Friday, January 4, 2008

Curriculum Meanderings

Well, my mind is full of curriculum choices this time of year. There are so many good resources available to homeschoolers and sometimes it is hard to know which direction to go. My oldest will be in 8th grade so I am trying to have things set by the time she hits high school.

Bob Jones World Studies has had good information but it isn't the best format for our family. So I am looking at Tapestry of Grace (TOG), TruthQuest (TQ), or BiblioPlan. I know I want a history curriculum that portrays a strong Christian worldview. TOG has a high learning curve but I continue to be drawn to it. The TOG Loose Threads Yahoo group and other friends have been helpful. One homeschooler was generous enough to lend me Redesigned Year One, Unit One so that I could review it. This has been the biggest help. I like that TOG can be used with all ages at the same time and can be used all the years of schooling. I also like that it incorporates the writing instruction with the subject matter. These points are in addition to the fact that it studies HIStory not just facts and events.

For science I am about 99% decided to use Apologia for both girls. Bob Jones Life Science has been great this year but it is very heavy.

I have come full circle in Language Arts and decided that I want to use Spell to Write and Read and The Wise Guide to Spelling in some form. And I want to incorporate study of words they have misspelled during the previous week. I did come across All About Spelling which interests me very much for the little ones to use after they have completed ABC the Key.

I do think I will stay with my plan on holding off on Algebra 1 for my oldest as pre-algebra is quite a handful for her this year. I may use RightStart Mathematics; A Hands-On Geometric Approach for a review of all the math she has learned before she heads into high school. I am leaning heavily in the direction of Christian Light math for dd#2 as I have heard such good reviews of its completeness. It is also in a format that she does well with. I am very happy with my choice of RightStart for my preschooler. We are just starting out but I can already see the learning potential of the program.

This isn't an all inclusive look at what we will be doing next year but it is the musings that are going on in my mind for now. Some things are already decided so they aren't taking center stage in my thought processes.

You might ask why there are so many subjects to decide on and why we aren't using the same curriculum for all the school years. There are a few reasons that I can think of. Some just weren't a good fit for us. Some were just a one-year course. In some cases, what worked well for dd#1 will not work well for dd#2 as they have completely different learning styles. And then part of it is that sometimes it is nice to have a change. My overall goal is that they are not missing any key components in a subject. Fortunately, we have accomplished that for the most part.

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