Reviewing What Worked



I am busy wrapping up the preceding homeschool year, and planning out our coming year. As I plan for how I will teach my four students this year, I find it helpful to thoughtfully review what we did last year, and to see how productive it was.

With each child, I simply looked at what we had set out to do for the year, and then made a few comments about its efficacy. Perhaps you will find it helpful as well.

1st Grade Boy

I was not a fan of Math Mammoth. Math is not my favorite subject to teach, and I felt like they skipped very quickly to abstract reasoning skills, which in my opinion is not suitable for a young child. We struggled through the first book and I won't use it again.

Spell To Write and Read/All About Spelling

Explode The Code Book 2

Rod and Staff Reading, Grade One, readers only

Mystery of History, Ancient Times

Apologia Flying Creatures


I loved everything else we did with my 1st grader, especially all the nature study and history projects that we got done through our co-ops. It was a wonderful school year, and the simple curriculum that I chose was a big part of that. Also, reading some fascinating books out loud was a big bonus.

4th Grade Girl

I had purchased a Saxon 3 book at a used book sale, so we finished that this year. However, I wanted more multiplication instruction so we are doing Math U See Gamma over the summer for review.

I also am revising when my children will graduate, which means my 9 year old girl is going to be in fourth grade again. When I first started homeschooling, I wasn't really planning for college and I just wanted them to graduate as early as possible. However, as I have transitioned several students into college classes, I have realized that I don't want my graduates to be leaving home for college at 17.

For this reason, I am adjusting the grade of a few of my students who were on track to graduate and start college at that young age. Also, because we do dual enrollment and try to earn an AA in high school, giving my students the time to get as many classes in as possible past the age of 14 is important to us.

Bible Copywork

We really loved this grammar program. It was very simple to use, and provided a wonderful review of grammar concepts. Along with Jr Analytical Grammar, we also used Jr Analytical Grammar Mechanics. Although we previously used Rod and Staff Grammar, which is very thorough, we all struggle with comma usage. JAG Mechanics provided a wonderful, simple and concise review of comma rules, which is making it so much easier for us to edit the volume of writing that we produce as a family.

My daughter was doing lots of writing on her own, so we didn't complete this book, but I did love the instructions for improving writing, and we incorporated them in her papers on other subjects.

Spell To Write and Read
I have used this program for many years, and love how it helps us to analyze words and develop an understanding of how things should be spelled.

Memoria Cursive

I loved this cursive program. It was nearly all Bible verses, so it helped make our Bible copy work very simple. I will buy a similar one next year.

Ancient History Reading List

Mystery Of History Ancient History

We listened to the C.D.'s in the car and read several of the chapters. It also was a great spine for developing our schedule for the year.

Apologia Flying Creatures

This was a great textbook for our study of birds this year. I didn't read every chapter, but simply looked at the concepts and then found children's books at the library that reviewed that concept. It made for a fun and thorough study of birds.

8th Grade Boy

Life of Fred Algebra

This really did not click for my son. (Can you tell that math is not my area of expertise?) We ended up going back to Algebra 1 with Teaching Textbooks and will have to keep working on it next year. I seem to to have a pattern of trying several algebra programs with my kids, and then when they start their junior college algebra class they do great. I am hoping this will happen with Emmett as well. He also loves programming, so he spent lots of time on Khan Academy doing algebra activities so that he could earn programming time.

Bible Copywork

Jr Analytical Grammar
 (I will do this as a class with the younger sister,
 followed by Jr. Analytical Grammar Mechanics or R&S Grammar)
We loved this!

Theme Essays with Co-op
Writing reports for our co-op was a great way to keep my 12/13 year old boy engaged with writing.

I.E.W. Ancient History Writing Lessons
I love how I.E.W. helps me as a parent to evaluate my children's writing.

Ancient History Reading List
The Golden Goblet was a favorite.

Apologia General Science

We had a co-op for General Science which was very helpful for keeping us accountable to finish the lessons

Studies in World History-Stobaugh

I loved this study. It was very inexpensive, but provided an overview of World History from a Christian worldview. It was interesting and gave us lots of food for thought.

10th Grade Boy
Algebra-Community College
Hooray! He finished a year of college algebra. I was so happy to be happy to be able to outsource teaching algebra.

Theme Analysis with Co-op
He wrote another book this year, so I gave him the freedom to work on that, as well as completing his papers for the co-op English class. His book, The Fire Trolls, is available on Amazon, and my 9 year old said it was the best book she ever read. However, it does contain some violence.

Ancient History Reading List

Beginning Painting-Community College
He loved this class and came home with several wonderful paintings which were given as Christmas gifts to all his siblings.

Philosophy 1 (audit Community College class with older siblings)
He got a B in this college philosophy class. I was so happy! He also ended up taking an ecology biology class at the college, which was a fascinating experience for him.

English 1A-Since he was working on his book, he took the biology class instead.

Studies in World History-Stobaugh

Spanish 2-BJU
We are making slow progress through Spanish!

12th Grade Boy
Study hard for SAT

Chemistry- Community College

Geometry- Community College

U.S. History

He graduated as an honors student with our cover school, and is also taking a final class this summer to earn his AA degree. I have officially graduated three students, and I am feeling pretty happy about that!

The children also do martial arts and ballet for physical education, as well as music lessons. 
We took a break from martial arts this year, but had our first experience with a community team sport, when my 5th son did a season of football. He had a great time.

For science and history, we will focus more on notebook pages with illustrated and written narration than on using tests or worksheets to assess their progress. We will do experiments and hands on work in our co-op.
Note booking was wonderful this year. I have a great collection of painted illustrations. Jodi Mockabee was very influential in helping me break away from simply writing reports, and transitioning my family into using illustrated and written narration on a regular basis.

For Bible, I am using Long Story Short and The 18 Inch Journey as my curriculum. We will also be reading through the Old Testament and copying Bible verses. 
I loved both of these resources.

Thanks so much for reading! I can't wait to post my plan for the coming year in an upcoming post.

This post has affiliate links. 

No comments:

Post a Comment