Always a couple of months before we finish school, my mind begins to wander… into the next school year. I don’t know WHY I do it so early, but I always do. Late spring finds me perusing curriculum catalogs and doing online research. It’s a weird hobby, I know, but it’s one that always kicks in at the same time each year.
My plans aren’t set in stone yet, but I do have a pretty good idea of what we’re using.
Math-U-See: D1 (5th in the fall) is finishing Gamma and will begin Delta. D2 (3rd in the fall) is finishing Beta and will begin Gamma. We also use The Quartermile Math software for skill practice. We bought a 3 year subscription, and we really love it!
Shurley English 4 OR Easy Grammar 3 & 5: I have used both over the years with the big kids. We used Shurley 2 this year with both boys together. We did everything on a white board and while that was OKAY, I would prefer to have a book for them to write in. And I really DON’T like a the writing portion of Shurley so I feel like if we stick with it and buy books we’ll be wasting some money. I want to use Easy Grammar for both of them. D1 is insistent that he must use Shurley. Not sure what to do there yet.
Spelling: D1 uses Sequential Spelling and D2 has been using The WISE Guide for Spelling. His phonics skills aren’t totally up there yet, or I would let him use Sequential Spelling too. For now, we will stick with the WISE Guide.
Excellence in Writing: We began working on keyword outlines about two months ago. They are picking it up, and I can see that the skills it IEW will come to benefit them later on. I have to DVDs now and syllabus, so we are going to continue working through the writing units monthly.
Handwriting Without Tears: If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. This program is simple for my boys with their fine motor and spatial issues, and while it’s not my favorite style of penmanship, at least they can write and it’s legible. We’re sticking with it. D1 is in the middle of the second Cursive book and doing well, and D2 is still struggling with keeping his letter in the vicinity of the lines, in the second manuscript book. Slowly but surely they are overcoming the fine motor struggles.
Diana Waring’s Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries: I cannot WAIT to use this! I’ve been a History Alive! wanna-be for as many years as I have homeschooled. That would be 12. Yes. 12. And I am finally getting to use her history programs!! I’m very excited about this. That being said, we are adding in a lot of public domain books to our history studies, because I have already got them on my computer, already formatted them for easy reading and printing, so why not? Later on I will share these books with you, too! Another place I located a few books for this study is The Paperback Swap. I was able to request 3 titles that we will be able to use.
Building Thinking Skills, Book 2: I picked up the TM and a student workbook at a used curriculum sale, and purchased another student workbook online. Thinking Skills is an area where they need some sharpening, and we started using this together this year. We’ll continue with it next year.
Science: I’m not sure yet. Science is the subject that we always co-op’ed with another family on. I have struggled with pulling it together with just the boys and I. We do have Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, which we didn’t end up using this year, so we could use that. I’m just not sure yet!
Lapbooks: We have done a few lapbooks. I’m not so great at getting to them or finishing them. I am sure we will do a few more lapbooks this coming year. They are a great way to pull a subject together to display what they’ve learned!
Keyboarding: I need D1 to do a typing course this year. We have Typing Tutor 10, but it was for XP and they don’t make it any more. I need to locate another good typing program that isn’t all about cartoon characters but appeals to kids. Do you know of any??
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