Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GPE's 2012-2013 Curriculum Choices

I've had a few people ask what I'm using for curriculum this year, so I'm dedicating this blog post to sharing our selections! After using last year's curriculum selections, I only chose to make a couple changes for this year (which I'll note below). And like last year, we may get half-way into the year using this line-up and decide something's not working and change it again! That's just how it goes. 

So here we go ... starting with my little man in Tot School!

Tot School: 
It's important for me to explain my philosophy on "Tot School".  At 3 years old, it's important for me that Ben be a part of the family's activities, spending time with us - doing what we're doing - as much as possible. He should enjoy exploring and playing, being creative and active, visiting the library, riding his bike, and playing at the park. I don't think it's necessary for him to know his numbers or letters, be able to name the first 10 Presidents in the U.S., or recite any poetry. He's 3 ... just turned 3, in fact. I want him to love being a little guy. 'Organized learning' through curriculums and such can come later ... much later. In the meantime, he'll be loud and dirty and cute and happy. 

With that being said, I do try to have some activities that he can play with and enjoy. Other than the usual Plah-doh, painting, blocks, trains/cars, stickers, etc that he enjoys, I have gathered or made many toddler-appropriate activities for B to use during our school days. I even have a tentative "schedule" of activities for him to do each day so that I'm not scrambling for something to engage him with each day. A few of the websites that have been very helpful in collecting new tot activities and ideas include: 

Other: He'll just blend in and do whatever we're doing (Bible, P.E., Art, read alouds, etc). This, of course, is where great patience on my part is needed!   So that's Tot School in a nutshell :)

Before I break down what each of the girls will study at their instructional level, I'll share what we will investigate and study together: 

-We'll start with 10 Days of Character Studies (which is actually 10 weeks of study)
-They also have their AWANA books to study and work on Scripture memory throughout the year.

P.E.: Family Time Fitness - because we MUST have some regular movement and fitness!

-Classic Literature Unit Studies from Confessions of a Homeschooler
-Independent reading selections and response journals
-Lots and lots and lots of library books!  We have some awesome librarians here at the Beulah library and they take very good care of us : )  

Geography: Expedition Earth by Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler
*I'm going to tell you all right now that if we get into the school year and find that we've tried to bite off too much, this is the first curriculum to be put on pause! But man - I'm so excited to have this curriculum! We're excited to learn about 30 different countries and cultures with this world geography curriculum! 

Also - I'll return to using My Father's World history and geography curriculum next year when Ellie's in 2nd grade. We loved using "Adventures" of MFW last year for Abbie!

Music: World's Greatest Composers by Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler

Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone Spanish - twice a week during center time.

Ellie - 1st grade

Subjects listed above: Bible, P.E., Literature, Science/Art, Geography, Music

Phonics/Spelling: Explode the Code and also working on High Frequency Words / Phrases
*This is new for Ellie this year as last year she finished her "100 Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read" (excellent Kinder reading curriculum!).  

Extras: AWANA, gymnastics, seasonal sports, and Girl Scouts

Abbie: 3rd grade

Subjects listed above: Bible, P.E., Literature, Science/Art, Geography, Music

*Change from last year when we tried Spelling Workout, which, well ... didn't work out. 

*Honestly, she's not a big fan of handwriting practice. So we'll use this sparingly ... but she does need to practice!

Composition/Grammar: Shurley English along with her own journal writing for stories, poetry, illustrating, freewriting, brainstorming and drafting, etc.

Music: Abbie is excited to participate in the 3rd grade choir at Beulah Elementary school which meets every Wednesday from 8:00-8:25a.m.  She'll also continue in piano lessons this fall.

Extras: AWANA, ballet, seasonal sports, and Girl Scouts

So there you have it folks! It's a load of learning, and we're totally ready! I think...

From our family to yours ... much grace and love in the school year ahead!