Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let's Talk Curriculum - Link up

Ok!  I will admit it!  This is already my favorite part of homeschooling.  The planning, the organizing, the picking, choosing, thinking...analyzing...thinking some more...  Yes, this aspect of homeschooling suits my Type A personality quite well.  

Last year I was so scared to begin homeschooling that I bought K-in-the-Box from BJU.  It was really wonderful to be able to be spoon-fed the things that I needed to do, when I needed to do them, and how I needed to do them.  But, this year I feel a lot more confident and I have deviated a a bit from last years curriculum.  

So, without further ado - here is the 1st grade line up for this year!

Language Arts:
I decided to stay with BJU for Phonics, Reading and Handwriting.  I shopped around a lot and really felt that making a change in this area could lead to a lot of confusion.  I love BJU so it wasn't a tough decision to make.  We will be using BJU Press Phonics, Reading, Spelling and Handwriting.

In addition to our BJU Language Arts we will be doing a LOT of reading this are a few of the things that are in the lineup:

For Math we are going to give Math-U-See a try!  I'm pretty nervous about making this change since BJU was working just fine.  (Why mess with a good thing?)  After watching the MUS videos and a demonstration at our Homeschool Curriculum Fair we thought that visual math might be fun.  I mean, who doesn't like building with blocks?


In addition to Math U See I picked up a cute calendar tracking book from Christian Light Publications called My Calendar Book.  It tracks the days average temperatures, rainfalls, wind directions, the moon, etc.  

Now, for one of the best parts.  I have not chosen any formal curriculum for Science.  Here is what we are going to do!  Magic School bus!  Science experiments!  And Nature Studies!  I had a great time planning several unit study electives last year and I thought, why not do that for science as well?  We will be working on several different things.  
First, we will be reading and watching Magic School Bus!  Check out Scholastics awesome website for Parent/Teacher ideas, episode guides and printable activity sheets and science experiments!!

We will also be using a Charlotte Mason method of Nature Study using a Mead Primary Fundamentals writing journal, The Kid's Nature Book and First Nature Activities for Kids.  I also found this awesome Science Experiment book called Physics Tricks.  It's for 2nd-3rd Grade but completely adaptable.  We have already done several activities in it and it is pretty fun!  
(All of these items are found in the carousel below).

Social Studies:
For Social Studies we are going to be focusing on Character Training, Bible & Book of Mormon Studies.  I wanted a history curriculum that is Creation based and the best source of history starts "In the beginning..."  
Our Bible/History studies are coming from Christian Light Education:
One thing I greatly appreciate about CLP is they are totally affordable!  The Bible 1 set retails for only 16.25.  (And you really don't need the teachers guide IMO). 

For Book of Mormon Studies we will be using Discover The Scriptures:
Check out their webpage!  In addition to BOM, D&C, New/Old Testament, there are a lot of resources for studying the words of the Prophets and General Conference.  There are a lot of FREE resources as well!

We will be hitting Character Training HARD this year.  I will be using a handful of resources:
First, from the Learning Parent, Character Concepts Basic Curriculum for Preschoolers (which is recommended for ages up to 7yrs!)
We will be continuing our "Bee Studies" as well (See the posting on Character Training) using A Hive of Busy Bee's, Wisdom and the Millers, and Courtship Connections Character Building for Families Vol. 1.

Fine Arts:
This was a fun unit to plan!  Again, in Charlotte Mason style we will be doing a Fine Arts Picture and Composer study!  The purpose of this study is only to look/listen and appreciate.  No memorization, no stress, just look at a famous piece of art or listen to a famous piece of music, for many we will do an art project along with it, and then we will move on...  Here are some of the tools we will be using:

Kayley requested to keep learning Spanish this year as well.  Last year we learned counting, colors and a few phrases.  I think I can thank Dora the Explorer and her cousin Diego for giving Kayley this interest in Spanish!  Here are a few things we will be using:

The Pre-preschool lineup:
Now!  I haven't forgotten about Maggie!  We have some fun things planned for Maggie as well.  We will be working on texture flashcards, art projects, and other developmentally appropriate activities!  I will be using the Complete Curriculum for Toddlers and Two's (awesome!  It starts by identifying parts of the body, eyes, nose, mouth, etc...and ends with identifying parts of the world, tree, sun, clouds, etc)  I will also be using the guide, Slow and Steady Get Me Ready.  One of Maggie's favorite things is having stories read to her, so we will be doing a LOT of reading using Before Five in a Row and Dr. Seuss!
Here is Maggie's Line up:

We also joined a co-op that meets one afternoon each week and teaches PE, Drama, Art, and Music.  I plan on using our local library, nature center, the Discovery Center, zoo and more to enhance our studies.  I plan on doing several more unit studies this year than last.  Kayley's requests so far have included a study of Caves!  (I'm excited!) And Veterinarians!  (I'm already brainstorming fieldtrips!)

Plus, thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew - we will be given multiple opportunities this year to review several different homeschool products.  It will be a fun year!  

Want to see what everyone else is doing?  
Check out the "Let's Talk Curriculum" Link Up over at
 Training Children Up For Christ:


  1. The thing with Bob Jones math is that it is GREAT until the 5th grade. When they switch over to textbook, instead of workbook, we didn't like it anymore.

    Thanks for linking up with me. This has been fun!

  2. Hello! Newest follower from Molding Minds Homeschool "New Friend Friday". LOVED reading about your curriculum choices - I have a 1st grader this year as well. We're going with HOD, never tried it before so we shall see how it goes. :)

  3. Hi, I'm stopping by from Molding Minds. This will be my first year homeschooling and I look forward to following your blog. Blessings!

  4. Hi from New Friend Friday and fellow crew mate. Nice line up. I love mixing curriculum, it's more work but I love diversity.


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