Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Getting close!

It's occurred to me over the past week or so that it's getting very close to the time to make decisions about next year's curricula!  I love making the decisions and then making lesson plans.  The last several years I have eagerly looked forward to the day when I allow myself to sit down and write up lesson plans for Science and History.  It's FUN for me.  How odd.  And I have to force myself to wait until we are finished (or nearly so) with the current year's plans before I start making plans for the next year.


The downside to this time of year - for me - is that I am personally running out of steam to finish the year.  I guess that is why we need spring break every year.  We are doing very well with Science, but haven't got as far as I would have liked in History. 


I'm starting to look at possibilities for next year, as I want to be well-prepared by the time I go to the MACHE curriculum fair.  I need to do something a little different with History next year because of the age gap between Spencer and Landon.  I don't want to actively teach two different classes and yet I don't want to just hand Spencer an assignment list and leave him to his own devices.  Harrison handles that reasonably well, but Spencer is a very different student.  The front-runner in my list of possibilities is Around the World in 180 Days.  That seems to be a good spine from which I can give grade-appropriate work to all four kids.  I've also looked at the offerings from Beautiful Feet, which I like, but would still put me in the position of having at least two different "classes" to deal with. 


Language Arts also requires some adjustments - I need to decide what to do with Landon, whether to stay with the program he's been using (Teach Your Children to Read Well), or switch to AlphaOmega LifePacs.  Cost is roughly the same, so that's no tie-breaker.  LOL  Another possibility I'm considering for him, is no specific program, but just using the "leftover" spelling and handwriting things we already have to shore up his skills.  He reads VERY well, so assigned reading will keep him sharp with that.  I suppose what I'll need to look at specifically is the grammar skills for third grade, and decide whether I can keep him caught up with those on my own, or whether one of the curricula I'm considering will offer a clear advantage in that area.  Since Harrison is considering ("pursuing" seems a little too aggressive a term at this point LOL) journalism, I feel he needs to really focus his Language Arts study in writing and lots of it.  So I am about 99.9% sure I will invest in the Institute for Excellence in Writing course for him.  It's a bigger initial outlay but I think worthwhile.  And he can repay me once he gets a high-paying job as a globe-trotting sports reporter.  LOL  One of the moms in our homeschool support group is hoping to bring Mr Pudewa (author of the program) to our area for a 3-day workshop in the fall, so if that works out, won't it be wonderful!?! 


If there's anyone among my little group of readers that has experience with any of those curricula, please leave a comment and give me your review!




DanielleW said...

Not even heard of some of them. I'm always interesting in hearing what you went with though.

I'm just about ready for the year to be done. I'm looking forward to starting next years stuff now, but must finish what was started. (Oh, and looking forward to spring break)

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