Science
Geography BJU Cultural Geography
Reading BJU Reading 3 BJU Reading 6 BJU Literature 8
Writing All Things Fun & Fascinating Institute for Excellence in Writing IEW Elegant Essay
Spelling (Using with How To Teach Spelling) How To Spell,  Book 2 How To Spell,  Book 3 How To Spell,  Book 4
Vocab --part of rdg-- --part of rdg-- Marie's Words
Grammar First Language Lessons, Level 3 Glencoe Grammar and Language 6 Glencoe Grammar and Language 8
Logic Hands-On Thinking Activities
Hands-On Thinking Activities
The Art of Argument

For math, we are still sticking with Math-U-See. This has served us well all 4 years of our homeschool journey, so we are sticking with it for year 5.

I decided to try something new for Geography/Science this year by choosing something already planned out for me. Wow, what a difference that has been. I'm loving it! I use this for my younger two while my eighth grader has opted to begin her high school credits by using a 9th grade geography course from BJU.

She is also using BJU's Earth Science. She is a visual learner, so she prefers texts that organize information in a clear and colorful fashion. While I don't LOVE anything about these books, they are rigorous, thorough and well-organized.

Grammar has been a challenge for us. I am a bit of a Grammar nerd, so this is an important subject to me. Some of the popular curricula offer review, but no good reference if you need a refresher. Some are so tediously repetative, that we all feel we are wasting our time. The Glencoe choices seem to get to the point without rambling or confusing my students. This is our first time using them, so I'll keep you posted as the year progresses.

And spelling. Aaaaaahhhh, spelling. This has been the bane of my existence year after year. I just can never seem to find the right balance of actually TEACHING HOW to spell without bogging myself down teaching 3 kids at 3 different levels. We have used HTTS in the past, but struggled with how to implement it. 

This year, after learning a lot from using All About Spelling, I am formatting it very much the same way (Rule, Words, Sentence Dictation, Test on all of the above). We are also utilizing the workbooks this year as well. This book even includes a sound sheet and marries phonics with spelling and its rules. 

An exciting find for me this year is a vocabulary tool called Marie's Words. Again, perfect for my lovely visual learner. These cards come pre-punched with a large ring in the box. Each vocabulary word comes with a visual picture that portrays the definition on the front and the definition, part of speech, antonyms and synonyms on the back.

Well, we are off to a great on day 3. Hehehe! I hope now in our 5th year, we have worked some of the bugs out of our curriculum choices and we can have at least somewhat of a smooth year. Hope you enjoy your learning choices as well!


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