Okay – FINAL Homeschool Curriculum Roundup 2012

I kept changing things up until this very week but I think it’s set in stone.  I think.  Yes.  It is.  Maybe.  YES.

So here goes as far as core subjects go for both boys:

Prima Latina by Leigh Lowe  – We aren’t learning any Latin vocabulary this cycle in Classical Conversations so I decided now was the time to go ahead and use this book.  It’s divided into 26 lessons so we’ll do one lesson each Tuesday after CC.  Henry will do the memory work as well as the written part and Rhys can listen along and do the memory work.  Sarah can circle us and be cute.

This book teaches something like 125 Latin phrases and words, and several prayers in Latin.  It will be a nice supplement to what they learn in CC and will help us illustrate the different cases, declensions and conjugations we will learn this cycle.

First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise – This book supplements Henry’s phonics/spelling book and introduces him to english and grammar.  She uses memorization of terms – the first lesson teaches the definition of a noun, which both boys know, SCORE – and the second lesson teaches a poem which reinforces the concept of memorization but also introduces the medium of poetry.  Both really like this, to my utter shock.  They’re even making up poems of their own!  So far we’ve also covered common nouns and proper nouns.  I’m looking forward to lesson #5 tomorrow.  I love the way this book is laid out – the lessons are short, concise and to the point.  The material is easy to digest and retain and she uses excellent examples.  It may outpace Rhys at some point, but he’ll get a second dose of it when he hits first grade, so no biggie.  We’re just going for the one-room schoolhouse effect here.

We’ll be using this series until 4th grade when we transition into the Essentials program in CC and switch over to the books they use.   A BIG “thank you!” to my neighbor Christine who recommended this book and lent me her copy!  I bought my own, so I need to return hers.  THANK YOU!!  :)

Classical Conversations – I’ve got my trifold board going on, two out of four History of the World books and one workbook so far, the trivium geography map…all sorts of things.  CC is going very smoothly this year.  I don’t have the CDs yet (the uh, things that are most useful) but they’re supposed to be here Friday.

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Behoooold. The dork that mama.

Core subjects for Henry:

Saxon 2 Phonics – It’s phonics, what can I say?  I really like the program.  Word to the wise:  unless you have a child who you KNOW is going to have a hard time with the material, don’t bother to tear the colored flash cards, they are supplementary games.  I have never used them and tearing them was a HUGE waste of time.  My only complaint is that the readers they include STINK!  You can use them, but they seem way too easy in my opinion.  We are supplementing our phonics program with lots of reading based on A Reader’s Guide K-12.

Saxon 2 Math – I really like this curriculum too, I love the way Saxon is laid out, it just works well for us.  I’ll be honest and say we skip the meeting book stuff.  I don’t like it, it’s beyond redundant and we just don’t have time to squeeze all of it in so it took one for the team.  Bye, meeting book.  From what I’ve read, we are not alone in doing this, it’s quite common.  I really like the variety of skills Saxon works on simultaneously, it keeps the curriculum from being boring and rote.  There aren’t a ton of problems and it’s not overwhelming.  In fact, sometimes I think it’s a bit too easy, and this is coming from the mom of a 1st grader who is doing a 2nd grade curriculum (and he HATED math last year – this year he breezes through it).  Whatever – I’d rather it be a little too easy than too hard and frustrating.  It will get hard soon enough!  Hello geometry, algebra and calculus!

Core subjects for Rhys:

Saxon K Phonics:  I’m waiting on this to be delivered so I can’t review it, but I imagine it will be just fine, like all the other Saxon products.  I am one of those Saxon-phile moms who gushes about their love of Saxon products.  SAXON!!!11!1!!

Saxon K Math:  Maybe.  My friend Haley has it right now.  We might start it whenever we get it back from her.  Still not sure if I have time/want to bother with it.

And that’s it!  But before I go, I must share this.  This is the greatest homeschool tool I have ever purchased and it’s thanks to my friend Mandy.  She blogged about having one and it stuck with me.  It is the Desktop Apprentice.  I decided months later that I must have one too.  So on tax-free weekend, I bought one, and paid tax on it because it wasn’t considered a schoolish item.  Whatevs.  It is awesome.  EVERYTHING I use (minus the notebooks for my CC timeline cards and the History of the World books) fits in here.  I just carry it over to the table each day and voila!  School is ready to go!  I love it – go get one AT Staples, don’t order one online and pay $44.  They are only $25 in the store.

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My desk apprentice. <3