Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tailoring Curriculum to Your Child

Katie is actually not really any grade, I just say 1st grade for everyone else's understanding.  She is doing 2nd grade work, 3rd grade work and reading 4th-5th grade work and then she has some 1st grade work she is finishing up, so whatever "grade" that is, throw her in there.  I love using Classical Education because it is tailored to go at the child's pace and generally uses levels.

This is why boxed curriculum can cause a child to either fret or be bored.  Here is an example:  You buy the boxed 2nd grade curriculum set from somewhere like Bob Jones.  Your child isn't yet ready for 2nd grade writing and then 2nd grade math is way too easy for her.  So she is crying over the writing and then becoming bored with the math!  Enter any other scenarios here.  Boxed curriculum is just so unrealistic because I've yet to meet a child that is truly on level in ALL subjects at the same time!  Most children have strengths and weaknesses and boxed curriculum is not tailored to that.  You are in a hurry to finish up the whole grade of the boxed curriculum within that year, but what if your child isn't ready?  You are just going to push them on through for what benefit?  Yours or others?  Couldn't possibly be the child because if you really cared for them above all, you would not let them go on if they weren't ready in a particular subject and you would go on in subjects they are ready to move on in. 

Tailoring your curriculum to your child is what is so great about homeschooling!  You teach to your child's learning style, go at their pace in each subject and you don't have anyone over you telling you they must finish all subjects at a certain time and move on.  That is what is so wrong with public schools - children are either left behind or they are bored because its too easy for them.  If it isn't working in the public schools for most children, then why would you bring home their methods in homeschooling?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2nd Grade "Fun" Book List

Katie finished up her 1st grade fun book list here.  This starts her 2nd grade fun book list, which is her time in the evening that she reads 40 minutes.  She is reading below her reading level thus the "fun" book title.

We will update as we go throughout the list through this year.
  1. My Father's Dragon
  2. The Courage of Sarah Noble
  3. James and the Giant Peach
  4. Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth
  5. Lion to Guard Us
  6. The Reluctant Dragon
  7. Magic Tree House - Knights & Castles
  8. A Bear Called Paddington
  9. The Apple and the Arrow
  10. Meet Christopher Columbus
  11. The Story of Chocolate
  12. Good Queen Bess
  13. Starry Messenger

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2nd Grade Bible - Christian Studies 1

I thought I was decided on getting "Bible Study Guide for All Ages" but after looking back over Memoria Press' Christian Studies that we have, I've decided to go with that for 2nd grade.  It starts at a 3rd grade level but Katie is advanced in Bible than most and I believe she will do fine using it.  It also saves us a lot of money, as we already have the first Christian Studies.

I'm also incorporating Adam's huge historical/Biblical timeline into our study, which is something I've wanted for a while now for myself!  I'm going to make my own drills for Katie from some of the lists that are already in the Christian Studies 1 book.  I also like how they already include ancient maps in there and I plan to go more slowly through the book than when we used it orally in K and kind of flew through it because I didn't expect Katie to know half of the stuff in there then.

As I plan it all out this summer, I may also include the making of the tabernacle project, incorporating songs into each week's lessons that go along with the topic, and I'm also considering putting together a Bible lapbook for this coming year.  I'm sure there are many other ideas out there and I'm excited to learn and memorize more Bible facts right along with Katie!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Coolest Girl's Computer/Desk Chair!

I've seen a lot of awesome chairs for girls but this one took my breath away and Katie's when we saw it at Staples yesterday!  She had been patiently awaiting a hot pink desk chair for a while now.  We were going to go with one from IKEA but it gives you static when you sit in it and she wanted something that wasn't plastic like that.  This chair is big - it fits a big bottom, not that she has one but I'm talking about momma here LOL! =0  It spins, moves easily on the carpet, sturdy with lots of padding and good quality.  Had to share - its retro-modern, my fav!

Desk Apprentice for Homeschool

I had seen others using this "Desk Apprentice" and it has been something I've been looking for!  I'm so amazed how much it holds and so far we have all my daughter's school books, teaching manuals and even scissors, pencils, dry erase markers and eraser, pens, math fact cards and more and there is STILL room in there for more!  The coolest part?  It spins or rotates!  They are available at Staples for $25 and well worth the money.  The only downside so far - its huge!





Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Homeschool Room Updated

It's been a while since I updated pics of our homeschool room, a.k.a. the dining room.  Last winter, we were able to buy the rest of our chairs to complete our table setup and then I added in the orange curtains, which I love!  We also got some orange organizer trays and all this is from IKEA.  We have 11 bookshelves throughout the house, so yes we are some bookcase addicts.  We use the long black IKEA desk for the piano and then as an additional workspace.  We have a craft closet in the spare bedroom that I hope to move one day when we get a large cabinet-style shelf unit.




Here is our homeschool shelf and then the small one.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spelling Workout Completion Plan

In order for Katie to start Vocabulary from Classical Roots in 7th grade, she needs to finish all of the Spelling Workout books by the end of 6th grade, the last one being H.  Others have said that the later books are more difficult as they include some word study, so we are planning on giving a year for each of those last few books.  Here is our plan for completion of Spelling Workout, which I will abbreviate SWO:

2nd grade - SWO C and D
3rd grade - SWO D and E
4th grade - SWO F
5th grade - SWO G
6th grade - SWO H
7th grade - Vocabulary from Classical Roots A and B

Katie is finishing up SWO B by the end of summer and we will do reviews and then she will begin C at the start of 2nd grade in September.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Day in the Homeschool............

We seem to have guests at our homeschool table a lot these days and today was no exception, we had 3!  Mr. Care Bear didn't much care for the history lesson on Roman Gladiators, so he read Dake's Annotated Bible.  Skittles decided to wave for the camera and No-name-yet doggy paid close attention......