The good news is that I have the vast majority of next year decided upon, even if not purchased or planned. I do have three dilemmas left. Two are regarding FB, and one regarding EG.

EG will finish the All About Spelling series at some point during fifth grade; the exact time will depend when, exactly, Level 6 is released. At that point, I have to decide where to go with regard to spelling.

EG has had a fair amount of difficulty with spelling. I have reason to believe the spelling is not something that will ever come particularly easy to her. She gets easily frustrated by studying spelling. Ideally, whatever we do next will not have "spelling" in the title, and will also not appear to be a rehashing or review of the concepts taught in AAS. One suggestion I have seen mentioned as a follow-up to AAS is Megawords. Looking at the samples for the first book, however, I worry that EG would see it as a little too much of a review, and there's no real way to determine which book in which to place her. Part of me would love to stop formal spelling altogether and focus on the correct spelling of vocabulary words as well as words that she misspells in her writing, but I worry about my own follow through with regards to that plan. Decisions, decisions...

Speaking of spelling, I have to decide where to go with spelling for FB. At some point during his kindergarten year, he's going to be ready to start spelling, and his demand to learn spelling will become impossible to ignore. I have a large amount of the things necessary to use All About Spelling with him, and could easily start him on Level 1. However, All About Spelling is teacher-intensive, and was never my first choice for a spelling curriculum. We turned to it when EG had such difficulty with spelling. A big part of me would desperately like to see if Spelling Workout will work for FB. Yet, I can also appreciate the systematic way that AAS teaches the rules of spelling. Does it matter how systematic the teaching is, as long as the end result is a child that can spell?

Finally, I bought Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding to take a look at it. I was hoping I could use it as a framework of sorts to organize my loose plans for science activities for FB for next year. I planned to use various science kits (primarily the Little Labs from Thames & Kosmos and the Magic School Bus themed ones) along with the Let's Read and Find Out science series and other picture books about science. I still like the latter plan, but after looking at BFSU, I find myself thinking about implementing just it. I intend to follow the rotation in WTM for grammar stage science, so I don't foresee wanting to use BFSU for more than one year. I'm drawn to it, but I'm also very drawn to my informal plan. Since we're starting history early, I'm reluctant to wed myself to yet another actual program.

At this point, I admit I'm considering keeping BFSU until around the time PC turns four or five. Because of her November birthday, she'll have more "pre-first grade" time than the other two have, and we could spend time doing BFSU and more informal things as well. Then at least wouldn't feel like I wasted money buying it and wasted time reading through it. ;) I am still torn about next year for FB, though.

Only three dilemmas left is pretty good, though!


Smrt Mama said...

I haven't really started to look at next year yet. I don't feel like I can until I see where Captain Science finishes this year. I have a rough idea of what we'll use -- continue w/ LoF (going to beginning algebra, not pre-a), keep on w/ MCT, continue using our current history spine, but other than that? Oy.

@mylittlesoapbox said...

I used Phonetic Zoo this year with my 3rd grader. He has pretty much hated all spelling programs though his spelling is acceptable for his age. I adapted Phonetic Zoo to suit us thus I'll be using it for a few years.

I'm just getting to the point where I'm ready to look at this next year. Maybe. In a week or two. Heh.

Daisy said...

Only three dilemmas left sounds pretty good to me. LOL. I spent a few hours yesterday hashing out a basic plan. Six months out though and things always change.

I didn't start spelling with Ryan in kindergarten and now I wish I had. He was such a great reader, I should have just jumped into it, but he HATED to write. Now we are using AAS1, but at least we are flying through it quickly. No advice from me in the spelling department. Lydia is a natural speller and could have used anything. We use a mix of Spelling Power, dictation, & just constant revision in her writing.

Gretchen said...

I couldn't handle AAS with Milo. I think I could have done either that or Right Start, but both was just too much. I'm waiting to start formal spelling with him until he finishes Explode the Code, I think, since it has a lot of spelling incorporated in it already. Ari is my natural speller, and I'm still trying to decide when/if I need to do formal spelling with him.

We did BFSU for a while last year...I really liked it, but the prep time killed me.

The Mama said...

I keep hearing about BFSU everywhere- I look forward to seeing how you like it.

Kash said...

@Gretchen That's my concern wrt AAS: the teacher intensity. I mean, yes, everything is teacher intensive at this age, but FB is doing Right Start, plus we'll start FLL and WWE at some point next year, too. Add in doing SOTW with him and I start to get concerned, since EG will be doing MCT.

@The Mama I'm doing a more thorough re-read now; I'll definitely post thoughts on it when I am done!

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