Well, I really do stink at writing. I admit it. I hate writing. I am much more comfortable doing equations or dissecting something. I am not quite sure what compelled me to venture into the blogging world other than I felt like I needed some sort of documentation for this crazy world of homeschooling that I have delved into. I guess not posting for the last eight months has been okay. It is an indication that homeschooling is crazy busy and it is extremely time consuming (to say the least). I would still like to endeavor to share some of the wonderful resources that I have found for the boys including curriculum, ideas passed on from other moms, and organizational tips.
Our core curriculum is Bob Jones. It is one of the oldest out there, but for us it has worked well. We have used the newest editions out, which are very appealing to the eye. I liked the idea that I would have teacher's manuals that laid out exactly what I should say when teaching. I realized fairly quickly that I didn't really need it and the boys were like "yeah, yeah, we get it," but even so, I was pleased to have the safety net for my first year.
In math, the boys enjoy the stories at the beginning of each chapter. Grant particularly liked Matt and Patty from his 2nd grade book. They went around the world constructing buildings and teaching math along the way. He loved seeing where they would go next. He thought that Patty was very silly and that, of course, gave great joy to my little comedian. Though the math book goes through material pretty quickly, Jackson was still a bit bored. I could not in good conscience skip two grade levels, though. We did skip one grade level because he was in GT in public school and also based on results from assessment testing we administered online. I am not quite sure what possible curriculum I could give him that he wouldn't find boring. He is patiently holding out for what he really wants to learn more of--Geometry.
The English books were nice because they would cover a chapter on grammar and then a chapter on writing. I liked the idea of implementing what they were learning in grammar in the next lesson with writing. They wrote a variety of pieces. Grant created an imaginative tall tale. Jackson constructed a fine business letter to the Redwood State and National Park that included a donation to preserve redwoods. The ranger sent him information on old growth redwoods, brochures, and how to become a junior ranger. He loved getting mail and reading all of the information they sent him.
Spelling was a breeze for Grant. I found that he pretested out of his words most weeks. I would give him words from Jackson's book for an extra challenge. I guess he just has a knack for spelling. He totally doesn't get that from me. Jack, on the other hand, has to work at it. We kept him on grade level and that was just fine. He had to learn how to spell the books of the Bible this year in addition to his other words. The spelling book includes journal ideas for each lesson. They wrote an entry each week on the selected topic, which ended up capturing some sweet memories on paper for the boys to look back at as they grow older.
They both LOVED their reading books. I did make them do the work text books as well. I just wanted to identify if they were comprehending all that they were reading. The stories were very good. I didn't have to worry about the whack worldview issues, as the curriculum is Christian based. There was a mixture of classic lit, poetry, Bible stories, biographies, and kid-friendly short stories. Jackson read his book many times. He probably knows all of the stories by heart.
I did not use Bob Jones for handwriting, history, science, or Bible. I can fill you in later about the other stuff we used. That is, if I ever post again!