Friday, 6 May 2011

Curriculum term 1 and what I changed in term 2.

Term 1 I was over excited about the possibilities in homeschooling the kids (and therefore bought too much!!!). I had many reasons for homeschooling but most of all I wanted a God centred learning adventure with my kids. I felt that I wanted it to be my responsibility to bring up the children with God at the centre of it all. I wanted t

o bring them home and enjoy them.

In term 1 I chose curriculum that I felt was God centred. We worked on school stuff 3 days a week, we had one day full of community service, violin and swimming, and one day for a free time project and a visit to the library. And we took advantage of all opportunities for hands on experiences and homeschool catch ups.

This is what I chose:

English: Rod and staff Building Christian Englisg series. I would really like to teach grammar in a lot more relaxed way but the teacher in me thinks that this is a great resource for covering great content in this area. So for now we stick with it. I do break it up with primary language lessons and Intermediate Language lessons as these are more relaxed and give the kids a break fromt he intensity of Rod and Staff.

Maths: Math U See. Love it, love it, love it!!! My 10year old tells me that he didn't used to like math at school but now he does because he can understand it! This I recommend highly. It is a mastery approach and the DVD's show short, easy to follow lessons. And it is multi sensory. I have recently tested the kids and they have retained everything.

Spelling: Rod and staff. Damon likes the no nonsense approach to this (which surprised me). Again I think I might change next year. It is split into 3 sections to do over 3 days. Adele did not do spelling in term 1 as I tried to use LEM with her but I couldn't get my head around it!!

History: Ancient civilisations and the Bible: Diana Waring.
I was so over excited in the beginning of term that I found getting my head into this very difficult but once I did we enjoyed it. I should have only bought the primary book as the older book is full of lots of information and experiences (which i found tempting but not for my kids just yet.). The kids enjoyed the games, songs and crafts that we did during history of creation through to NOAH. And I added some extra activities (which wasn't necesary!).

Science: Exploring creation through zoology
This was chosen for my son as he is a keen future zoologist!! He is a walking animal encyclopedia! He spends his free time planning his zoo and researching animals. A great resource and interesting hands on activities. Would recommend.

Australian Studies: The Aussie book Traveller.

We didn't do much of this last term. But we found the first book hard to retain as there was a lot of information, dates and names. So I have decided to gather books that I think are easier to follow and look at history in my own way. but as for the other books in the series, we are definately going to follow the rest of the guide as it has lots of great actvities.

Term 2 I have put away our history and science books, opting for one resource this term - Further Up, Further In: narnia series. We are doing activities around The Magicians Nephew like, Miming workshop and performance, Indian cooking workshop and lots of hands on experiences at home (miming games, author study on C.S. Lewis, Life of Mother theresa, Indian games, music, bible studies, building treasure islands, message in a bottle, treasure chest cakes, art - still planning week to week). We will return to our science book when spring comes around (which is a better time to be looking for bugs and birds!).

I have bought Adele A Reason for Spelling, it is bright and colourful and based on scripture (loving it!)

I am waiting for A Reason for Handwrting, again based on scripture and the children are encouraged to do something with their final copy at the end of the week (send it to someone, stick it up etc..).

I have also purchased writing strands as I want to start to focus on different types of writing. Still waiting for it to arrive.

I am still trying to find my own way to homeschool and hope that next year I will have found my direction and style. At the moment I am trying it all out and having fun doing it!:)

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