Curriculum Choices

I am slowly solidifying my curriculum choices. I have discussed my science choice R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey already. The motivations there are very clear, as you’ve probably already read. I also like the fact that it is very experiment based which should be great for my visual learner.

I am also planning to use Pandia Press History Odyssey as well. I haven’t really seen much in the way of history programs¬† that would help visual learners. I will most likely also show videos and movies to go along here just to help her learn more. I also absolutely refuse to use anything but secular materials in this area because of the bias I’ve seen in most of the non secular materials.

Now we are starting to get into areas where I am less sure. I had initially decided on Math U See, but I recently found RightStart math. Both of these programs are very much manipulative based, although RS has a lot more variety in that area including an abacus. It also uses games for review instead of worksheets. My issue is that it only covers elementary math. But the system of teaching mental math appeal to me.  RS is also very teacher intensive which is a minus for me. Math is not a good subject for me. I may end up purchasing the manipulatives from RS and using them with Math U See. The last big difference between them is MUS is mastery style learning, whereas RS is spiral.

For those of you who don’t know what that means yet… mastery method is not moving on from a lesson until you have, you guessed it, mastered the topic. The spiral method is one of constant review while adding in new concepts as well. The best way for your child will of course depend on them. Some children like and need constant review. Some children absolutely hate that and feel bogged down by constant repetition. I am not sure where my daughter is on that aspect of learning yet.

I am utterly unsure what I am going to choose when it comes to learning to write curriculum. I want something that is a full on curriculum that teaches different things year by year. All the different types of writing and all the different aspects of writing. I’ve been looking into Growing with Grammar and other similar things for that area.

For reading I’ve already pretty much decided upon trying All About Reading. The tile system seems like something a visual learner would really like. I also plan to use All About Spelling when the time comes as long as she does well with the format.

Do any of you have any suggestions or thoughts for me in the areas where I am unsure? Clearly I’ve shown that I plan to go the route of curriculum and not unschooling or other methods. I also ruled out literature based curriculum because my daughter doesn’t really like sitting still,books in general, or being stuck in one place long.

I am planning to homeschooling all year around right now, about 3 hours per day. Wisconsin is a pretty easy state to homeschool in. I have to do 875 hours of instruction on subjects like language arts, math, science, social studies, and health (physical education I think need to research further to be sure). So I am thinking about alternating my lessons like doing reading and writing one day, math and science the next, and so on. Obviously I’ve not fleshed that idea out entirely.

Most homeschooling curriculum seems to be based on a normal school year length so this should help stretch the lessons a bit more. And only doing 3 hours per day we will be able to take lots of breaks and do what’s necessary slowly.

This post is getting lengthy so I think I will stop here and continue my thoughts in the next one. I am already developing an idea of how I want to focus for pre-k and kindergarten, which will be less subject intensive.

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