Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum

I put this together for a course this past summer.  Haven't personally used most of this curriculum but thought it all looked good and they are resources I would consider using.

Saxon Math (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Saxon mathematics for grades K–12 is based on the teaching principles of incremental development, continual practice and review, and cumulative assessment.
Saxon’s K-3 program is designed to teach basic arithmetic concepts as well as geometry, patterns, time, and more. Each lesson is scripted for the parent, which takes the guesswork out of teaching young learners. Manipulatives accelerate understanding of abstract math concepts, and worksheets provide cumulative review.

Saxon Math for middle grades transitions students from manipulatives and worksheets to a textbook approach. The emphasis in the middle grades is on developing algebraic reasoning as well as geometric concepts. Lessons include a new concept plus a review of previous concepts, and Investigations give students a more in-depth treatment of math concepts.

Dive Into Math 
CD-ROMs for Use with Saxon Math (available through Sonlight)
DIVE stands for Digital Interactive Video Education.  This program walks the child through each of the Saxon Math books, from Math 5/4 to AP Calculus.  The child listens to the instructor while watching him make graphic presentations of the problems on a digitized whiteboard screen that fills up the computer screen.  The instructor works out the examples, practice problems, and even a few specific problems from some days' problem sets.

Math-U-See (Math-U-See Inc.)
This program helps produce confident problem solvers who enjoy the study of math. Students learn their math facts, rules, and formulas, and are able to use this knowledge in real life applications. The study of math includes memorization, but it also encompasses learning the concepts that are critical to problem solving.  Explicit instruction for the teacher is provided by directly teaching skills for math through the video presentations. The video lessons are short and to the point (average 4-7 minutes each). Each lesson specifically teaches using the MULTI-SENSORY tools, designed to engage the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic channels simultaneously in rapid succession. These tools and videos communicate clearly so the teacher can understand how to teach the student.  Each level contains ongoing assessment and frequent opportunities to re-teach. This kind of PROGRESS MONITORING provides valuable feedback to ensure the student is mastering the materials.

Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Common Sense Press.)
Learning Language Arts Through Literature is a fully integrated language arts program that teaches grammar, reading, spelling, vocabulary, writing mechanics, creative writing, thinking skills and more. With LLATL, the student will acquire a deeper understanding and a greater interest in the language arts subjects.  Real books are used in the reading lessons, complete with vocabulary words, discussion questions and a variety of activities. 

All levels are written for a 36 week school year. Grades 1- 9 include a Teacher’s Book written in a conversational format making it easy to use with little or no preparation time for the teacher. Student Activity Books are available for the 1st - 8th grade. All levels include review activities and assessments.

Explode the Code (School Specialty, Inc)
Geared to Grades K–4, this phonics bestseller has helped millions of students nationwide build the essential literacy skills needed for reading success: phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and spelling. This research-based and teacher-tested program meets and exceeds “No Child Left Behind” requirements and National Reading Panel Standards.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (Publisher: Fireside; authors: Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, Elaine Bruner)
Research has proven that children taught by the DISTAR® method outperform their peers who receive instruction from other programs. This program has been adapted for parent and child to use at home and is a complete, step-by-step program that shows patents simply and clearly how to teach their children to read.

Twenty minutes a day is all you need, and within 100 teaching days thechild will be reading on a solid second-grade reading level. It's a sensible, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable way to help a child gain the essential skills of reading. Everything needed is here  - one hundred lessons, fully illustrated and color-coded for clarity, give the child the basic and more advanced skills needed to become a good reader.

I have used the above and recommend it.
Neat, clean, and uncluttered, text and exercises are both clear and direct.  Ambiguity is intentionally eliminated and both the textbooks themselves as well as the teacher guides are designed to be simple and concise.  No user needs advanced education to be able to use the curriculum.  If the user is literate, he/she can use it effectively.  Grades 1 through 4 learn to read by reading the Scriptures themselves [age appropriate].  This unbeatable combination provides both Bible knowledge and develops reading skills and comprehension. 

The widely acclaimed English series actually ends up providing a junior college level of proficiency after studying the grades 2 through 10 texts.  The texts are well-sequenced, packed with grammar study (including diagramming), composition opportunities, and offer continuous review.

Unit Studies
My Father’s World (My Father's World)
Combining the best of Charlotte Mason, classical education, and unit studies with a Biblical worldview and international focus.  This curriculum utilizes hands-on, unit studies with daily lesson plans that are easy-to-teach.  It enables families and multi-age groups to learn together as many of the programs may be taught to a range of ages simultaneously.  It uses a comprehensive, sequenced learning program beginning with preschool learning toys to develop readiness skills. The complete unit-based curriculum includes a phonics-based learning-to-read program and focuses on God's amazing creation (kindergarten), the world of the Bible (first grade), and U.S. history (second or third grade). Then a year of geography sets the foundation for four years of chronological world and U.S. history (through eighth grade).  It provides easy-to-teach, integrated curriculum that is enjoyable, academically strong, and focused on character development.


