We started our homeschool year off at the end of August and I thought I had everything fairly well planned out. I should know better. Once we jumped in and started, I began to see that we were going to need to change things up a bit. What worked well last year, is to some point, working this year, but we have needed to tweak what we were planning to do.
Has that happened to you?
This year’s plan includes our favorite Abeka curriculum for Math and Reading. I wasn’t sure about History, but after I scored a bonus deal (thanks to an awesome woman I know!) we are using Abeka for that as well. It’s really 3rd grade History, but since my son is a good reader, we’re using it this year. For Science, we are using the Apologia, Land Animals of the Sixth Day book and Junior Notebooking Journal. Ideally, we should have started with what is known as Zoology 1, but my kids wanted to learn about land animals and we wanted to take advantage of our zoo membership.
After discussing different curriculum with my fellow homeschooling mamas, I decided to give Time4Learning a try. I thought it might be a nice supplement to the lessons. We just started using the program last week and the kids are having a blast! The best part is that they are learning as well. What I really like is that especially with the math, it is pointing out areas where both of my children need extra help. It’s nothing major, but it’s been really helpful and we are only one week in! I also love the reading fluency section. As a former teacher, I always had to do running records on my students and they were NEVER fun or easy to do! My son read the passage he was given, then he was given a score and shown what his goal should be. The program then modeled the correct fluency rate and then had him read along with the computer. Then he had to try it alone again. After he read it, he received his score and his rate had jumped by 50 points! Of course, the computer made a big deal out of it and so did I.
The other change is in our scheduling. I was teaching both of my children at the same time, taking turns with independent and teacher-led work. Since my son is an early-riser, now I am teaching him first, which enables my daughter to get a little extra sleep. (definitely needed!) When it is her turn to be taught, my son gets to work on Time4Learning. So far it is working out well, but as anything related to homeschooling, it is fluid and can change at any time. That is the beauty and freedom of homeschooling!
I’m curious. What curriculum are you using this year? Are you happy with it so far or have you needed to change things up as well?
Tomorrow starts a new week… I’m hoping we make it through one week without changing anything! 🙂