Mama’s 2011-2012 Curriculum Choices

(Mama’s Learning Corner is certainly not just for homeschool families, but I’ll post our curriculum for the new school year for those of you who are interested.)

Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

Isn’t choosing curriculum one of the hardest yet most exciting parts of starting a new homeschool year?  I had the pleasure of attending my first Homeschool Curriculum Book Fair this year and it was…overwhelming. Because I’m still fairly new to the homeschool scene, I didn’t know anyone to ask for pointers.

Even though I’ll do many things differently next year, I will definitely go back again.  I loved that I could ask a million specific questions about certain curriculum.  And how fabulous to actually look at the material in person!  You didn’t just get to view a few pre-selected sample pages.  You could actually flip through the material and read as much as you needed in order to make a decision!  Loved it!

So several of these choices were made at our state’s Curriculum Fair and some were made  by looking at the samples online.  I am completely switching curriculum from what we used last year, so we’ll see if these will be good fits for us!

As we work through these subjects over the course of the fall and winter, I’ll write a detailed review of each.

 

Our Curriculum for the 2011-2012 School Year

I have 4 children to plan for this school year:

  • Davis: 6 years old – mostly 1st grade work
  • Clara: 4 years old – ‘real’ pre-school this year
  • Sadie: 2 years old – very relaxed pre-school
  • Anna: 8 months – along for the ride

 

 

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

 

 
Since we do Bible Study together as a family in the mornings, we are going to use Bible Study Guides for All Ages .  Davis will use the Intermediate Lessons and Clara will use the Beginner Lessons . I’ll make a few coloring worksheets for Sadie if she shows interest.

I bought the Student Pages for both Davis and Clara and the Teacher’s Guide for myself.  From the website, it looks like the Teacher’s Guide is the spine of the curriculum.

And I also bought the Children’s CD , although it is completely unnecessary to purchase for use with the curriculum.  We just are music-lovers here at the Hill House.

 

 

Tapestry of Grace

 
I’ve taken the plunge and ordered Tapestry of Grace!  It is such a beautiful arrangement of accurate history and excellent literature.  I can hardly wait to get it all organized.  I purchased Tapestry of Grace/Digital Edition, as opposed to the print books.  Thankfully, you can easily print what you need and leave what you don’t.  The TOG people make it seem so easy!

We are going to start with Tapestry of Grace Year 1 this fall.   While this will be a ‘real’ curriculum for Davis, I’m going to include Clara as much as possible.  She’ll enjoy listening to the read-alouds and doing the crafts.  I’m certain they’ll both enjoy it!

I admit I am a little intimidated at the amount of teacher prep required.  (Remember I have a 2yo and 8 month old in the mix too!).  But I know that if I am going to be their teacher, I must prepare and have my ducks in a row.  I want this to be an exciting, enjoyable study for them and I’m willing to work hard to make that happen.  I have a feeling that once I get the hang of the way TOG works, it won’t seem so time-consuming.

Even though I sound cautious, this is the curriculum I’m most excited about this year!

 

Exploring Creation with Astronomy

 

 
We are going to use Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy .  While you can use the Astronomy Notebooking Journal as an add-on, I’m afraid it is going to be a little over my 6 year old’s head.   He reads well, but still needs tremendous practice with writing, spelling and forming sentences.  I understand that there is a Junior version available at the end of July, so we might try that.

Until then, we are going to work through the lap book for this series.  Also by using the lap book, we’ll be able to easily include Clara with our studies.  She’ll enjoy making her own lap book and doing the experiments.  My 2 year old Sadie will even be able to create her own mini lap book with a little creativity from me.

 

Math-U-See

Thanks to the curriculum fair, I was introduced to Math-U-See.  We used a lot of manipulatives and games in our math work last year, so I was thrilled to find a math course which heavily focused on those.  We are starting with the Beta version this year for Davis.

Math U See Beta Pic

Clara and Sadie will work on counting and recognizing the numbers to 20.  They will also work on grouping, sorting, pattern work and all of those other early math skills.  I have several printables and games in the works for them to learn their math skills in a fun way.

 

Institute for Excellence in Writing & All About Spelling

Thankfully, Davis picked up reading easily so his reading books will be those we utilize in Tapestry of Grace.  For writing, we are using IEW’s Primary Arts of Language: Writing Complete Package .  This curriculum includes copywork and the foundations for sentence structure.

