Thursday, August 30, 2012

Charlotte's Curriculum

Well, we are almost done with our first two weeks of school, and I finally have all of Charlotte's curriculum from our virtual charter school.  Today is a day off for us, because it is Eva's 8th birthday.  The girls are happily playing Wii, so I thought I'd take a minute to post the materials I have and the first impressions of the program.

For Art, I have:
Come Look With Me: Enjoying Art with Children by Gladys S. Blizzard
Come Look With Me: Animals in Art by Gladys S. Bizzard
Art K Student Pages
Art Prints, Kindergarten
Modeling Clay (Red, Yellow, Blue and Green)
Oil Pastels (12 colors)
Set of 5 paint brushes (fine to 1 inch)
Set of 9 tempera paints (black, white, yellow, blue, red, orange, green, purple, brown)

I don't have much of an impression of the Art stuff yet, since it just came in the mail today.  The student pages pretty much made me roll my eyes on first impression.  I'll reserve judgement until I see how it all fits together on the online school.

For Math, I have:
Math + Blue Lesson Guide
Math + Blue Activity Book
2D Shapes
3D Shapes
Linking cubes (can't remember their "official" name)

This program is way easy for Charlotte right now - we've spent two weeks on shapes, colors and sizes.  We are ahead of where we need to be already, and I don't really see anything in the book that will trip her up.  Mostly review for her, but she enjoys the games on the online school, and she likes the colorful workpages, so no real complaints here.  We've only used the 2D shapes so far, but the number of them is a little bit on the ridiculous side.  I needed an entire tool organizer for just the 2D shapes.

For Language Arts, I have:
All About Me (workbook)
Language Arts Activity Book
Tomie dePaola's Rhyme Time
Read Aloud Treasury
The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles by Maud and Miska Petersham
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina
The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
A Story A Story by Gail E. Haley
World: Taking Care of Ourselves and the Earth (magazine)
World: Animals Around the World (magazine)
World: Amazing Places (magazine)
World: Our Busy Bodies (magazine)
Language Arts Lesson Guide Book 1 and Book 2
PhonicsWorks Basic Activity Book
PhonicsWorks Basic Assessments
PhonicsWorks Basic Lesson Guide Book 1 and Book 2
PhonicsWorks Basic Tile Kit with flashcards and readers

Language Arts is a bit of a mixed bag.  I like a lot of the literature selections (other than the magazines, which so far have been indoctrination that rubs me the wrong way...) but the literature portion of the lesson guide has you read and/or talk about the same story for three days.  Charlotte started rolling her eyes on day 2.  By day 3, I was finding alternate versions to read, but that still annoyed her.  So, after going through that twice, I decided to go through three days of lesson plans in one sitting.  That went so much better that I think I will continue that way.  So, I'll only do Literature and Comprehension with her about every three days, but since I read aloud literature to both girls everyday (we are currently on The Long Winter), I'll still count that time towards her attendance.

Phonics is going okay - it is a little difficult with Charlotte's speech articulation problems, so we probably take longer than suggested on each lesson.  She did pretty well on her first assessment, but not perfectly.  We may have to slow down, because she seems to have trouble identifying ending sounds in particular.

Language Skills she just coasts on - everything has been very simple for her in that department.  A lot of it is vocabulary, and she has a very large vocabulary for her age - probably from having to restate herself so often to be understood.

Still waiting on speech therapy to start, but I did have a conference call with her special education teacher, so I have a better idea of how things are going to work.  Basically, they hired an outside company to provide e-therapy, speech therapy over the computer.  I was expecting to have to try speech on the computer, and I guess I am sort of happy that it will be with a provider that specializes  in it, rather than a speech therapist doing Internet based therapy for the first time.  They supposedly started calling families this week, but I still haven't gotten a call.

I'm very thankful that Eva is such a good reader and able to do so much of her school independently.  The balancing act of traditional, literature based homeschooling AND virtual charter is pretty complicated, but we are starting to get into a groove.  Hopefully in about a month, I have it pretty well figured out!