Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Can't Use It All!

This is a great time to be a homeschooler; we have so many curricula options.  While I'm thankful for this, I sometimes go into curricula overload.  It's kind of like a sugar-high.  I just can't stop researching and questioning.

Last month, a new math program debuted called Beast Academy.  It is published by one of my favorite math companies, Art of Problem Solving.  I've been eyeing their PreAlgebra and Algebra courses just waiting for D-Man to be ready for them.  Beast Academy is their elementary program.  After looking at the scope and sequence and studying the samples, I decided that D-Man is beyond the material.  Would he like it?  Would he learn something from it?  I think so.  However, I just can't justify the expense for another review program.  Now, if they'd published level 4 instead of level 3 first, I'd be on board.  I may revisit it when Sweet-C gets around to that level, but not now.

This month, I've been researching writing.  We are currently using Writing With Ease (WWE) by Susan Wise Bauer.

 I really like the program.  D-Man did level 1 and is now working on level 2.  I've just started seeing the fruit of the method.  In fact, I'm impressed by the progress D-Man is making.  Recently, Mrs. Bauer has published Writing with Skill 1 (WWS) as a follow-on to WWE 1-4 and already has publishing dates for subsequent levels.  I knew it was coming but it throws a loop in my plans.  I had been planning to use another program called Writing Tales (WT).  I like the look of WT.  I want to use WT.

I should interject here that I have a fear of teaching writing. I realize that it is an important skill to succeed in college and life; I don't want to let my boys down.  Therefore, I want (need?) a program to hold my hand and walk me through the whole process.  At this point, I'm trusting in Mrs. Bauer's method.  Do I think it will work?  I think so.  I trust her.  My only hangup is that I'd planned on following the Writing Tales method which is slightly different.  Unfortunately, the author of Writing Tales hasn't been able to finish the rest of the program.  She only has 2 levels out and I would need all 4 that were planned.  I've been secretly hoping that she would come out with the other levels before we need them (there's still time!!) but that doesn't look likely.

So where does that leave me?  I need to listen to the sage advice, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  That leaves me abandoning my original plan and sticking with WWE.  I should be fine with that.  I am fine with that but I'm still sad that I won't be using WT.  I'm working through that but in the meantime, I'm still searching.  Searching for what you ask?  I'm searching for the perfect writing curriculum.  For some reason, I think I'm missing something and the perfect answer will jump out at me.  That's what we curriculum junkies do.One thing I've learned over the past 3 years is that there are a lot of good programs out there, a few great programs, and no perfect programs.  A perfect program isn't possible or even necessary.  SO...I am going to stop looking!

Now to contemplate supplementing with Winning with Writing next year...


mommygirl @ HCA said...

Even though you're grieving the future loss of using WT, I think you'll be very happy with your decision about WWE/WWS in the long run. Much like yourself... I, too, have contemplated many writing programs (hand-holding required), but continually come back to staying the course with WWE and looking forward to WWS. That being said, I cannot deny that I've also considered the possibilities of supplementing WWE, but I'm finding at week 12 of WWE3 that it is proving to be enough imho, especially alongside SWR, FLL, and other subjects (iykwim).

I'm not saying that I won't throw something else in, here or there, just to change things up a bit since I do tend to take things to the Nth degree, but it won't be because I'm compelled by guilted necessity. I don't feel the need to 'keep up with the Jones', just because they're dc can write a 5-paragraph essay at this stage of the journey. I'm trusting my gut with SWB's writing methodology just as I did/am with SWR. I'm continually pleased and thankful for the results produced by both. It's a marathon, not a sprint. But, I digress... and hope you find this somewhat encouraging. :o)

Dinsfamily said...

You're right, I feel the same way about WWE/WWS. I do need to remember the marathon analogy. I don't want my dc to burn out at mile 4 because we're sprinting. We're only in WWE2 and I'm so happy with how it's going and how easy it is to use. As time goes on, I'm happier and more secure in my decision. Now to be patient until we get to WWS. It looks great!

If I do supplement, it would be with WWW. I'm not sure we will as I'm going add in vocab next year and time is limited. The appeal of WWW is that he could work on it independently and it would provide a different POV. If we do use it, it would be a low-key, don't-care-if-we-finish type of supplement.

Christina A. said...

Just curious if you have tried Growing with Grammar. We are using FLL1/WWE1 right now.

mommygirl @ HCA said...

I've decided to add vocab to the (SWR/FLL) mix next year too! Just out of curiosity, how will you be adding it in? We'll be using a combination of Dynamic Literacy's WordBuild (Foundations 1) and MCT Caesar's English 1.

Dinsfamily said...

@ Christina,
I haven't tried Growing with Grammar because I'm very happy with FLL. It is so easy to use. This year I'll be using FLL1 and FLL3

@ Mommygirl, I think we've talked about this online. I'm working with D-Man on Building Language right now and planning on adding in some word maps alonside it. It won't take us that long to get through it so I'm looking into Vocabulary from the Classical Roots or Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots to finish out the year.