Sunday, June 11, 2017

Year in Review (2016-2017)

Now that our school year is over, I've been looking back over everything we've done.  It helps for portfolio purposes as well as helps me plan out next year.  By this time last year, I'd already written up this year's "curriculum plans"believe it or not!  Needless to say, plans are for throwing out the window in the homeschool world!  We still had a good year though!

So here's an overview of what we used and loved (and didn't love) for the past year.

2nd Grade

  • Logic of English Foundations - Loved!  He completed another level and his reading exploded.  I'll definitely use this again with the girls.  
  • Lightening Literature Grade 3 - We received this right before the end of the "school" year to review, and I find it CM adaptable.  I'll have more to share later, but definitely feel like we could use this for his 3rd grade LA 
  • Reading - Lots of quality readers and non-fiction (nature/science) books were his preference this year
  • All in One Homeschool Math 2 - I had started this as an interim program while we searched for a good fit for him, but he ended up liking it and I left him there.  He could have moved into 3 but we're keeping it light this summer so he's just reviewing for now.

4th Grade

  • Logic of English Essentials - We found this dry, tedious and time consuming, though maybe the newer edition is better.
  • Easy Grammar 5 - After reviewing another LA program in between, I found this one to be the best fit--short and simple lessons, but quality material.  I'll probably carry this over into 5th grade.
  • Reading - various books for reading practice
  • Teaching Textbooks 5 - His choice, but he ended up not caring for it at all.  He found the lessons long and way too many practice problems considering the type of review they do.  He did well though, so I let him reduce the amount of work as long as his work still showed mastery.  He does not want to use this again.
  • Math on the Level - This is a review for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and I'm trying to get into a groove with it since it's summer time, but I know I love the 5-A-Day Online component!  It's fabulous for both boys for summer review!  

I only offer her activities as she desires at this age.  I do not require formal schooling at 4 years old.  These are activities she enjoys and requests, and we definitely go at her speed.  
  • Preschool workbooks - if she's wanting hardcore worksheets, I whip out some basic preschool books.  She works in these at her own pace, and only when she's interested, but gets practice with alphabet, numbers/counting, matching, patterns, etc.
  • Before Five in a Row - My favorite resource!  Lovely living books and simple activities!

Family Subjects

  • Apologia Astronomy - After a review they wanted to continue, but it didn't suit us for the long term.  I really wanted to love it, but one year on one topic was too much for me.  We made it through the first semester, but couldn't muster through after Christmas.  If it were a semester course, we might have been able to finish it with different thoughts.
  • BFB Early American History - I wrote a Final Thoughts post on this already, so I won't go into detail, but I found it CM friendly--living books and the guide was adaptable.  I will likely buy more of their products going forward.  They're on my short list for next year in a couple of subjects.
  • Five in a Row - This wasn't our primary curriculum, but we did a few units to tie into our history studies (and this also got us some of our science during the second semester).
  • Art - They took art at co-op and learned about Benjamin West in our history.  They did art at home through various lessons from FIAR, ARTistic Pursuits, Art for Kids Hub and ArtAchieve (review); we'll carry over the remaining ArtAchieve lessons into Art/Handicrafts first, since they are subscription based.
  • Music - Music Appreciation class and beginning guitar lessons at co-op, Christmas program and exposure to a variety of music through casual listening
  • Poetry - We love Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization though I am inconsistent with it.  I'm trying to figure out a plan for next year so I don't forget it.  It's so quick and easy to do!   
  • Other -AWANA, Jr. Church, co-op, play dates, park days, numerous fun reviews, nature study, farm fun, learning about the elections and voting during an election year, field trips, family reunions and so much more . . . 

I have no doubt that there was learning and growing and maturing that could never be quantified in a blog post!

As for myself - I've been doing better this year about summarizing our monthly activities.  When I first started homeschooling and blogging, I often did Weekly Wrap-Ups, but that just isn't happening anymore.  Instead, I resolved this year to to do monthly summaries.  So here's more details about our year!

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