OUR CURRICULUM CHOICES AND REVIEWS

2012-2013

BIBLE

For Bible we chose Bob Jones University Press, Bible Truth’s 2, A Servant’s Heart. I am using this curriculum with two second graders and one-third grader. I highly recommend this curriculum. I enjoy teaching it, and my children are really enjoying learning new bible skills. The features we love are the timeline, hymns, memory verses, and practice strategies for using your bible. The teacher’s manual is very well done and organized. The only down side for some would be that it is teacher intensive. I considered that and discovered I want to be involved in my children’s discovery of the truth.

MATH

We are using a few things for math. Our main curriculum is Math In Focus second grade. My review of the product would be that I think it has a slower pace than the other Singapore approach curriculums I have used. I don’t enjoy teaching it as much as I had hoped, but my children’s favorite subject this year is math. This curriculum directs you to do all sorts of hands on learning activities. All of my children really enjoy the hands on experiences.
We also use IXL which is a website that drills kids on grade level math facts. We love this website for multiple reasons. One of those reasons being that it is kid friendly. Another reason is the comfort I get from knowing it will drill them in common core math standards for their grade and track their progress for me. They have built-in reward systems for the kids that they actually respond to and work for.
Khan Academy is another website we use from time to time to teach harder concepts. This website offers lesson videos as well as practice and test preparation. This is a FREE resource.

GRAMMER AND WRITING

I really wanted a solid base for the basics that included a lot of practice on each new skill so I went with Bob Jones University Press English 2. Again, I will say that the Bob Jones Teacher Editions are very well done and worth the money. I really enjoy using them and the kids enjoy the teaching style. It is very interactive and teacher intensive which I like on some subjects that have more detail or call for more direction.

SPELLING

We love, love, love Sequential Spelling! This is our first year of formal spelling and we went with Sequential Spelling 1. The format is that you give a word and the children write them down and then you give the correct spelling and they immediately correct their spelling. It’s a simple, fun, and easy way to teach and learn spelling.

VOCABULARY

Marie’s Word Cards are your forever vocabulary curriculum. I am learning new words every day right along with my kids. Although they will be learning difficult new words everyday the program revolves around picture association and a suggested game. The delivery of the new words is child friendly. You will be able to use these from beginning to end. You children will learn all the vocabulary they need to know to pass college entrance examinations.

PHONICS

I use Phonics Pathways with all my children all the way through. I don’t use anything else because this is complete for all levels, so it’s all you need. It’s simple, straight forward, and easy to use.

HANDWRITING

A Reason for Handwriting is what we use all the way through. Why mess with a good thing. It’s easy and tearless for student and teacher. They learn the basics along with bible verses. It’s all you need.

SCIENCE

Last year we completed the Apologia Exploring Creation With Astronomy and it was just AWESOME! It was a great experience so we decided to continue on with the Exploring Creation With Botany. I do suggest that you order the lab kit and the teacher’s guide because it saves you so much time. This collection brings science to life and solidifies creation as the basis for all science. Another great resource to go along with the textbook is the notebook and I highly suggest ordering these because they are a wonderful record of your child’s learning.

HISTORY

We have continued Story of the World Volume 1 from last year and will soon be moving on to Story of the World Volume 2. We love the classical approach and the conversational text. It is easy reading as long as you read through the pronunciation. The activities range from simple to in-depth or complex. The activities, in my opinion, don’t help the retention of the material, but they are enjoyable and creative. The review questions work very well for retention and for testing your children’s knowledge. Mapping skills is a huge plus in this curriculum and helps the children visualize where the events in the text took place. The coloring pages can be done while you are reading the text to them. I love the fact that I can combine subjects with this curriculum. I can squeeze out Geography, Art, and Social Studies from this History curriculum.

GEOGRAPHY

Geography is covered by the mapping opportunities included in our History and Bible curriculum so I didn’t see the need to add another separate subject.

READING

I don’t use a curriculum for reading. I read a good book aloud and then I build a unit study off of that book. Then we record the learning process by creating lapbooks. I have not purchased anything for our reading this year. Right now we are reading Winnie-The-Pooh and we are studying bears, England, bees, and balloon science. Next we will be reading Mr. Poppers Penguins and of course studying penguins and several other subjects to be determined.

ELECTIVES

I have adopted Saturday school this year. Our Saturday school is also our computer school day. We are doing Rosetta Stone Spanish 1, Music Ace, and Typer Island. It is really fun listening to the kids work on Spanish. Rosetta Stone is expensive but it is well worth the money. It’s a wonderful program.

Our Curriculum Choices for 2013-2014

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