Since my last post on curriculum I have found and added a few items that I am pretty excited about! I felt our science and history curriculums were lacking, in the way of being fairly boring. Two important subjects that should not be made boring to kids when there are sooo many fun and interesting things to learn! We also added an Art text…which I’m interested to see how we will use. I was BIG into art when I was in high school, but I hadn’t thought beyond arts and crafts for 1st grade I guess…
For the subject of History, I was really struggling to find something that would work for us, I wanted something secular to begin with, as I’ve said, we are Christian but I do believe in evolution, so I had a hard time as some of the more popular home school curriculums are religion based. While reading the reviews for “The Story of the World” by Susan Wise Bauer, I came across a book by the name of “A Little History of The World” by E.H. Gombrich, the description of this book immediately struck a chord with me, and I was excited to have FINALLY found something that seemed to be what I want. I loved the idea of history being told in story format for my 1st grader, I felt this would be much more interesting than a text, and I can elaborate on points she is interested in. I have only read two chapters so far, and it is told in an almost magical way that I am sure will capture her in just the first few sentences. It explains going back in time, starting with having the child think of themselves as a toddler, then a baby, then their parents as children and babies, and there grandparents and so on… which is about the only way to give children of this age the concept of time and history. It moves quickly through the prehistoric times, giving just a good idea of how things progressed while at the same time giving the depth of how much time this all took. I look forward to seeing how K.T. reacts to this way of learning about history.
In addition to this text, I also wanted to have a hands on component for history, I came across History Pockets, and have purchased the “Ancient Civilizations” volume, K.T. is already excited to try this! It seems like it will be a lot of fun to put the pockets together, and I love that it will give her something to keep and look back on. In the book there are cutouts for puppets and masks, ancient calendars etc. It shows how different people dressed and symbols they used for rituals etc. Lots to do, I can see just this one volume taking an entire semester to complete.
For science I have added 4 texts/books in addition to our Daily Science work book. (I was able to get them for a really great price as a Usborne consultant!) For the hands on portion I purchased 365 Science Activities which is fairly self-explanatory I think. To get kids involved in science I think you must have a hands on portion! Of course there are lots of ideas to be found on the internet, if you don’t have a text, but well…I like books, so I made it happen! haha. For our general questions about science we got Usborne’s First Encyclopedia of Science, this is just a great well rounded reference book, which also includes some experiments. Since we will be visiting Nova Scotia for a good portion of the summer I wanted to focus some of our science classes on the ocean, so I purchased the First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans which is just a wonderful overview of marine life, I plan to take this down to the beach with us, and just see what we can find! It is also internet linked so you can find so much more information than this volume holds if needed. The last one I purchased is really just based on K.T.’s interests. She has always been interested in weather, like tornadoes and volcanoes etc… so I purchased Weather & Climate Change, Usborne has many books about weather etc, so I’m sure I will be getting more than this one! I THINK I finally feel ready to home school, and now I just need to avoid looking at more curriculum, because I think I have a new obsession!
The last book I ordered, and haven’t received yet is the Usborne Children’s Book of Art. I will only be starting a very basic idea of art history with K.T., and this book is rated at 10+ for artistic nudity, which doesn’t bother me, but still may be a little advanced for her. I was interested in it because I have seen really great reviews on this text for home school and I look forward to seeing what it consists of! I will let you know!
What curriculums are you using?? Please comment!
Ooops, I forgot one (shhh) I think I have a problem…