Friday, August 6, 2010

The Adventure of a Lifetime

It's hard to believe it, but on Monday Hannah will start 2nd grade. Can this really be our third year to homeschool?! Time flies when you're having fun!

I thought this week I'd give you a virtual peek at our bookshelves so you know what we'll be doing for the upcoming year.

Our main curriculum is My Father's World, which includes Bible, history/geography, science, art, and music. All we have to do is add our own math and language arts to the mix and we're ready to roll. This year we're using Adventures in My Father's World, which is basically American History and Geography for 2nd and 3rd graders. Ready to see our resources? Let's go browse the shelves!


We started reading Leading Little Ones to God at the breakfast table over the summer. We've all enjoyed it and Millie seems to be learning from it, so we'll stick with that until it's finished. For the MFW Bible lessons, we'll use either Hannah's new NIrV Bible or her NIV Bible we used last year. Honestly, I think she prefers using the NIV because it makes her feel grown-up, but she is pretty jazzed about this new Bible that came with her curriculum.


  • Adventures in My Father's World Teacher's Manual
  • The Story of the U.S.
  • Student Sheets
  • Map of the U.S./map of the world
  • American Pioneers and Patriots by Caroline D. Emerson
  • North American Indians by Marie and Douglas Gorsline
  • Red, White, and Blue by John Herman
  • The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh
  • The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh
  • Celebrate America CD
  • Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Sarah Whitcher's Story by Elizabeth Yates
  • In Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson
  • Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Interactive 3-D Maps: American History by Donald M. Silver and Patricia J. Wynne (not included with MFW package)
  • The American Dream CD (not included with MFW package)
  • Little Hands Celebrate America! by Jill Frankel Hauser (not included with MFW package)
  • Plus whatever great books we find on our topic at the library each week!


  • The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Science
  • Usborne Science with Air
  • Usborne Science in the Kitchen
  • Birds, Nests and Eggs by Mel Boring
  • My First Magnet Kit
  • The Magic School Bus: A Journey Into the Human Body science kit


We'll be using Preparing to Build, which is Rod & Staff's 2nd grade grammar and writing curriculum. This was the first curriculum I picked out when we decided to homeschool. Grammar nerd that I am, I love everything about it!


We started All About Spelling in April of last year, and Hannah loved it! We still have five lessons left in Level 1, so we'll finish those lessons, then continue with Level 2. If we continue to work at last year's pace, we'll be able to finish Level 2 and Level 3 this year. ("Level" does not mean "grade level." It's just the next book in the series.)


This year we're switching back to Singapore Math. I do not want to be a curriculum hopper, but Hannah absolutely hated CLE Math when we switched to it last year. Did I say she hated it? Good. Because when I say she hated it, I mean she hated it! The whole experience didn't exactly gel with my "teach them to love to learn" philosophy, so we tossed CLE aside and went back to Singapore.

Since our new books arrived, the child has been begging me to let her start her new math this week, but I keep telling her she has to wait until school starts on Monday. I have a feeling she's going to fly through 1A, slow down a little for 1B, and definitely work at a more normal pace for 2A, if we even get that far this year. We may use the Intensive Practice books and the Challenging Word Problem books over the summer break to keep her fresh and sharpen her skills, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Singapore Math is a great program, but it is lacking in basic math fact drills. After a year of CLE, I don't think Hannah ever wants to see another flash card in her life! (But I will say her facts through 10 are solid, and all thanks goes to CLE Math!) Anyway, I got several games we can play to memorize math facts in a fun way. Giggle Facts is a set of 50 games that helps reinforce addition and subtraction facts. RightStart Math games are not only good to help learn math facts but also for logic skills. Rainbow Rock is a computer game put out by Singapore math. And FlashMaster is an electronic version of flash cards. (But shhh! Don't tell Hannah that!)


We're using I Can Do All Things, which is the art curriculum that came with our MFW package. I decided to go ahead and purchase the DVDs, as well, so Hannah can see and hear the artist/author as he teaches each lesson. The book is divided into four categories: Beginning Drawing, Colored Pencils, Colored Markers, and Beginning Painting.


This year we'll do a composer study of Tchaikovsky, which is part of Adventures in My Father's World. We'll also use the Alfred's Piano series for piano lessons.

  • The Story of Tchaikovsky in Words and Music CD
  • Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker Highlights CD
  • The Nutcracker Ballet retold by Deborah Hautzig
  • Tchaikovsky Discovers America CD (not included in the MFW package)
  • Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Lesson Book Level A
  • Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Theory Book Level A
  • Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Activity & Ear Training Book Level A
  • Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Notespeller Book Level A
  • Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Technic Book Level A
  • Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Solo Book Level A
  • Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Christmas Joy Book Level A
Foreign Language

We decided to follow the MFW recommendations and add a foreign language this year. And since we live in Southeast Texas and have family in Argentina, it only makes sense for that foreign language to be Spanish. We're going to use a program called The Learnables this year, and next year we'll probably sell everything we own so we can afford to buy Rosetta Stone.


And finally, we're definitely keeping Lessons in Responsibility for Girls in our schedule. Homemaking was Hannah's favorite subject in school last year! She has expressed a desire to start sewing lately, so we'll also use Sewing Machine Fun for Kids as long as there is an interest there.

So there you have it! Sounds like a very full, very fun year, and we can't wait to get started on our Adventures in My Father's World!


Carrie said...

Yippee!!! I'm like a kid in a candy store!!! ;)

Shannon said...

Ooooohhh... glad to see you posting. Now I can "see" you more than just on co-op days. ;)

You have made great choices for curriculum. You are going to love Adventures. We are going to be playing a bit of catch-up because last year we did not finish Adventures, but we did finish our other curriculum stuff. I am hoping to finish up on Adv by Christmas and move on to ECC.

There are some great blogs that shared their Adv experience... mine is not one of them. LOL! Okay, I did do some, so you can look at some of it if it helps. We really struggled with juggling everything last year, so it is hit or miss on my blog... but it is REAL. ;) "the girlies of mt hope" did a great job of detailing their experiences and in the early stage "too many kids in the bathtub" did. Their is also a MFW blogroll that is wonderfully helpful. If you don't find it and want that info just email me.