Looking into curriculum for next school year.

Discussion in 'General' started by 3timesblessed, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. 3timesblessed

    3timesblessed Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    We are coming to the end of our first year of homeschooling and I am starting to research curriculum choices for next school year when my daughter will be in first grade. I know for sure I will not be using the same curriculum as I did this year. I have noticed that math is not a strong subject for my daughter and the program we are using this year was quite boring and felt like we did the same thing over and over again and it is just not working for us. I am thinking we need a more hands on approach to math to get her engaged and help it to click for her. I was curious if anyone has used Math-U-See and what you think about it. I am thinking this would be a good fit for her, but would love to hear from somebody who has used the program. Or if you have any other recommendations for first grade curriculum. Our first year homeschooling I felt compelled to buy a complete curriculum set from the same company. Now I see that we will probably be buying different subjects from various places to fit our needs.Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I've used MUS with 5 of my kids (the girls are only just getting toward the end of the Primer though). It's been great for the youngest 3. Not so much with the oldest 2. I think Sage would have done better with it if I hadn't required her to move so fast through it. Taking it slower would have been a better fit. But by the time I realized it, I had already switched to Life of Fred with Trey and she begged me to let her change too. So I did. Personally, I love MUS. I think he does a great job of explaining the information in a way that really works for my brain. It was a horrid fit for Trey, and LoF has been soooo much better. But even he did through Gamma with it. He was learning the info fairly decently but he HATED it and it was a major source of angst for our homeschooling day. On the other hand my youngest three LOVE it and are learning the information really well. Adam (3rd grade) is just about to start Epsilon (essentially 5th grade), and consistently scoring 97-100%.
  3. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    We use MUS here. My oldest has the hardest time with math but she can handle MUS. There was a time when I disagreed with Mr. Demme (the math instructor for MUS) on how to teach long division and knew it wouldn't work for her, so we just stopped watching the videos during that time. After that I was leery about the next level so I switched to Teaching Textbooks on the computer. Let's just say after that school year we went right back to where we left off on the MUS order. I will warn you though, MUS is not a fun and exciting math program. The pages are plain white with black text. It is also a mastery program so the kids are not supposed to move on until they show they really have the idea/facts for that lesson. I fudge on that one a bit as long as they show they can do most of them as they do review throughout the book. I highly recommend MUS, but caution that once you start with it, you really need to see it through at least through Delta (division) as it has a unique scope and sequence that will show up as "gaps" in other programs that introduce a whole lot of different things in each level.
  4. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I lurk here a lot ( homeschooling sounds better and better to me)...

    Have you ever checked out Kahn Academy? It's free and webbased & oh so cool.
  5. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    That's interesting, I didn't realize that. Luckily we did with my kids who switched. Trey was through Delta and Sage was part way into Zeta.
  6. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I realized it even a little coming out of Delta. So many other curriculums introduce things like multiplication while still learning how to add and subtract. We found that DD needed a crash course in beginning fractions and decimals before switching to TT for that year as most would have already gone over it.
  7. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    I'm another one who loves MUS. My kids are in first grade this year and math went so smoothly for us. It is hands on, but like Jenn said, it isn't colorful and exciting. We supplemented a bit with some math games to help really cement the concepts and add some fun. But, I didn't do that for every unit.

    For everything else, I have a huge mix and match. I use Five in a Row (FIAR) for our main curriculum. This covers social studies, language arts, art, applied math (you supplement for math concepts), and science. It is literature based. You read a single picture book every day for five days (I tend to stretch that out for longer than a week) and focus on a different subject every day. My kids love it and I was surprised how much they learned!

    They had already learned to read in K with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. This left them reading at a 2nd grade level. This year I used worksheets, sight word lists, and just lots and lots of reading to keep them going. My kids read for 20 minutes a day (we slowly worked up to this the first few weeks of school). I also started doing spelling which has also helped with reading. I am using Sequential Spelling for that. But, that isn't really recommended until 2nd grade. I decided to give it a try and see if it would work for my kiddos. We actually had to put it away until January, but they were ready and eager by then.

    Another thing my kids do every day is copywork. This helps them with both reading and their handwriting. I just print pages off the internet for that. Just type in "copywork" and you will find tons. I also sometimes have them dictate a story or "essay" to me and I type it out. Then, they copy their own words. They love making books doing that!

    Those are our basics. We also do Bible and typing. I'm currently using Leading Little Ones to God for Bible. It is a bit old fashioned in the art and some of the wording. But, it explains really deep concepts in a way that kids can really understand and gives so much more than basic Bible stories. For typing I use this free website.

    Hopefully you can find something in that mixed bag that might help you!
  8. shoudeshell

    shoudeshell Well-Known Member

    I too am a MUS user! My kids love it! All four of my kids are using MUS right now, and it is working for them all. I love that it is a mastery approach to learning. The public school they were going to before I pulled the older two out used a spiral approach to math. It was confusing them both in learning their math facts. Because of all that I cannot recomment MUS enough!

    As for the other things, I use www.homeschoolreviews.com to see what other people think of certain curriculum. I haven't done anything for 1st grade yet, so I can't really help there! :pardon: My twins are going into Kindergarten this year, and then I'll have a 7th grader and a 4th/5th grader.

  9. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    What are you doing with your 7th grader this year? Other MUS, I am completely undecided about it.
  10. shoudeshell

    shoudeshell Well-Known Member

    I'm very eclectic, so no box thing for me. For my 7th grader we'll use Abeka's literature, spelling and vocab (for the vocab mainly), and their history. I'm trying out their stuff for the first time. I'll have her do some copywork/dictation from the Spelling Wisdom book I bought last year. (it didn't help her spelling like I hoped it would!). Then I'm putting her through All About Spelling for spelling with her. She's an awful speller, and I think she just really needs to find the reasons why we spell certain words the way we do. Then she'll continue one more year of shared science with her brother using the elementary Apologia science. I'll have her use the jr high/middle school stuff next year. Our teacher supervisor is planning on organizing a writing workshop, and so she'll go through that as well.

    As for my reasons for the Abeka stuff, I looked at a friend whose daughter used them this past year. I liked the literature book because it reminded me of lit in jr high and high school. I loved those books. I hope she will, too. We were using Wordly Wise for vocab, but it just doesn't seem to be a good fit for my kids. And as far as history, both older kids dislike all forms of history, so I thought a text book and tests may be a wake up call to her to show her that narration and living books just might be better after all!

    And we too use MUS for math! :)

    I hope that explains everything! If not ask away! :)
  11. NINI H

    NINI H Well-Known Member

    Have any of you tried Thinkwell for middle school/high school math? We are switching this year for either Algebra 2 or Pre-cal.
  12. Kessedi

    Kessedi Well-Known Member

    Good morning to all students! I understand how difficult your period is now, because before I was a student myself. When I had problems, I tried to solve them quickly. I did all the tasks myself, but I always trusted the guys from the site https://www.essaywritingnz.com/, because they did their job great.
  13. Daneshka

    Daneshka Member

    The next year my eldest son goes to middle school and I became curious to learn more about modern teaching methods. I know that the school where my son is studying bought a specially development curriculum for modern children, so I decided to look at middle school science lesson plans. This is a really very interesting way of teaching, where there are many labs. This means that children will be able to use their knowledge in real life and see how it works during the experiment. I think this is something that can motivate children to spend more time studying science.
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