Thursday, August 23, 2012


Language Arts Homeschool Curriculum

This year I went for a curriculum that to my knowledge, is a hidden gem. JacKris Publishing specializes in writing, grammar and spelling curricula. It isn't fancy. It isn't Christian-based. It is a simple, no frills approach to teaching writing, grammar and spelling. Let's take a look at each content area and why I chose it.

Soaring With Spelling (using grades 2 and 5)
1. COST! I don't waste my time looking at curriculum that is wonderful but expensive. I can weed out a lot of contenders just based on price. The whole year of spelling cost less than $20 a year per child. 
2. Format- I like the format of a pretest, a few days of practice and then a test. I like the old school method of teaching spelling. This also has a place for carry over words so if a word is still not mastered, it will be there next week to practice again. Also, the format includes learning the definition of the words. What good is it to know how to spell a word you can't use?
3. Scope & Sequence- There are 36 weeks worth of lessons, 1 for each day of the week. Well, we are 5 day a week schoolers and our school year last 36 weeks. It's all laid out for me! Yippee!
4. Binding- While it might not seem like a big deal, when it comes down to narrowing your choice between 2 good contenders, it's the little things that count. SWS is spiral the top!

Winning With Writing (using grades 2 and 4)
1. Again, cost won out on this. $15 for the second grader and $26 for the fourth grader. 
2. Content- I taught writing in public school at the upper elementary level. I wish I had a program such as this one for teaching writing. My kids will be writing in other content areas as well so this program will be used for learning proper structure and mechanics.
3. Again, scope & sequence. Anything that is easy for me to implement means better success. Some of the greatest programs fail because they are too hard to implement. I have learned that setting myself up for success means that my kids will learn. This program is 36 weeks long, 1 lesson per week and there are 5 activities for each lesson. 

Growing With Grammar (using grades 2 and 4)
1. Cost...are you seeing a trend. $17 for the second grader and $32 for the fourth grader. I find it funny that $32 now sounds high.
2. Content- Just take a look at the objectives for 4th grade! My 5th graders in public school couldn't have made it past the third week.
3. Again- the scope & sequence. It is 36 weeks long with 3 lessons a week. At first I was a little disappointed that there were only 3 lessons per week. However, I truly enjoy giving my kids other ways of learning besides book and paper. We have memberships to a few online learning programs as well as access to tons of free ones. These are great for furthering their understanding on concepts taught from their curriculum. And as you know, I love making learning games such as learning centers and file folder games. 

As for reading, we are working our way through a list of children's novels. Click here to access a copy of our list. We will be doing novel studies on the books we read. We are starting with Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

1 comment:

  1. Pre-tests are underrated. They are essential to teaching to the child's level and to teaching to motivate learning. Think of all the children who sit in class bored because they know the information being taught and feel condescended to. The spelling program sounds fantastic and I like the writing program you describe too. I think the reading program is fine but should be augmented with poetry, newspaper and even websites for additional reading experience.