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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Curriculum

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A few weeks before Belle was born this past winter, My Beloved determined that it was almost time for Tornado (5) to start on a math and handwriting curriculum.  He needed something more.  Something official.  Something to keep me accountable to doing it.  Something to help us look back and see real progress.  I don't know that all our children will begin such a thing at this age, but I agreed with My Beloved.  Tornado was ready.  If only I could bring myself to do it.  Consistently. 

In continuing with our completely rational and non-defensive discussion of this whole topic that day last February, I was able to share with him some ideas I had to fulfill his wishes.  As it turns out, I'd thought about it already.   I simply hadn't made any decisions on when to begin.

I'd already done a bunch of research and had determined that, when it was time, I wanted to use Math-U-See for math.  I liked the look of the program, loved that it went all the way through high school math, and the price is reasonable.  I just didn't realize that it was time.

I'd been thinking through handwriting too.  My big hang-up over starting was that I hadn't decided which manuscript to teach.  I didn't really *love* any of them.  Then I found BJU's Precursive New... downloadable!  I liked the look of their manuscript and their curriculum.  Perfect!

When My Beloved brought this up, it's entirely possible that he meant for me to be thinking things through for the next "school year".  I'm really not sure.  I never asked.  Instead, (with his blessing) I started a new plan.

I mentioned already that I wasn't as consistent with our 2011-2012 year as I'd hoped.  Various stages of pregnancy helped with that.  My own lack of discipline and organization were a part of it too.

What I don't think I've ever mentioned is that I intended this past year to be an unofficial kindergarten year.  I don't care much about grade levels anyway, and I figured that, if need be, next year could be "real" kindergarten.  Tornado has always seemed ahead of the curve, and while I don't intend to push him into academics (I really like the delayed academics approach in general), I also want to follow his readiness cues.

So I set to work figuring out a new plan.  I purchased the Math-U-See "Alpha" level curriculum and, having already spent the money on math, designed handwriting worksheets for each of the letters and numbers.  (With My Beloved's blessing of course!) 

Next Week:  The plan

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At July 11, 2012 at 9:51 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

I think grade levels are a tricky thing. I love the idea of having my children learn at their own pace with no regard for what grade they are in. BUT I don't like not having a marker to know "where" they are. I have this fear that they'll turn 16 or 17 or 18 and I won't know when to graduate them. For us, we've decided to use grade levels as a guide for us, but not put a lot of meaning behind them.

For example, my Owen is in "1st grade," but he is working on a 3rd grade math level. I contemplated having him "skip" a grade to catch up, but my mom reminded me that when he is 16, do I want him to be done school and ready to go into the world or do I want him to have the flexibility to wait until he is mature enough to venture on.

Anyway, sorry for my rabbit trail. :-) Enjoying this series of posts.

At July 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM , Blogger ~Babychaser~ said...

So glad you're enjoying it! I may just have to do a post on just this topic... grade levels. :)


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