Sunday, March 28, 2010

Curriculum Plans for Next Year

Anyone who knows me well knows tax season is full of business for me. We filed a lot later this year than we typically do, as W2s were lost in the mail and we had to wait for new ones to be sent. But we got them done and received our refund last Friday. Because of hubby’s long stretch of unemployment last year, we didn’t get back as much as we are used to, but we did get enough to do what needed to be done and a little extra, so I’m not complaining!

I always plan our curriculum for the following year and purchase what I need with our refund. We are going to be doing some new things next year that I am really excited about!

  • Latin’s Not So Tough Level 2 – I think next year is going to be a good time to start formal Latin study for Drew. I looked at a lot of programs, but I chose this one because of all the awesome reviews, ease of teaching, and the fact that it used the classical pronunciation.
  • Critical Thinking – I purchased some material from Critical Thinking Company (again, for Drew) to prepare him for logic studies in a few years. They have so many awesome books, we are going to start with Building Thinking Skills Level 1 and Reading Detective: Beginner.
  • Saxon Math 5/4 – I’m a little nervous about switching math programs, but I think this is going to be a good choice for us. We have used nothing but BJU math since first grade and we really like it. But as we are delving into harder concepts, I am noticing Drew’s homework and test grades slumping a bit. I am hoping the review cycle with Saxon will remedy that. the big selling point for me was the Saxon teacher cd-rom. This little puppy is going to save me LOADS of time everyday! And I won’t have to worry about confusing my kids on the more difficult subjects as the cd lessons will cover how to do the problems. The only thing I am worried about is that the BJU math has not prepared him enough to move into a more advanced program, but we will just take it slow and review, review, review!
  • Lessons in Responsibility for Boys Vol.1 – I have had my eye on this for some time now and I think this book will be a HUGE help to my boys. They are getting older and it is becoming extremely important to me that they begin to mature into responsible adults. I am hoping this series will spur on some great discussions in our home and help them to understand the importance of responsibility in every area of their lives.

In addition to our new things, we are continuing with TOG and I will be purchasing units 3 and 4 of year one, along with the lapbook templates. I already have all the other materials I will need to get us through year one. I don’t see us finishing year one until Fall 2011, since we are going half pace for now.

I also purchased BJU Reading 2 and 4 (mostly used) for next year. I went back and forth on this and was seriously considering using MCP Plaid Phonics and Reading A-Z, but especially since Isaiah was a late reader, I don’t want to make any mistakes with this subject! So I decided to keep using the BJU reading program for both boys. I am hoping next year will be the last year I feel Drew needs a formal reading program. Depending on when I feel he is ready to move into Dialectic level work, that’s when we will nix a reading curriculum and focus more on literature and reading from TOG. So we may end up doing BJU Reading 5, too. Time will tell. I am also thinking about ordering the Phonics Review workbook to go along with Isaiah’s reading, but I will wait until I have a chance to dig into the curriculum before I decide. I learned the hard way with Drew that phonics is so very important and shouldn’t stop after they learn to read. Especially if it doesn’t come easy to them.

We will be continuing with Easy Grammar through next year also. Right now Drew is about a quarter of the way through EG 3, and Isaiah recently started EG 2, so I am getting EG 4 from a friend later in the year since we won’t be ready for it for a while.

Isaiah will continue with BJU Math through 3rd grade, then I will switch him to Saxon 5/4 also. I had already purchased an additional 3rd grade math worktext last year, so I had no need to purchase anything for his 3rd grade math.

Hmm, what am I missing..

Oh yes, I also went through my TOG booklist and picked out a few of the books that I thought would be worth it to buy to add to our library. A couple of these were selected because I can not find them at my local library, others because they are used in several week plans, and others just because I thought they would be nice books that we would get a lot of enjoyment from. All of our other books we will get from our library. I will continue to purchase books for units 3 and 4 as I can throughout the year.

That pretty much covers our plans for the 2010-2011 school year. I put a lot of work (as I always do) into choosing curricula that would be a good fit for my kids. I am relieved it is all ordered and now I can stop stressing over it, LOL! Now all that’s left to do is wait fro my boxes of books to arrive, which is my favorite part next to opening the boxes and pouring over the books for the first time.

Have you started planning and purchasing for next year? What things are you excited about using? I really want to know!


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