Well, our ’08/’09 school year is coming to a close.  It was just one of ‘those’ years.  We were SO busy with vacations and moving five million times, it seemed like we were taking breaks like it was nobody’s business.  BUT – by the end of this coming week, we’ll have successfully finished the ’08/’09 year.

With that said, we’re jumping right into next year.  I’m excited.  I do plan to make school more of a priority.  Well, that sounds like I haven’t made it a priority.  I have.  But – we just had so much going on that it was nearly impossible to keep up with everything.  This year will definitely be slower, I think.  I know, definitely, we’ll be taking two weeks off at the end of August/beginning of September.  Jason’s deploying sometime soon and we want to take a trip to NY to see our old church family and his parents before he goes.

So, let’s talk curriculum.  When we first began our homeschooling endeavor, I used A Beka only.  Nothing else.  I do like A Beka, but found other curriculum to be better in other areas.

Math – we still use A Beka for math for all three kids.  This year Connor will be in 5th grade, Zachary in 4th and Kylie in 2nd.  I just can’t even believe it.  Where has the time gone?  Sigh…  They just grow up too fast.  Anyway – I really do love this math.  I think it follows what’s called a spiral approach.  I think.  There’s A LOT of repetition.  The front of the page typically has a new concept or review of the concept taught the day (or a few days) prior.  The backside typically has review of EVERYTHING.  Multiplication, division, subtraction, addition, time, money, word problems, etc etc.  I think that’s why I love it.  You don’t only do the new concept.  You do that plus continued practice on past concepts.  🙂

Grammar – all three kids will be using Easy Grammar.  I. Love. Easy. Grammar.  There, I said it.  I do.  I just love it.  I think it makes grammar incredibly easy.  The basis of this grammar curriculum is finding the prepositional phrase and crossing it out.  By doing that, you are able to identify the subject and verb more easily.  And then as you get into the meat of the book, you start learning about other parts of speech – but the prepositional phrase still makes it significantly easier to identify those parts.  I love Easy Grammar. 😉  The kids will be doing the same grades in grammar as they are in math.  🙂

SpellingSequential Spelling.  This is one of those things I can’t explain.  I just love it.  🙂  All three kids are in book 1 and simply love doing spelling.  🙂

Writing – as in stories, poems, etc.  We’re using Easy Writing.  This is by the same author of Easy Grammar.  It’s our first year using it and I’m not sure how it’s going to go.  We’ll see and this could be a new blog post in the future. 🙂  I will definitely use this with the boys, and I’m not sure with Kylie yet.  I don’t know that she needs to focus on this in 2nd grade.  We’ll see.

History – we’re using Mystery of History Volume 1:  Creation to Christ.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book.  Love. It.  Seriously.  🙂  The lessons are simple.  You don’t HAVE to do everything the book has in it.  Right now, we’re reading the lessons and doing the time line.  Though, our timeline differs from that of the author’s.  She does a ‘real’ timeline w/ die cut people.  We are not doing that.  We’re drawing a picture pertaining to the lesson, writing what the lesson was about and the time frame of when it occurred and making timeline binders.  Here’s the first entry to our timeline binders (click on ‘here’s’).  We will definitely complete all of the volumes of MOH.  The four of us do this together.

Science Apologia.  I really like Apologia, though we haven’t really stuck it out thus far.  The first part of the year will be spent on Astronomy then starting in January, I hope to begin Botany.  The kids love it.  I love it.  We just need to remember to do it at least a few days out of the week.  🙂  This is not age/grade segregated.  The four of us do this together.

Handwriting – we use Handwriting Without Tears.  It’s simple and I love the style of writing it is.  It’s easy for the kids to learn.  Yep – we like HWOT.  🙂  Again, they’re doing their grade level (5th, 4th and 2nd) in these books.

Reading – last but not least we have reading.  All three kids are good readers.  Though, I’d like to spend more one on one time with them this year.  I’ll be using the A Beka readers with them.  I just need to order the 5th grade books for Connor.  I’d like to use them as read alouds also.  Not necessarily just for one on one time.  The kids need a little practice in reading aloud in front of people.  Public speaking, you know.

So there you have it.  That is our curriculum for this year.  I have thought on and off about art and foreign language.  I certainly don’t want to overdo it, but I know the kids would love it.  There is a great curriculum for Latin out there and they now have DVDs.  That would certainly make it easier on this non-Latin speaker!  😉  I’ve heard really good things about Memoria Press’ Latin program.  I’m considering it.  As for art, I’m unsure.  I’ll get back to you.  🙂

I hope you enjoyed my little reviews on the curriculum we’ll be using!

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