This is our first official full year off homeschooling. Seeing that we started 3 almost 4 months into the last school year, we spent the last few months "DE"schooling" and trying different types of curriculum, exploring different websites, and methods of homeschooling trying to find a groove. For our first official year we will keep some things and toss others. We have however decided we wanted a Catholic influence on what we do.
Now because we like most homeschool families, are on a tight budget. The one thing I quickly discovered is how very expensive homeschooling can be if one is not careful. So with lots of research and some ingenuity we have come up with what we think is a pretty solid curriculum for our daughter.
The foundation of our homeschool will be based on Charlotte Mason principles using materamabilis.org. They have a very defined scope & sequence for every grade and age level. I took their s&s and purchased books from a yahoo group called Cathswap, which is a forum where parents can buy Catholic curriculum based on the different Catholic homeschool curricula, such as Seton, Catholic Heritage Curriculum, Our Lady of Victory, and Mother of Devine Grace to name a few. Most of what I purchased for core classes is Seton based.
For Math we are going to use ALEKS this year, http://www.aleks.com. Bridget has some gaps in her mathematical concepts missed in public school, because she tests on level on the state testing, these concepts have been overlooked. Though as she is progressing into Pre-Algebra it is evident critical concepts are missing. This program will focus on the what she doesn't yet grasp and close those gaps. This will be the biggest expense for this school year. The program is $179.00/yr, but does have a month to month payment plan.
We will also be using Wordly Wise 3000 for Vocabulary and Spelling. Bridget will be using the 9th grade level books because she works well above grade level in this area, so this is like an honors course for her. She started the books 2 weeks ago and is sailing right through. We purchased ours on www.heartsathomestore.com with a $50.00 gift certificate we won through Jolanthe at http://www.homeschoolcreations.net. Thanks Jolanthe.
For our Religious studies will will be using books on Saints and Catholicism purchased on Cathswap, and we are also using The Child Training Bible. Growing up Catholic we don't learn the bible from cover to cover, but my daughter wants to read, learn and understand the bible, and I can't teach her if I don't know. I think that the Child Training Bible is a great solution to that. Plus she will get character lessons while learning.
In addition to the History For Young Catholics, we are going to learn about the American Government in honor of this years election using notebooking and lapbooking. We will also do a whole unit study on Greece and Ancient Greece.
We will be using Maps workbooks for Geography. We will also use notebookingpages.com to do studies on the places she learns about in the workbooks.
In addition to English & Reading For Young Catholics, Bridget will use 365 writing writing prompts to work on her creative writing, and doing Lapbooks and Notebooking projects to increase her writing skills and her grammar skills.
Also in keeping with Charlotte Mason principles, we will do Nature studies, Music and Art appreciation. I created a Nature Journal for Bridget and myself using recycled and repurposed materials. I will do a blog entry at a later date on the Nature Journals, because they are really pretty cool. I just need to finish the tutorials. I found some great blogs and websites to support the Art & Music appreciation, harmonyoffinearts.com, classicsforkids.com, and harmonyartmom.blogspot.com. These studies will also include notebooking and lapbooking. I also purchased Home Educator's TUTOR, which is a CD that embodies the Classical and Charlotte Mason principles.
The only thing I have decided to hold off doing this year is Latin. For Foriegn Language Bridget wants to do Spanish which we are using Rosetta Stone, and she will also be learning Gaelic this year. She will continue her Irish Dancing for her Physical Ed requirement.
For Science we are doing Chemistry. I found a really great website that has a wonderful and complete program, and it's absolutely FREE, its http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com. It has teacher and student materials, multi-media, and test. I'm pretty excited about it.
Well I think that about covers it for our curriculum this year. I'm looking forward to it. I hope you all have a wonderful and fufilling school year.