Review of 2016/2017 Curriculum

*2020-2021 School Curriculum
*2019-2020 School Curriculum and Review
*2018-2019 School Curriculum and Review
*2017-2018 School Curriculum and Review
*2016-2017 School Curriculum and Review
*2015-2016 School Curriculum and Review
*2014-2015 School Curriculum
*2013-2014 Review

This year was 4th grade, 1st grade and preschool. Here’s my feedback on the curriculum we used:

4th Grade

    1. Reading & workbook
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 5/week : 4/week
    I liked the workbook material and I liked the reading material even better! They are endearing, old-fashioned stories with a lesson in morality that is just right for the age group. The workbook was good practice in reading comprehension, a little grammar, and thinking up answers (they weren’t all multiple choice). Anna finished this early, so I don’t remember it in detail, but it was a perfect level of work for Anna and she didn’t drag her feet to work on it, which is always a boost. We did it 4 days a week and were done early. I think 3 days/week is what it was designed for.

    2. Math
    Teaching Textbooks Level 5 : 5/week : 4/week
    Teaching textbooks is about a year behind the average, so Anna did level 5 this year. Actually, she’s still doing it and will probably be working on it into the early summer. 4 times a week just barely gets you finished in a year and we had a fair number of missed days. 4-5 is what it’s geared towards. We are still liking the computer-based math program. It has a lecture, complete with worked-through examples… which means I don’t have to teach the lessons one at a time myself. It gives the opportunity to try a problem twice before marking it wrong, which has helped my daughter’s perfectionist tendencies to relax a little. She can view the problem worked out, step by step also. If she’s truly struggling, I encourage her to have me come and work through it with her. Math is her achilles heel, in terms of emotional stress, so that we’re making it through the year at all tells me that this is a good fit.
    3. Science
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 5/week : 3/week
    I really like these workbooks! Each workbook has a subject – weather, energy, physics, the universe, etc. We haven’t kept up with this, so are only halfway through, but I like them. Sometimes it’s hard to do an accompanying project if Brian isn’t here, because… well, projects aren’t my strength. Also, because I’m not working closely with her on this, the material is not being completely understood. There is a lot of information and vocabulary. It’s the appropriate level, but there is a lot of it. Science seems like it would be more fun and successful in a classroom. But I’m satisfied with this to get us along for now.
    4. Social Studies & workbook
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 5/week : 2/week
    I love this material! But, Anna doesn’t. ha! She liked it at first, but it is a little harder work than her other schoolwork – requiring reading in a large textbook and then using that information to answer questions in her workbook. She’s only going to get 20% through by the end of the year,
    but I still don’t feel like it’s a waste. I may have her finish this next year.

    5. Spelling
    Sequential Spelling Level 1 (continued from this year) : 3/week : 2/week
    This wasn’t a terrible fit for Anna, but spelling is not a natural skill for her. We did spelling regularly until about halfway through and petered out quickly from there. We were both burnt out with trying it. I am undecided on how to move forward with spelling practice next year. Same curriculum? Different? Give it a rest while other supporting skills catch up?
    6. Grammar
    Growing with Grammar Level 4 : 3/week : 2/week
    I like this program, but we decided to cut it this year.
    7. Writing
    Just Write Level 1 : not sure : 2/week
    These are good little books. She went through all of the the first one and part of the second one so far.
    8. Bible
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 2-3/week : 2/week
    These were very easy for Anna. Partially because she has grown up in a world saturated with Bible stories, but partially because it’s all multiple choice. However, it is not a waste as the stories are worked through at a decently in-depth level and she was learning new information.
    9. History
    Story of the World Middle Ages on CD with activity book : 1/week : 1/week
    We enjoyed listening to the story of history while coloring chapter-specific coloring pages. We didn’t “study” or do the “study questions.” I plan to go through all four disc sets at a quick, enjoyable level. Then we’ll go through the whole thing again more slowly in a few years.
    10. Art
    Local classroom OR Christian Light Education Level 2 : 1/week : 1/week
    I was pleasantly surprised with these! They take simple projects and introduce concepts and skills that are useful for the long term. The kids liked the projects too!

Maggie 1st/2nd Grade

    1. Reading & Workbooks
    Christian Light Education Learning to Read (starting with Primer 7) : 5/week : 4/week
    I didn’t like the Learning to Read program… it requires figuring out a teacher’s guide that works together with the kid’s book and it really was just more complicated than I wanted. Maggie’s reading had really improved over the summer, so after a few weeks (months?) we switched to the more advanced first grade reader and they were wonderful! Perfect level for Maggie. I love that every other lesson she read the story out loud to me. It was a pleasure!
    2. Writing
    Just Write (Write About Me and Write About My World) : not sure : 4/week
    These went well. Lots of pictures to go along with the writing. Nothing in depth and maybe not super great at preparing for harder stuff, but it kept her going and thinking.
    3. Math
    Teaching Textbooks Level 3 : 5/week : 4/week
    Maggie is doing really well with this. She loves the little pictures that progress every time you complete a problem.
    4. Science
    Christian Light Education Level 1 : 5/week : 3/week
    These were easy and simple… and surprisingly well accepted by Maggie! Lots of concepts were presented in levels that seemed too easy, something like “rain falls on the ground and makes the ground wet. Plants use the water to grow.” But maybe I would be doing Maggie a disservice by not starting there… because she liked these books a lot!
    5. Typing
    Dance Mat Typing – not sure – 2/week
    Oops – forgot about this.
    6. Art
    Local classroom OR Christian Light Education Level 1 – 1/week – 1/week
    These were good for Maggie as well as Anna.
    7. Music
    She would like me to teach her piano : 5/week : 4/week (one lesson plus practice)
    DIdn’t do this.
    8. History w/ coloring pages
    Story of the World Middle Ages on CD with activity book : 1/week : 1/week
    Maggie did this with Anna

Carolyn Preschool

1. Reading
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – often- 4/week
She loves doing this with me, but when I lost momentum around lesson 50, we stopped. She is still in preschool next year, so I didn’t feel the need to push myself, though she certainly wanted me to!
2. Learning to follow directions and make letter shapes
Generic Pre-K or Kindergarten workbook
She loves these. She likes the cut and paste ones even better.
3. Art
Some kind of self-led art… maybe one of those cut and paste books?
I got her one of the Christian Light Publication books and she worked on those projects, though many were too difficult for her.

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