Sunday, June 26, 2011

I love to combine!

I'm still working on that Lesson plan post! We have a valuation due soon (hopefully) so I have been amidst a very large cleanup project to make our house look as spiffy as possible!

And I got a pressie!....A beautiful big, on wheels, whiteboard. Sooo pretty! We are using it for OPGTR right now, instead of index cards.

I ended up scrapping my curriculum posts, as I figured out it gets changed A LOT before I actually start planning it lol.

So what do we like in a curriculum? Well, I found I am not good with choosing "one" curriculum, or am I good at making one up from scratch, but I am quite adept at combining them for our own needs.

We love stuff that is very interactive and multi-platform. A nice book as the spine, coupled with fun, silly activities, lots of projects, some fun lapbooks, as well as software and movies. We like the whole she-bang. I think if a child is exposed to a subject via a variety of formats (TV, workbook, books, hands on activities) they are more likely to retain that information, than if you just use one source for your subject. So ultimately, at least for the bigger subjects (history, maths, science etc) our only option is to combine and supplement.

A word about combining/supplementing a program. I NEVER fully combine a program unless that program is quite lax. Putting two curriculum's together and doing everything is likely to result in burnout, not enough time, or the kids end up hating the subject. What I DO, is use ONE item as the spine, anything I add is tiny supplementals. I get very picky and choose (even from upto 5 separate curriculum's) what stuff from the others we would like /get time, to do. I make sure the program at the end of my planning is cohesive. I also make sure each day IS NOT choc-a-block full of stuff to do for that subject.

i.e. I am using Story of the World Volume 1 as my spine for history. I have multiple extra reference books, library books, History Odyssey Ancients, Myths, Marvels and Maps, and the SOTW Activity Guide. I have meshed all these together. BUT we have been really picky of what we plan to use from each separate resource, and quite often there is a day or two (on a couple of weeks 3-4days) a week where there is no activities/extras. Just because you can/want to combine a program does not mean that you have to use "every last resource" of it to get your moneys worth. Had I been good at ideas, I could of gotten away with just the SOTW book, and come up with my own. Most of these resources I also plan to use the next time round through history.

Remember, in the end its all about making learning fun for your individual child, and spending some time just watching them grow up!


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