Tuesday, April 06, 2010


One would think that I would be worried about the current school year and what we're not accomplishing every day, but I'm not. Instead, I've been thinking about our curriculum choices for next year. This may be to distract myself from what I ought to be doing right now.

I had felt that I needed a "plan" for next year. I rarely manage to get myself to actually plan the week ahead, and all too often if I don't make plans, very little gets done in school at all. This might be just fine; the kids are learning a lot just by reading books about what they're interested in and asking questions. However, I feel like our day goes much better and the kids are better behaved if we have more guided learning. We decided to go with the Mother of Divine Grace syllabi -- we had used this for first grade for Pauly, and while we used something different this year, I found myself missing the day by day plan, and I liked having affordable structure in my homeschool, as opposed to having to enroll with a program. I like the poetry memorization and recitation and the focus on history through "real books" that Mother of Divine Grace has. I've gone ahead and ordered the third grade syllabus and teacher planner, which organizes the subject-by-subject plan in the syllabus syllabus into a weekly planner style format with all subjects scheduled. Now I'm doubting whether this was a good idea, since the planner is most useful if you stick pretty strictly to the recommended resources. I had intended on doing exactly that, but I've found myself deviating from the plan as I've begun purchasing materials for next year.

They recommended a science textbook from a Protestant publisher that promotes creation science, which is something that I don't consider science at all, properly speaking. Despite reassurance from others who have used this text that it doesn't mention evolution positively or negatively at all, I decided to use a different resource that I felt better about, and which is designed to give a Catholic perspective on science. I was uncomfortable with using an older catechism, which doesn't incorporate the development of doctrine evident in the Vatican II documents and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, so I've decided to go with something different for the catechism portion of their religion classes. That affects not just the basic religious plans, but also the memorization plans. We probably will not use their recommended math text, I don't really care for the approach. I did purchase their phonics and spelling recommendation, which uses an intensive phonics method to teach spelling through sixth grade. Honestly, this resource look pretty overwhelming to me, and I certainly don't agree with some of the philosophical underpinnings of the program, which states that phonics and phonetics can't be learned without direct instruction. I'm still planning on trying it out, but I don't feel very hopeful about it. Pauly takes piano lessons, so that will be substituted for the practical aspects of the music curriculum. I'm not sure what planning help I've been saved, here.


  1. Melanie/jonswife4/06/2010 8:38 AM

    Awwww Becky...I'm sorry. I feel your pain. Really honestly. I got the hubby's blessing to enroll with Kolbe for the 3 big kids...but...I want to try the SOTW history I have, and I won't use their math, and I already have Zach's science. But then I feel overwhelmed thinking of all the planning.

  2. I'm thinking that if I got everything planned out at the beginning of the year for the things that I'm substituting, then it wouldn't be such a big deal. I'm just really, really bad about getting to planning on a weekly basis.

    MODG is really great about history, literature and the humanities, but I don't think it has great recommendations for science and math. I got a book of "Teaching Tips and Techniques," and a sentence in one of the essays really stood out to me, "Even those of us who are not naturally attracted to mathematics or the sciences will include math and science in our curriculum because we want to make sure that all the important areas of study are covered." As someone who loves math and science, my ideal approach to these subjects differs significantly from that of someone who is just thinking to cover them for the sake of a complete curriculum.


What do you think? Let me know.