School- our curriculum
I often get asked what curriculum we use. When Kristen and Jake were my students, I could answer that in about 2 sentences. Now it's much more complicated. With 6 different kids, all with special needs, I've just been keeping my head above water. But I think I finally have a grip on what works for everyone, and their abilities.
Waid, age 10, legally blind, and mentally challenged, technically in 4th grade...is thrilled to have finally made it to some 1st grade work. Abeka language, math, and reading are working for him right now. He also has a binder of worksheets that he can do independently. They include handwriting, extra math practice, cut and paste sheets, etc. I give him about 4 a day to do.
Math for Emmi, Avery, and Wes, is Teaching Textbooks 6, 5, and 3 respectively.
Math for Jenna and AJ are general 3-4 grade workbooks. They completed ABeka video 3rd grade math last week. AJ is missing the corpus callosum of his brain; the band of nerve fibers that join the 2 hemispheres of the brain. Because of this, he cannot progress any further in math, at least at this time.
Jenna is going blind. She was able to do the ABeka math using her CCTV, but cannot progress any further, due to her vision, and must learn more braille before doing math in braille. SO, for both of them, the goal is just to maintain what they have learned.
Each child (except Waid) has a "daily review" binder, divided into days of the week. Vocabulary pages are the same for everyone on Monday, for example. But Tuesday may have math review with Emmi and Avery doing the same worksheet, and Wes, Jenna, and AJ doing the same worksheet. So each child's daily review binder has extra practice pages specifically picked for that child's abilities.
We are very excited to start using The Sassafras Kids Zoology program. I will read the book to everyone, they record things in their Scidat book (each at his own level) , which has other worksheets as well. The program even has a downloadable coloring book for pre-schoolers to do alongside older siblings, so we printed that out for Waid.
Aside from Waid, everyone is doing Primary Language Lessons, with the downloadable workbook. I think this will be great for us, since it is adaptable to each child's abilities. Explode the Code 8 will be used by everyone in that group except AJ, he has some basic language worksheets in his daily review binder.
Language is hard for this crew. Four of them spoke Chines before English, and 3 of them did not talk at all until after age 4. We get lots of sentences like "I done my schoolwork.", "Emmi be busy right now.", "We was late to the doctor.", arghhhhhhh! So I am hoping that a more writing based curriculum will help, as we will have to re-write our corrections everyday.
We will be using the comprehension guides from Progeny Press for "Little House in the Big Woods", and "Milly Molly Mandy". These have not only comprehension questions, but vocabulary words to look up, activities, geography, and writing assignments. Waid will listen to the reading and do some coloring sheets, or write a sentence or two about what he learned.
Two kids have a big problem with reading comprehension, everyone (except Waid) will benefit from the above workbook. This is from a teacher supply store, so copying is legal, but I am just going to have them pass it around to each kid, and write their answers on notebook paper.
The kids read everyday! We have the whole Abeka graded set, plus many public school type reading books that we have obtained from thrift stores. Plus we have our own library in the storage room, divided into grade level, which each child is working his way through. Jenna reads print with her CCTV, but also reads braille everyday.
Daily handwriting includes our memory verse, as well as some other sources. The book on the left has story starters. The children will be working on neatness as they do some creative writing. Jenna does daily handwriting in print and braille.
These are our read-alouds for the year. I had bought them before I found the Sassafras Kids set. "Pocketful of Pinecones" is set up to be used in a similar way to Sassafras Kids, but doesn't have the workbooks and teacher helps along with it. The study is set up to begin in the fall, perhaps we will be done with our Sassafras Kids by then, or just do both.
Did you notice History is missing? We love history. The kids beg to watch Liberty Kids like some kids beg to play video games (which we do not have). We've sort of camped out on American History for a couple of years. We've used "Road Trip" and "My Father's World". We also have all of the oldie-but-goody original American Girl "Welcome to _______'s World" books, which have excellent pictures of daily life, and historical artifacts, all with captions explaining what life was like. Plus all of the library books we've read, have kept everyone interested in history! Maybe by fall we will be ready to move on.
I'm seriously looking at the "Visit's To" geography series at simplycharlottemason.com, which could be an entire history program by adding living books from their book list.
If you have questions about any of our curriculum, I would be happy to help. I hope this is helpful to someone, I had fun writing it. It's a great record of what's going on in our lives, which is why I blog in the first place.