Mid-Year is a great time to look everything over and see what’s working and what’s not. It’s a natural time for adjustments and trying out different curriculum if something just isn’t working. We’re doing a little of all of that right now: loving some things, adjusting other things, and ditching a few things as well. Welcome to our mid-year curriculum review!
Mid-Year Curriculum Review of Fifth Grade
My fifth grader has done amazingly well with all of his curriculum. We are loving our DIY science curriculum, and everyone is chomping at the bit to get to the chemistry unit in just another week or so. He’s also done very well with his independence in learning, meeting deadlines, completing assignments, and self-starting in the mornings without me. It’s a new feeling, and pretty awesome. I’m just afraid to get used to it. Don’t pinch me, please.
He’s finished his Greek Alphabet Code-Cracker book, and really doing well with the Latin for Children program. (I’m kicking myself for not using this program sooner and sticking for so long with a program that wasn’t working for us.)
Here is the full run-down of his fifth grade curriculum this year. But I haven’t really changed much, if anything.
Mid-Year Curriculum Review of Third Grade
My third grader is a different story. While she is doing very well this year, and I am very pleased overall with her curriculum, her story is one of constant adjustments. I’m always re-thinking things for her. We are continuing with Dyslexia Games B for her, and nearly finished with it. She has done so well with this program! I went ahead and ordered a “fun-schooling journal” from this same company to see if it helps her continue her progress and enthusiasm in her other subject areas.
I have also added a couple of apps to help with her spelling and dyslexia challenges. Simplex has been a terrific addition for us. Though she is at an equivalent of first grade spelling, this app has really helped her to begin making progress in this area. The skills she’s learned with Dyslexia Games and the visual/kinesthetic aspect of this app have helped her to progress, slowly but surely, with her spelling. Dyslexia Quest helps my daughter with skill areas rather than academic areas, per se. Visual and auditory processing, working memory, processing speed, phonological awareness, and other areas are addressed with a series of challenging games. It also emails me a great progress report to let me know exactly how she is doing in these areas and where she needs the most work.
The other major curriculum change for my third grader is our math curriculum. And this switch has been so hard for me. For a few years now, we’ve used Christian Light, and I love it. I understand it, the lessons are the perfect length with the perfect amount of variety and challenge. But it appeals to a verbal learner, which my dyslexic daughter obviously is not. I like the curriculum because I understand it; it’s written to a third grader, so I know what’s going on well enough to explain it to her. But she clearly struggles with the curriculum, even though she is good at the math, really intuitively. As a temporary test-phase, we are switching to a Math Mammoth curriculum that I had on hand. She loves the math puzzles and the unique approach; she loves the color and the hands-on elements. (I love that I can try something out without spending any more money. Lol!) So we’ll see how it goes. I feel like we are at a point in the year where I can afford the risk. She won’t be too far behind if the experiment fails, and I’ll know enough before time to order curriculum for next year.
You can take a look at the rest of her third grade curriculum here.
Mid-Year Curriculum Review of Preschool
My preschooler is coasting. We do a few activities here and there. But he’s almost created his own curriculum of sorts. He’s so funny! He bought a Star Wars number workbook with his own money, and loved it! Worked it cover to cover, and learned a ton. Additionally, he copies letters and words that he sees and uses my daughter’s Dyslexia Aid app to write his own stories. Yep, he’s writing books before he can read them. He uses a few iPad apps pretty regularly: Cursive Writing Wizard, Doodling Dragons, and Montessori Numbers. And he plays with his bathtub letters. For the most part, he is literally teaching himself, with a little (very little, as little as he can manage) input from me.
So, he’s ditched nearly all of his preschool curriculum mid-year and decided to unschool. HAH! I never know what to expect with this one. I am sprinkling in some Logic of English Foundations lessons here and there when I can. But I’m not pushing it.
Homeschool is just one constant adjustment, at least at our house. And the mid-year curriculum review is something that just kind of happens almost organically, whether I plan on it or not. It’s the name of the game. Thankfully, there are more than enough options to fill the gaps we tend to find halfway through the year.