Building on what we have done last year and the year before, and the year before that, and so on, here's the plan for my little man:
Math: Math U See Gamma - he does well with this program, but thinks it's a little boring. I like the DVD teaching element and the hands-on manipulative blocks (if needed), but I always have panic attacks that whatever math program we are using is "not enough" and am constantly tempted to switch programs. My husband advises me to stick with MUS so I will, but we will also supplement with some Singapore and MathTacular DVDs.
Spelling: Phonetic Zoo Level A. Last year we did Sound Beginnings for phonics. I think this program will be a good next step in using phonetic rules to make sense of spelling. I love that this program fosters independence and mastery. They love using the portable CD player and headphones.
The following description is straight from the IEW website:
Spelling is Sequential
When we look at a word, we see it as a whole, so the correct sequence can be missed. This is why most workbook spelling programs don’t work. Auditory input and then spelling the word out loud, letter by letter, ensures accurate storage of the correct sequence in the brain, which allows for correct retrieval and accurate spelling.
The Phonetic Zoo is a teacher-guided phonetically-based audio spelling program.
After a short introductory lesson, students independently take spelling tests until mastery of the list is achieved. Students learn spelling rules incrementally, which will help with future spelling, and personal spelling lists ensure that all a student’s spelling needs are addressed.
Grammar/Writing: CHC Language of God - I realize that some people think formal grammar study is unnecessary at this age, but I equate the practice they get with this book with scale and etude books in music. I will use the writing assignments in the back this year before starting something like IEW. Come to think of it, my son might enjoy a pen-pal this year to supplement writing practice. Anyone interested?
Handwriting: Handwriting Can Help 3 (cursive) - because I think it's important to keep the art of handwriting alive and it's a great way to incorporate scripture verses.
Language: English from the Roots Up - I love that this program takes just a few minutes a day but reaps such valuable rewards. Also Rosetta Stone French - very independent and the kids think it's fun.
History: A Beka's Our American Heritage - because it provides on overview of American history biographically. He did not read well enough to get through many biographies last year (which is the focus of MODG 2nd grade history). Maybe I am underestimating, but I think this book is a better fit for this child than How Our Nation Began and it is an option in the MODG syllabus, supplemented with the same living history books. A more detailed study of American history is comlpeted in MODG 4th-5th grades. He is also excited about the fun extras such as assembling Famous Figures of the American Revolution.
Poetry: MODG - I love how the poetry selections from the Harp & Laurel Wreath coordinate with MODG history. This is a keeper. I have my students copy a stanza a week into their notebooks, illustrate them, and recite for the camera, dad, and visiting relatives and friends too.
Logic: Critical Thinking Activities (K-3). Just for fun.
Religion: MODG - Ten Commandments and Old Testament Bible stories. I still have not decided if we will do the book as directed in the syllabus or use a Catholic Lapbook. Making a narrated and illustrated notebook of the Old Testament stories has become a treasured tradition.
Geography: Take it to Your Seat Geography (3-4) - I almost sent this book back to Emmanual Books after I realized it involved laminating almost every page, cutting, and assembling pocket folders but after prepping Little Saints this now seems easy. It took some time, but as of today they are ready to go. I think he will like the hands-on and independent approach - it reminds me of what the girls did in Montessori with three part cards. There are only thirteen folders so this will not take all year to complete.
Science: We are still working our way through Apologia Flying Creatures as a summer study. I am not sure if we will have a clean stop and start or an overlap with A Beka's Exploring God's World. My kids like the color photos and reading fun facts for themselves. Doing the quizzes and tests with science terminology help them to be accountable for what they read. I also have the kids read A Beka's Health Safety and Manners during piano lessons. I think boys especially need a little reinforcement when it comes to hygiene and good habits.
Music: MODG covers some major composers to which I add the Zeezok books by Opal Wheeler, but this summer I took Classic Tunes and Tales off the music shelf and decided that I would like my kids to know these fifty pieces by name and composer. The authors put catchy words to the musical themes, provide a brief history of the piece and composer and offer reproducible activities that focus on a concept the piece illustrates. This book covers K-8 so we will cover just the tunes and composers in the beginning and actually do more of the advanced activities toward the end if we get that far. The only thing left to do is to make a CD of the selections like we did for Little Saints - too bad one is not provided with all the music in order. We will skip the Let's Learn Music book MODG recommends since the info is covered in piano lessons and choir.
Art: I have rather given up on Mommy It's a Renoir. This year my third grader will be creating a history notebook using Draw Write Now. I penciled in the volume and pages numbers in the syllabus. I am also going to do How to Teach Art to Children with all three kids two days a week. This course covers both the elements of art and famous artists, their masterpieces, and projects in each style. If we have enough in the budget (or Amazon credit from readers clicking book links and adding items to their cart, wink wink) I would like to add the collection of Artists DVDs produced by Devine Entertainment.
Enrichment: Piano lessons (part Suzuki, part Faber & Faber) - we have a wonderful teacher here in town. Land of Lakes Boys' Choir (he will be Voyager, the third of five choirs in this outstanding program). Karate (we committed through red belt, he is purple now, blue is in next, then red). I don't know what after that. Maybe then there will be time to try basketball in the winter or a baseball league in the summer.
As you can see, over the last two years we learned to take a pre-planned curriculum as a model, make some substitutions and additions suited to each child and to the strengths and weaknesses of our family, and still have enough of a framework to keep my sanity. It helps me to follow a general plan for each grade level and the children enjoy having their own curriculum for most subjects instead of doing so much together.
That's all! I always hope and pray that our plans are not too little and not too much. We may start up with only a few subjects at first and layer some in when the weather turns cold.