Just Another Manic Monday

Curriculum. Let's talk curriculum, specifically: curriculum I love. I've been meaning to do a post like this for awhile now. Fortified on a good breakfast (whole wheat tortilla, scrambled egg, black beans, and salsa, plus orange juice, iron supplement, and two cups water), and blessed with a spontaneous early nap, I find myself with the time to write this post. In no particular order, then, curriculum that I especially love, either because EG loves it, I love various features of it and its depth, or both.

Life of Fred mathematics. EG loves that it's a story. I love that many of the problems are word problems, that they often require EG to pull in material from previous lessons and use it in slightly different ways, and that it's written to the student. One of the biggest problems I had in school as I reached higher levels of math was difficulty reading the textbook; I had become used to the teacher explaining it, so if I didn't understand her explanation, I was out of luck. EG is already learning to look primarily to the text for any necessary explanations. Yay!

Hands-On Equations. EG clearly has a gift with mathematics. I love, though, that this gives her the opportunity to still "play" with some higher concepts and have an easy introduction to algebra. She's already making leaps beyond the materials, and that's okay. She calls it the fun math, and as a result, is easy to start algebra in a few weeks. I can't really ask for much more than that.

Writing Tales. EG sped through the first book last spring, and she's similarly completing the second book at a faster pace than written. It's thorough, though, and forces her to review grammar, not to mention it's improved her alphabetization skills immensely, thanks largely to the dictionary-required vocabulary pages. EG told her father last night that "The drafts in Writing Tales are the hardest thing I do in school!" Her father wisely replied, "Good! It must be a lot of fun, then!" It does challenge her, and I'm glad for it.

Lively Latin. Latin that has actually gotten done daily! Better yet, it's secular, and the layout is visually appealing. EG can have difficulty with very cluttered pages - Latin for Children was a (visual) disaster for her. We don't study the history in depth but I like that it's there to read. Now that she's older, I like that there is an online option for games - they make a nice 'reward' that I can give her. I also like that I could see going much slower with it with FB and PC, starting as early as late second grade.

Our science, history, and literature are pulled together by me, so I don't have specific curriculum to recommend. Otherwise, while the rest of our choices work for us, they aren't especially beloved. I do have to give special mention to All About Spelling, with which I have a love/hate relationship. It has helped EG improve her spelling immensely (though no doubt time has assisted too), but we both hate the day to day drudgery of it. I can't wait until two or three years from now when EG is able to do 90% of her written work on the computer and spell-check comes to our rescue, though I never thought I'd be saying that.


Smrt Mama said...

Having Captain Science switch to doing his history work on the computer has made a huge difference. We'll still have plenty of handwritten work, though.

Wendy Hawksley said...

I'm always glad to hear about curricula people enjoy, that works well for them. We started Latin once and I just gave up and said, "Eh, we'll stick with French". Heh.

I put together our history, science, and literature as well, although I structure everything based on "The Well-Trained Mind". But we just disliked "Story of the World" so intensely, that we tossed it in favor of colorful library books!

Kristenph said...

We are loving Life of Fred here too! And that's about the third mention of Hands on Equations I've seen recently. I'm going to have to take a look at it.


Kash said...

@Wendy Yes, ours is mostly structured on the WTM, as well, though I probably require more reading than most. We do use SOTW still as a spine but there are so many great books that I find we don't correlate our extra books with the chapter in SOTW very well anymore!

@Kristenph I have been very impressed with HOE, more than I expected. We'll keep the manipulatives around as we plod towards (eek!) real algebra.

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