Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Curriculum This Year

In the mornings, Dustin and I (and by default the whole family) listen to Pimsleur to help us adults (and hopefully the kids) learn spanish. It's an oral program that repeats and repeats and slowly builds.  We have a friend who learned by using it, so we have some hope.

For math, I'm doing a sort of hybrid of two different programs.

First,  there's RightStart Mathematics, which is an abacus based math program.  It is supposed to be the way the Japanese children learn math.  You are not supposed to count.  You are supposed to group to the nearest five, and then be able to add, subtract, and see number values.  I know I can't describe it very well, but the theories intrigue me.  I got all the manipulatives that go along with it, and we've already had some fun.

However, there are hardly any worksheets.  This is a mostly "mom and me talk, explore, and play math games" program.  That is great, but really, (and I know that this might sound odd) once my kids can read well, I want them to be able to teach themselves math.  And, when it comes to math, I think busy work is not a sin and can be needed even.  I WANT worksheets, so they can do their math while I clean. Saxon Math is quite the classic when it comes to math programs.  I remember using it as a kid and liking it (I love clear cut systems with answers you can prove thus I loved math.) And Saxon has TONS of worksheets (perhaps too many!) and is very explanatory in their books.

Also, I haven't heard the greatest stuff about RightStart Math after level A and B, so I figure RightStart math is just that....a right start in thinking about math in a different way in the beginning.  Basically, I want them on Saxon after the first two years of RightStart, so for those first two years, I'm doing RightStart lessons and Saxon worksheets.

For Devotionals, I use the Gospel Principles book and the Friend as my main guides.

Then for reading, I'm using the Language Arts Through Literature program.  It has books like the "Bob books" but it also has instruction for me on how to go about using them.  It also has activities and fun stuff that I think Maxwell will really click with.

For Hyrum I'm using mostly Leapfrog ABC stuff or stuff that I just make up.  Hyrum is going to be doing speech therapy this year, so what they suggest is probably what will fill our Reading time.

While one child is reading, the other is learning Spanish from Little Pim which is like watching Baby Einstein, but in a different language.  Maxwell's actually really excited to learn Spanish.  I heard him telling his friend the other day that when he grows up, he's going to live somewhere where they speak Spanish.

For Devotional organization, History, and Science we are using The Four Year Plan by the Eberts, who, although I have never met them, I love.  I don't use their program quite like they designed it, but it's meant to be flexible.  I don't do English like they suggest at all since Maxwell is not at that stage.  In fact, I just glean the English section for more History ideas since their English goes along with their History.

The Four Year Plan (like the name suggests) rotates subjects every four years, and is meant to go along with the Seminary schedule.  It is meant for families to learn all together regardless of age.  This year covers the Old Testament, Ancient History of the World, and Chemistry.  This year's book is called "Going in Circles."  On it, Teri Ebert says "Parents often suspect they are going in circles;  we know we are!  We simply choose to design the circles ourselves."  Like I said, I love her.

And finally for preschool I made up my own curriculum, so no link or picture, but the basis is that I concentrate on one letter a week and we do activities about that letter. OH!  I almost forgot:  Laurie Berkner.  I love her songs and we always have lots of preschool fun dancing and singing to them.

So that's my plan...subject to change without warning :)

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