Disclaimer: This is a long post. Well, 800 words isn’t that long, but I just want to warn you beforehand. Grab a glass of water and enjoy!
We have endured our first month of homeschooling. It’s been quite an experience, and we are already seeing a vast improvement in our 4th grader. He’s been more attentive, assertive and enthusiastic about learning. We haven’t seen him this involved since the beginning of 2nd grade. What an amazing thing to witness, especially after wondering should we homeschool at all.
Since we are now into our routine, I figured this was a great time to share with you the curriculum that we’ve put together for our first year of homeschooling. It’s a hodgepodge of classes and curriculums that we like, and some ideas that we put together on our own.
Our son has been enthusiastic about science since he turned 2. Liberty Science Center was one of his favorite places to visit and learn and has been for the past 7 years. With a dad that equally enjoys science, and a great-uncle who is a chemist, we’ve decided to really focus on building his scientific knowledge. My husband is the sole teacher for this one and purchased the science book and workbook from Harcourt School. He will be supplementing with this website: Harcourt School Grade 4. They work on science vocabulary, assignments and projects before and after dinner. He’s already aced 1 quiz from dad.
We decided to use McRuffy Math for his 4th grade curriculum. Since these lessons should be done daily, I have been his math teacher for the past month. I suck at math, but this curriculum is made for those parents that look at math with their heads tilted to the side. While I do love the curriculum, there are few pet peeves I have. I plan on doing a review of the curriculum once we get through it. We both love that it’s colorful and fun. My son is a visual learner (so am I), so this curriculum is perfect for him.
This class was something that took me quite a while to decide on. We actually just started his language arts class 2 weeks ago. Sonny actually has been doing morning writing prompts since the start of the school year, but we didn’t have a concrete curriculum. Now, after his prompts, he signs into Time 4 Learning. The lessons are very detailed, entertaining, and actually kind of funny! I love to hear a kid giggling while they are learning. There is a monthly fee for using the website, but it was within our budget so I had no issue with paying for it. So far, it’s worth the money since he asks to use the math and science sections during his free study time.
After lots of research, we decided on the All American History Set Volume 1 from Bright Ideas Press. I kind of regret purchasing this curriculum. It’s very dry and we are both relieved that History is only done twice a week. So, we’ve been creating our own supplements from the reading that are more interesting. So far, he’s researched Marco Polo, done a project on Columbus, and is now in the middle of creating a power point presentation about the colonies.
Food Science and Safety
When we asked Sonny if he was OK with being homeschooled this year, he replied “Yes ma’am, but can can I learn recipes too? I want to learn to cook.” Um, heck yes we can! So each Friday we have food science and safety class. I’ve basically put together this curriculum on my own, and I’m documenting what we are doing each week to share at thens of the year. We’ve now added Potstickers Club to our class, and it’s phenomenal. If you’re looking to get your kids excited about cooking and food from around the world, check them out.
Sonny is now signed up for the New Jersey Orators. My sister was in Orators for quite a few years, and won competitions, so we wanted to give Sonny a chance to see if this would be something he would like. So far, he loves it and shows promise.
He will also be starting music lessons soon. We still haven’t decided between piano or drums.
We missed soccer registration, so now we are on the lookout for a physical activity for him to do. He’s going to re-join the track team in spring, so we just need a fall and winter activity.
Our Daily Schedule
Complete writing prompt for the day
(On Tuesdays and Thursdays) Read one lesson from History book with Mom
Sign into Time 4 Learning and do 2 Language Arts lessons
(On Wednesdays and Fridays) Free Study time on Time 4 Learning
Do at least one Math lesson with Mom
Work on current month’s project(s) by researching on the computer
(On Fridays) Food Science class with Mom
This new life of ours is definitely creating a bigger bond within our whole family. Would you like for me to continue these updates on our first year, maybe with a monthly post? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you are a “veteran homeschooler,” feel free to leave any tips you may have for us. I can’t wait to read them.