We are in the second week of the 2014 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, and this weeks topic is Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science. I will be sharing what has been working for my kids. My son is 12 and my daughter is 5.
For my son we are using A+ Tutor Soft. We are currently working on Grade 3 but will be graduating to Gr 4 here shortly. My son has had a hard time with Math and is a little behind because of his cognitive delay and how I was doing things. He seems to be progressing now that I have found something that works. We use the online version. He has his own password and I have mine. I am able to keep track of his grade online. Each lesson is accompanied by a video and online interactive practice session. You have the choice to do the worksheets online or print them. I also print the text book portion so that he has a visual to use when we print the worksheets. He is doing very well. It takes us about 20 – 30 minutes to get through a lesson. You also have the choice to print or take the the exam for each chapter online.
For my daughter we are using Math U See Primer. We are actually almost done with the Primer and will be moving into Alpha. I really like that this has had a soft approach. At the beginning of every lesson we watch a short video on a DVD so we know what the lesson will be about. I let my daughter go at her own pace. At first I thought we would be done in 30 days because she seriously wanted to keep going and would do a chapter a day. Now we get through about half the chapter. We have used manipulatives and learned the numbers of 0 – 9. We are currently working on doubles. For example, 2+2. She is learning easy addition of +1 and then the doubles. We use the bricks to see, say, build and write. The next upcoming topic for her is skip counting by 2s. My daughter absolutely loves math and is a little sponge in her learning. This program doesn’t go by grade it goes by what they know already. You can take a placement testing to see where you would fall.
For science we are using Apologia Elementary: Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics. We have the hard cover book and each of my kids have their own journal. My daughter uses the JR notebook. I love how it has the lessons laid out for you. I have to cut the lessons in half because I do science with the both the kids and I have to help one or both spell the words or go over what we have just read. I must say there have been a lot of fun experiments for us to do in here. There is even more in the journals. This has been very hands on and visual to the kids. I love that there is copy work and places to write interesting facts and also little foldables to use to make sure they have comprehended what they read. There also is crossword puzzles in the journal. I think one of our favorite experiments so far has been making our own lava lamp. I do not have pictures of that. We have also made salt water and built a aluminum foil boat to see if it would sink or ship with pennies on it.
Sometimes we just need a break or change of pace, I will pick out labbooks for the kids to do. We have done several from A Journey Through Learning and Hands of a Child. Both of my kids really like lapbooks. We have also done unit studies as well on topics that have interested them. The next unit study that we will work on is owls. The kids all of a sudden took an interest in owls and I have the perfect field trip to go along with the unit study.