BUT, since I am the perpetual optimist, or slightly insane as my dear hubby keeps telling me, I decided to make lemonade with the lemons my life handed me.
Then reality hits, oh no, all my programs gone! So I anxiously dig through the piles and piles of as my hubby says crap in my desk and finally find some of the programs I desperately need to not only run a successful home-school, but to read and write and paint. Then once again I am stuck because quite a few of them don't work with windows 8. At this point my optimism has taken a huge hit, and I sit there mumbling to myself about the insanity that is Microsoft.
In the end I get my programs installed, I figured out how to get apps working, and I learned an entirely new operating system. Then I say to myself "Well since I'm starting fresh, how about we take a whole new approach to Conmans home education." So the research began.
We will be using a few books but the main one will be The Story of the World: Volume 1: Ancient Times. So this will be the spine of our new program. We will be using the workbooks and activity guides along with many other fun things, but the best part of this will be at the end we will have a giant 42 chapter lapbook covering an interesting time in History. Well for Conman I think the best part is that he gets to watch videos with me, and he gets to read along with me whatever story we choose. I'll compile a reading list soon and post it here so you can see how stories can be added for a complete Language Arts program.
I also discovered lapbooking, and for the last two weeks Conman has been working on lapbooks. We used the ready made one week unit from Amanda Bennet and he loved it. (http://www.unitstudy.com/) He has actually learned and retained the knowledge which tells me I am moving in the right direction. I personally always love to scrapbook or do art in a book, so this is like an extension of that which is an absolutely brilliant idea.
But while the Ancient History program covers, Language Arts, History, Art, and even Music, what it doesn't cover is Math and Science. Then I had an epiphany. If we are starting with Ancient History then how much more Ancient could the Big Bang be? So BAM like a bolt of lightning I realized that my science curriculum is actually already built into my History Curriculum. We just need to think outside the box a bit and use great scientific discoveries along with the timeline. I practically did the jig? *scary thought there*
That still left Math. Oh how much I hate Math. So after much soul searching and struggling, I decided to keep using the Mammoth Math's program that I currently use, but not stress that aspect as much as I have been. Conman hates math, and he struggles so much with it. I've also decided to give the Life of Fred series a try with Conman. This series is a Language based Math Program, so I decided to buy the first 4 books. Yes they are below his current needs, but it will help build his confidence and also give us a taste of the books. We also lucked into my getting some of the Math-U-See books. So we will be using some of those worksheets as well. And I have a bunch of Logic Puzzles which Conman will use. I know he hates puzzles, but I'm hoping that the Logic Puzzles will slip by his hatred of Puzzles. I also discovered an absolutely PERFECT and I do mean PERFECT online Math's program that is FREE!!! Yes FREE!!! BigBrainz is a Math Game that is actually a GAME! Conman is loving it! They also offer a paid version which has more places the kids can go, but I'm currently using the Free version, and he is loving it because he gets to pick his character, explore the world and do battle by doing maths. How much fun is that? Here is a link for those of you who are still searching for a math game that won't cost you a fortune. ( http://www.bigbrainz.com/ )
Now you would think that this curriculum is enough for the HEU (Home Education Unit) Well surprisingly not, they asked about Technology. Which seriously made me laugh since we will be using the Computer and Tablets and the like to do our research into the History or Science. What is even more confusing it they KNOW my son keeps a blog. I felt like I was going to scream, because the only two things they have an issue with seemed to be PE and Technology. Okay I feel a rant coming on so I'll steer this off that now. So for them and for you guys reading my long winded ramblings I am giving you the fabulous websites that we use.
- The first is iKnowthat, (http://www.iknowthat.com/com) and it is fabulous and if you purchase it through the Homeschool Co-Op very very affordable. As the teacher/parent you can choose what you want your child to do. They earn things and can play tons of games. Conman loves it. We used it last year, and he will continue to use it this year. I love the fact that I can set certain tasks for him to complete in certain subjects. This allows me to give him freedom to play but also control over what things he can use.
- But I have also sprung for another website called Clever Dragons. It is a great site for kids! They have the main subjects and you can set what things he is to do. For doing them he earns coins which he can use to buy pets and to take care of their needs. What a fabulous idea for a child who struggles to remember to brush his teeth or wash. http://clever-dragons.com/login Clever Dragons is for Boys but if you follow that link you can choose to go to the girls site which is exactly the same as the boys only set up with a more feminine theme. I like that as the adult I can set up which grades to allow him access to, and what things he has to do. I love things where I have a bit of control over what is being taught. It even offers a Christian and Jewish Religion classes which while I won't be utilizing now we may in the future as we move onto the Religions of the world part of History.
- And the last site that we belong to is called BrainPOP. (http://www.brainpop.com/) take a look at it for yourself but I actually think its a nice site with a lot for Conman to do. They offer Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Engineering and Tech, Health and Arts & Music. Lots of fun videos to watch and games to play. Conman just started using it so I'm not sure how much he likes it but if the fact that he is sitting there watching, and playing has anything to show I'd say its a good one. What I like is that I can set up what I want him to do. This site has an educators area which is really good because you can compare where your child fits in with the standards. Very much like iKnowthat and Clever-Dragons so I think his Technology is more than covered along with fun things to do on off school times.