Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Curriculum

I was so nervous about this year. Starting homeschool with a repeat second grader seemed almost easy. He already knew his numbers, he knew how to read. It was just adding to the skills, reteaching some basics and behavior control with him. This kindergarten thing was a whole new ball game. I was going to be responsible for everything. I needed to be ready to teach letters, numbers and all the basics of how to put it all together. If they did not get it or there were mistakes it was all on me. No teacher to blame. For some reason it was overwhelming to me in a way remediating second grade never was. I have spent countless ours researching, reading and shopping. It is a lot of information so I am going to break it into two posts. Here is how it all came together for third grade.
For Wyatt's third grade year we are doing Sonlight . We absolutely loved Sonlight for second grade. The program consists of history textbooks followed by novels that reinforce what you have learned. Wyatt's retention went through the roof last year with the stories from the novels acting as a trigger for all the real information. I learned and remembered as much as he did and way more than I learned as a child. Jacob is 4 grades ahead of Wyatt and in a private school for junior high. Every year the two boys are studying the same time frame in history. Sonlights books are more thorough, more interesting and Wyatt's retention is better than Jake's. Jacob actually borrows our books in his spare time and complains his are boring by comparison. That is by far the best indication of a great curriculum if you ask me.

We are also using the Homeschool In The Woods Time Travelers Series, , If you have never seen her stuff you have to check it out. We did her Old Testament package last year and LOVED it! The artwork is amazing. Jacob and Sarah would come home and beg for me to print them out copies and I will confess I even printed some for myself because the lapbook was so beautiful when it was all put together. I felt like a real artist. This year we are doing the Time Travelers starting with the Explorers and working our way along with our Sonlight history. Her materials are really a stand alone product and they are serving the purpose of filling in gaps and giving us a deeper knowledge of some time periods. Wyatt is feeling like the smartest 3rd grader ever which is a real change after so many years struggling in school. I knew it would be a hit with Wyatt because it is so hands on, but I can't describe the joy in this kids heart when he is working on this material. He does the reading, completes some projects for his notebook and gets to do things like tying sailors knots and building a ship out of boxes. Here are a few shots of him in action.

Here Wyatt is tying knots and coloring maps.

I am not a huge fan of Sonlight for language arts. Wyatt needs a more solid program. I decided on Bob Jones for English with Spelling, Vocabulary and a Daily Language Review by Evan Moore. I think it is a solid routine and he has a much better grasp since we switched.

Math is Bob Jones as well and I love their books. The materials are thorough, colorful and well laid out. He was very behind in math when we started homeschool and we caught him up and he is loving math, where it was a struggle before.

Science for Wyatt is really extensive this year. I purchased Jeannie Fulbright's "Exploring Creation With Astronomy" , we have used her books before and really enjoyed the immersion approach. Then I ordered my Sonlight and it came with a biology and life science curriculum. Wyatt could not decide so he decided to do it all. Sonlight uses a lot of Usborn book which are just plain fun and this science also has a Lyrical Life book with a CD of songs, a big hit here on the farm. So we are doing biology, life and astronomy with notebooking to boot!!!

Our Bible is a group subject so we read and discuss, but then I was blog surfing my favorites and I hit the gold mine. Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations has created a whole system for scripture memorization that follows Awana. We do not do Awana at church but the kids will be doing her program at home. Check it out along with her other amazing ideas and printables at, .

Our last subject will be foreign language. We were planning on doing Prima Latina for Latin but Robert was debating between Latin and Spanish. I have a week or two to decide so I will be praying on it!

So add that to some lapbooks, crafts, nature journals, field trips and centers and we will have a awesome school year! So far it is all fun and exciting. Wyatt is doing great and we are both having a blast. I tell you by the time I am done teaching him I am going to be a genius!


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