If you are active in any homeschool groups, be they in-person meetings or online groups, you probably have witnessed many homeschool parents planning for next year. Every homeschooling family schedules their “school year” differently, but spring seems the time to reflect, research, and plan for any changes or addition to the curricula being utilized. So here is a run down of where we are at and what we are planning for next year.
Reading and Spelling: We will continue with both of these programs as they are working really well for both of the girls. Beaver will be beginning level 4 AAR next year and Bear will be working her way through level 3 AAR by September.
History: We are currently using Story of the World Volume 1, Ancient Times. Next year we will begin Volume 2 Middle Ages. We use the audiobook (bonus we get it from the library and save some cost there). My kids find the audio very engaging. We review the questions in the companion activity book together. Once a week we get together with friends to review the chapter and complete some extension activities from the activity book. This has been a wonderful thing for the girls and highly motivating so we are excited to continue next year.
Science: We have enjoyed doing Mystery Science with our homeschooling friends. We have used the lessons as the framework for our science studies. For some of the topics we have dug a little deeper by using other resources such as Bill Nye the Science Guy and Sci Show Kids. We got really into magnets and extended our investigation on it. We have been using the free membership up until this point, but I just got in on a group buy, so I am excited to be able to access all of the lessons. We will continue Mystery Science next year.
Math: We are currently using Math Mammoth. It is a very solid math program, but the kids are not in love with it. They are definitely not excited about it. Part of this lack of excitement could have something to do with the fact that I bought the pdf version of the curriculum and then printed it at home on our monochrome laser printer. Being in grayscale does make the pages a bit drab. We are going to try Mathematical Reasoning by the Critical Thinking Company for next year. The samples look great and I have heard great reviews. My kids enjoy colorful workbooks and this looks like it will fit the bill. I’ve read there are lots of different puzzles included within the text to make the material more engaging (Math Mammoth does have some puzzles as well). Beaver loves logic puzzles, so hopefully there will be some puzzles that style.
Writing/Grammar: Writing has been a bit of a modge podge up until this point. We do some journaling, but not as much as I would like. We sometimes work on creative writing with our homeschool friends that we meet with weekly. Now that both girls are reading more fluently, I would really like to work on their writing. I think for next year I am going to give Write Shop Jr. a try. Many of the blogs I follow about homeschooling children with dyslexia recommend it.