So, it’s time to talk curriculum!
This year I was in quite a conundrum. There was just no way I could handle two full curriculum programs in the limited time I have to teach this year. I need to streamline my teaching, while still giving them a solid well rounded education.
So, after staring at the curriculum for HOURS (or what at least felt like hours) I finally came to the solution. I turned Adventures into the “family-style” curriculum – similar to My Father’s World Family cycle.
Since we’ve already done My Father’s World’s 1st grade program, and because we turned it into a full family affair, I just couldn’t see the point of doing it all over again. So, we’re going to do the full Adventures program, and use MFW’s 1st grade program for the phonics and reading program.
So we will do all of the Adventures together. Our oldest is using Saxon Math 2 for math, and Spelling by Sound and Structure and First Language Lessons for her Language Arts. Our youngest is using MFW for the reading program, and Saxon Math 1.
And I am so STOKED! Seriously, the Adventures program year was what drew me to My Father’s World in the first place! And what better place to study American History than right by Washington, DC!!! We already have our first field trip planned and I am so excited!
So this is our homeschool curriculum for the year:
My Father’s World 1st Grade – phonics and reading portion only
And I’m augmenting by adding:
Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Road Trip USA forms (I couldn’t resist)
Last year we learned a lot about our children’s learning styles. One is HIGHLY verbal, and one is HIGHLY auditory. So, at convention this summer I went just a little crazy when I found all these song books with CDs. Our oldest is also and extremely kinesthetic learner. Which is a bit of a challenge for me, since I am not. I spent a lot of time last year trying to come up with new and different ways to make learning “active.” So, this year I bought some Bananagrams to use for Spelling. Anything I can do to make that more interesting and fun, right?
And finally, I do plan to add in some items from Scholastic Teacher Express. They hold $1 Deal Sales a few times a year, and well, I couldn’t resist. The stuff was so darn cute, and my girls tend to really like it. And heck, it’s a dollar!
And here is the explanation of how I’ve actually set up and organized our “stuff.”
Here is the first half of our folders for the year (the rest are in another bin on top of our bookshelf). Each child has her own folder, but both folders are organized together. The front pockets hold the videos we own that already match our reading material, and the other holds paper clips. I went through a LOT of paper clips.
I sorted each day’s handouts and clipped them together. I know I said last year that it was complete overkill, but ya know what? I also never had to think last year about what needed to be done that day. I just pulled out that day’s stack and did it. So, I ended up doing it again. With two children, it just felt necessary in order to make sure we didn’t miss anything.
And here is a copy of my planning template. The one for our youngest is only slightly altered. I did all my lesson planning on these charts. This is a simple table created in a Word document.
While I don’t have to really do much record keeping this year, I know I will next year after we move. And just in case the future state wants to “question” our records or plans, I thought I better keep good records starting this year. It will at least be good practice for when I have to do it “for real.”
It will be easy (I HOPE) with these forms. All I will have to do is write the date across the top of the column, and them mark off items as they are completed. I should be able to easily track number of school days or other information needed in the bottom margin, if necessary. (And for only recording number of school days needed, I will use a blank form of this to track field trip days, etc. Since that’s not expressly written into the lesson plans here.)
I’ve had some express interest in this document and so, I’m sharing it here. I can’t claim complete credit, since I adapted the idea I saw from someone else! With a bit of tweaking it should work for most any curriculum.