Friday, March 9, 2012

Our Curriculum


When I sat out to find a curriculum for us to begin using with Selena I didn’t want one that was too full of fluff, I truly wanted one that would zone in on the basics, one that we could add our own interests, and ideas to. At first I wasn’t sure about Keepers of the Faith but I just kept going back to it until finally I told myself I won’t know if this will be a fit for us or not until I get it in my hands and we try. When we got it, at first glance I still was not sure if Selena would truly take to it or reject it. We have had to make a few adjustments, and of course there was the actual teaching Selena how to use the curriculum before I began to see that my choice was the right choice.


At first Selena was not into the phonics at all. I can’t say I blame her on first look of the book with all its lists of words, there are review pages that do incorporate the words into stories, but the lists by far out way the actual stories. The only thing that Selena asked me was if I would make flash cards instead of her reading out of the handbook. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to make flash cards, but after making the first set, and seeing how much easier it is to teach Selena to slow down and truly sound every letter of the word out instead of depending on memorization, I have to admit that her suggestion was the best suggestion she could make. I like their approach, as well as the fact that at the back of the book they do give all the rules to the English language. Many of the words Selena does know, but she has found it quite challenging at times to break the words down by phonically sounding out each letter. She has also found numerous words she has never heard before. She quickly asks what these words mean, so we grab the dictionary and look it up.

I see Selena beginning to slow down a bit in her independent reading, to sound out the words she isn’t sure of. I also see her vocabulary increasing. I think the fact that she is learning new words, that we have incorporated the use of the dictionary, and that she sees how this is improving her reading ability in such a short time, has been a huge plus for her to keep plugging away.


Look how difficult the words get as she moves on through the workbook. Of course the idea with this is to teach her first to break a word down into syllables, and pronounce it from there. I see a lot more dictionary work in our future.

The one thing that Selena truly did have a bit of a problem with was the handwriting. Most of the curriculums we have seen start with learning to write capital letters. Selena just did not feel comfortable yet with learning the lower case letters. No problem for me, we just jumped ahead to the upper case handbook and will work a little backwards.

DSCF0266I think it is cute how Selena is making up her own little rhymes to help her remember how each letter is formed. I figure whatever works, is just fine with me. 

There are a couple other books one on Christian Character, and her handbook that we have glanced at and done a little work out of, of course we will begin to dig deeper as we go along.

I love the fact that we can spend as much or as little time we want on the fundamentals, then we can come off with whatever our hearts desire to make our school day interesting and fun. I do want to add that I did add some Kumon workbooks for early math to our curriculum, since this curriculum doesn’t start any sort of math study until next year.

Over all I am very pleased with our choice, while it seems at times we are repeating things that Selena already knows, I see her connecting with the curriculum, and I love that we are free to throw in as much about the world around us that we desire, we can read all the materials we want to read and not worry about particular lists of recommended books.

I would truly recommend this curriculum to any homeschool family, but I do want to express I believe it is very important that you know your child’s learning curve and style.

I was not asked nor provided anything for this review. The review expresses my own opinion.

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  1. Yeah for finding the perfect curriculum! I had ot wait until I got home to comment because I wanted to make sure I could go check out the site you linked.

    I don't think my kids would do well with the rows of words either, but it sure looks interesting.

  2. It sounds like things are working well for you and Selena! I noticed that Anna got much better at spelling lately, I suspect that like with many other things she simply needed to get ready for it. I am happy that she is also more willing to sound words out when she tries to write them.