Curriculum

I figured you guys might like to know what curriculum we use.  Yes, we do more than play games and do projects, shocking I know.  I’m also going to try to post reviews here on things we liked, not just the books, but videos and other supplements as well.  This isn’t exactly a strong point for me but I will try.  I order most of my materials from Rainbow Resource.  This place rocks!  They sent me a catalog and it is HUGE.  They have just about everything a homeschooling family could want.  I have to limit my time over there or I tend to spend way too much money on cool stuff, that we don’t really “need” but really, really want!  All of our Core material was ordered through them.  Their prices are just a bit better for most things.

History:

  • Story of the World– this is our spine for history.  We are doing Volume 1 Ancients.  So far it is awesome.  As you will see (once I get my butt in gear) a lot of the activities I post about are from SOTW.  The Activity book that goes along with it has tons of extra resource ideas as well as activity ideas and map work.  We have read quite a few of the recommended readings and they have been great.
  • The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History– This is the main supplemental book we use with SOTW.  SOTW recommends 4 different ones, but I liked the look of this one the best.  The Hellion loves the colorful pictures and actually gets a lot from the short blurbs that are in it.

English:

  • Voyages in English– This is his writing and grammar book.  It is very colorful and easy to read and understand.  The Hellion likes all the pictures in it and that the activities are usually short and sweet.  I like it because it teaches him in a way he can understand with not a lot of extra help from me.  He is flying through this book so far.
  • Explode the Code– We are on Book 4 now.  I did the pretest with him to find out where he was.  This is for phonics.  It is kind of boring, but it is a great way to learn phonics.  Some of the pictures are a little confusing.
  • Spelling Workout– Kind of obvious what this entails.  🙂  The Hellion likes the sports theme.  They have updated it so the newer version isn’t sports themed, but they are the same basic books.  I like the activities it gives.  This is a phonetics based spelling curriculum.  We are using Volume B.

Math:

  • Math Mammoth– I love it, the Hellion hates it.  It has a lot of great resources listed to go along with each chapter.  They list all kinds of websites for games and extra review of whatever concept it is going over.  It is a mastery based program, which works better for the Hellion.  Once he understands a concept we can move on.  It is a black and white book with no pictures or anything.  Very no-nonsense, but excellent for any kid who likes doing workbooks.  I think next year we are going to use Beast Academy.

Science:

  • Magic School Bus Science Kits– I love these kits!  They come with everything you will need to do the experiments they recommend.  There are about 12 experiments in each kit.  We did electricity for our first science topic.  You will need to supplement with other websites or books if you want them to have more information.  The booklet really only gives the very basics of each topic.  They are a great starting source though and H loves MSB so it works for us.  We use the books and DVDs with the kit.

Typing

  • Typing Instructor for Kids– I recommend this program for anyone who is working on their typing skills.  (There is an adult version as well)  The Hellion loves the games and activities and even the lessons are fun for him.  We do these sitting together.  He does his on his computer and I do mine on my computer.  He is quickly improving his typing skills, which is a must since the kid hates to write.

So this is our core curriculum for this year.  The Hellion is in second grade this year (ugh, growing up so stinking fast).  I might change it up for next year and we still need to add in a good writing program.  He also wants to learn Spanish so I am searching for something for that as well.  As far as reading, well, pretty much anything goes here.  He has a list of books a mile long he wants to read, so no problems finding something there.

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