Thursday, January 5, 2012

Year In Review Post #2


I thought I would post on what's been working for us and what's not working so far this year. This is my second post kicking off the new year. If you would like to read what I posted in #1 just click here. It was a review of family growth and changes to highlight for the new year.

Publishers We've Used 2010/2011:

We love AAS and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I really enjoy the way the teaching is laid out for me so I wont make a mistake. I love the way my kids understand whats laid in front of them. I love that even though my 2 children learn differently they can be taught together using this program!

All About Reading(AAR) A-
We are just getting through with AAR Pre Level 1. We are ordering Level 1 now. The Pre Level was a little to babish for DS2 however I thought we should still start from square one with something so critical in his education. He's done wonderful. Looking forward to Level 1. 

All About Homophones - A
We have really enjoyed this from AAL press. Just another wonderful product from them!

Mystery of History(MOH) - B
Didn't work this year. 
We stopped using it last year actually. I loved it however it wasn't teachable to all 3 ages. I hope to pick this back up soon. Maybe next year. However DS1 loved it too. I am thinking I may have to make time to do this subject with just him.  
Easy Grammar & Daily Grams- F
Not using any more. It wasn't enough instruction on the whys and hows. 

Easy Writing(published by Easy Grammar) - F
Not using this any longer either. I had the same issue as above with the Easy Grammar. I love the idea behind the "ease" however through the ease there is lack of matter!

McCall Crabbs Comprehension Book(level 1-5) - A+
I love this book. I learned of this book almost 2 years ago when we gave up using SWR. This is the one component I was glad to have found! This book is used on a weekly basis. I enjoy the stories. The kids love the game of seeing if they listened good enough to the story to make the grade! LOL...

Math U See (MUS) - A+
We love MUS through and through. I actually just found one problem out of the last 4 years with them... DS1 is getting really confused using the fraction overlays, so I just asked him not to use them any longer. If he needs help we draw a pie or similar shape for him to understand the issue at hand. However even through that we will always stick with MUS. All children are loving math and understanding it wonderfully! I say that's a wonderful success! 

Math Mammoth - B
We haven't used this at all this year... We bought last year when it was dirt cheap through the homeschool buyers co-op with the intention of using as a filler.... Not gotten there this year yet ;)

Mad Libs(different for each child's level) - A
My kids love these books! So glad I found them and know what they are!! This year I think we've went through about 15 books of Mad Libs! 
The Simple Homeschool Classroom(science) A+
I love love love this woman! She's wonderful. If you've never checked out her stuff you totally need to! I love the interactive videos the kids watch. She has tons of subjects to chose from and you can always find something to learn about. The nice thing about this site is you can watch it online and be done with the unit or you can print the unit off and do on paper kinda like a notebooking assignment.

Evan Moor's Science Works for Kids Series(love it) A
We used this once so far this year love it still. 
We also use many Evan Moor books through out our year, love that publisher! 

Needs for the coming year:
I need to find a language curriculum that I am satisfied with. I don't like Abeka, Bob Jones or Easy Grammar. I don't need something that repeats itself every year. I don't want busy work either.
This is something I hate to look for. I need badly to find something and just go with it.  

I'm also adding Typing Instructor into our daily. I think its time DS1 and DD learn to type. They are on the computer more and think its cool. So may be a really great way to improve writing and spelling. 
Now just to clarify this isn't the "only" items/publishers we use. I am very eclectic in our approach. There for we read a lot. We do lots of lapbooks and notebooking on issues. We do Unit Studies. We do lots of just free talk about things too. We do writing daily, we just don't use any set curriculum for that. 
Also we love our workbox system. Sue Patrick is a brilliant lady. Check out her website for more info. You can also search workbox system here on my blog. A break down of what it is to me and my kids is actually a very easy definition... Helps me effectively use what curriculum I have in an orderly fashion. The kids understand what is expected of them every morning. They can "see" all the boxes that need completed. This has helped the kids work more independently and actually work better. Its not a system to buy more books to use with or anything like that. This is to help with what you already have! I love the workbox system.


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