Thursday, April 19, 2012

past year's curriculum review

In about two months from now we will have finished this school year.
Both DS1 and DS2 have completed another year of AWANA.  This year they moved through the books more slowly than in previous years, which I attribute the increase in school work.  They also continued to be involved in "Y Kids" and swimming lessons for their Phys Ed.

DS2, SK, has done very well working through various Rod and Staff books.  He completed "
Do It Carefully," "Everywhere We Go," "Finding the Answers," "Going On Eagerly,"and "Hearing and Helping."

We did Piano, French, Art, Social Studies, and Science together.  

I have been doing their Piano and French lessons.  We've been working through Book A of "
Piano Adventures."  What I like about this curriculum is that it's fun and comes with a CD so they can practice on their own.  I've realized that in addition to the weekly lesson they need to practice - I know, such an epiphany! - so piano practice has been added to their school schedule.

I've used a mixture of things for 
French.  I'm still looking for the "perfect" curriculum.  I've looked at several, however haven't found one that seems to have a logical flow and allow for some independent learning.  So right now I'm actually using a picture dictionary where there are words grouped by topics - for example, a room or body parts.  I draw a simple picture on construction paper and label 9 things in French and English.  Then we make a bingo card and I call out the words and they find them and repeat them.  The reason it works is because they get jelly beans or smarties as counters and get to eat them at the end.

We used "
Art With A Purpose" for art and will use it again next year.  We also did some work out of the "Drawing With Children" book.

Social Studies we used the Voice of the Martyrsquarterly Bold Believers Magazines to discuss geography, cultures, and social issues.  (These are now out of print so we use the adult magazines with some discretion.)  We also allocated a fair bit of time to studying the War of 1812, both from the Canadian and American perspectives.

We used Answers in Genesis' "
Answers for Kids" for Science.  This was a fantastic curriculum that included PowerPoint presentations and worksheets for each lesson.  It went through the "Seven Cs of Creation" - Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation - and answered questions such as "How Old Is the Earth?," "Have Animals Evolved?," "What About Dinosaurs?," and "What About Aliens?"  I highly recommend this.
DS1, Grade 2, has really improved in the Language Arts area.  He is now writing in average sized writing on regular lined paper.  He is starting to successfully use both upper and lower case letters for his words and sentences.  We're using "First I think: (then I write my think)" by Leif Fearn.  We also used a "Natural Speller" book.  These are both oldies that my mother-in-law gave me and they appear to be difficult to find and/or out of print.  

We used a couple of different generic workbooks for
Math and plan to use Rod and Staff next year for Grade 3.

Lots more to say but it will have to wait.

What about you - how has your school year gone?

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