Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Curriculum I have Found Effective

Today for Home Education Week we are suppose to share our recipe for success. "Think about what you do in the day, what helps keep it organized and you sane (or how you got past that need for organization and saneness!), and curriculum materials you find effective."

Hmm, do you my regular readers hear that? How did I get past my need for organization and saneness? Ha! You already know the answer. I didn't. I need to be organized. I need to be sane. My life screeches to a halt without organization. Every nerve ending screams for relief from chaos.

To keep things organized we go by a schedule. Homeschool and homeschooling activities are the only things around here that have a strict schedule. I am not one that needs schedules. Life comes pretty easy for me. But my daughter, Tink, thrives on a schedule. If she is not scheduled she falls apart.

I use a lot of Abeka stuff. Our exact curriculum is listed in my sidebar. However, I cant use Abeka straight across with a child with sensory disorder so I supplement everything. Every day Tink begins with Phonics from Abekas; Letters and Sounds. She does 4 pages. Then she moves to Horizons math and does 2 pages. Next is Abeka Language Arts which is one to two pages depending on intensity. After that she must do her Reading from Golden Threads. She hates reading!

The four subjects above are consistent.

But its not as easy it sounds. You see, Tink needs back up work. So when she does a page in Language Arts she is usually dong another couple pages of the same thing from Scholastic Grade 4. Every year Tink completes one of those big Scholastic workbooks that you can buy from Costco, the kind that cover everything a child needs to know in that particular grade. Tink does about 5 pages from the Scholastic book every day along with the pages listed above.

For Science we use Abeka. Tink should be in the 5th grade this year but in Science she is in the third grade Abeka and even with that I have to read it to her. The scientific terms make her cry. We have History once a week using the Abeka History book and notebooking our way through it.

For handwriting Tink writes a Proverbs every day. Bible memorization is Awana verses and chapter memorization is done with her brother during Children's Hour. If you are interested in how Children's Hour works you can click here: Childrens Hour.

Tink also does a lot of computer learning. We do Timez Attack at Big Brainz for her multiplication review and Education City for extra practice in all areas! We also love to lapbook. You can view our lapbooks here if you're interested: Lapbooks and Notebooking.

We keep sane as a family by spending lots of time together and by doing chores regularly. I have a chore chart that has pictures and words on it that I use with the kids. I slide the chore cards that I want done each day in the slot under their names. It changes daily. I also have a magnetic board from Doug and Melissa to improve attitudes. Some of the magnets that go under their names are things like; keep hands to self, apologize to someone, don't tease, Be kind to someone today, Say Thank you, etc. The magnets are put on the board weekly. They then have magnetic tokens with encouraging saying that go under the big magnets. They put a token on every day. At the end of the week the goal is to have all the places filled under each attitude. You can view the magnetic board here; Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart.

I will leave you with some links to homeschool resources tha we love. You can also find homeschool links on my sidebar.

Rainforest Maths
Math Fact Cafe (a free online Math worksheet builder)
Free Phonics Worksheets
School-Home Links (this is a free website with worksheets in every subject. If the kids know the stuff on all the worksheets that accompany their grade level then they are ready to move on. This helps determine where your child is at on an academic scale)
English Basics (this site features English and Grammar worksheets for parents and teachers to copy and use with their kids)
Handwriting Worksheet Maker
Free Stuff Science Related (insect identification guide, life of the forest poster, free 3d spy glasses,etc)
Bella Online This is a plethora of different things)
Reekos Mad Scientist Lab (free science projects and experiments)

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