*Management reserves the right to change plan at any time. Without notice.
For the past several years, my Spring and Summer has had an element of the unknown. But usually right before our school year begins...it all just falls into place. And this year has been no exception.
For the most part...I thought I knew what I wanted. Except for Science. We have been using the Noeo science program for the past three years. I have been rather pleased. But for this year. Because it's 6th grade. And Middle school. I really think we need to step things up. And the demands on her with Noeo were just not enough. Also, I really wanted a seperate program for Earth Science/Astronomy which Noeo does not offer.
After some research...and recommendations. I went on a grand adventure to find the Prentice Hall Science Explorers series. The Prentice hall website is obviously not geared towards homeschoolers. Who want to see example pages. Table of contents. Access to teacher information. So...my friend Karen and I went to the textbook warehouse. (We may or may not have left the party hats at home) A one and a half hour drive. Where we were so close to Alabama that our cell phones couldn't decide what time it was.
The warehouse is a wow. It's old. Early 1900's I believe. With original hardwood floors. It's huge. Dusty. And overwhelming.One cannot browse the warehouse. Because there is no rhyme or reason to the stacks. Well, except for the owner. He knows where everything is. And he knows the content. Including the differences - or lack thereof - between editions.
So, when I asked to see the Prentice Hall book...he brought one to me. And a Holt. And a Glencoe. Because content wise, they are all the same. (and after checking it out...they are all the same!) So, what I really needed to judge was the presentation. And after much flipping. Comparing. Contrasting. I settled on the Holt. It has a great lab section in the back. The teacher's guide has lots of interdisciplinary notes. And I got all the teacher's resource materials (tests, critical thinking exercises, lab notes, games, and lots of other things I'll never use). For a FABULOUS price.
So...while I was sitting there. Flipping. Comparing. Contrasting. I asked Kemper (owner extraordinaire) if he had a CULTURAL Geography curriculum. Trust me. This is an ellusive item. Most geography books are physically or politically bent. But. Wonder of wonders. Kemper had just the solution. A book that actually combines all three elements.
This past year, Geography was new to our plan. And we didn't use a text book at all. We went to the library. Katie picked a country. And she read about that country all week. Some countries we spent a lot of time on. I think we spent over a month on India. We read about the culture. We might have read traditional stories. Researched the religions. We might have cooked. Or gone to festivals. It was Katie's favorite subject last year. So...why was I messing with what works? I have no idea.
But. I like the idea of having a spine as a launching point. And now we can cover a few more aspects. My plan is to make this book last for the next three years of Middle school. And hopefully we will conquer the globe.
The main reason that Karen wanted to go was to find a good grammar text. Last year, we did not really do grammar. I had her work out of a workbook called Daily Grams twice a week, just to keep her fresh. But, with her taking Latin. For four years. And the amazing foundation she had in first and second grade with First Language Lessons. She really didn't need a seperate program.
So, I got the student and teacher book. It is an 8th grade text. And I really like the way that it covers a grammar lesson. And then it switches to a writing exercise to focus on that concept. I am not sure how much we will use this. But it will be a great resource. And I imagine that I may use it in the Latin class that I teach. Because I constantly have to reinforce English grammar rules.
So...what about you? Do you have a favorite science subject? Country that fascinates you? Do you know another language?
(Coming soon: the rest of our plan for the school year; supplemental books; very cool games; posts that send all my regular readers into a 20 year sleep...)