New Curricula Part I

13 Jan

I’ve been wanting to make a few changes to our curricula and after a few purchases and some planning we’re diving in. Here’s what’s new:


We’re dropping Spanish for now. Esa is not learning much from this programme, which consists only of memorising vocabulary. We need something more immersion-based, so until I can find something age-appropriate and affordable, we’re leaving it.


I love art. Or rather, I love the idea of art. I’m not a fan of art galleries and artists, but I’d like to be. I can’t draw, paint, sculpt, or do origami, but I wish I could. And I don’t know a thing about art history, techniques, or whatever else is involved, but I’d love to.

So when it comes to providing my son with art instruction, I want to do it well. And, of course, I suffer from the want-to-do-it-all syndrome that so many of us homeschoolers become addled with. It’s not enough to do Charlotte Mason style artist study, in my opinion. (It probably is, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving it at that).

I want drawing instruction, as well. Great, except I can’t draw. So, we’re using Mona Brooke’s Drawing with Children which is so fantastic. I can really see improvement in Esa’s drawing, especially when I have him repeat exercises. I’m enjoying some of the exercises, too.

But I’m still not satisfied.

So, I took the plunge and purchased ARTistic Pursuits. I managed to find a company that sells it here in the UK (excellent service, by the way. I opted to pay by cheque and they sent the book the next day and told me to send payment once the book was received! I ordered on Friday and received it on Monday).

The look of this book is a little too homemade for my liking (single-sided printing, comb binding, and looks like it was drawn up on Microsoft Word) but it’s incredible. It has everything I wanted to cover and dovetails beautifully with our history study.

I’m not going to go into all the book covers, because you can read about it here.

This book is well worth the expense. Apart from the fact the it’s an amazing programme, it’s non-consumable so can be used over and over and resold, and it also doesn’t require a huge amount of art materials. Most of the supplies required we have already. So really the cost isn’t too bad.

I’m so excited to get going with this.


I have been drooling over Sequential Spelling (a non-consumable, phonics-based programme which does not require children to memorise lists of words, but teaches spelling by building words from bases [in, pin, sin, spin]), for about a year. Originally, I was going to go with Spelling Workout, but after hearing from several people that although their children enjoyed it, it did little to help their spelling, I decided against it. And since I couldn’t get hold of a copy of Sequential Spelling, I decided to wait on spelling. We were doing some dictation with a movable alphabet and I decided that was enough.

But someone (can’t remember who) had to go and sing the merits of Sequential Spelling on their blog, which got me drooling again. I was determined to find a copy. I’d tried buying an e-copy from the AVKO website, but they don’t seem to like my payment method. Then I found

I ordered my copy some 5 weeks ago, and FINALLY it arrived, in very good condition, from the US. We had our first lesson today, and the opening exercise requires asks the child to write the sentence: “We are all beginning to be good spellers.” The child is not expected to be able to spell any of the words correctly; it’s something that is to be put away and looked at later. This is what Esa wrote:

Wee ar ol begnin too bee gud spelrs.

Over a year’s worth of dictation and not even one word is spelled correctly (well, not in context anyway), lol.

I’m glad we’re adding spelling to our curriculum; he needs it. ๐Ÿ™‚

We did the first lesson and he really enjoyed it, as did I. It was short, easy, and fun. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to report an improvement. Stay tuned. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the next installment, I’ll talk about science.

1 Comment

Posted by on January 13, 2010 in First Grade, Homeschool Planning, Spanish, Spelling


One response to “New Curricula Part I

  1. Suji

    January 18, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I can’t wait for the next instalment!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


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