KONOS is a biblically-based unit studies curriculum, and features: Godly character trait focus; Units with all subjects integrated; Hands-on, experiential activities; Discovery learning; Multi-level, family teaching.  

Each of the three original KONOS Character Curriculum books offer: Many character traits woven together with academics; Two to 3 years of curriculum in approx. 500 pages; Weekly lesson plans for ages K-8th grade for KONOS; Suggested writing assignments; Suggested literature to read; Great book lists for all topics; hands-on activities to make learning fun and memorable.

Donna Ward (Northwoods Press)
The Canadian History All Inclusive Bundle is geared for ages 8-12 and includes the curriculum guide, 7 novels, 2 DVDs, card game, and 16  resource books.  

The Social Studies Bundle is geared for ages 5-12 and includes the curriculum guide, book with full colour photos of the Canadian landscape, Canadian landscape relief map, and 3 books.
Canada's Natives Bundle is geared for ages 8-12 and includes the curriculum guide and six books from the Native Nations of North America Series. This series gives you one colourful and captiviting book for the various units of study. Pages are all cross-referenced in Canada's Natives Long Ago so the user is clearly directed.

Digital Frog International (Digital Frog International, Inc.)
From virtual frog dissection to digital field trips to the world's most fascinating ecosystems, Digital Frog International is dedicated to bringing the world of natural science to your classroom.  With a focus on biology and ecology, their goal is to make a difference to the way people view the natural world. The computer-based learning tools encourage a lifelong interest in, and respect for, the world around us. The products present accurate, detailed information in an interesting and engaging way.

Each award-winning CD-ROMs is meticulously researched and brought to life using virtual reality software, full color photographs, videos, narration, text and animations. Interactive activities help bring biology and ecology to life, while customizable workbooks (included on the CD) give a structured way to explore and learn.

Apologia (Apologia Educational Ministries)
Apologia Educational Ministries supports homeschooling families by publishing excellent, easy-to-use creation-based science curriculum.  The elementary Science series is designed for grades K-6 and includes: “Exploring Creation with Astronomy”, “Exploring Creation with Botany”, “Exploring Creation with Zoology” ( 1, 2, 3), and “Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology”.
Major electronic resources
Switched-On Schoolhouse (Alpha Omega Publications)
Switched-On Schoolhouse is a comprehensive, Bible-based curriculum that offers computer-based learning for grades 3-12.  Provides 3-D animation, video clips, and other fascinating multimedia.  Switched-On Schoolhouse (SOS) has a diverse, vibrant mix of entertaining lessons, assignments quizzes, and more!  They offer five core subjects and a wide variety of electives. 

Accelerated Christian Education
After diagnostic testing, children are assigned courses that each consist of 12 workbooks called PACEs. Each PACE presents interesting lessons, new vocabulary, challenging quizzes, and mastery tests. The unique format of the curriculum allows students to advance from unit to unit as they demonstrate mastery. Students advance through the curriculum under parental supervision. Parents provide tutoring at the optimum moment of learning.

BJU Press
Login to BJU Press Distance Learning Online allows access to high-quality video content, online assessments, progress tracking features, and more. Grade kits for K4 through grade 12 can be purchased, or courses can be purchased individually for grades 1-12.
The Distance Learning grade kits come with the textbooks and all essential materials. For Distance Learning Online, an abridged Teacher’s Edition is provided online in PDF format rather than in book form.

BJU Press also offers Distance Learning DVDs which are available as a complete grade package for elementary grades K4 through grade 5. In grades 6-12, they are available either as a complete grade package or as individual courses.  All DVD packages come with the textbooks and all the essential materials.  Any number of children may watch the DVDs - there is no per-child viewing fee.

Time 4 Learning
Time4Learning combines education with interactive fun. Animated lessons, interactive activities, printable worksheets and detailed reporting are provided.  Lessons are presented at the student's pace by an automated system. The language arts and math lessons correlate to state standards. Science, social studies and art are also available as a bonus in most grades.
The Time4Learning curriculum gives preschool to eighth graders who are homeschooled the independence they crave, as they progress at their own pace. The program also helps kids who are homeschooled advance, by teaching with individualized learning paths that assure skill mastery.  Parents like the automated grading, lesson plans and detailed reporting that track progress and make record keeping simple.

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