In THIS POST I explained that I have been considering making some changes to our program for this year. I've now made those changes and I feel SO MUCH BETTER about what we're doing!! I promised to explain what I'd decided, so I'll do that now.
Our major change is that I've decided to put aside A World of Adventure for a few years until both of my boys fall into the age range that is intended for which is 4th through 8th grade. I was having a hard time with the difficulty of the literature selections even for my oldest son. And it was also really hard for me to keep my youngest son involved. The publisher does offer a companion curriculum for adapting it for younger students. Still, I feel sure that the direction we have chosen to take is best for us this year. I want to restate that I do think AWOA is a really great curriculum. We were not unhappy with it; it just wasn't a good fit for us at this time.
For my oldest son's literature I am going to let him choose which chapter books we'll read. Now we are working on The Cricket in Time Square. I'll write a whole post on our work with that book once we've finished. I love this book so much and am so glad he chose it. George Seldin's writing and characters remind me a lot of E.B. White who I also love as an author.
For language arts we are adding in Easy Grammar (4th and 5th grade level). We've just barely started this. I had managed to get a copy for a great price at a used curriculum sale this summer. I am also considering Winning with Writing for a writing curriculum for him. It is very reasonably priced and looks really good.
For history we are going to use The Story of the World. I already had Volume 1 and the Activity Guide and was originally planning to use it before I chose AWOA instead. We have done the first chapter this week and are LOVING it!!! I will be posting more about it soon. With all the references in the AG I'm easily able to add extra reading and writing for my 4th grader to amp up the challenge for him. I'm SO excited about this!
Another change I'm really excited about is that this week (tomorrow) we'll be starting a new science curriculum. Again, I had originally wanted to use Real Science Odyssey from Pandia Press for science. Then I chose AWOA and decided not to order. Through the end of September Pandia Press is offering a discount on their ebooks and I jumped on it and ordered the Chemistry curriculum. It is intended for Grades 2-5, but the labs are hands-on and the text is written just right for children so I think my first grader will do fine with a bit of help on some of the lab sheets. My husband (who has a PhD in science) teaches science to the boys on Thursday mornings while I teach Kindermusik in our home studio. He'll do one lab with them a week and I'll do one. I have to admit that I'm so excited about this curriculum that I'm a bit disappointed I don't get to do it all. Admittedly, he's way more qualified than me to answer their questions!!
I can't tell you how much better I feel now. When I made my curriculum decisions last spring as a new homeschooler I really wanted something I could open to tell me what to do each day, especially for my oldest. Even though I'm a certified, licensed teacher and have taught for 20 years, this made me feel better. What I should have know is that even when I taught in public and private school settings, I ALWAYS had to tweak everything and add in lots of my own activities and ideas. It's just the way I love to teach. The changes I've made much better reflect how I love to plan and teach. So it's all good. Can't wait to post more soon!