Sunday, May 29, 2011

School On The Brain!

Over the last few weeks, I've found myself really looking forward to the end of our school year. We have been wrapping up subjects and we're down to History (a few weeks left) and Math. We finished the math lessons for the year, but we're doing some review to build Sierra's confidence because she still panics and gives the wrong answer, then gives the right answer after you remind her to just calm down and try. I was beginning to get in the mindset of a high school student at the end of May though...ready to just be DONE!

Then I started gathering supplies for next year. And now I'm all excited to get started again!!

When our curriculum is finalized (or, as finalized as it ever gets when you homeschool), I will do a whole post about it, but for now, a quick look ahead:

  • We will be moving on to the Middle Ages for History, which roughly covers AD400 to AD1600. That means we'll be touching on all sorts of interesting things. Knights and castles, of course, but also the bubonic plague, Christopher Columbus, Shakespeare, Vikings, the Crusades, Samurais, and the Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs, and a whole slew of other great topics.
  • I have purchased the R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Life Science Curriculum*. We did some science last year, but it was disjointed and not as hands-on as I'd like. I purchased the e-book version of this curriculum, so I got it immediately after purchase and I was so excited to see all the neat things we'll be doing. This probably has something to do with the fact that I have a Biology degree and am a Lactation Consultant...life science is one of my favorite things to teach, but this curriculum looks like it will be great for Sierra too. If you're interested in checking it out, the company (Pandia Press) has a "try it now for free" link on their website that gives you a chunk of the book for free to see if it's what you're looking for.
  • We're going to stick with Right Start math. Sierra will move on to Level C, which I already have. I am trying Sedona on Level B and she's doing well so far, but it takes her a few days to do one lesson because her attention span isn't very long yet. I still haven't decided whether to move forward with her, or just get Level A and go from there so it doesn't get too hard too fast for her.
  • We ended up ditching foreign language last year. I was really happy with Power Glide (now changed to PowerSpeak) at first, but it began to seem so random in what it was teaching and as soon as it moved from words into sentences, Sierra stopped picking it up. I found out Rosetta Stone is doing a little experiment with lower prices (I've read online the prices will last until June 11) and I've heard a lot of great things about it, so I took advantage of the sale and ordered their homeschool Spanish program*. I went ahead and ordered Levels 1-5 because it's cheaper than adding on levels later on.
  • For Spelling, Grammar and Geography, I'm planning to use the Evan-Moor books again.
  • I think we've done okay this year, but I want to make more of an effort to work on reading comprehension and writing on a regular basis.
The history is what's holding my interest right now. I'm determined to put together all the lesson plans before we start the year so I'm not scrambling to keep ahead and it's a bit daunting at the moment, but also fun to see all the things we'll get to talk about. I'm also really curious to see the Rosetta Stone program. I've heard so many wonderful things that I'm just taking a chance, but I haven't actually seen it at all. Of course, if I do it along with her, it will satisfy one of my 101 in 1001 goals too, so that's always fun!
*affiliate links

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