Monday, December 15, 2014

The Middle of Middle School Year 1

When I grew up we called it Junior High, but here they refer to it as Middle School. No matter what you call it, this was Gess' official first year out of elementary school. It has been interesting trying to find curriculum to meet her needs but it has worked out so far. She is at least working more independently.

My most exciting and newest change has been our math curriculum. I want to write about it soon but haven't had the chance. It is called Life of Fred and teaches math through stories. While you follow the life of this interesting character named Fred you learn math. You practice math facts, learn geography, time, addition and subtraction concepts as well as early algebra. The greatest part is the child doesn't really know that they are learning. It feels like play. My only concern is that since I started at the beginning its all review for Gess so of course it comes easy. However, it is the first time in her life that Gess has been excited about doing math! She even wants to do it on the weekends! While this is elementary math Gess is still on that level. Math is where she struggles the most.

For Social Studies we are still using Veritas Press and are loving it. While my next unit won't be free as I am not reviewing anymore, the cost will be worth it to me to have a subject that Gess can do totally on her own!  Without my help she has a grade of 94%! We are still on Old Testament and Ancient Egypt and we are almost half way through so this will take us into the summer. Next year we will get New Testament, Greece and Rome. While these are geared toward elementary school, I am confident that the content is challenging enough for Gess. It is certainly something you don't get just anywhere. I considered using their Bible curriculum but they come from a Calvinist theology so chose not to.

For Bible we are still using God's Great Covenant. Again, while this is still elementary level, I feel there is enough content to make it challenging. We should begin Old Testament II in January or shortly thereafter.

For writing we we are still working our way through Essentials in Writing Level 2. This also has her reviewing basic English skills. She has them solid for reading purposes. Writing is much more difficult for her. She loves how they explain it here.

We will be hopping back into Logic of English in January. We are quite a ways in but since this is review for children who don't read well it is presented in a way that makes it on target for Gess' age group.

While taking a break from LOE we have been using some other worksheets along with Essential Skills Advabtage (ESA). We will continue to use ESA as a supplement.  Gess really enjoys it and it's FREE!

Science is what I am still up in the air about. We have been doing our own astronomy study using resources I already have. In January I think I will try Science Shepherd Homeschool Science Curriculum since it comes with video teachings and only costs $35 a year plus a workbook for the unit I want to start with. I will let you know what we think of it as I don't know much about it.

That's where we are at halfway through our school year. How has your semester turned out? Feel free to share resources you find are working for you! 

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