Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tweaking the Curriculum

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that if something is not working we can change it! (and no one will make fun of my child!) This is exactly what we are doing starting next week.

I have been struggling with a spelling curriculum I like. I have gone back to Spelling Power twice and after the melt down Nico had last week on a recall test I decided it was not working. I was at a friend's house and she had out All About Spelling (here). I had been looking at this program and All About Reading (here). I was on the fence about it. I think I felt this was was because when I was in school I was taught a list of words on Monday and had a test on Friday. My 19 year old son had the same system when he was in grade school. I was so stuck in the 'traditional' method that I couldn't wrap my brain around something else. Nico could remember a list of spelling words given in a week, but when I went back to read his regular writing I was appalled at all the mispelled words. Just recently I have been having him writing longer narrations where he is thinking on his own, not copy work.

I skimmed through her book quickly and she offered me her Level 1 book. I thought to myself, "Well, we won't need level one, but okay." She proceeded to tell me about it and how much she actually learned from it. So I went ahead and brought it home. I read through it and was impressed with what I saw. She loaned me her cards for Level 1 and we started on it last week. Nico likes the one on one interaction and we were both surprised to actually 'realize' the different sounds the letters make. I am a pretty good speller, but don't really know the 'rules'. I think it is safe to say we are going to continue with Level 1 and really LEARN how to spell. Again, I love that we can go back to square one and start all over again. If he were in traditional school, he would just be struggling and failing on spelling.

I have also been having a hard time with Luca and his letters. I keep reading through my notes when Nico was that age and Luca seems to be on track with where Nico was, but I feel like I am missing something with Luca. I went ahead and bought All About Reading. We are going to combine this with ABCMouse (here). He loves computer based learning, but I hate having him with his face in front of the computer. I love the one on one time with him. Luca loves books and we love reading books snuggled on the futon in our room. I am just looking for a little more recall for Luca's part.

Another change, or more like an addition is the book, "Using Google Earth: Bring the World into Your Classroom" (here) by Shell Education. Nico has always enjoyed geography, traveling, and watching National Geographic on TV. Mike has gotten him really interested in Google Earth. I will often find Nico on Mike's computer with Google Earth pulled up. He is always searching for something. We will be finishing up Beautiful Feet Geography through Literature, but we are going to add Google Earth to our schedule. Level 1-2 may be a little simple for him, but it is a great starting point.

I can't believe our school year is quickly approaching the end. I feel like we have so much left to complete. I have to remind myself that we can always continue through the summer if we want and if we don't than we can just pick up right where we left off. There are so many joys to homeschooling!


  1. oh boy....we change all the time...and I do mean all the time. Some things just don't work, and if they aren't working, chances are the children aren't learning much.
    I couldn't count as high as how many times I've changed things since 1999 when I started homeschooling my children.....

  2. We change a lot, too. In fact, we are changing focus now that it is Lent and reading special books, doing some special activities/projects to get ready for Easter. It helps me a lot, too, to change. Makes life a lot less monotonous. :-) Hope you are having a blessed week! Lisa