Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wow, I haven’t even posted yet in 2010!

That’s nuts.  I had no idea!

Anyway, we are off to the races with Gracie’s first grade year.  I hadn’t planned to start til after Labor Day but we got her books weeks ago and she’s been seeming a little bored so I said “what the heck!” and we hit the books.

Gracie is doing Options again this year.  We’ve moved and the drive is going to be looong, but she made good friends and it doesn’t seem worth trying to move her to another location.  It’s only one day a week.  I think most of the time it should be fine.  The snow could throw a kink in things, but we’ll see. 

The nice thing about Options is that because it’s a public school program we have access to curriculum for free.  This is a huge thing to me since curriculum is expensive.  And there’s so much out there, you could go for days and days comparing it and then finally get it only to find it’s not really what you thought.  Options narrows the field a bit and then has a book fair where I was able to go in and look at every subject, the books, teachers editions, workbooks, and manipulative.   It was wonderful to go in and see everything and helped make choosing very easy.

So, for 1st grade Gracie is doing the following classes:

Math- We are doing Math-U-See  So far I love it and Gracie is really digging it too.  It’s similar to Saxon with it’s repetitiveness and I taught Saxon (eons ago now) so it’s comfortable for me.

Reading- No text.  We’re just reading.  I’m pretty confident she’s reading above grade level right now and honestly I hate reading text books.  So we’re using the library.  A lot.  And Goodwill, great place to get good classical literature.

Spelling-  Spelling Power.  It’s good and basic with lots of ideas for fun and games as review.  I like it because it’s so comprehensive, it’s one book for kids K-12.

Grammar- No text.  I figure if she’s reading good literature and she can spell that the grammar will follow.  I know some would disagree but at this point it’s what works.

Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears  This one I didn’t get through Options, they actually didn’t have anything for handwriting which I thought was weird.  So I did some research, had this recommended by a few people, and jumped.  So far I like it and again, I really like the approach it takes with fun learning activities that don’t just involve a workbook.

Creative Writing- Writing Strands  It’s a basic simple small book with lots of ideas for introducing good and creative writing for children.   There’s no text for students.  Again, lots of activities that don’t necessitate sitting with a book and holding a pencil.  Do you see a pattern in my philosophy of teaching here?  ;)

Social Studies- MacMillan People and Places-  I think this will be ok, but not awesome.  It will expose her to things which is good.  I think a lot of it is really dumbed down which annoys me, but that’s just the way it is with a lot of text books.  We will probably supplement the information in this book a lot.

Science- Scott Foresman Penguin-  Kind of like Social Studies this book will be a nice catalyst but it’s not exactly stimulating information so far. 

Art-  Atelier Homeschool Art-  Love this so far.  Really love it.  Gracie loves art and I am not artistically gifted, like at all.  But I can do this stuff with her and it makes it easy!!  Also it includes fine art prints and guided discussion.  Sadly I have had very little exposure to any of that my entire life, so I think I will learn as much as she does!

Spanish- Power Glide Language Adventure-  This is Gracie’s favorite by far.  This girl has the desire to speak with anyone of any language and she will learn it.  Period!  She’s torn through lessons this week, luckily it’s totally on CD so I can sit back and learn with her. 

We will be doing Math, Reading, and Spelling M-Th.  The rest of the subjects will be twice a week.  Then on Fridays she will have whatever they do at Options this year.  It will most likely be Science, Spanish, Art, and PE.  I think that’s what they did last year.    She’s also in weekly piano lessons, weekly gymnastics class starts the end of this month, and hopefully show choir will start next month (they are having enrollment issues so there’s a chance it won’t start which is so so so so sad).

So there it is folks.  My first post of 2010.  I sure hope to do another one before she’s in 2nd grade! :)

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