The post where I spill about what worked, what didn't 2011/12

Here's where it gets real, friends.  Homeschool plans 2011-2012: What really happened-


Okay, homeschool mom in the field, reporting back....

My Plans:  The 3 youngest Students [together]

Bible: Possessing the Land (5th grade) Positive Action for Christ Curriculum

Sonlight History Core D  intro to American History (was called Core 3) [History, Geography and literature]

Wordly Wise (vocabulary)                                  Abeka cursive handwriting

Writing with Ease 2 by Susan Wise Bauer

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Chemistry level 1- Pandia Press

The Reality:

Sonlight American History - we slogged through this and got to week 19 or so.  I wasn't even really following the schedule anymore, just looking to see what book came next and if we wanted to do it.  I ended up using mostly "A History of U.S.A." workbooks from this core and then reading from "A story of US" series from Core 100 and doing narrations.  I don't have the whole Core3, what I have I've had stored away for a few years, so I don't feel bad about wasting money.   For next year, I am moving over to My Father's World- I was able to look through their TM at a conference and it looked easier to use.  They have an American History year we will be using.

Worldly Wise- didn't use much.  Writing With Ease 2- I still like it, we got about half-way through, we will keep using this through the Summer.

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Chemistry - found it delightful, Amie loved it but we only got to Chapter 2.  Instead, for Science we ended up using Teacher Created Resources Nonfiction reading workbook- I just picked the Science topics.  Bible- didn't get done much, will do some soul-seaching and planning for next year.

Individual Studies- 3 youngers:

MCT Grammar Island , Sentence Island, Practice Island, Music of the Spheres (poetry) etc.  - did a few chapters but decided the sit down one-on-one format was too difficult for me to follow through. I also was sad to see little retention in my kids.  I ordered Shurley Grammar 4 and began using it in May, will continue through the Summer. Instead, I used mostly the workbooks I had for standardized testing prep- I relied heavily on Daily Warm-ups: Language skills by Teacher Created Resources. It was easy to use. (I like easy)

Math: *Math: Math-U-See      *Horizons Math  *Mad Dog Math (multiplication)  it was all good, I was pleased with our picks and will continue using these.  This was our first year supplementing MUS with Horizons math- I was really pleased with Horizons, it was colorful, very easy to use, I hardly ever had to use the manual.  MUS was our main text, moving through Horizons was slow, we will continue with it through the Summer.

The Highschoolers: The plans-

Math: Math-U-See -Algebra I, Algebra II     Switched on Schoolhouse H.S. English  (minus essay assignments)

Switched on Schoolhouse HS Earth Science  Biology- Biola Star Program

Intro to Composition: Biola Star Program (Josie)  Inklings-Biola Star (Meg)

The Reality: 

I continue to be pleased with Math-U-See, we will stick with it through High School.  The Biola Star program continues to shine (pun intended) and I am so thankful for these classes.  Josie's composition class centered around IEW writing and also included grammar.

Switched on Schoolhouse English and HS Earth Science:  The Earth Science was a big fail.  Doing it on the computer drove me nuts.  I need to be able to look through the book, see where she is at, what is upcoming and how I can plan to add any projects/reports.  I had to order a study guide to use with this to flesh out the content.  I have decided that for my next 9th graders (Earth Science is required in Ca) I will be putting them in the Earth Science class at Biola which is geared for Jr. High, but I've heard the text and content is demanding enough for HS.  At least it will be easier to use and document (and will have a lab)

Switched on Schoolhouse English- I had the same problem using it on the computer, I ended up ordering the lifepac units for the 2nd semester which seemed to be exactly the same as the computer version.  It was better having the units in my hands- but we will not be using these again for High School.  I added on a few meaty books with sparks notes to this program for my 9th grader and 11th grader.  Switched on Schoolhouse English got us through the required subject for reporting purposes, but we had no joy using it, and English has always, always been my favorite subject.  My only joy came through reading The gift of the Magi, The Scarlett Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird on our own, with the help of Sparks notes for the 2 novels.

The Inklings class:  (English composition/Literature/Humanities) Biola Star program

This program was stellar.  I watched Meg's writing abilities soar, her reasoning abilities sky-rocket, enjoyment- discussion- logic-argument- it was all there.  I loved this class.  Unfortunately, it was a giant reading load, and mega-writing due every week.  As much as I loved her growth, we became alarmed as her other studies suffered, she got behind in her Algebra II studies and was not practicing her violin.  We had her drop the class at the end of the first semester.  I was sad to see it go, but she needs a strong Math finish.  It was also an expensive class, it was a relief to not pay the fee 2nd semester (total honesty here)

Biology with Biola Star was great, I loved all the lab work and projects they did (that I didn't have to...more honesty)

So, all the hits and misses at The Cliffs of Insanity Day School and St. Jenn's School for Exceptional Teens.  I'll set up our plans for 2012-2013 soon and put it under the homeschool tab at the top.

So friends, what were your hits and disasters?  Spill!