June 23, 2008

It is THAT time of year again.

No, I am not talking about summer swim lessons, although we start today. I am not talking about going to the beach, playing with friends, VBS, or going to the pool. I am talking about the time of year when all good home schoolers evaluate their year and plan for the next.

In all honesty, I normally have my new books by now and am organizing and processing things for our year. I NEVER got that excited about school when I was doing it. Why would it be so exciting to plan for my kids? Could it be that learning together is fun? Shhh, don't tell anyone that you can have fun learning. That might make everyone want to home school.

I have been spending a lot of time the past few days looking at curricula and trying to decide for next year. I am of course using my favorite resource, Sonlight, for most of our studies. However after trying to make it work for us/me, I will not be using their language arts program this time around. I have tried for three years to make it work and it just isn't. I don't blame the curricula, I just don't think it is a good fit for the teacher. I have decided if the teacher can't work with it, it isn't helping anyone.

I am also changing science. I fell in love with one of the books we briefly used this past year and found out there are more. The book that we enjoyed will be a perfect science spine and we can add in other books as needed (or wanted). The series I fell in love with and more importantly, that my children all seemed to enjoy and learn from, is the God's Design science series. There are 11 books in all and they have been written for multiple grades to use at the same time. I have the Animal Kingdom book and we are picking up the other two in this series to use next year. I would love to get them all together but we need to pay for all those other great books I need too.

One of the struggles we had this past year was combining three different grades and still have time for all their independent work. It is actually about getting it all done while keeping a toddler out of trouble and safe.

This science appeals to me on several levels. The reading is fairly short but packed with interesting information and for my hands on, visual learner there are note-booking suggestions. For my auditory, "don't make me do projects" son, there are the " What did we learn?" and the "Taking it further", sections. I will also pull out additional reading for him. For my little one that just graduated to first grade, listening and a little note-booking will be more than enough.

Just placed an order with Rainbow Resource Center yesterday and managed to put together enough things I needed (that would be need vs. want) to receive free shipping. If you don't know about Rainbow, you need to go and order their catalog. They have great prices and their catalog is larger than my phone book (believe me, that is huge).

Still trusting that I will be able to order my core 4 books before I actually have to start school again.


Leslie said...

Oh, I thought you were going to say that it's Box Day!! I just ordered Core 3 on Friday, and got my first Rainbow Resource catalog last week too! What do you order from them?

I'm looking to do something other than SL Science too. I've only looked at Apologia. I'll take a gander at the God's Design series too--thanks for mentioning it!

Linda said...

I wish it was box day! That picture was from last year. Still trying to figure out financing for this year.

We tried Apologia last year for my older ds combined with the girls Animal World. It was just too overwhelming for me to keep up with all of it.