Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Some New Discoveries

I came home from the recent homeschool convention having found some great new items.  Some are so new they are yet to be released.  Others are just new to me.  I thought I'd share what piqued my interest.

I am a fan of the Apologia elementary level worldview curriculum.  The 4th and last book, What on Earth Can I Do?  is due out this summer/fall.  We've been using these books for the last couple of years and have really gained much insight out of them.  I read them aloud to my kids after lunch and they digest its lessons while digesting their lunch.  Notebooks are now available to go along with the books which, for little ones, are coloring pages and, for older ones, contain areas for creativity, review questions, cross-word puzzles, and more to help supplement the lesson.

I also noticed an apologetics curriculum for high school students at Apologia.  Is it new?  I think so...not sure.   I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist is a book by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek for which Apologia now offers a companion  workbook

If you are fond of the Apologia science curriculum you may be interested to know that a couple of new science texts are set to be released this summer.  Part of the Young Explorer Series will now include Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, a chemistry and physics curriculum appropriate for K-6 grade.  And, part of the high school texts will now include Advanced Biology in Creation: the Human Body recommended for grade 12 with prerequisites in Biology and Chemistry.  Sorry, I have no links for these as they are not listed on the Apologia website yet.  However, you can read more about them in the new catalog which you can order, download, or read online.

My kids are involved in AWANA, a fun group that includes lots of games, Bible learning, and Bible memorization.  We have really valued this program in our family.  Unfortunately, the church where we attend AWANA doesn't offer it for kids above 6th grade.  I was thus very interested to see that AWANA is now offering a homeschool option.  If you don't have a local AWANA program to get involved in, you can still do the program at home.  Go to the AWANA homeschool link for more information.

Positive Action Bible Curriculum isn't a new company, but its new to us.  I was looking for a Bible course for my middle school son that would be an overview of the Bible and happened upon the Route 66 curriculum.  It was just what I was looking for.  The student book gives direction on what to read and some questions to answer while the teacher's manual (which I got on CD) offers some review questions and strategies, answers to the student book questions, and tests.  Flipping through it, I get the impression that the lessons are, for an overview, sufficiently thorough without being overwhelming.  If my son does 1 lesson per day then it should take him somewhere around 100 days to finish the book.  Since we haven't started this curriculum yet, I can't say much more.  If this works well for us, I am very much interested in their other titles for middle and high school.

As I was waiting for my friends to finish shopping at one booth, I perused the contents of another.  Geography Matters is home to the curriculum Trail Guide to Learning.  If I were looking for a new curriculum (which I'm not) I would seriously consider this one.  I noticed at the booth that a 4th book will be available soon, though its not listed at the website.  This curriculum covers all subjects but Math, spans grades so you can combine children, and follows the teaching styles of such as Ruth Beechick and Charlotte Mason.  There's a much better description on the actual website so I suggest you go there for more information.  To avoid going bankrupt buying curriculum, I'm going to have to stay away.

Perusing new curriculum always makes switching curriculum so tempting.

The One Year Adventure Novel curriculum captured my attention a couple of years ago.  I've had to file that idea away, though, as it is geared mainly toward high school students.  But, I am excited to hear that a new middle school version will be available in July, Cover Story.  Recommended for 6th-8th graders, the publishers are calling it a complete language arts curriculum.  It apparently calls for no prep work as the lessons are taught on a DVD.  By the time your student finishes the curriculum, they should have completed enough content for their own magazine.  I'm filing this one away for later as I think my son (and husband) would frown upon yet another writing curriculum for the upcoming year.

Again, while waiting for my friends in the curriculum hall I found myself perusing the contents of another booth.  This time it was for Zeezok publishing. They have a number of items to offer, however I was most intrigued by their elementary level of Great Musician Series of music appreciation studies and the Z guide to the movies which are studies done to incorporate movies into your history studies. I get the impression they are very similar to a literature study guide.  More is explained here.  I might have to look further into these later on. 

Since I already have my plans for the next school year made out, these will all go in my "possibilities" file for upcoming years.  How fun to have new curriculum to discover!  Yes...you can tell I'm a homeschool mom and a curriculum junkie.

-A

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