We have a 2nd grader on our hands! How time has flown by since we first started thinking about taking the homeschooling journey! I remember being petrified to start kindergarten and now here we are in 2nd grade!
We have done so much and I have learned event more since our adventure began! I feel way more confident but yet I still question every choice that I make when it comes to our curriculum. I want to make sure that I am giving her the best education that I can and that she knows what she needs to know. I really struggled this year with choosing a math program and a language arts program for her (which I will talk about in a bit) but I was finally able to make some pretty sound decisions after I attended the Texas Homeschool Coalition Convention in August. Wow, did that convention open my eyes! My heart was overjoyed to be with so many other families that have the same passion for educating their children and to meet with all of the curriculum vendors. It was amazing!
While Catherine is 2nd grader age wise, most of her curriculum is on a 3rd grade level. She is one smart little girl, because each year we wind up ending school earlier than anticipated because of crazy, busy schedules that seem to plague us in April.
Again, for this year we chose My Father’s World as the spine of our program. I just love how they set up their curriculum and how well rounded it is. I have also really been looking forward to this year where we are studying about countries and cultures. While we studied some countries in kindergarten after I ditched the curriculum we were using at the time, this time it will be more focused. I have seriously been looking forward to doing this program for 3 years!
My Father’s World will be focused on geography, Bible, social studies, and crafts.
Language Arts is the only subject that we are starting at the 2nd grade level. Somehow last year I did not go into LA as in depth as I should have. I was so focused on teaching Catherine to read and read well, that I lost focus on teaching her about the mechanics of the English language and the writing.
I had first chosen Abeka as the program we would use for LA but after visiting the vendors at the conference, I ended up choosing Rod & Staff. They were highly recommended by many, many families because of how thorough and yet gentle their approach is. It’s a very black & white, to the point and with not a lot of fluff type of program. I shied away from that because I tend to gravitate to loud & colorful text, graphics and worksheets. After looking at the textbooks a bit more in depth, I figured that for her core LA & spelling, we would go with Rod & Staff. I will be supplementing it with BJU Press (which I already had) and the Write Source series by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Math was another tough subject for me to choose as well. I am absolutely terrible at math and I don’t want my lack of mathematical fortitude to get in the way of Catherine learning this subject. I really struggled with math (just ask my Dad) and I definitely don’t want Catherine to struggle. As the years go on, I will have to become more dependent on John, the curriculum, and some tutors to get her where she needs to be. At first I had chosen Math-U-See because of the DVD that comes the program but after looking at Christian Light Education (CLE) at the conference, I decided to go with them. Like Rod & Staff, CLE is a Mennonite published curriculum. They provide a thorough, yet gentle approach to math that is broken down into small bite sized increments. It’s a spiral program, which I like. And it is designed to be an eventually self-taught curriculum (which is hard for me to fathom). Again, there is not a lot of fluff or flashy graphics but I have come to grips with that. For the first couple of weeks we will be doing some review using Math-U-See, which I had purchased used. And I plan on using the program as supplement to CLE as we need it.
This year we will also be doing some basic computer applications and a science program that John and I found at the convention. She will also be taking a science class from an individual that teaches homeschool classes.
We have already been in school for two weeks. Since we seem to have to finish up school in the mid-spring time frame, I like to get a jump on things earlier in the summer. So far the programs have worked out well. The first week we spent doing a unit study on the Statue of Liberty since the My Father’s World program hadn’t kicked into full gear yet. We had a lot of fun with that! And we have also been doing a unit study on horses since we were supposed to do that over the summer and never got around to it.
So far things are going pretty well. I spent all of last week sick with some sort of respiratory crud, so Catherine just worked on the basics. This week I am working on getting back into the swing of things. Hopefully, we will have a great year this year and learn lots of new things!!
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt