Tuesday, July 3, 2012

{It's coming it's coming}

Next years curriculum that is. I'm really excited to get my hands on our new shiny books and finally see what we'll be working with next year. 
I'm a planner and an organizer, and like all of us, I'm just a tad bit ADD. That's the beauty of homeschooling, you can change your mind when something isn't working.

Here's a little background:
Last year when Bubby entered Kindergarten we joined Columbia Virtual Academy. According to their website: "CVA is a totally public, K-12, statewide, tuition free, fully accredited alternative to traditional brick and mortar schools."
By "attending" CVA we get to pick curriculum, provided to us for free, delivered to our door. We have to return it at the end of the year, or in five years, whenever we choose to leave CVA or not use that particular item anymore. In exchange we are required to check-in with a teacher once a week. So far this has always been done by email. Bubby dictates what he did over the course of the day and I type it exactly as he's speaking. Most weeks I would also include a subject break down with specifics as well. We are also required to partake in annual testing.
For Kindergarten we used the MAP testing. I personally think this is a stupid method of testing, but we were able to do it from the comfort of our home, basically on our schedule, and I don't need the results myself. Bubby is at or exceeding "grade level" in all subjects as far as I'm concerned.
I chose to use Five In A Row and it worked out pretty well. Though one thing that does disappointment is the lack of hands on activities. So many of the recommended activities include writing and or discussion. Bubby is simply to young (biologically and academically) for many of the writing assignments and getting an extremely active six year old boy to sit and have a discussion about anything for more than two minutes is pretty much impossible.

 Skip ahead a little and CVA completely reformatted the way they do things. Budget cuts, fairness, blah, blah, blah. This year if we chose to stay with CVA we had a select set of curriculum choices to choose from. I went back and forth for a few weeks trying to decide what to do and finally decided to stay with CVA. Though they don't recognize Five In A Row as a curriculum choice, we already have it from last year and therefore we can continue using it, I didn't want to have to send it all back. Also, I was able to find options in other subject areas that I thought sounded good. So....to some extent I'm going into this blind, these are not items that I have personal experience with and in reality have never laid eyes on. That's ok though, I'm excited to try them out.

Oddly enough, the more I plan out this next year, the less prominent Five In A Row is in our curriculum goals. Here is what we are using:

Social Studies/Geography: Five In A Row
Math: Math-U-See
Art: Meet The Masters
Science: Science Fusion
Spanish: Risa Y Sonrisa
Language Arts: The Well Trained Mind

This leads me to my next topic....I chose The Well Trained Mind simply because one of the supplementary items is The Ordinary Parent's Guide To Teaching Reading which we are already using, and which I want to keep using.
I started doing some research on The Well Trained Mind and I'm really intrigued. While I have (fortunately and unfortunately) already put way too much time and effort into next years plans to change, I am strongly inclined to enter into Bubby's 2nd grade year (Monkey's K) under the guidelines of The Well Trained Mind. There is an annoying lack of information online so I'm now excitedly waiting for the book to arrive so I can devour it and see what I really think. I also ordered The Well Educated Mind from our local library.

We'll have to see.....