I feel like a real homeschool mom now by doing a "curriculum picks" post. (If you aren't familiar with these posts, just browse a few homeschool blogs, and you'll soon understand what I mean.) Before you read this post, you may find it helpful to read my review of the Abeka K4 program that we used in the 2015-2016 school year.
Let me begin by explaining some factors that were important to me as I went curriculum shopping. These aren't necessarily in order of importance.
So, here’s the run down of what we are doing here at Russell Homestead for the 2016-2017 school year.
The core of our curriculum for 2016-2017 is My Father’s World (MFW). My Father’s World is a curriculum written by David & Marie Hazell. I like the fact that the Hazells have served as Bible translators, and Marie has a teaching degree and teaching experience. You can read more about their company on their website, but here is a brief overview. We were BLESSED to have a homeschool friend lend us the kindergarten program to try out this spring. We used it for 8 weeks, and we loved it!
MFW has complete programs (all subjects – even music & art if you purchase the deluxe packages) for kindergarten and grade 1. Starting in grade 2, they have a “family learning cycle” where you teach all your kiddos the same Bible, science, and history. Beginning at grade 2, they do not offer language arts and math.
The grades for our crew this school year are AJ – grade 1 and CJ – K. MFW recommends that you teach all of K and all of Grade 1 to each of your kiddos, if you happen to have children in both grades. However, as I looked over the programs, I felt like that would be too much for us with two preschoolers (three come October when baby #5 is due to debut). So, I’m using the K curriculum as my base since AJ didn’t do it last year. I will teach all of the science, Bible, history, art, and music from the K curriculum to both AJ & CJ. Then for language arts and math, I will do the K with CJ and the Grade 1 with AJ. (The following year, I would like to use the same approach, but do the science, Bible, history, art, and music from Grade 1.)
In addition to MFW, we will be doing a kit from Exploration Science. The kit is designed for physical science for grades K-3. It is set up to do 1 lesson and 1 experiment/activity per week. There are 4 projects in the curriculum, such as building a car and a scale. The reason we chose to purchase this kit is for Mr. Russell to have a part in our homeschool curriculum. He is at home one morning per week and wanted to do some type of science lesson. Rather than having me explain the science lesson in our the MFW world curriculum and what we’ve done thus far, we think it will be easier for him to have his own thing to do with the kids. Plus, since it is only designed for one lesson a week, it fits perfectly. So, yes, our boys will get double science, but I doubt it will hurt them.
We will also be using Character Trails from Character Concepts. We were introduced to this curriculum at the CHAP (Christian Homeschoolers Association of PA) in May. We heard the authors, Rick & Marilyn Boyer speak. This curriculum teaches 12 character concepts through the use of stories – 1 Bible story, 1 story from history, and 1 story from everyday life. The curriculum is a hardbound book with the stories and CD with stories that expound on the stories in the book. There are no workbooks or anything. It is a character training course. We plan to do it over breakfast. On mornings that I’m especially busy, I will pop in the CD with Uncle Rick and on other mornings I will read the stories.
As we look at the summer, we are eager for a break from schooling, but we are very excited to use our new curriculum in the fall.
P.S. If you haven't seen Cocoa's 2016 puppies - see them here!
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
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