Monday, August 15, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum Overview

So, we back to hitting the books!!!  And this year, I am so excited to get at it, because I have found a curriculum I have fallen in love with!!!  At least for this year anyway (I kinda have a weakness for curriculum).  Before I go into detail of what we will be using, let me give you our background.  When Derek was 4, I withdrew him from preschool and we tentatively made the decision to homeschool.  We started attending our local homeschool co-op and we all fell in love!!!  Now, at the time I had just recently ended my college career of majoring in Elementary Education and had stopped working at the local Elementary school.  We were still on the edge of whether or not we would be taking this leap full blown or if we would be doing this year by year.  So I decided to purchase Saxon Phonics and Math, mainly because that's what I was familiar teaching and if we ever did decide to send Derek to school, I definately wanted him to be able to slip right in without any major changes.  My best friend, Melisa, was using Abeka with her children in addition to the Saxon Phonics and Math, so I would spend hours pouring over her books and she gave me a lot of resources too.  So for the first year and half (we started halfway through the year when Derek was 4)  I used the Saxon, the Abeka for science, health, and social studies, and kinda just did bible on my own ideas.  
  Then this spring we went to the convention in Cincinnati......oh did that ever change my view!!!!!  Now, mind you, Melisa had taken me to Evansville and it was definately a good thing for my first convention, it was smaller and alot less to take in at one time.  We walked in at Cincinnati and I literally got weak in the knees!!!!  I almost cried, I just wanted to run in and tear the place apart and just soak it all in!!!  Our homeschool co-op has monthly Mom's Night Outs and we had just had a night where we all shared what we were using.  So I had written down lots of ideas to look for while in Cincy.  So with lots of prayer and lots of good speakers, I finally made some great choices for this year!!!!  I decided I really liked the idea of Heart of Dakota at least for the ages of my kids.  Now, I'm not saying I'll stick with it all the way through highschool.  But for now, it's a perfect fit for us!!!  It gives soo many choices, so I can pick and choos what I want to use.  And then to make it even better.  I didn't even have to buy it!!!  Another wonderful mom, Angela, from our co-op just finished the exact one I was looking at for my kids, so she's letting us use it this year!!!  How awesome is that?!?!?  And does God not provide the desires of our hearts when we hand it over to him?!?   
  So here goes.....

(Sorry for the indecency, we like to do school in our pj's!  And no, I don't keep a crib in our living room all the time, we've been redoing the girls' room:)

Derek: Age - 6  1st grade
Heart of Dakota ~ Bible, History, Science
Saxon ~ Math
(We also do lots of Math Workbooks from School Zone, the kids love them!!)
Finishing up - 100 Easy Lessons ~ Reading
Explode the Code Book 3 & Beyond the Code Book 1 ~ Reading & Spelling
A book I picked up at Goodwill for $.50 on grammar that is awesome!!!
(Silver Burdett &Ginn - World of Language 2)
A Reason for Handwriting Book A
A free typing tutor online to teach typing
Bastien ~ Piano

Lindsay:  Age - 4  Pre-K/K
Heart of Dakota ~ Bible, History, Science
School Zone workbooks ~ Math
100 Easy Lessons ~ Reading
(She actually learned all of her sounds and letters from Leap Frog's Letter Factory!!!)
Explode the Code Book 1
A Reason for Handwriting Book K
Bastien ~ Piano

Leah:  Thinks she's bigger than she is
(Because you know, she has to been included!!)
Lot of coloring books
bowls, spoons, cups, and rice or beans
egg carton and pennies
board books
learning to play the piano "gently"

  So, why do I love Heart of Dakota sooooo much!!!  Well because it ties the three subjects into one!!!  You have a weekly memory verse, so the kids are hitting the scripture hard!  And it starts them out in creation and ends with today and hits on the end times.  It goes all through out history and weaves in science.  And it doesn't just hit the biblical characters for history you also talk about great christian men like St. Valentine.  I am just absolutely in love with it!  (Can you tell?)  Well, if anyone is in doubt of what to use or thinking about using, I hope this is to some comfort to someone.  Otherwise, I hope you have a great school year this year!!!!  Praise God, we live in a country we can openly homeschool!!!! 


  1. LOVE~LOVE~LOVE! Great minds think alike! :) We used Saxon Math last year with Tinsley, she liked it (didn't complain) but she rarely does complain. We decided to go with what they suggested, Singpore. The books are bright and fun so I think they will both enjoy it. We also went with Rod & Staff for English. We are doing some online review right now from Big IQ Kids too. I can't post my review *yet* but I can tell you that they offer free programs on their site fo Spelling & Vocabulary that you can modify. :)

  2. ohhhh!!!! I want to hear more about that!!! Let me know as soon as you can!!!