About this time last year, I posted about the curriculum I’d purchased for the 2013-2014 school year. So, as we close out the year with pictures and an end-of-the-year interview, I figured I’d toss in a quick review of the curriculum choices we made.
Because I am nothing if not opinionated.
But first, the year-end interview.
Here is my sweet D, as he finishes up his 6th grade year – which was his first official year to be homeschooled.
Dalton is 5′ 1″ and 118 pounds. That’s up 2 inches, and 13 pounds since last September.
What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of? “Learning about the Bible.”
What was the most challenging part of this year for you? “Learning to study at home with all the distractions.”
What is the most important thing you learned this year? “Not to procrastinate and just get the work done.”
What is something that was hard for you at the start of the year, but is easy now? Grammar
Of the books you read this year, which was your favorite and why? “Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. I like survival stories and learning how people manage to survive in really harsh conditions.”
What are three adjectives that best describe this school year? “Fun. Hard. And – it’s not really an adjective – worth it.”
What is your favorite memory from this school year? “Ice skating with Asher and the girls.”
What are you looking forward to most about next year? “Reading the Bible more.”
What do you want to be when you grow up? “An athlete. I”m just not sure which sport.”
and here are my thoughts as we close out the school year:
Teaching Textbooks 7 – Third year using Teaching Textbooks and I LOVE Teaching Textbooks. My kids love Teaching Textbooks. The end.
Exploring Creation with Anatomy – Apologia Science is just good. We had the Notebooking Journal as well, which I think is absolutely worth the investment.
Wordly Wise – We limped through finishing this, won’t do it again next year.
Wordsmith Apprentice – Dalton didn’t love it, but I don’t think he would love anything that prompts him to write. We will use the next level of this same series next year.
A Reason for Handwriting – No fun for anyone, dropped it.
Word Roots – Did it, but probably won’t do it again next year.
Critical and Creative Thinking – Good but not great – dropped it mid-year when Dalton just had too much going on.
Editor in Chief A2 – I like this. The boys’ don’t love it, but it requires them to write (cursive, yikes!) but I think it’s very good.
Easy Grammar – Love this program, a little every day goes a really long way to learning something that could possibly be very, very boring.
Daily Grams** – We like the Easy Grammar curriculum so much, we added this after the beginning of the year. Good stuff.
Keeping a Nature Journal – We didn’t even start this – too much other stuff going on.
All American History – Both boys really enjoyed this and I did as well… good pace, interactive workbook, we are using the next book in this series next year.
Foundations of Personal Finance – Did not complete this. Still have it and plan on doing it, eventually.
Thinking Toolbox – This was okay, none of us were huge fans. Dropped it mid-year.
Mapping the World by Heart – Got the maps printed out, never even started it. We ended up going with a much simpler (read: much less time/labor intensive) geography curriculum.
One other “curriculum” we use is the One Year Bible Plan. The boys and I have quiet time together every morning and use this to go through the Bible, with an OT reading, a NT reading, some Psalms and some Proverbs. Honestly, it has become the best part of the school day for us.
And here is my Asher. Newly turned 15 – I can’t even believe he’s going into the 9th grade in the fall.
Asher is 6′ 0″ and 220 pounds. That’s up 2 inches, and 31 pounds since last September.
What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of? “Installing surround sound in my bunk bed.”
What was the most challenging part of this year for you? “Being disciplined enough to get all my schoolwork done every day.”
What is the most important thing you learned this year? “I’ve learned more about the Bible than I have at any other time in my life, because we are studying it every day.”
What is something that was hard for you at the start of the year, but is easy now? Writing creatively.
In what area did you make your biggest improvements? Writing creatively. (let’s hear it for Writing With Skill!)
Of the books you read this year, which was your favorite and why? “Kisses From Katie. Because her perspectives on her struggles with the children were interesting.”
What are three adjectives that best describe this school year? “Difficult. Entertaining. And interesting.”
What is your favorite memory from this school year? “Laughing at the kitchen table during Bible Study – the whole “holy bucks” thing.” (trust me, it’s funny.)
What are you looking forward to most about next year? “Chemistry. And the experiments.”
What do you want to be when you grow up? “Game designer.”
and my thoughts on these curriculum choices as we close out this school year:
Mapping the World by Heart – As I mentioned about, we chickened out of this. Okay, I chickened out.
Word Roots – B2 – I think Asher hid this, no idea when I saw this last.
Keeping a Nature Journal – Not even started, maybe I’ll use these for Sophie and Isabelle in the fall.
All American History – As I said above, just good. Everyone was happy with it, and that’s sayin’ something.
Exploring Creation with Biology – Good stuff. And Asher has really enjoyed Biology this year, which is even better stuff.
Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 – Did I mention I love Teaching Textbooks?
Sequential Spelling 7 – Sort of odd. And I had to read the list to him every day for him to spell, which takes longer than you might imagine. He did make strides in his spelling this year, though.
Editor in Chief B2 – Good solid editing practice that we use for handwriting practice as well.
Foundations of Personal Finance – Didn’t get around to it this year.
Writing with Skill – This is a good program. So happens that Asher’s biggest weakness is language arts, so the fact that he and I both like it speaks volumes. We are trying something different for next year, though.
Easy Grammar** – Added this after the beginning of the year, has been a good choice for Asher.
180 Daily Teaching Lessons** – We added this as well, and we will be continuing with this series in the fall.
** – books we added as the year went on – when you homeschool you can do crazy stuff like that
There you go – our 2013-2014 homeschool year in a nutshell with my two big boys. I’m going to have to agree with the words they chose to describe the year, especially difficult and worth it.
Just Isabelle is left. Figure she gets her own post since she started the school year in public school and is finishing out with homeschool.
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