Coffee Talk Thursday
Lately I've been researching curriculum choices for homeschooling our oldest in first grade next year. My sister-in-law generously passed down to us her A Beka curriculum for 1st grade. We would still need to order consumable workbooks for math, phonics, spelling, and language arts, but other than most everything we would need is there.
If I didn't have the A Beka materials on hand and it were totally up to my husband and I to order our own materials for next year, here's what I think I would do:
- Order Singapore Math Standards Edition, either 1A and 1B (or start in 1B, depending on his progress test. I like how concepts are explained. He did really well with the Earlybird Math, and the hands-on experiments helped to solidify the concepts)
- Order Handwriting Without Tears - My Printing Book (We have not used this before, but I have heard good things about it from friends)
- Use the Explode the Code books, probably 1-3, for phonics
- Follow the handwriting and language suggestions in The Three R's by Dr. Ruth Beechick (really, if you followed her advice and approach, you wouldn't really need workbooks at this level at all).
- Possibly order The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Ancient Times for history and combine in some good fiction and non-fiction books to help make it come alive
- Order some of Sonlight's recommended read-alouds books for Core 1, or check them out from the library
- Continue to work through Science Through Children's Literature: An Integrated Approach
- And, of course, the Bible. Just read sections from the Bible, memorize verses (AWANA is great at encouraging this), listen to Scripture memory CD's, family devotions, etc.
But I'm torn, since we have been given the A Beka materials, and I feel like maybe I should just try it as suggested (with the curriculum guides and lesson plans) for a year. At the same time, I'm not crazy about creating the official classroom feel at home. That is one of the beautiful things about homeschooling--it doesn't have to look like the public or private school down the street. Sure there are times for lessons, but real learning takes place in the home all day long--even when it doesn't look "formal."
So, I'm still debating and praying about it.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (James 1:5).
In the meantime, what materials--or curriculum--do you use for homeschooling? Do you love it? What do you love about it? Have you tried any materials that just haven't worked for you (or your kids)?