Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Picks for Best Elementary Curriculum

I can't believe we have finished the grammar stage!  It went really fast and there was a lot of needless worry as elementary was really easy and nothing to stress over.  I can say that LOOKING BACK but during it, I didn't always have the proper picture in my mind.

I decided to list the best curriculum, my favorites and also ones I disliked.  I plan on using mostly the same curriculum with my son because they work and they produced what I was hoping for and even more than that with my daughter.  I feel she is well-prepared for the logic stage curriculum.

Best Elementary Curriculum
  1. Story of the World - hands down this is the BEST history curriculum!  We used it along with the activity guide and used the reading lists for each week for read-alouds.  We took so much time with these books that we still have the last book to do.  I can't wait to do this history with my son!  We also have the audio for each book and listen to them on long road-trips.  
  2. Saxon Math - it has a gentle introduction and builds the foundation very well with constant review, so the child doesn't forget concepts.  K loved this up until the 5/4 book where it got difficult but she is very good at math regardless.  We plan on staying with Saxon until Calculus and most Saxon users get high SAT scores in math, so it is a winner!
  3. First Language Lessons - this is probably the BEST curriculum of all that we used in elementary.  This grammar program has 4 books and uses a gentle introduction and constant review that really cements grammar into the child.  We are almost done with the last book and my daughter can diagram a sentence fast!
  4. All About Spelling - this curriculum works but is very teacher-intensive.  My daughter loves it and we are completing the 6th level by the end of January hopefully.  She had issues with spelling and once we began this program, she had immediate results.
  5. Prima Latina - awesome introduction to Latin!  My daughter loved this and is using the next book (Latina Christiana I) and loving that as well.  We used the DVD teacher.
  6. Golden Children's Bible - not a curriculum but what we used for 1st and 2nd grade.  I started reading to my daughter but she ended up finishing the book by 2nd grade on her own.  Good overview of the bible and aligns with the KJV.
  7. Memoria Press' Christian Studies - best bible curriculum that is thorough and doesn't jump around but rather follows a mostly chronological sequence.  I would wait until 3rd grade before starting the first book.  This will continue on into middle school or the logic stage.

My Favorites
  1. First Language Lessons - love, love, love this grammar!!
  2. Story of the World - can't say enough about this history, the best and something we can refer back to in years to come.
  3. Golden Children's Bible - best children's bible in my opinion as it is the only one I could find aligned with the KJV.  (We used Zondervan's The Beginner's Bible for Kindergarten)

They Worked but I Disliked Teaching Them
  • Writing With Ease - I did not like this curriculum at all BUT I have to say it did work.  My daughter was able to do narration very well using this program and learned proper sentence structure.  It is the one curriculum that made us BOTH cry many, many times!  I'm not entirely sure I will use it with my son as we didn't even finish the 3rd book because we could not take the long dictation anymore.
  • All About Spelling - my daughter loved this program but I hated it because it was so teacher intensive!  Definitely works but made me cringe every time we had to do it.  I would have quit this program had my daughter not loved it so much and did so well with it.
  • Saxon Math - again, daughter loved it and it works perfectly but I hated teaching it.  However, with the 5/4 book, we used the Saxon Teacher CD and this made me love it as I didn't have to teach it!  I would have hated ANY math program though because I just despise math.