What curriculum are we going to use next year? This is a question on the minds of many homeschoolers and I am among that group. I already explained where I am in the search so far for my soon to be 7th grader and now I am going to share my thoughts on our 1st grade situation.
Kindergarden was fun for us this year, a Oak Meadow Kinder core with lots of added internet learning and games and a bit of other curriculum and printable thrown in as well. Lots and lots of books read together. I do not mean to say that my little guy is reading, because that is not under waldorf standards expected or even wanted. He is however working on site words to keep up with state guideline standards and a few other things. He has done a great job with trying to learn the 70 phonograms!
Over all he does not enjoy explode the code online, he has hit some hard spots and the same thing over and over is really not his idea of fun, though he did beat the newest Zelda game on the wii 4 times now and other video games this year as well. He is a gaming master I have to say. While I am a geekly Mommy who loves to game, I found him a challenge on some games. It is sad when your 6 year old while playing a family game of the newest Super Mario wii picks up your character, telling you without remorse that your in his way, and then throws you off the world to your death so you stop slowing him down! It was not exactly nice but I recall his father doing that to him in the game when we had first gotten it! Video games are not waldorf in any way, but alas, we do not fit into any kind of box and tend to do what works for us. Video games works for him.
Not all things however can be video games. This brings me to next year, grade 1. I had done grade one Oak Meadow with my oldest daughter years back and it was a lot like Oak Meadow Kinder. I think there might be better options out there for my son. He tends to like work sheets and online learning, though he has a great creative side as well that plays into the strong art side that is Oak Meadow and waldorf education. I was tempted by the idea of using time4learning as a core curriculum and following his interest more for the year but I am just not sure he needs that much screen time so young and that would be little hands on. time4learning really does not speak to a childs love of learning on our experience though it does cover most everything. I find he enjoys lessons I make for him on some of the ipad apps, that board games and the like keep his interest as well. He isn’t as hands on his sister however with needing to learn and build. He is sensitive in many ways, such as a anti bug phase a the moment that often has him coming inside to complain about them and then choosing to play inside instead. Though he is happy to dig in plant pots and such with me, though not standing on grass to do so. I think there are some sensory issues there but nothing warranting worry just yet.
So what to do about next year? I am looking at this very hands on curriculum that is Montessori based www.shillermath.com, but at $500 plus I am just not sure…. that would just cover the math. I have spent that much before on Math for a year but knowing so little about it, having not seen it in person it is a hard sell.
A lot of the problem is simply that I do not want to deal with religion in our homeschooling. We homeschool for so many reasons but do not want curriculum for education mixing with curriculum that is… well…. lets just call it modern mythology. I need something secular. It is draining to have to adjust lessons around such things and with 4 children I really rather spend that time having fun with them and helping them learn things they are interested in.
One of the books I do want to include this year does not fall under core curriculum oddly though I think it should. We will add Lollipop Logic: Critical Thinking Activities