We’re getting closer and closer to the end of our homeschool year! I’m currently at the corner of, “YAY! We did it! Time to RELAX!” and, “OMG. I need to start planning THIRD grade!” My kid is at the corner of, “Second grade wasn’t so bad after all!” and, “What if third grade is too hard?!” It happens every time!
I wanted to take some time to reflect on our favorite curriculum that we used this year, and also touch on a big change we’re planning to make for next year.
First I want to start with Comprehensive Curriculum workbooks. These have been with us from the beginning! We have used these books for 3 years now. You get every core subject in these books, reading, writing, math and English. It explains every new concept nice and slowly, one step at a time. It doesn’t do ALL the teaching for me, but really gives me a solid guide to help me slow down and explain things in depth in a way my son can easily understand. There’s plenty of room to supplement my own projects, or to print off extra worksheets if I feel like he needs more practice before moving on.
Next up is our Notebook for journaling. Journal time is an easy, effective way to help kids practice writing and conveying their ideas. Where our curriculum is mostly answering questions, and reading for information, journals help them explain their thoughts and ideas in their own way. My son’s favorite part is being able to draw pictures and comics at the end of the page! The best learning tools for kids give them room for creativity, and help them explain their thoughts and ideas. This is also the CHEAPEST thing you can buy for your homeschooler, so bonus!
Something new we tried this year and ended up LOVING: 180 Days of Practice! I wanted something for Science and Geography for this year and Comprehensive curriculum doesn’t come with a section for these topics. In the past years we would watch videos, and do some science projects, but I really like using this type of curriculum that helps give me direction for my teaching, and room to add in my own creative twist. These books are more expensive, but I’m printing copies to work on so that I can use the same books again when it’s Grayson’s turn for them!
While we have enjoyed all of these, and the couple extra cheap work books we found in the target dollar section and at Five Below, we have decided to make a change for next year.
Third grade obviously digs deeper than first and second grade. I still strongly feel that Comprehensive Curriculum is an amazing book for younger students and really has been fun. But it really skims over the curriculum and we need something that really goes more in depth. We both agree that switching over to 180 Days in more subjects is going to be the way to go for next year. My youngest will be starting kindergarten next year, and he will be getting a comprehensive curriculum book, but my third grader will be moving on to the harder stuff.
We will need to be even more disciplined in doing this. With our Comp. books we always finish a month or so ahead of schedule. Spring rolls around, and I’m suddenly having to scramble and think of what to do to fill in these extra days to that he’s still getting good review and information. The one area I’m not needing to do this in is our 180 Days of Practice curriculum.
It will be more expensive this way, but still cheaper than other all-inclusive curriculum packages, by a couple hundred dollars. But I feel in the end it will be worth it, and if it’s successful, Grayson will also be able to use the books in a couple years!
What has been your favorite curriculum? Are you making big changes for next fall?
Until next time friends!