Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How I Choose Some Other Curriculum

I've been doing this series for a few weeks now. We've covered how I choose math , language arts , science , and history curriculum for our homeschool. I addressed each subject individually because we spend a lot of our time on these subjects, and the materials were enough that I didn't want all of you to have to read for an hour just to finish one of my posts.

This week I'll be covering several different subjects in this one post (next week will combine 2 subjects and the final week will be a tell all on how we're planning on supplementing our curriculum budget so we stay in budget). So, here's how I choose our health, physical education, art, and music curriculum. I figure these are relatively easy enough for me to combine together into one post.

For health we'll be sticking with A Beka Health texts. They're meant to only be used for half of the year, we use them only during the winter months when we're hibernating in the house. They combine health, safety, and manners and include Biblical quotes and talk about your spiritual health. This year that means we'll be spending $14.43 (plus shipping and handling) on these books, we'll be buying two of them used and one new. They make sense to us and they don't cost an arm and a leg to purchase either, plus the children learn well from them.

As for physical education I tend to believe that the amount of time we spend outside (and exercising inside during the winter months) is pretty much all we need in this department. However, we do take regular swim classes in the fall and usually in the spring as well. The best part (for Mommy) is the cost of those classes has a family cap of $100 and that Noni pays for their swim classes because she believes (as we do) that all children need to know how to swim and water safety. The children are talking about some organized sports or dance classes, we'll be looking into those later on this summer...

Another subject we don't spend a lot of money on happens to be art. Not because we don't think it's important, but because we're constantly working with different mediums in this house and creating. We do so together, we do so separately, and we do so in pairs. Some of us crochet, some knit or sew, some work with clay and play dough, almost all of us draw to some extent, sometimes we've even been known to paint. This doesn't mean that I won't be spending some money in this area. I'm looking into the chalk pastel materials and how to's. We're constantly purchasing supplies. As for art history and the great artists, we study that while we're doing history. So, we've made a lot of folk art recently. We've also looked into some of our famous folk artists from the past and currently. American Indian art, colonial art, English art, and so forth. Though none of my children could look at a painting and tell you immediately who made it, there is a good chance that they can tell who what type of art it is. We'll get a little more into the historical great artists in middle school, but not much unless they're interested in learning about them.

Last, but not least, for this post is music. I've been talking all this school year about purchasing SQUILT because we've used some of the program's freebies throughout the year and really enjoyed them. We'll be starting with volume 1 in the fall! At the low cost of $9.99 I just can't beat the price and it's a good quality curriculum! I can use this over all the grade levels and the children will learn about some great musical artists. We'll continue with our recorder for YCJ and the guitar for ECJ and may end up purchasing them a few more lesson books on those, they have to get through the first ones first though.

That brings the total cost of these four subjects to only ... $24.42
Total cost so far for next year (new and used): $408.47.. 

but wait!!!

Noni has decided to purchase Peanut's math curriculum for us so that drops our total cost so far* to $318.47!!! Still within budget and two subjects to go!

Check back next week for how I choose our Latin and Religious curriculum!

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