Monday, February 28, 2011

A Few Changes & Next Years Curriculum

Just a quick update on what we are using right now and what the plans are for next year's curriculum for both boys. We have been using BJU's Distance Learning classes with Joshua.  It's going very well but when I started BJU math with Joshua I knew he might not thrive well with it.  Since I had to pay for the complete grade kit for the BJU Distance Learning classes I wanted to give it a try.  I've learned that Joshua does much better with incremental lessons and consistent daily review of those concepts.  Mastery based math just doesn't seem to be enough review for him. So we decided to move him to Saxon math.  We are also using Teaching Tape Technology dvd's with the Saxon books.  With the English he was doing ok but again he seemed to need the same constant review of grammar concepts that he needed in math.  I learned that Saxon had a grammar and writing curriculum also so I took a look at that and have decided to move Joshua to Saxon for grammar also.  I will be picking up the Grammar & Writing at convention this coming weekend in Memphis so we will start that the following Monday.  If all goes well with it we will continue with it for the next level.

My research for next years curriculum brought me back to Heart of Dakota.  We have enjoyed BJU but I wanted to shorten our school day and I've always wanted to do HOD with Joshua. I just couldn't seem to make it work for us in the past.  I knew that we could go back to using HOD for next year so I began looking into the Creation to Christ manual.  I was completely sold on coming back to HOD for both boys starting next year.  It hit me one day that I could do Preparing right now with Joshua and it would help him with the skills he will need for CtC in the fall.  We will receive our Preparing materials on Tuesday and get started on that for Bible, History, Geography, and Science.  We are really looking forward to Preparing and HOD in general.

For Spelling, Reading, and Cursive Handwriting we are continuing with the BJU Distance Learning classes. Next year for Reading we will be doing HOD's Drawn Into the Heart of Reading. I'm really liking BJU"s Spelling. As we get closer to fall I'll make some final decisions regarding Spelling but at this point I'm leaning heavily towards doing BJU Spelling again only teaching it myself.  Joshua's cursive is coming along very with BJU right now. For next year he'll do all of the writing & copywork required in CtC in cursive to serve as his handwriting.

I'm also considering enrolling Joshua in an IEW writing class taught by a licensed IEW instructor.  IEW stands for Institute for Excellence in Writing.  If I don't do a class then we will get the Student Writing Intensive dvd's for him.  I'm leaning towards a class for accountability and to start giving him an idea of what high school might be like.  I likely will make use of tutorials, etc. in high school and I want him to start understand what it's like to have to do work and turn it into someone other than me.

Jacob is turning 5 in April and he's doing so well with "school" type stuff I feel confident in going ahead and doing K with him in the fall.  He will be 5.5 years old at that time and he's already chomping at the bit to learn his letters and numbers. Right now he enjoys playing on Starfall, doing Abeka's ABC 123, Readiness Skills, and Art workbooks. I'm also using Learning at Home by Ann Ward with him.  I plan to start him in Little Hearts for His Glory at half speed in the fall for K.  I will be going half speed so that LHFHG can be used his K and 1st years.  I will be using the appropriate levels of math and phonics for him each of those years. At this point I plan to use Saxon Math and Phonics for him. We'll see how that works out.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Well this went much longer than I had planned. If you stayed with me bless your heart.  I really appreciate it!

I hope everyone has a wonderful school week!


Mercy said...

Hi there, I just noticed your son is the same age as mine. We just began preparing in feb. and it is going really well. I have seen my son maturing right before my eyes! Anyway, I calculated this weekend that he will be done w preparing in sept. This is calculating around 20 days each month, with a few weeks vacation during the summer. Is this similar to your plan? The goal is to begin ctc in oct. :-) We'll see how that all works out for us....

Just thought I'd introduce myself to you.

Paige said...

Mercy, thanks for stopping by! I checked out your blog also and it's so funny that you were a SOW user. I loved SOW. I do hope you continue to blog about HOD. I followed your blog so I can keep up with you if you do. I honestly hadn't done a long term schedule for finishing Preparing. It will all depend on how my son does with the skills in PHFHG as we go along. I plan to blog about it as regularly as I can.

Join me!


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