Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Our Homeschool Room and New Curriculum

homeschool classroom

At the beginning of this school year, I took the leap and started to homeschool my 11 year-old Jordan. Jordan has dyslexia and it has caused him to have some pretty severe learning disabilities in school. After years of struggling with the school to get him help and seeing little to no improvement, I finally pulled him when they wanted to fail him for the second time. We started the school year with an online curriculum, but it just hasn't worked for us, so after weeks of research, planning and purchasing, I have finally come up with an awesome hands on eclectic curriculum plan that I hope with work for us.

{Our Classroom}

Our homeschool classroom is actually in the corner of our dining room. I don't mind that it looks like a classroom and wouldn't care if company came in and saw it this way. Since I am only homeschooling one child, I do not need a huge amount of storage. Our magnetic dry erase board with our magnetic All About Spelling tiles is on the wall and then we have a small three drawer chest for our supplies. I should mention that all my craft and art supplies are in a separate 8 drawer shelving unit in another room, so that saves space.

Our daily lesson books, worksheets, cards and references are all lined up in the order of our day on the top of the drawers. Inside the top drawer are basic supplies like a hole punch, pens, pencils, rulers, crayons, markers, etc. The second drawer holds extra folders for lapbooks, my teaching guides and reading or history books we are going to cover later.

{Our Homeschool Curriculum}

What I love about homeschool is you are not tied down to one curriculum, you can choose what works best for your child in each subject. After a lot of research, these are the products I came up with.

Phonics: Saxon Phonics Intervention Home Study Kit - Specifically designed for those 4th grade and up who need remediation in phonics and reading.

Spelling: All About Spelling Level 1 - This program has many levels, but we decided to start on Level 1, because Jordan needs the remediation back to the basics. His spelling now is completely phonetic.

Writing: Writeshop Primary Book C - I debated about going to book D for this because Jordan does like to write and make up stories, but decided to go with the lower level first to reinforce the correct methods.

Reading: Classic Literature Study Units - This was a little trickier. I didn't want to start an actual reading curriculum while we were doing the phonics and spelling separately, so I looked for something more hands-on, to make reading fun and not a chore. This consists of 10 different units based on classic literature books. We are starting with Treasure Island and will have interactive activities and/or crafts each day to build a lapbook and other things by the time we are done.

Math: Harcourt Math Florida Edition - I actually got this book from our public school book depository for free. I am sticking with it because it is easy to go through each lesson and teach, while gathering supplemental worksheets and activities online. Plus, it keeps him on the same scope of work they are doing in Florida schools.

Science: Scott Foresman Science - This is another Florida public school book that I got from the book depository. I am supplementing it with tons of hands-on notebooking activities that I develop for each lesson, as well as worksheets and related experiments pulled from the book and online. We do an experiment several times a week and interactive notebooking or flip books each day.

History: Study of Ancient Egypt - History is my favorite subject for us. It is learning about new people and places and is almost completely hands-on. While we have various resources we are reading and gathering information from, we also follow a hands-on lapbooking kit from Homeschool Share, supplemented with some other activities I found online. We will make Egyptian clothes, food, masks and even mummies! Our next series is going to be on Ancient Rome.

Art: Jordan will be starting a Pottery class this Friday at a local community center. It will be a once a week class and he will continue to do art projects with me daily at home.

Music: We have a keyboard and Jordan has an electric guitar that we plan to start lessons for as soon as we can get the strings replaced.

Misc.: I picked up a book the other day "101 Things to do Before You Grow-Up." It is an amazing book of fun activities and we will be making our way through that for the next few months.

There you have it, a look at our rather eclectic homeschool classroom. I hope to see a huge improvement in Jordan in the coming months and plan to take our classroom on the road with us when we travel this summer. The learning will focus on things we see and do, and I think all the boys will benefit from it.