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Hi, I've been lurking for a month or 2, reading all kinds of great advice here, searching for threads on various curriculum (Google is my friend, since I can search the forum for 2-3 letter acronyms!). I think I have everything picked out, but that's probably all subject to change at a moment's notice! :D


I have 3 sons - 6.5 (first grade), about to turn 4 (2 more weeks!), and 17 months. DS1 is currently in a private school, where he also did KG (we didn't do preschool - he just learned stuff at home). The school is very nice. I love the people - teachers and staff. The environment is nice. My son is not having any bullying problems or anything like that. The problem? Academics. He's ahead in math and reading, not ahead in writing (so really wouldn't do well skipping a grade), and school ends up being too easy for him. I've always wanted to homeschool, and now DH is on board after doing 2 years at the private school and having our son be bored in class. His teachers have given him extra work, but he still has to do the boring stuff, then do the challenge stuff on top of that.


We are planning to homeschool next year, or we might pull him out at Christmas time. Still discussing that. Since he's happy with school and his friends and all that, I'm not needing to pull him out ASAP or anything. I have been supplementing (afterschooling) at home with Math Mammoth 1, which he loves. They use Saxon 1 in his class at school, and it moves much too slow for him. He's a mathy kid (gets it on both sides), and just understands math without all the repetition. He pretty much does MM on his own with minimal explanation from me, and mostly it's working on math facts being memorized. He's very good with mental math (after I explained in the van one day the tricks to multiplying by 10, 100, 1000, he said "So 1000 times 1000 is 1000000!", while I was still counting the zeroes in my head to make sure he was correct :tongue_smilie:). He understands what it means to multiply (even though we haven't formally learned it - just talked about it in the van as he comes up with stuff). So that gives an example of the type of kid he is with math. Saxon 1 is boring boring boring for him. MM is going great. I plan to stick with MM.


We're also doing some science at home. I got the Elemental Science Intro to Science curriculum, and the kids LOVE it! In week 2 when they got to make mud, they were thrilled!


Now where he needs some work is handwriting. The school taught him proper handwriting, used sky writing and writing in shaving cream, etc. So the instruction was all sound. The problem is that one teacher can't watch how each of 19 students forms their letters at all times. He now writes most of his letters really weird - starting at the bottom and going up, doing the right hand part of the letter before the left, etc. I will need to go back and reteach the handwriting and really pay attention to everything he writes until he changes his habits, I think. Hopefully it's not too late to change it! A friend of mine whose son made his letters the exact same way is now having trouble in high school taking notes - he just can't write fast enough. I can easily see my son having that issue later on, so I want to nip it in the bud now. I've chosen HWOT for our curriculum, and I was thinking I'd start with the K level and just move quickly through it, so we get a good foundation in proper handwriting.


He's showing a huge interest in history, and especially how the Bible stories he knows fits in. He's always asking questions about history, and of course they don't really teach history at this age in school. It's the typical "social studies". This is a neighborhood type stuff (just did that a couple weeks ago). I plan to use TOG for our history/lit program. I know it's overkill for 1st/2nd grade, BUT I drool over the teacher's notes and the D/R level discussions and such later on, and *I* would like to learn the stuff they didn't teach me in public school. So we'll do TOG mostly for me, and we'll reuse it several times, so I think the cost will even itself out over time, with 3 kids (I already plotted out what year of the 4 year cycle each child would be in each grade :lol:), and it's still waaaaaaaay cheaper than private school. If we start after Christmas, I'll probably go through Y1 at somewhat normal pace, then stretch Y2 to fit 1.5 years. Doing that puts my last son doing Y1-Y4 in 9-12 grades, so *I* get to end on modern history. :D


I've selected AAS for our spelling program. DS is one of those early readers that didn't really get a lot of phonics before learning to read. He played Starfall.com, but that was it. He was reading at 2.5 grade level when he started KG, and never had any use for those "early reader" books like BOB books and such. So I think he is mostly sight reading, though he knows how to sound out words. His first grade teacher is doing a lot of phonics right now, so that's great. I'm going to do AAS to reinforce the phonics/spelling rules and get him more confident in writing words (he's a perfectionist - if he doesn't know how to spell a word, he'll get upset... and they use inventive spelling at school, which I really don't care for... I'd rather do copywork instead). I think he will love AAS, as he's really into spelling words on the fridge with magnetic letters, and he also likes working with white boards. :)


I've waffled on grammar between CLE and R&S. I started out thinking R&S, then switched to CLE, then switched back (last night) to R&S. I think I like the content of R&S better, plus we wouldn't be using the handwriting or spelling portions of CLE, and I think that'd get confusing. I'm a bit concerned about the amount of writing in R&S, but I can do a lot of it orally if we need to at first. Since they don't start until 2nd grade, perhaps he'll be more confident (and quicker) with his writing by then. And if R&S doesn't work, at least we can resell it and then go buy CLE. So it's not a big deal.


I'm planning to use WWE for writing instruction. That looks like exactly what he could use - copywork, narration, etc.


For science, we'll plan to do ES Biology. I waffled here too, starting out with ES, then Apologia, then God's Design for Life, and then finally decided to stick with ES Biology this time around. Next cycle, we'll probably do one of the others. I keep having to remind myself "We'll do this subject again!"


For reading, I was thinking about just using the Treadwell readers (free Primer, etc.) and asking him questions from those. They looked like interesting stories. I waffle between that and Pathway Readers or CLE Reading. Sometimes I'd just like to try everything! :lol: I think he could use some work on comprehension, as I don't know how good his comprehension really is. He's doing fine in school, but that doesn't mean much, since the readers there are below his reading level.


So summary:


Math - Math Mammoth 1A (now), 1B

Science - Elemental Science (Intro now, then Biology)

History/Lit - Tapestry of Grace Y1 (using it as dessert at a buffet!)

Spelling - All About Spelling (probably quickly through 1, then on to 2?)

Grammar - Rod & Staff 2 (starting at 2nd grade... might do FLL1 if I pull him out at Christmas midway through 1st grade?)

Writing - Writing With Ease 1

Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears K, 1 (, 2 if starting 2nd grade)

Reading - Treadwell readers unless I talk myself back into R&S or CLE Reading :lol:


Does this look good? Am I insane? Wait, don't answer that one. :D Any suggestions for the reading stuff? And am I on the right track for handwriting (starting with K and watching his writing like a HAWK... I will probably do this over the Christmas break so it's the only subject we're working on during that time).

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Looks good to me! We do something simmilar for second grade. Different math, and we are doing curseives with a reason for handwriting.


Don' forget to do something fun, too - "art", or whatever he enjoys as "extra". We are doing art and SPanish and PE.

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Don' forget to do something fun, too - "art", or whatever he enjoys as "extra". We are doing art and SPanish and PE.


We'll try to do a project from TOG each week, plus science is an experiment each week. I don't have official "art" scheduled in, since I'm really not an art person. LOL. I will look into art programs later, if it looks like we have time for one. He plays hockey and does cub scouts. We might add a foreign language later too, but I figured I'd keep it simple for the first year. :)


I plan to wait until 3rd grade to do cursive. I want to get him confident with his print first. I don't use cursive myself... I stopped as soon as my middle school teachers said we could write whatever style we wanted. I went through an all caps in purple pen phase as a form of rebellion against cursive. :tongue_smilie: Maybe DS1 will like it better than I did!

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