Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to school: What we are using this year to teach

Last year we had such good success with Math-U-See, that we are sticking with it again this year.
I love how quick and simplified the lessons are (not 4 million problems to work per page), and that the main concept taught per week is viewed on a video.  The curriculum also uses visual, hands-on manipulatives that are great for my ADHD students who need to SEE the concept to understand it.  LOVE it.

I am also going to continue using the Shurley English program for our Grammar/Writing lessons.  The approach is so unique in that you learn "jingles" for each of the parts of speech that help make memory and retention of the grammar principles so much easier.  Plus the lessons are fairly quick to do and include simple and short worksheet problems to reinforce the lesson for the day.  Highly recommend!!!

This year I'm also following a somewhat more "Charlotte Masoney" feel to our homeschool.  I printed out a Corebook to help me figure out how and where to fit everything in.  This teacher's planner gives great ideas and simple lesson plans for subjects you might not think to include (i.e. unstructured play indoors and out, habit of the week, music lesson with composer, healthy and safety, memory lists, and the difference between reading (out loud or independently) and literature (being read the classics) )

This year I'm thrilled to be going back to a teaching method I LOVE:  the unit study!!!!
We will be trying a new approach called lapbooking.  If you're unfamiliar with this, you just HAVE to check it out!!  I love hands-on stuff, and so do all my children.  It's a unique way of journaling what it is you're studying in a kind of scrapbooking way.  They work on the lapbook a little bit at a time, learn along the way, and in the end have this terrific visual that will help them remember all they learned.
Check it out:

This year my plans are to study the Civil War complete with field trip to the Civil War Museum near us, the history of the Great State of Texas complete with local field trips that reinforce the topics studied, and how are bodies work:

My husband is taking over the Theology portion of our schooling, and has a 3-4 times weekly "Bible class" immediately after our evening family meal.  Since all of our children are in one place at that time, it just works for us to slide right into that after dinner is over.  Currently, he is going through a very basic Bible curriculum from BJU Press.

Finally, as a couple of really fun "extra curricular" projects, our children will be heavily involved in our Wednesday evening children's program at church called "Master Clubs."  It is similar in some ways to the Awana program, but very different in how the scriptures are taught to the children and the very tangible ways they learn to apply those scriptures to everyday life.

I also read about this recently and my artist-in-training, Lexi, is very excited about participating in this this year!!!  Check it out:

Lofty plans, I know.  Looks like fun on paper.  Will keep you posted on the reality of it all!!!


Sheila said...

I was just curious how old your child is on Intuniv. My 6 yo son's dr. wants to put him on it for impulsivity issues.

Brenda said...

My son was 7 1/2 years old when he started the Intuniv. It has been a tremendous help to us and to him on a variety of levels. We wanted to try it to help him with the impulsive issues as well as the hyperactivity and any ability to calm himself when angry (which was often and over things that were trivial). We've noticed so much improvement. But we've also changed many other things in our home (i.e. the way we relate to him ourselves, our diet, and our schooling). I don't think that one pill is the answer to all our problems, but it has been one tool on our "parenting tool belt" that has helped in combination with other factors!!! I hope you can find the answers you need very soon!!! I would be happy to answer any other questions that you may have. Hope this helps!!