Note: These are all my own opinions, I purchased all of these items with my own money. No one is paying me to write this.
We’ve been homeschooling since January. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time doing research. I like to know what my options are and then figuring out what would work best for our family. I’m going to spend this entry sharing what I thought we’d use, what we ended up using and why.
In the beginning, I wanted something that told me exactly what to do on what day. I wanted someone else to do all the work for me. So, we were looking at Sonlight. This program looks amazing and I would still really like to give it a try one day, however the price just isn’t in our budget at this point.
Next, I heard about Timberdoodle and fully intended to use this. I am using some aspects of it. We were planning to do the Basic 1st Grade package and then add a couple of things from the complete package. I found the 2 things I wanted from the complete package used and on sale locally and was waiting a little bit to buy the rest. I’d still really like to give this a try as well. I’m thinking we may get some of the educational games as Christmas gift! They look like a ton of fun!
While waiting, I decided to give lesson planning a try. This would save us money if it worked and if I did it all or at least the first semester at the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t be spending so much of my time figuring out what to do. I got lesson planning sheets from these blogs: http://miloandoats.com/free-homeschool-lesson-planner/
http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/awesome-free-lesson-plan-book/ - This one you have to subscribe to their blog to get the lesson planner. I’m using a different one each week to see what one I like best.
I spent a few weeks in July trying to decide what I wanted to do for each subject. These are the subjects we will be working on this year:
Bible: We’ll work on memorizing scriptures for Awana. I also just bought the first book in Apologia's What We Believe Series- Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him. I bought this at one of our local used bookstores. I’m planning to get the Coloring Book for the kids to use along with it. There is a Junior Notebooking Journal and a Notebooking Journal available for this as well. The Hubs also reads the Bible to the kids in the evenings.
History: We will be reading Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times. I’m thinking this will take more than a year to read since there are 42 or so chapters and we’ll be reading one chapter each week. I found a lesson plan that I will loosely be using here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/kay-barre/sotw-i-workbook-pages-two-day-a-week-format/ebook/product-3018696.html
Math: We’re thinking eventually we’ll give Life of Fred a try, but right now we have Addition and Subtraction workbooks that I purchased from Dollar Tree and several other worksheets that I printed for last year that we haven’t used yet.
Geography: We purchased Road Trip USA from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We worked on a couple of lessons previously but we’ll start over from the beginning and use the first 2 or 3 weeks as review.
Spelling: k12reader.com has 36 weeks of spelling words and much more for free. We will be doing the 1st Grade spelling words. They have 5 days of worksheets and then you take a test at the end of the week. This is all free and I’m hoping it works for Sweetie Girl!
Reading & Phonics: I have a few workbooks from Dollar Tree, that we’ll be using. I was also able to buy the Kindergarten & First Grade set of BOB Books used and we’ll be reading through those as well as a list of good 1st Grade readers that I found through Pinterest. We’ll get these books from the library. I have several other books lists that we’ll check out as we need them. We have also been reading through the Little House on the Prairie series. I typically read 1 chapter before bed each night. This has become a routine for Sweetie Girl. She isn’t interested in reading it at any other time of the day and she’s disappointed if we don’t have time to do it. It also calms her down and I think it helps her get to sleep more quickly. She really seems to like that it’s time for just her and I and she gets to stay up a little later than her brothers!
Language Arts: I’m still doing some work with this, but we’re starting out by using what is in the Language and Literacy section of What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know and What your First Grader Needs to Know. These have information on what to teach them for several subjects and you could probably just use these when first starting out. We have older versions of both. They were gifts from one of The Hubs’ co-workers.
Science: We’ll be using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy. We are using the Junior Astronomy Notebooking Journal to go with it. There is a Notebooking Journal for older kids as well. There was a great schedule in the Junior Notebooking Journal, so it made lesson plans really easy!
History, Geography and Science will all be taught 2 days each week, all other subjects will be taught daily. We decided to skip Handwriting this go round, because most of the other subjects involve a great deal of writing and I’ll be able to work with her during those times.
Next post I’ll share my filing system and hopefully I’ll be better at posting on a regular basis. I’d really like to share our experience and how everything ends up working for us.
I also have a few pre-k workbooks for Little Man if he seems interested in school. Right now, he’s more interested in playing with Baby Boy and their trains!