Big Blessings in "Small" Packages

Friday, July 23, 2010


So most homeschooling mothers either love or hate to pick out curriculum. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it... I love curriculum! For those of you that are curious (or bored), this is what we have on tap for this year for 4th Grade and Kindergarten.

Christian Light Education math - Whitley's weakest subject is math. She must have gotten that from me, not her CPA daddy, Papa, or late Granddad! However, we started CLE math this spring and it has been a lifesaver! It is incremental, spiral in approach (lots of review), and Whitley loves it! I never thought she would love a math curriculum. I want her to love to learn, so I have never told her I don't like math. But she developed a distaste of it on her own until we started CLE. One afternoon she asked me if her cousin Anna used CLE. When I told her no, she said, "She needs to try it - she'd LOVE it!". That's a pretty good endorsement, I'd say! It schedules flash cards and speed drills... I really like that feature. There is no CLE K program, so Melody will be using Singapore until 1st grade, when she will also start with CLE.

Apologia Science - We will be using the elementary Human Anatomy textbook this fall until Whitley starts SEEK. Science is one of Whitley's favorite subjects, and she's particularly interested in the human body. I love the way Jeanne Fulbright has written these texts in an engaging manner. It makes it interesting and fun to learn. Melody will be sitting in on it as well and participating on her own level. Whitley will be attending SEEK again this year as well. She has gone every year since First Grade and we love it. The students go one day a week, all day, and spend at least half the day outdoors - rain or shine. This *really* fits Whitley's learning style, as she learns much easier when she is moving! Melody also can't wait to attend SEEK but they start in First Grade, not Kindergarten so she has to wait another full year. Anyway, we will be doing Apologia for the first 14 weeks, SEEK lasts 12 weeks, then in the Spring we will do science experiments once a week. I have not decided on a book or curriculum for that yet. Here are the links to Apologia and SEEK.

Meaningful Composition - I am very excited about this curriculum! I attended private school growing up, and one of the strengths at my school was the language arts. I remember Abeka being advanced in LA compared to some of the other schools around. While I don't love Abeka, it is important to me that my kids learn how to write competently, but this can be hard to teach! I've looked around for another good program, and have been pleased with what I see so far with MC. It starts in 4th grade and looks very challenging. I'm looking forward to really challenging Whitley in this area. In addition, she will be attending another one-day-a-week program that focuses on geography/Bible/music appreciation/art appreciation. One of the things they do in that program is write a weekly report and present it to the class the next week - each and every week! So between the two programs, I think Whitley will make a lot of progress on writing in 4th grade. She's already a creative writer but needs a little fine-tuning on mechanics.

Rosetta Stone Spanish - This is a computer program that we already use and love. Rosetta Stone uses the immersion method of teaching. It is quite costly, in our opinion anyway, so it has taken me a few years to talk Jeff into buying it. But so far it's been worth it. Whitley will continue on with it, and Melody will start it. It is easy to implement!

English from the Roots Up - Greek and Latin... really? Really! There are several reasons to learn Greek and Latin, or at least root words, which is the approach I've taken. One of the most practical reasons is that it helps us figure out what unfamiliar words in the English language mean. If you know "metro" means "to measure", then it's easier to figure out that "thermometer" means "to measure temperature". "Photos" means "light" and "graph" means "picture" so "photograph" is a "picture made with light". I started this last year with Whitley and we didn't get all the way through the program so we are continuing on this year. I've found it so interesting to learn myself! We're taking the easy way out and just got the pre-printed flashcards and are learning a few each week. It has the root word on one side, colored in either red or green for Latin or Greek, and has a list of derivitives and their definitions on the back. It's a GREAT vocabulary builder for those standardized tests!

Mystery of History - I've already mentioned my love for MOH. It has some fun and simple projects and a list of books and videos that you can rent or borrow to go along with each week. I've gone through the list and made a list of Netflix movies for many of the weeks. I put a notecard with the name of the video in the file folder for the week before we need it, so that I can go ahead and get it ordered in time for the next week. (Does any of this make sense? I feel like it doesn't!) Anyway, check it out further:

Whitley is an excellent reader, so she does not *need* a reading program. But just to torture us both, I went ahead and ordered her one for this year. It is also by CLE, the same company her math is from. We'll see how it works out! Basically she reads a story out of her "reader" and then answers questions about it to see how well she's comprehending. She comprehends well, I know, just by the way she talks about the books she reads and the testing she has done - both standardized and otherwise. I felt like it couldn't hurt to add in a reading program, but if something has to "go" this year, formal reading will be "it"!

By now, it is late, and I'm tired and probably forgetting something. I will have to write up a post on Melody's curriculum tomorrow. It's much shorter. My main goal for Melody for Kindergarten is to learn to read (well) and to continue to love to learn. That is actually my goal for both of them each year. If you can read well and love to learn, I'm convinced you can learn anything else on your own... two great lifeskills to have. Goodnight!


  1. Welcome to blogging. It is interesting to see what you are using. We have virtually no access to see, first hand, products up here. I am needing to get my love of HSing back.

  2. Sounds like you have a great year ahead! I love seeing what everyone is using. It's so important to find just the right math program for a math frustrated child. I remember how excited I was when we found Math Mammoth for Ky. Love those lightbulb moments! Congrats on finding your fit! Have a great back to school :)

  3. Robin - I miss you! I would imagine you get burned out. You have a few more to homeschool than I do!

    Tamara - yes, it's awesome to find the right math program!