Saturday, November 12, 2011

Planning for next year

A while back we switched most of our subjects in school to Abeka. (You can read about it Here). I asked my children a couple of days ago what they thought about doing things the new way (mostly Abeka, all but Bible independently.) They unanamously said they preferd our new way. They all like having control of their own scheule (deciding if they do math first or science, deciding to just sit down and read the entire literature text at once and having it over with, etc.) and feel they have learned more to boot. This meshes with what I have observed so we will continue this course.

Now that our first complete year of mostly Abeka is done here is how things stand:

Math= We will continue with Math-U-See and Calculaddars (with Timez Attack computer game:-)

Science, Health, History, Geography, Literature= Abeka all the way. Definitly.

Art= Drawing textbook. I simply have not found any better curriculum for teaching drawing. I am still looking for something for art appriciation, though.

Music= lessons with Grandma plus Piano for quitters, and Music Ace computer program.

Spanish=Rosetta Stone

Phonics= Abeka

Penmanship= Abeka except possibly for my 7yo. She seems to be needing something more basic like handwriting without tears.

Grammar= Abeka, mostly because I can't find anything better. Abeka is a lot of work; somtimes too much work for my children. However, they have all learned more this year than any other so we will stay here.

Spelling= did I ever mention I hate spelling? It was my worst subject in high school (at the end of 8th grade I showed on standardized tests that I could do 8th grade work as well as a 12th grader...except for spelling. I scored at 4th grade for spelling).

Abeka spelling is simply not working. NO ONE finished their book.

Or even got half done. (I was having them learn most of the words in each lesson before going on to the next lesson)

The words are not very well connected and, well, no one is learning how to spell:-(

We will move to AVKOs Sequential Spelling for next year, though I won't use it according to directions.

The way AVKO is designed to be used is much too teacher intensive. We used it for a year that way and it just took too long and was way too slow for anyone to learn.

Now I will assign each child one book. They will study each lesson and then be tested on it each day. What words they don't pass they will study the next day plus enough words from the list to make an age-appropiate-length list. This will work well because of the built in review and phonetic connection of the words.

I like this program becasue of the phonetical order of the words. As they point out in their ads, you may run across "nice" in a typical first grade speller, "rice" in a second, "twice" in a third and "ice" in a fourth becasue those are the grades those words are introduced in the readers and science books.

The lists in the first of these books starts:


Day 2

Day 3

Since the words just build on each other, By the sixth day they can spell "beginnings." Yes, that happened with my kids when we used it before. and notice that they review spelling the word "in" 20 times, "sin" three times, and  "pin" five times in the first three days just through the tests.

I think this will really work for us. I hope it will becasue if it doesn't we are out of other options:-(

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