After a good six weeks of homeschooling for this year it has started to come to my attention the things that are working for us.... truthfully, not much isn't working, but I think that is because we started small and add on something new every couple of weeks. For my own records, I thought I would write a little about what our favorites are so far:
I can't say enough about this great program. My daughter began it last November. Right now we are finishing Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and also studying the US Constitution. Today my daughter wrote a preamble to the constitution of our household and completed a US Constitution crossword puzzle. Sonlight provides wonderful direction in its history and for a book lover like my daughter it is a perfect fit.
I had heard so much about other math programs and many people had steered me away from Horizons, but I am glad I went with my instincts on this one. I am amazed at the difficult concepts my children are grasping, and without much difficulty. Horizons' spiral approach and constant review makes new concepts easy. Today, for example, we were working on fractions with like numerators and different denominators. I was illustrating to my daughter that the fractions with more parts (larger denominator) would always be the lesser fraction. She said "I knew that - we went over that already." Yes, we had - but just in a very brief introduction yesterday. I was impressed she made the mental leap.
The Kindergarten program is accelerated and engaging. My son is 1/2 way through, and I anticipate by the holidays we will be ready for level 1. We use the manipulatives daily, and both of my children like the colorful workbook and sophisticated approach to math.
Easy Grammar (Grade 4)
There are lots of different thoughts out there about grammar, but I believe in a rigorous approach that teaches the rules and teaches them early, so that my children have the tools to be good writers. Easy Grammar is great - understandable lessons and I'm shocked to hear my daughter say grammar is her favorite subject.
I have blogged about this before and still contend it is a beautiful introduction to grammar. My five year old has memorized several poems, is learning about common and proper nouns, and is learning to narrate to me quite nicely. We do a lesson each day, and use our large (portable) dry erase board and lots of fun colors of markers to practice writing.