This year has been the most stressful year in regards to shopping for curriculum. For months I have been mulling over: What exactly, if anything, am I going to focus on with Princess? Which math curriculum would be best for Roly. Sleepy Gi is in 7th grade now, should I change his math to Saxon, try Teaching Textbooks, Math U See or just leave him in Singapore right now? What about Alvin’s math? Those other curriculums are Ex-Pen-Sive! What about Science? AO year 7 seems to have plenty of science books to keep Sleepy Gi busy for the entire year! But I really wanted to do Apologia General Science with him this year. What do we have already? Woah! That’s a lot of money on books! Can we swing that?
So we have made decisions and ordered books. Some we were able to find while thrifting, (Thank You LORD!) Others we did have to order. We haven’t received all of them just yet and some we haven’t ordered yet but here is our Curriculum Plan for this next year.
Our dd Princess is not willing to be left behind for one moment, so she will be doing file folder games and various Write n Wipe books that we have to help her develop writing skills. I may purchse a few kumon books but only if they are on a major deal, otherwise I will continue to use our trusty printer and computer to print soe writing items. The goal for her is by the end of the year to begin learning how to read. But I will definitely go at her pace. We will find some of the books that our boys loved when they were her age along with some new ones to help whet her apetite for the meatier fare. Hopefully she’ll love them!
Because we have been using AO from the start, Alvin is pretty much set shopping-wise. The goal was to restart him in Year 1 next week, but he didn’t allow me to wait that long! We attempted to start the year in early August but it was a struggle attention-wise. So we breaked and hopefully these few weeks will give him a leg up that he didn’t have then. Of what we have done so far, he seems to love Aesop, Paddle to the Sea, and Just So Stories (go figure!). The rest? Eh! But we received his math workbooks in the mail Wednesday and he was super excited about those! So we started those Friday.
Roly is also pretty set for AO Year 3. We already have most of Term 1’s books. The only one we need to get is A Drop of Water. It’s at one of our local libraries, so that shouldn’t be too hard to handle. His new year started 6 weeks ago and he has really been enjoying The Princess and the Goblin as he like the goblins side conversations about their queen’s toes and how they are outsmarted by the princess and her friend Curdy. My main struggle for Roly was whether to change his math curriculum or leave it alone. He thoroughly hated Singapore Math, so much so that he wrote in his book “I HATE SINGAPORE MATH!” We attended a local curriculum sale and found the dvd and instructor’s manual of the 2013 version of Math U See Alpha for $20 and decided to give it a try, just as a reviewof the concepts he learned with Singapore. He loved it from the very beginning, so I purchased the integer blocks set to help him follow along with the video and have a hands-on component. Although it is a bit expensive for our family we found the 2013 Beta level for a little bit cheaper on Ebay to provide a review with a little more workbook action. From there we’ll gauge whether we will continue with the entire program or use the MUS videos and instructor’s manuals as a supplement to the Singapore Math books, which we already have and are much cheaper.
Because our children really love science we will be adding Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 for Roly and Alvin. They’ll be super excited because this will tie into their nature study. The textbook, I still need to order but the journal we have. Of which, we purchased only one journal due to Alvin not really writing as much yet. At least not enough to warrant buying another journal! So for now we’ll share it.
Sleepy Gi’s AO Year 7 is where the bulk of our money went. There were some books available online, but most needed to be purchased since they are still copyright protected. As we have a little more money we will purchase some of the copyright-free books to preserve Sleepy’s eyes as he is reading. Even without those purchases, this is the very first year we have had to spend so much! I normally work with the Detailed Curriculum list from AO and this year is no exception, although as I added up the total cost o those books I contemplated using the Basic list instead. But as I was looking through the booklist I couldn’t bear to let any of them go! It is a rigorous course of study, and honestly I believe this year alone could go a long way in preparing Sleepy Gi for college (maybe he’ll go!).
As for his math curriculum we decided to finish out with Singapore Math 6B and supplement with videos from Math U See to get him prepared for the more advanced math. ( Can you tell I really want him to go to college?) Science will consist of the AO assigned books (which are numerous and varied) and we plan to do Apologia General Science in the Summer months, which should be interesting and fun. That way he can learn the proper way to keep a lab notebook from momma! :D. I still need to find a decent and affordable microscope to help him with the Adventures in Microscopy book. If I can’t we’ll have to build this contraption and pray that it works well. It’s no replacement for the real thing, especially when preparing for college lab courses, but it will do in a pinch!
I’m also adding IEW this year and I’m thinking about having Roly use it too… Hopefully we will work on our handwriting using the Spencerian Script. Not sure when we can fit it in, but I will surely try. Maybe we will do it as a family. Make it a competitive sport…