Monday, March 24, 2008

Curriculum Choices Abound!!

So, I decided to home school. Once I was able to put a few of my major fears aside it was a pretty easy decision to make. The next step for me has been to decide on a curriculum. WOW! Talk about OVERWHELMING! The choices are amazing. There are so many different educational theories and styles.

Originally I wanted something that told me exactly what to teach each day...for example:

On Monday have child read page. ** of *** book. As them this question....

I like the idea of unit seems like such a fun way to teach and to learn but I am scared of missing important educational milestones for my kids. What if God leads us to send them back to public school at some point and we have done unit studies and they are seriously lacking basic information because the unit study didn't cover it? So I started like this....

I looked at the My Father's World curriculum. This curriculum had everything except math, spelling and language arts. It looked great - it told me exactly what to do each day and all the books came with it. Plus you could buy it used lots of places and it was around $150 for the whole thing (used) But as I looked down the road at the topics to be covered the following year I didn't think it would be anything that would interest my girls at such a young age. (ie: studying Creation to the Greeks in 2nd and 5th grades).

Then I looked at Winter Promise. I LOVE the look of this curriculum online but I want to actually view it in is SO expensive and the prices are only for the history portion, or only for the science, or only for the language arts. We're talking like $300 just for history. YIKES! Plus, you can't buy it used. The publishers won't allow you to sell it used so that really hurts the pocket book! Of course it is pricey because the curriculum uses a TON of looking age appropriate books that kids would really like. But again...the price and I hate to spend that kind of money and then get it and start using it and have it not work. Then I couldn't even sell it! (If anyone has used this curriculum and has any cost saving measures to pass along please do!)

The next thing I looked at is a unit study. I am interested in the Little House on the Prairie unit study but with my middle child only being in 1st grade next year, it is a bit too old for her. However, both of the two oldest girls are currently interested in the American Girl books. We saw a movie about Samantha and they wanted me to do reading at night using those books. So I thought...hmmm, I wonder... and yup...they do: This is where we are at right now. I purchased the curriculum and am quite excited about getting started. It is more work that I wanted for myself but it is only March and I have now and all summer to prepare a fun year for us.

We will be adding on Math (Saxon Math), Spelling (Spelling Power), and more than likely some science (Apologia).

The choices are so overwhelming and it sure takes time deciding and researching things but it also feels really good to say - "this is what we are doing" and not feeling the stress and pressure of having to continue to research.

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