Friday, August 31, 2012

Our Curriculum 2012

As our first official day of school draws closer, I am in the final stages of planning out our curriculum. This is the first year that we had to declare ourselves as homeschoolers. I submitted our letter of intent, a requirement of New Hampshire. We will be keeping a portfolio and Jayden will be evaluated at the end of the school year, as per NH Law. I have spent many hours piecing together what I feel will be the right fit for them, so hopefully they like it. 

This year we will be doing Ancient World History. We will mostly be following a curriculum called Myths, Maps, and Marvels. This curriculum coordinates books, maps, timelines, activities, and websites to provide a thorough overview of Ancient Civilizations for early elementary grades. Update 9/27/12- We are no longer using that curriculum. I felt like it was too fast paced and the lessons weren't sinking in well enough. We will still be using these books but The Story of the World will be our spine. We will use the books listed below, as well as other resources, to supplement .The books we purchased for World History are:

1. Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History
2. The Story of the World (Revised Edition)
3. Ancient Greeks
4. Tut's Mummy: Lost... and Found
5. Egyptian Activity Book Creative Fun
6. History Pockets: Ancient Civilizations
7. Mythology

As we go through the timeline we will also borrow books from the library to get a better understanding of anything we are learning.

Jayden, and sometimes even Caitlin, have been asking many questions about religions. We plan on keeping their education completely secular, since we aren't religious, but I do want them to learn about different religions. We picked up a book called One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship, which explains Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism and is beautifully illustrated. We will be using this for Social Studies. We haven't used this book yet (as of 4.13.13). We are having discussions about different religions but we haven't read the book yet.

We may dabble in Geography with our Beginning Geography workbook as well.(We are halfway through this as of 4.13.13)

For science we will be using Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (I purchased the PDF download for $5 here) using pictures and projects from our Explore and Learn textbooks. We only have volumes 1 & 2 right now, but we are on the look out for the others at our local used book store. This curriculum requires a LOT of preplanning. Not something we were prepared for. Instead we have followed Jayden's interests and studied whatever he wanted to study in Science, which included the human body, dinosaurs, the solar system, matter, and more! (4.13.13) We are also joining two Science co-ops that meet 2x a month each. (Co-ops are over 1/13)

For math we will be sticking with Time 4 Learning, as well as supplementing with worksheets. Jayden LOVES this interactive web based program. He will also be doing some Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies there whenever he wants. As of 4.13.13 it has been a while since Jayden used T4L. He is no longer interested in it and feels it is too babyish. Instead we do worksheets on time, measurements, addition (both basic and regrouping), subtraction (both basic and borrowing), and even some multiplication! We will also be using Math U See Beta in the next week or so.

We will be working on Spelling (Grade 2) and Grammar (Grade 1) with National Treasures Workbooks that I printed for free.

We will also be learning Spanish with some cds and English-Spanish Everything for Early Learning.

We will continue reading our Magic Tree House books, as well as several classics, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, James and the Giant Peach, and more! (4.13.13-Saving those for 2nd grade. We have a list of the chapter books we have read at the bottom of the blog). Jayden loves to write so we will do several book reports as well.

We will be creating lapbooks and doing various art projects based on what we are learning, and voilá, we have art covered too!

While this curriculum is more age appropriate for Jayden, Caitlin will be joining us for pretty much anything she is interested in doing. Reading time will be the only mandatory time for her. We will continue working on alphabet and numerical recognition, as well as phonics and basic addition.

None of this is really set in stone. This is our first official year so if we find something isn't working for us, I will definitely change it up. That's the beauty of homeschooling! I also have a couple of ideas in mind for things I'd like to do, I'm just still trying to figure out how to incorporate it all.

Recording & Candle Pin Bowling

At our last co-op Jenn hosted a music theme. She brought her recording equipment and the kids recorded a song together (the alphabet song) and their own songs.

 Here is the group singing:

I recorded Jayden's song but for some reason the video came out blurry. He started out trying to make a rap song, then switched to the "Itsy 'Ditzy' Spider" (as he calls it), then finally switched to the alphabet (which I did not get to record).

Cait recorded a piece from a Nickelodeon movie called "Rags". Here she is:

They decorated their own cd covers:

This summer we signed up for a "Kids Bowl Free" program. The kids could bowl everyday for free (except you had to pay to rent shoes). It was a great deal. We decided to go after co-op. Too bad we only went once!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Odds and Ends

We are taking advantage of the cooler summer days by playing outdoors.

 We also went to the library, something we have not done in ages!

Jayden's new love is the Ninja Turtles. He is super excited that there will be a new Ninja Turtles show in the fall. May helped him find a book, which he completed in two days. The book is appx 100 pages long!

 Of course, we also go to the local indoor playground.

 Painted kids:

Jayden drew a picture of him (in the red/yellow) and Caitlin (in the green). He drew our house and the tree in our yard.
 Cait also wrote up a menu.