Monday, July 25, 2011

Homeschool Prep-First Grade and Preschool

Right now, I'm tentatively planning to start our new school year on August 15th. That's just 3 weeks from today! Given that plan, I should probably order our curriculum, huh?

Last year, we used My Father's World for Kindergarten with Elsie. I think it's a great curriculum, but I'll admit that flipping back and forth in the teacher's manual was a bit flustering for me at times, especially with our younger 2 girls competing for my attention as well. I did love the "Words to Remember" as well as how detailed the projects and activities are. The material wasn't very challenging for Elsie though she did need the handwriting practice, especially for her lowercase letters, and the phonics lessons definitely helped kickstart her reading.

Earlier this summer, I was reading some curriculum reviews and came across a program called Heart of Dakota. Like MFW, the curriculum is Bible-based, but I think it's set up more clearly which I hope will make things easier for us. There's also more flexibility with math and reading, which is great since I want to continue Elsie's current phonics lessons in order to help build her confidence. One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is the ability to customize the level of each subject your child is working at. I think first grade is going to be a huge year for Elsie, and I'm looking forward to working at her pace and finding something that is fun and challenging for her.

When I originally came across Heart of Dakota, I talked to Jason about using their preschool curriculum, Little Hands to Heaven, for Claira this year while we moved onto MFW 1st Grade with Elsie. Then, I'd have experience with both before making a decision for 2nd Grade. I've dragged my feet all summer long with that plan. While MFW worked fine for Kindergarten, I'm certain that I'm ready to try something new and hopefully find something that works better for our family.

I'll be ordering curriculum later this week. Little Hands to Heaven for Claira and Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory for Elsie. I can hardly wait for the book box to roll in so we can start our school year!

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