What could be better than a one to one classroom ratio? Captain is entering 3rd grade and already reading at 3rd year 4th semester level. Scarfunkle seems to learn by osmosis. He is entering 1st grade and already reading on his own. I’m so proud of them.
Here are some of my favorite’s for homeschooling.
Reading & Phonics -
Abeka Letters and Sounds with Abeka 1st Grade Readers- I think I like this program because the phonics and readers go together and it might have something to do with the fact that I remember the blends ladder and the reading owl from my learning to read days!
I have also used Explode the Code but my boys found it dull and at times hard to decode what the pictures even were.
Right Start Math – This curriculum is similar to the Singapore Math and it was tough for me to get into as a teacher because it takes a lot of work on my part. The reason I stick it out is I’m totally committed to the purpose. They emphasise mental math and problem solving. Comprehension over memorization! I love that. I stick it out because I want to improve in these areas and I am confident that it will give my kids a firm foundation of UNDERSTANDING math.
Saxon Math for those of you who like the traditional drill and kill style. Which, by the way, is how both my husband and I were taught and we have pretty good math skills. I have to admit though, I’m very slow and I don’t do math in my head. Hubby, on the other hand, drew those connections on his own as a kid (rule breaker-teehee) automatically and he is great with mental math and problem solving skills.
Handwriting – Handwriting for a Reason - This is a scripture based curricula where children work on a bible verse throughout the week and then on day five they color a border page and carefully copy the whole verse. My boys love mailing these to friends and family.
And for those of you who like a more directed school day that adds social studies, reading, science and emphasises all the other courses your child is doing, I love this theme based curriculum.
Moving Beyond the Page - A literature based thematic curriculum. Instead of a large textbook the child gets literature to read (or listen to) and complete activities based on these stories. For example, this year we are reading the story of Tornado, about a dog who showed up in a boys yard after a tornado. The corresponding science lessons are on weather and social studies activities reflect on how weather and the seasons affect how people live.
I love teaching this whole approach rather than piecing things. To me it helps kids understand the reason for facts and numbers. People are changed by history, science etc.
If your first grader is the first of your children in school you can wait to get this curriculum until a sibling can work on it with them or grab some friends and go in on it together. It is especially fun with others because of the many activities, “field trips” and various adventures. The grades are arranged by age as well so there is some overlap. For instance age 5-7 or age 6-9. There are options for younger or older children on most of the activities.
These are some of my home school favorites. But I have mentioned before that if I wasn’t participating in Idaho Idea, where I get to decide how my tax dollars are spent regarding my children’s education, I would use Sonlight curriculum. Much of what I already use is in the Sonlight cores. Visit my friend Karen if you would like a homeschoolers perspective on that program.