Friday, June 09, 2006

Wow! Where have I been?

It's been a mighty long time since I've been able to sit down and write something!

I finally got my copy of Starting A Spelling Notebook from Emmanuel Books. I wanted to see if it made more sense than the Teaching Reading at Home by Wanda Sanseri (not that I had a problem with TRAH... I just wanted to see if this resource would work better for us). I'll have to go over it this evening and make my decision.

This is the part of the school year that I truly love the best -- looking over the books, making plans, researching new material, etc. Heady stuff. Then again, I used to love getting ready for the new school year when I was younger too. I would go nuts over picking out notebooks, pens, erasers, etc. Weird, but my mom and I have always had this "thing" about stationery, so I think it all ties in together!

I'm finding soooooooo many good books out there for my kids, and it is hard to hold back. I have to remember what has worked for us in the past, and not get myself spread out in too many directions. This year will be tough enough as I officially teach the oldest three kids, with my fourth eagerly learning to read as well. Couple that with my 2 yr old who still needs help getting out the toys, getting juice, etc, and a 7 month old who just wants to be held all day, and I'm setting myself up for disaster (or early burn out) if I try to do too much.

Stay focused, kiddo. Stay focused.

We'll be sticking with the Faith and Life series for catechism. I was so impressed when I first came across it, and I get more impressed with each year that we use it.

The Writing Road to Reading, as complicated as it can be sometimes, is still a wonderful program for teaching reading, writing, and phonics. My 8 yr old consistently spells at a 6-7th grade level (and my 7 yr old spells on a 5th grade level), so I have to say I am very pleased with our success so far. I've used the Wanda Sanseri book as a supplement in years past, but I wanted to give Starting a Spelling Notebook a try this year. We'll see how it goes.

We'll be using Primary Language Lessons for our introduction to grammar.

Harp and Laurel Wreath will also be used again this year to give us some great poetry to memorize.

We'll stick with Saxon Math. I like it, it works well for us, and I see no need to change.

For science this year I bought Behold and See from Catholic Heritage Curricula. I've read through it and am VERY excited to get started with this!

For history we'll still be using The Story of the World. I think Susan Wise Bauer does a great job presenting the material and, for the most part, I have no complaint with how she tells the story. However, there have been times when I had to skip over parts of her chapter, or pull out stories of the saints to give the kids a fuller/more accurate picture of the time period in question. I'd like to give history a bit more thought, but for the time being, this is what we are doing.

If anyone reads this, I'd love to hear what you are using to teach your kids!

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