It’s that time again! Back to school, shopping, and for us homeschool families, obsessing over curriculum choices!
This year we are trying something new! We’re just changing everything around here this year!
For the past three years, we have used a Comprehensive Curriculum with a few sprinklings of other books. Last year for science and geography, we used 180 days of practice. We were so impressed with these books that we decided to completely switch over for ALL of our subjects this year! My son loves worksheets because he can work through them quickly when he’s not interested in something and they are great jumping points for subjects that he wants to explore more.
We got our books earlier this month… but as I went through the book I had an awful realization. The math book has NO instruction for kids. This book is geared more towards assessing and analyzing where your child is at in math. So essentially, it’s 180 tests. This was NOT going to work for us! So after talking it through with my husband who also agreed that there just wasn’t a good way to use this book, we decided to try Khan academy! Khan Academy is free, it’s beyond easy to set up as a teacher, and you can add students, they’ll have their own user name and password and you can assign the work to them. I’ll still sit with him (as needed) during his math lessons, but he’s pretty excited to be using the laptop every day for his math work! We are also keeping with 180 days of problem-solving if this practice helps him daily.
Since we loved 180 Days of science last year, we are continuing with it again! The year is broken down into 3 main subjects: Life Science, Physical Science, and, Earth and Space Science. Then each week concentrates on an idea in one of the three categories. So our first term is going to be life science, and the first week is all about why animals live in groups. Week two is animal jobs within groups. Each day there’s some reading, and then your child answers a few questions. I also like to supplement with videos on the same subject now and then.
While we did just geography last year, the 180 days of social studies book includes geography, history, civics, and economics. Each week rotates between these 4 different subjects. Just like with the science book each day there’s some reading about the central ideas and then your child will answer some questions.
Reading, writing, and language
Each day of reading seems to center around reading to comprehend. So there will be reading and then answering questions for each page. These are also set up as a test, so I’m not 100% sure yet if we will use it all year, but I’ll give it a chance. 180 Days of writing takes us through prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Hopefully, this is a very helpful book for us, because I feel like my oldest’s least favorite subject is writing. He likes making comic books but doesn’t like to actually write stories. I don’t plan to force him, but I’m hoping that introducing him one step/day at a time will help him! 180 days of language is also iffy for us this year. It seems to be set up similar to the math book. It’s given as a test… I’m not sure why some of these books are more on instruction and others are just on assessment. I bought them all as a set. However, since I’m somewhat better with language than I am with math, I’m going to try it out and see where to go from there. The year hasn’t even started, so we will have to wait and see!
This book was added to the insistence of my student! He really wants to learn to, “write pretty.” just like his mom does. 🙂 We won’t be starting this right at the beginning, I’m going to wait a couple weeks and see what curriculum sticks first. If something needs to be dropped this can be added on, or if nothing gets dropped, and we find that the amount of course work that we are looking at so far isn’t too much, then we can add it in. This will be into September before we do that.
And that’s all for the curriculum this year! The days are quickly winding down, we’re starting August 20th! Right now we’re on a mini-vacation while my mom visits for a few days and so my to-do list is on the back burner for now. But we have tons to do to get our selves and the house ready to go for that first week back to school!
Until next time friends!