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Curriculum Picks for 2016-2017 (2nd & 4th grades)

 Lukka's new math text book- Beast Academy

I honestly meant to write this a solid two months ago when bouquets of newly sharpened pencils* were like stars in my eyes, but let's just cut to the chase-that back-to-school Great Expectations mumbo jumbo is over and we're eyeballs thick into the work of the year. So far, the past 6 weeks have been going pretty well, but talk to me at the beginning of February and I may have 4 pencils sticking out of my hair, glue hanging off the table in a hardened state, and tears of mania in my eyes. 

Besides my less than stellar blogging stats as of late, I do want to share our curriculum for the year, because I find those posts by other home schoolers both fun and helpful to me when I'm in a slump, need to switch, or just find something new to get the train up the hill (I'm looking at you, early May sunshine!). Here's what we've got for the kids:

Lukka is starting a new math program this year after 4 years of Singapore. We love Singapore, and if Beast Academy doesn't work out, we'll go back. But...I had to try a curriculum that I'd heard good things about (though it's so new most vendors don't even know about it) that has a full-color comic book for each textbook level.  Ani is working on Singapore 2B, having finished 2A in first grade. She's nearly half-way through it in just 6 weeks, so I don't doubt she'll move up to level 3 within the year. She's always been a math whiz. We also had the school buy us Say Cheese, a multiplication board game for extra practice. 

During Morning Time we usually do bible, handwriting, and a read-aloud (usually a chapter of a novel). We're still using the Ergermeier kid's bible, an Odyssey devotions based in Matthew, and  the Truth & Grace Memory Book 1 from my online friend Renee. Every once in awhile they'll watch something on our school-subscription of Right Now Media, which I love but barely find the time to get to. 
The kids have started using Handwriting without Tears; Ani doing level 1 printing and Lukka doing level 3 cursive, which he finds much easier than print.  For Language Arts, we're reading through the entire Narnia series in their originally published order, and we're 2 books down. Ani is still working steadily at one level per day on ReadingEggs.com and Lukka is now on Level 3 of Susan Barton remedial phonetic program. He is on an iep for dyslexia and has been since early Spring. More info on that soon. 

This year the kids are a part of a local co-op and that has been so wonderful. Lukka's class is learning about the Japanese Canadian internment during WWII, and taking learning camps (4-8 week focused programs that our school puts out) including Little Bits and Cubelets. Later in the year he'll be doing an awesome hands-on Space unit, and another term is unknown to me as of now. Ani's group (the group I teach with) are doing a Grammar/ Parts of Speech lapbook and also a Geography/Wonders of the World unit study, which has been not only so fun, but so full of great learning, too. Later she'll be doing a Private Eye (writing, nature study, art) unit and also a lapbook on nutrition. There is one other term unaccounted for that is unknown subject matter to me but another teacher is in charge of that!

As for social studies, this first term the kids are learning all about First Nations tribes of the Pacific side from BC up north through the Artic circle, including tribes like Haida, Coast Salish, Inuit, and more. We've been reading myths, learning about culture including art, tools, daily life and also about geography and food sources in their areas. One of two best books we've used (mostly all library resources) are A Native American Thought of It! Inventions and Technology and Keepers of the Animals, an anthology. The kids are creating lapbooks about what they find interesting in all our study. 

Right now, these are the things we've been using on a daily or weekly basis and have been enjoying. I haven't been focusing on Science this term but we'll get to it later. I like to divide Socials and Science into different terms so we can go deep with the subject matter and not feel rushed. What are your kids enjoying in their school year? 

*Always watch You've Got Mail in the Fall. It's a thing.

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