It's June, the sun has finally warmed up (relatively speaking, of course) our little corner of the world, and the end of the school year is in sight. I've been working away at figuring out next year's curriculum. The problem isn't finding books or programs. The problem is deciding which of the multitude of choices to use!
This year we used First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, by Jessie Wise. A hit since it is simple to teach, and easy to follow for the kids. The book is for grades 1 & 2, so we're set for LA for next year.
Reading began with a phonics program, but once the basics were covered, it was mostly practice. We read aloud every day. This is Maddie's favourite part of school. This year alone, we've read through The Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books, unabridged), some Little House on the Prairie, and we just finished A Little Princess.
Last year we went with the mother of all math programs - Saxon. Maddie hated it. HATED it. This year, we switched to Horizons. It's much more cheerful and there isn't nearly as much fuss to complete it. Hopefully we'll be done the entire books (there are 2) by the end of June. It amazes me how much kids are expected to know by the end of grade 1 and 2. I remember starting multiplications in grade 3. I am sure I didn't do pre-algebra in grade 1. But, lo and behold, kids are pretty smart.
French has been an issue. Although NB is the only officially bilingual province in Canada, it doesn't actually mean that New Brunswickers are bilingual. Some towns are very french (like Grand Falls, or up north), and then you have Carleton County which is almost exclusively english. Since learning a language is all about practice, it's very difficult to get enough of it here. Nevertheless, we're working on it. I've been teaching them comptines from my childhood and they seem to like this much more than repeating meaningless (to them) phrases.
I decided not to stop school for summer vacation. We'll slow down and take many days off, but I've learned the hard way that taking a 2 month break does not work for us! I'll post more on that later.