Friday, August 10, 2007
What curriculum do you use? Where do you buy it? Have you found a "gem" that you must share with others? Was something in particular a complete failure for you and your kids?
Curriculum. I love to research and buy curriculum....if I could afford it, I would probably be a curriculum junkie....but thankfully I cant. One of the biggest things that has helped me in my curriculum decisions was a book (I checked it out of the library, but it is now on my wishlist) is "Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Curriculum Picks". It not only discusses her favorite curriculum, but learning styles and teaching styles and what curriculum best fits those styles.
I am electic in my approach, which means, I dont buy packaged curriculum, but get a little from here and a little from there. I like Susan Wise Bauer's approach to history, learning in chronological order and doing four year rotations, so the child has it 3 times in their 12 years. I also like the idea of teaching our children one of the classical languages. We have chosen Latin, because not only does it help with half the English vocabulary words (most of the other words in English are from the Greek), but also makes learning the other Romance languages easier. This year I am trying to fit music and art to fit the time period which we are studying. I think if I had to pick a packaged curriculum to use, it would be "My Father's World".
For science I was also trying to follow SWB's four year rotation of Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry and Physics....but this year we are taking a break and using Beautiful Feet's History of Science, using a combination of whole books with experiments.
We use Math U See for our math program because I like Mr. Demme's approach to math and it covers all the learning styles for math. Grammar I am still trying to find the right fit! This year we will be trying Abeka, because that is what God has provided for us to use. I do like Abeka's Health & Safety curriculum, at least the 3rd grade program which we used last year. I found it to be very thorough and after the first couple of lessons, my daughter really started enjoying it.
I purchase most of my curriculum online through ebay, other auction boards or sale boards. There are some things I get at a curriculum fair or used books sales (my sister has a list wish ofa mine and picks some things up for me as well). I very rarely buy anything new or for full price. I usually try to find it for no more than half price and that would include shipping.