Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Curriculums & Tired Children!

We were away til' late last night (busy few days). We went across to Prestatyn to the Elim Conference for the day. The boys had a ball (the two older girls stayed at home with a friend) and it was another nice change of scene for us - I spent too much on books though! Paul is staying for a couple of nights though so that leaves me solo with the five - ho humm!!

Some of you were asking what curiculum/s we use. Well we use Singapore for Maths and also use them for English Grammar (Grammar Skills and next year Grammar for Students), Health Education and Basic Science. Then I use CGP Books for ICT (this is actually a year 3 subject but Jacob is clever and keen), spelling practice and for more general English skills (comprehension and composition). We also use 'Focus on Comprehension' (Collins) about once a fortnight - this is more challenging to Jacob, so we don't do it too often because he takes ages over it!

Next year we will expand a little. I plan to use 'Next Stop' (EPS books - the suppliers of Explode the code) for English reading/comprehension/skills, continue with Singapore Maths, Grammar Skills, My Pals are Here Science (as a core) and Health Ed' - I reallly like the Singapore style. Then I also have CGP science topics - they do six per year and look really comprehensive and interesting with a project at the end of each topic. Continue with CGP as an English 'core' guide (tells me which 'bits' of English I should be covering) and a supplement. I'd like to use Diana Waring for History, but I also have CGP history as a 'bonus' source and then CGP as a geograph core - again tells which bits to do! The CGP books are so cheap (you can get schools rates if you homeschool) that I just like to have them around as an extra even if I don't use all of all of them.
I also really like a lot of the Nelson Thornes resouce, but they are a bit pricey!
I'm also looking into 'doing' judaism for RE - found a good source for that on-line.
We are hoping to get Muzzy too for languages.
For Learning to read we use Jolly phonics.

None, except Diana Waring, has a Christian background, but there is nothing in it that challenges our beliefs (perhaps that odd mild inference which is easily ignored or explained). We then use Postal Bible School (which is once a week) and other Bible devotional materials (TOPZ (7+) and Tails (3-5) - CWR everyday at the start of school.

So there that puts you all in the know!!
I LOVE hunting for materials, but it is SO time consuming. I have wondered about an all-in curriculum and have looked at Calvert - very prescriptive and structured, but also looks to be quite good fun. I hold it as an option for the future, but as yet I'm not quite there. I might reach that point someday though when I'm sourcing for 5!!

Right now (lunchtime) the kids are running a mock and no school is being done. We did a couple of hours this morning, but the boys are tired, so I might have to wait until the girls rest this arvo and there's less distracions before I can get the boys to knuckle down again. Helps that we have IT scheduled for this afternoon and that is always a motivator!!:)

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