IEW’s Complete Package also includes All About Spelling – Level 1.  I was thrilled to find this spelling program.  It is based on mastery-type learning, yet contains ample review.  All About Spelling teaches why English words are formed the way they are – it’s not just the type of program where you memorize a list of words and then have a test on Friday.  I thought it was important to teach my children how to spell so I have a feeling this is going to be a good fit for us.  And the letter tiles are excellent for my boy who isn’t so fond of writing with a pencil.

AAS Level One Pic

For the girls, we are going to continue reading great books from our library.  I’ve also introduced them to chapter books, and they love them!  It’s always great for a good snuggle on the couch, so we’ll read several of those together also.

I’ve thought about ordering All About Reading Level Pre-1 for the girls.  I need to research the reviews on that before ordering though.  I’m not one to push for early reading if my child isn’t ready, so I’m not sure we need that curriculum right now.

If you’ve reviewed Level Pre-1 on your blog, feel free to leave me a link so I can take a peek!

 

What are YOU teaching this year?

I love to read what other families are using in their homeschools, so please leave a permalink to your blog post with your 2011-2012 curriculum choices!

 

 

 

Disclosure:  Several of the links in the above post use my affiliate links.  It does not cost you anything extra to use my affiliate links, but it does help support this site.  For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

I am pleased to link this post to Heart of the Matter’s Not Back to School Bloghop.


Comments

  1. I love your curriculum choices! I’m a big Tapestry fan, so we’ll be picking that up with our co-op next year (3rd grade for the oldest). This year we’re skimming through with Story of the World. Saxon math is all we’ve tried, and it seems to be a good fit, so we’re sticking with that. Our kids are all the same age, too, except for my oldest being 7 instead of six, so we’re in basically the same frame of mine you are. Have an awesome school year! Can’t wait to see more of your site.

    • Thanks, Cindy! I didn’t realize our kiddos were the same ages. So you’re just a busy as me ;)

      Hope the school year goes well for y’all too!

  2. um, MIND, not mine. I don’t know what a frame of mine is, but I don’t think I’m in one. ;0)

  3. We’re doing the same Astronomy. Have a great year!

    • Thank you, Denise! Hope y’all do too.

      We’ve just finished up our first week of Astronomy and I can already tell it’s a great fit for our family.

      -Lauren

  4. What a wonderful year you have planned out! Have fun learning!

  5. Looks like a great line-up for your year! We’re using a lot of the same items. We also use Bible Study of All Ages, Apologia science {we’re doing botany right now}, IEW {I’m using Student Writing Intensive with my 4th grader this year}, and All About Spelling {amazing spelling and reading curriculum!}.

    Hope you have a great year!

    • Thanks, Wendi! Yes, we ARE using a lot of the same curriculum. How old are your kiddos?

      We’re only in our second week of school, but AAS is a HUGE hit with my son. And I personally love Bible Study of All Ages. We do one lesson every 2 days and then review on Friday. It’s worked out really well in the little bit of time we’ve been using it.

      Thank you for stopping by :)

      -Lauren

  6. I’m really enjoying exploring your site! Our children are about the same ages – Eoghan (“Owen”) is 6/1st grade, Clara is 4/prek/k, Seamus is almost 2 and #4 is due in February. We started homeschooling last year and love it.

    Best of luck with your school year; can’t wait to check back!

  7. Erika Shupe says:

    Mama, I’m so enjoying having found your blog for resources for our 9 kiddos. I’m going to do more exploring asap. We use Math U See, too, and love it.

    I thought I’d recommend an awesome resource you might like, too! It is a review of 100 of the top homeschool curriculums, and it helps you decide which ones would be best for your children in particular with reviews and a large chart! It’s GOLD, especially for newer homeschooling moms, saving you time and money and energy from wasting any of those things trying to find the best curriculum for you. =) It’s called 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, by Cathy Duffy. Here’s a link for it. http://www.amazon.com/100-Top-Picks-Homeschool-Curriculum/dp/0805431381/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313685161&sr=1-1 I’ve used it for many years myself and have recommended it to many and heard so many sighs of relief to find this resource. Blessings on your day today!

    • Erika- thank you for posting the link! I’ll go check it out. I’m always looking for ways to improve and make things easier. :)

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