I have discussed in previous blogs how I utilize an eclectic "Open & Go" curriculum approach. It's the best balance between making sure the kids GET what they need educationally while affording the most flexibility to move around the various needs of our family as a whole.
I have had some GREAT discussions with fellow homeschool families on WHY I chose an Open & Go approach and someone mentioned I should type a blog post discussing what we chose for this year and WHY! I thought it was a GREAT idea and so, here it is!
2017-2018 CURRICULUM 'Eclectic - Open & Go'
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Our CORE Basics we use nearly every year now:
Daily Learning Binder (custom) -- I began homeschooling 4 years ago and learned about the value of a Daily Learning Binder from Confessions of a Homeschooler. If you haven't checked out her site, you should. She is incredibly smart, and her site offer tips and tricks that are nothing short of AMAZEBALLS! I have created a modified one that suits my needs for this year and it's working well. We cover the daily info (dates/weather/etc) and even break down our Faith/Character building work as part of it as well. It encompasses some GREAT skills the kids need to know but in an easy, seamless, way. This year's 'custom creation' took me a bit of time but once the binders were set-up it's again OPEN & GO friendly.
Handwriting W/O Tears -- This has been with us since our 2nd year of homeschooling and it's a great curriculum. If you begin early enough it includes pre-school readiness elements with music and manipulatives. I'm in LOVE with it and can honestly attest that I've had GREAT interaction with their customer service people over the years. We began with pre-school and then into printing and as of last year my big guy began cursive. It's a SOLID program!
Keyboarding W/O Tears -- This is an extension of the HWOT curriculum but adds in a fun keyboarding element using familiar graphics. My big guy started it last year and the twins get to begin this year and they are pumped.
Math-U-See -- This has also been with us since our 2nd year of homeschooling and I may never give it up EVER! The program begins as the Primer level with an easy introduction to all sorts of math concepts. The book itself may seem bulky and work-sheet heavy but don't let that fool you. They include a CRAZY amazing set of manipulatives that are incorporated in some form for nearly every lesson. The blocks make math FUN for my kiddos and the colors help incorporate a tangible hands-on connection to the numbers. The SAME manipulatives you purchase year 1 are re-used year after year. This year I even splurged and bought 2 more sets for my three kids could all have their own! They offer DVD instruction for those who have kids that respond well to that, and more.
All About Reading -- This is definitely my largest time investment right now. My kids are 8 and twin 6's so getting these crucial fundamentals in place are very important to me. We spend more time here than nearly anywhere else in our standard school day. The curriculum covers basic reading skills but again includes elements on tablets/iPads, manipulatives, sticker charts for motivation and even 'year-end' certificates of completion. My kids are learning LOADS and doing it with excitement and a fully tactile environment!
All About Spelling -- The sister curriculum to our Reading program is the All About Spelling
program. We didn't begin it right away, opting to follow their recommendation to WAIT until the READING was more fluid. But once we did the results have been great. And as with the AAR program, this has fun manipulatives, magnetic letter tiles, flash cards, sticker charts and more so my kids stay super motivated! And fear not. Both the AAR and AAS programs offer assistance to overcome many learning challenges that kids can encounter and the parent resources are GREAT!
Our FUN "additions" we added this year:
We tried the World Geography kit in the past when my boys were younger and they loved it. This year however I wanted to detail in a little bit more so I decided to do the US Geography set. Each Month my kids will receive a magazine-sized activity booklet that covers two states. The magazine will contain educational games, puzzles, word games, worksheets, arts and crafts and so much more. The boys will be learning all about the good ol' US of A but having FUN doing it! It's a GREAT way to introduce geography at these young ages!
Kiwi Crate STEM Kits -- This one makes me particularly giddy.....
Faith/Character Building add-ons this year:
Let Us Pray -- this is a simple "lap book' I was able to modify to fit within their daily learning binders. Last year we did a Character trait study this same way and it fit well. This year we are diving into a deeper knowledge of PRAYER. STAY TUNED -- it's gonna be awesome and I'll review it all later!
So that's it....Stay tuned because if we tweak our plan thru the year I may update this post or blog-up a new one! I'm excited to break into it all with our new school year starting soon (soft start began this week). All of my curriculum is set up to be OPEN and GO friendly. WE can flex around the needs of my Type 1 Diabetic child, or the many needs of me juggling my writing/blogging work. Consequently we get to homeschool while we travel too! It's a WIN WIN WIN!
PS - As always I can't say enough good things about these handy clipcase boxes from Dexas. I have used the SAME ONES for nearly 4 years now. They are THE PERFECT addition to our busy on-the-go school format. I can slide nearly ANY of the above curriculum right inside and my kiddos can learn from wherever we are!