Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our plans: Curriculum

We are participating in a "Not Back to School Blog Hop" sponsored by Darcy at Life with my 3 Boybarians each Monday in August. This week's discussion is about curriculum.

Well, we made changes in our homeschooling materials from last year. This year we added purchased curriculum while still using free online resources.This is my three and a half year old son's first year homeschooling and he is excited! He will be doing preschool at home. My oldest son is a special needs child with Autism and some learning disabilities. He will be doing 2nd grade with some subjects at the 1st grade level.
Here is a glance at what we be using for Curriculum for 2009-2010.

for Preschool:

Basic Skills - Montessori activities using the book "Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years" by Elizabeth G. Hainstock. I got mine free with my Paperbackswap Book credits! We will be using the Kumon Books "My First Book of TRACING" and "My First Book of CUTTING." We used these with my oldest son and he loved them. Their books for basic skills have step-by-step exercises that help children gain independence in learning to trace, cut and paste!Horizons Preschool - This bible based curriculum has it all. From Bible, phonics, math, art and language arts. The lessons are easy to follow. You can chose between a 3 day week or 5 day week to use this curriculum. We are using only the Student Workbook.

Math - Using what is available in the Horizons Preschool curriculum (listed above)and supplementing with file folder math games and math activities that I create.

Handwriting - Handwriting without Tears book "Get Set for School." - Letters are taught through multi-sensory play—wood pieces, slate, and crayon stroke. We are using just the workbook and making our own materials instead of purchasing the other products. We are supplementing with Donna Young's handwriting printables that are available free online.

Science/Social Studies - Learning about the seasons and holidays, community workers, and about family values.

For 2nd grade:
Handwriting - We are staying with Handwriting without Tears. My son with special loves it and is doing well with it. I have the whole curriculum from Pre-K to 5th grade and got it free through This year we are using Printing Power. The workbook is for second grade students or those working at that level. We are supplementing with Donna Young's handwriting printables that are available free online.

Spelling - We are using free online resources from these sites:
Super Teacher Spelling and Spelling City. One good thing is that Explode the Code covers vocabulary so we will be using that for our weeking spelling words.
Math - We had originally planned to switch from Modern Curriculum Press to Horizons Math. I read the reviews and I am satisfied with my decision to make the switch. The books are great because "they use a spiral learning method to help your student master concepts through the process of introduction, review, and reinforcement."
Bible/History - I ordered free through the reader/book "History for Little Pilgrims." I purchased teacher's guide and the coloring book at our local FEAST bookstore for $ 7.00.

For both boys:
Lapbooking - We started lapbooking in May and love it. It reinforces what the boys have learned. I am using three sites for lapbooking"
Homeschool Share
Lapbook Lesssons and
Lapbooks by Carrissa at 1+1+1=1

Phonics and Reading- Explode the Code Books. I decided to try using Explode the Code to add to what we are currently using as free resources online. We will contiuing our reading list on books based on seasonal themes.

The free resources we use for phonics and reading are the following:

Carl's Corner contains hundreds of downloadable resources for classroom use. Some of the areas covered include Alphabet, Centers, Games, Phonics, Reading, Monthly/Seasonal Calendar Activities, Themes/Holidays, World Family Activities, Word Study Activities and more. Also includes activities for teaching Spanish language students.
Progressive Phonics an all-in-one reading program with free phonics books and free alphabet books.

Learning Island - This site has hundreds of books to print. Books for Nature Studies, Phonics, History studies and much more,

beginning which is a phonics-based beginning reading program that includes hundreds of free printable worksheets.

Science - We love science and have been doing a number of science experiments even with my youngest. I get ideas from books and some of my favorite sites for science: Preschool Science Experiments
Shirley's Preschool Science Activities
We will supplementing with fun experiments from Janice VanCleave's "Science Around the Year."

Art - I do not use a curriculum for Art and crafts since I enjoy making ideas for the our own art and craft project lessons, besides I think some of the best ideas come from mom who love art!

What I still have not decided on is Language Arts. I am clueless on that. If anyone has suggestions please let me know.

That is about it and I guess after posting it I have committed myself to our new homeschool year (GULP!) Make sure to hop over to Life with My 3 Boybarians to see what others are working on this year and even join in on the blog hop yourself!


Blog August Sig


argsmommy said...

My son with autism loved HWT too! For LA he has done fantastic with the First Language Lessons series (I highly recommend getting the CD to go with it). I love seeing your "Touched by Autism" button -- Darcy made that for me when she designed my blog!


SANDRA said...

Thank you. I'll take a look at the FLL series online. I got my button from Blue House Academy's blog.

SANDRA said...

Hey that's your blog! I love reading your blog!

Raising a Happy Child said...

It looks like you had your plans all lined up. Thank you for including all the links to free resources. I am really not sure how much learning we will do this year, since Anna also goes to preschool 3 mornings a week, and I work full time. But as long as she is enjoying it, I want to have some interesting activities for her, and I always find a lot of ideas on your site.