Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Curriculum 2012-2013 (Second Grade & Preschool)

I planned to write this post after we got back from the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH, a few weeks ago, however life doesn’t always go as planned. The convention by the way was amazing - this is the second year that I have gone and I LOVED it, again!!
I knew before going which curriculum we were going to be going with next year, but other than our core curriculum, I waited to purchase it until I was there to save on shipping and of course the wait time, and some of the vendors actually offer greater discounts at the conference which is nice.
I cannot tell you how excited I am for next year’s curriculum line-up!! I can hardly wait. It’s times like these that I am appreciative that we school year round.
Core Curriculum: Tapestry of Grace Year 1, Units 1-4: The History of Redemption. TapestryTapestry is a Classical education curriculum, based on a four year cycle it includes everything you need for grades K-12 for history, geography, writing, Bible, art, etc. It’s designed with the mom of multiple children (of different ages) for sure. It’s an amazing, and I mean amazing curriculum. This year we are going to be learning about Ancient History from Creation to Rome. My favorite thing about Tapestry is how much God’s sovereignty is highlighted and actually taught through the study of our world’s history. Even in so-called Christian curriculum I believe that this component is so often missing. This curriculum is saturated with God – I couldn’t ask for anything more, but it actually has SO much more. It has an amazing book list/recommended reading, Bible study, map skills, hands-on activities, fine arts options, and MORE; with all these options you are able to personalize what you learn, how you learn it for each of your students. The trick is not trying to do it all.
Math we are using Singapore.
  • For Treyton we are using standards 2A and 2B
  • For Alexa I am using their Early Birds Standard Kindergarten program Textbook A and B, A is well beneath her ability, but there were a few things I wanted her to review and master.
Handwriting we are sticking with A Reason for Handwriting
  • Treyton is doing Transitions, where he will slowly “transition” from manuscript to cursive 4. Handwriting Level T (Transition) Student Worktext
  • Alexa will be doing the K program. She will simply be practicing her letter formation and neatness. 1. Handwriting Level K Student Worktext
Science we are using Pandia Press’ REAL Science we will be finishing up life science and starting earth and space science. We usually have a strong science push throughout the summer months, and then we take it a little easier throughout the winter, however, with this program it’s not to hard to just keep it going throughout the year. On a normal week we complete a unit by reading the recommended books and doing hands-on labs twice a week.
Fine Arts - Artist Study I guess you could say I “write my own” artist study curriculum. We study an artist for 6 weeks, studying one of his/her pieces a week, often recreating at least one work, and imitating the artist style in at least one original work of our own throughout our study. We include the studied artist and the works studied in our artist notebook, which we started this past year, as well as placing the artist on our timeline. Also, if available, I find living books on our artist at our local library, so we will also supplement our study with some good books. The artist we plan on studying this year include:
  • Picasso
  • Matisse
  • Edgar Degas
  • Henri Rousseau
  • Pierre Auguste Renoir
  • Andy Warhol
Spelling we LOVE All About Spelling it is an extremely thorough and logical program, and I think it is one of the best spelling programs out there that I’ve seen.
  • Treyton will be working through Level 2
  • Alexa will be starting Level 1, but I will be correlating it with her All About Reading program according to Delightful Learning’s Recommendation
  • Alexa has started All About Reading Level 1 All About Reading Level 1 Kitshe will also start Explode the Code book 1, but we will be playing this one by ear. Depending on how much school she wants to do and is able to do. So far, our biggest problem is having enough school for her to do – but if that changes at any point, ETC will be the first to go.
  • Treyton’s primary reading will be done simply through practice, most of which will come from the Tapestry of Grace reading list, however he is continuing to work through Explode the Code mostly because he LOVES them and it’s the first thing he asks to do and I don’t see the added practice as harmful
Language Arts will only be for Treyton this year we are using First Language Lessons written by Jessie Wise. First Language Lessons, Level 1We are halfway through Level 1 and plan on starting Level 2 when we are through with this one. This is a really gentle program that uses narration, picture study, and copywork. It’s done almost exclusively orally and is very repetitive as your student learns to memorize the simple grammar. 
Art Image Detail
  • Treyton is continuing to use I Can Do All Things workbook – I went ahead and purchased the DVDs that go along with the program, and it’s going much better. He’s much more motivated to draw when watching someone else do it first.
  • Alexa’s all time favorite thing to do is cutting, and she also loves painting, gluing and creating. I plan on continuing to add in lots of crafts for her to use her gifts and interests.
Latin I am going to attempt to add latin into our curriculum this year. There are so many great reasons to add this into our school, when we are able, if we can’t work it in this year, we will hold on to it until next year. After looking at several different options, I chose Memoria Press’ Prima Latin (recommended for grades 1-4).
Well, I think that’s it… It seems like a lot all written out, but we obviously don’t do every subject every day, art we only do a couple times a week, latin will be 2-3 times a week, and all of our language arts (excluding reading) will be 3-4 times a week. I stagger our weekly schedule so it’s not nearly as overwhelming as it may seem. Speaking of schedule, I’m two weeks in on my lesson plans for next year, and like I mentioned before, I am so excited! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us!

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amanda said...

so. if breigh is super struggling with reading, would explode the code help? i'm thinking about just stopping with mfw 1st and starting something else. both her and i are left frustrated and i don't feel she is retaining anything she's learned. ((example, most times i have to remind her of all the "rules" e makes the (a,i,o,u) say? etc)) i just don't want her to hate school/reading/me!

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carrie said...

My 2nd grader is doing Learing Lanuage Arts Through Lituratue The Red Book, Math U See Beta, Discovering Earth's Landform's and Surface Features(from Common Sense Press), A Chld's Geography Explore His Earth, and self made addtional history information to go along with what we are learning. We also read the Bible every day. My 3 year old does ABC Jesus Loves Me 3 year old curriculm