10 October 2013

What we are learning this year

We finally finished Second grade a few days ago - well, we both, my son and I, decided that it is time to let go and start something new. We were both excited to call it quits and start our journey to NEW adventures.

Last year, we used the full curriculum from Abeka. It was my first time buying an entire box, because I figured with the baby I needed extra 'help' with planning, or not planning at all because it was done for me. In retrospect, we had a great year. A year that left us with a great experience, lots of things that we learned, and the knowledge that we will never buy a full box again.

Talking to other homeschooling moms and reading many blogs made me curious about what else is out there. When I started researching, I got quickly overwhelmed by the MANY choices. Wow, there are so many great curricula, it's amazing and wonderful. Yet, it makes it hard to choose.

One night last year, the Hubby and I sat down and talked about what we liked in the past year and what we didn't like. We discussed what is important to us. Then we chose curricula subject by subject. It was a great night working together. And then I started buying.....

So we have come up with the following:

* We do Abeka Math again - Coqui thrived with it last year, so we wanted to do it one more year, at least. Additionally, we supplement with Singapore Math workbooks for extra practice.

* I was not thrilled with the entire English approach last year, so I switched to Bob Jones University for English and Spelling - and so far,  we both totally love it.

* I also decided that I didn't need a Reading program, that we would just read what we came across during certain unit studies. But then the entire set of Abeka books literally fell into my lap, so we are reading those. Coqui also loves chapter books like The Magic Tree House, the Magic School Bus, Flat Stanley, and others.

*Again, we supplement with some Scholastic Grammar books.

* I liked the Cursive Writing Curriculum from Abeka, but it was very intense last year. So much, that we got maybe 25% done so far.... But when I went to a conference and held the book for Third Grade in my hands, I loved it. So we are using it, and Coqui loves it, too. 

* I really liked the idea of teaching some Latin, but I thought that he was still too young. When I saw English from the Roots Up, I knew I had the right start for a better understanding of the English language, as well as a great way to introduce a foreign language that I want him to learn later. He likes it so far.

* At the end of last year, I heard about Apologia, and when I looked into it, I knew I wanted to try it. After talking to homeschoolers that have used it, we decided to start with Astronomy. Last week was our first day and Coqui loved it.

* For History, we chose The Story of the World. Actually, we have not started this one yet, but I can't wait to see what Coqui thinks. Ancient Times are not my favorite, so I guess I am a bit procrastinating here, but I also didn't want to start everything at the same time. We both like the idea of easing into ALL of the subjects.

* Coqui is really good in Geography, so I just got him The Complete Book of Maps and Geography.  He loves doing it all by himself. We also use Geography Through Art, but only to supplement with it. It was highly recommended by a fellow homeschooler and we enjoyed it last year when we did a few pages for our Introduction to Art lapbook.

* Art kind of happens around here. We are also going to a weekly co-op to learn and experience Art there.
   I am kind of sad that we haven't found a music curriculum yet. I would love to include that, as I remember to love it in school. So if anyone knows of something good, please share.

* We are also learning Spanish and German. My personal experience has shown me that learning a foreign language from a book is not only boring but also impractical, so we are learning from native speakers. It's also more fun this way.

So there is our list. It seems like a long list, but please be assured that we are not doing this every single day. My motto is that Math and English have to be done every day. Then, depending on time and other circumstances, we are flexible with the rest. At this age, science and social studies don't have to be done every day. And still, they get in alot of playing with friends, doing field trips every week, and playing sports.


Keri said...

We have used Abeka in the past, as well. Honestly, for us, I did not care for it that much, except I do still use their readers.
We are now using Time4Learning. I noticed in your side bar, that you are reviewing it, for free at the moment ( Lucky!). My kids prefer, it over anything else, we have used to date. Just very interactive and easy to use. We also are using, Story of the World. We are just in Vol,1, but we like it & I think you will like it too ;)