Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Searching for Curriculum

I've been looking on-line for homeschool curriculum for 2nd grade. I was disappointed to see Switch-On Schoolhouse doesn't start until the 3rd grade because I was thinking Savannah would really do well with something computer based. So then I came across Time 4 Learning and really liked their site. Anybody out there familiar with them?

Last year I used Saxon Math, but to be honest...all the repetition is a little much. By the end of the year Savannah was bored out of her mind! We used a Brain Quest workbook to supplement all subjects. We used a phonics dictionary for spelling and Horizon's language arts. We used an art based penmanship book. She read Horrible Harry books, Magic Treehouse, A Beka grade level books, the newspaper and anything else she could get her hands on. I think we read close to 200 books...she loves reading. Anyway, I'm feeling scattered and the need to be more structured for her sake and mine.

If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to leave me a comment, let me know what has worked for you or what didn't! Let me know if you think going with one particular curriculum is better (like Abeka) or if you think mix and match works. Can't wait to hear from you. Thanks!


gina m said...

Let me offer a suggestion born out of my own failing as a home-schooler. Use a language arts curriculum that is strong in writing composition, like Bob Jones. My biggest failure as a homeschool mom was to buy into the theory that the repetitive writing was unnecessary at the second-grade level.

It is SO very necessary because it is the foundation of their composition studies. I let it slide with Opie (my oldest) and this year when we returned to public school, he paid the price.

Even if you don't plan to ever utilize group schooling methods, do NOT neglect the composition. Bob Jones is a tremendous program, and I wish I had used it for the entire year of second grade instead of only the second half.

We used primarily A Beka for the first two years, with other things supplementing. The last year, we switched halfway through to Bob Jones (after spending HOURS at the Homeschool Store in Houston looking at curriculum). I felt like it was so much stronger than A Beka.

Just my 2 cents.

Kathy said...

Gina, my thinking is that at 2nd grade having only one topic on computer is advisable. Explode the Code which has an online program that looks pretty cool. I've thought about using it with my son who is somewhere between 1st and 2nd grade. He would be going into
1st, but we started him when he was ready....so it's kind of hard to place him.

For both children I have used Bob Jones English and Reading for their 1st three years. Bob Jones English is very strong. It was extremely helpful to Bethany. Daniel gets a bit weary with it, so I am considering a combined program for next year for him. Horizon's combines phonics/Reading in 2nd grade. Have you looked at that? Also, a friend of ours uses Sing Spell Read and Write and has had great success with it, and just supplements with additional readers from Bob Jones and adds in a handwriting program. Her son also loves to read.

We went to Learning Language Arts Through Literature for Bethany about March of this year....she was really struggling with the amount of writing with Bob Jones.

Math-this year we used Horizons which was easy to teach. My son wants to do that again for next year. I've heard that Saxon Math (using the DIVE CD's) gets better after 3rd grade-so that would be Saxon 54. I have it and it does look better. I am still considering Horizons and Bob Jones for Math. With BJ you just have to use creative ways to use their classroom methods at home.

I also have heard that Rod and Staff English is very strong in the fundamentals especially in English. You could also look at Easy Grammar. We'll probably use that some this year.

Susan Wise Bauer has something called Writing with Ease. It looks great.

Also, for fun, check out Moving Beyond the Page. It's for gifted students, but not exclusively. We have purchased some of it. They are really good at combining literature and writing. Progeny Press is good on reading studies also.

Well, I hope I haven't worn out my welcome on this question. We are in the midst of a curriculum search ourselves.

Blessings and prayer and God's design for this next year!