Monday, September 10, 2012

And Now For the Grade Five Line Up

   Yesterday I outlined the programs and resources my daughter is using for Grade Nine. Planning for my son has been a little easier as we're simply continuing with many of the things we had success with last year. I've finally learned what I think is probably one of the most important lessons in homeschooling, it's not the curriculum, it's the commitment. I can be swayed by all the fun and fancy programs out there but ultimately the ones that bring the most success are those I simply keep puttering away at and refuse to give up on even when they get boring and hard for Harry and I.

   English is finally starting to feel like a real subject. Harry is finished the Dancing Bears reading series and is now a confident and capable reader. He's still working through Apples and Pears spelling from the same publisher and will likely finish the last two levels during this school year. For grammar it's back to KISS. Yes, the site is hard to navigate and yes, there's a lot of printing but it's free and probably one of the best grammar programs out there. So far he's enjoying it. For writing It's Writing With Ease which he definitely isn't enjoying right now but I don't care. I've learned the virtue of pushing him through things he's not found of because he eventually reaps and enjoys the reward.

   Math became a bit of an issue because I was skipping back and forth between Singapore Primary Mathematics and Math Mammoth. Harry liked both but I kept running into issues where one would work for one concept but another was better for something else. I solved it this year by going with the Key to...Series. Since Harry understands arithmetic we'll keep it fresh with drills and occasional worksheets but otherwise he needs a more specific and in depth program for each of the concepts that are starting to pop up in math.

   History may finally get done this year. I'm back to Gombrich's Little History of the World. It's a magical book that seems to work well for Harry. Bringing Up Learners offers it's Mosaic World History program for free and LHotW is one of the two spines you can use. I'm modifying it quite a bit as it's a bit young for Harry but it's still a great outline for us to follow.

   Science is, as always, the toughest subject for me. There's nothing out there that is really written for homeschoolers from a secular perspective. With Harry I'm simply going to read lots and have him do some notebooking.


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