Thursday, 24 February 2011

What works for Andre...

...and what doesn't. This is part two in my series of "what works". You can read what works for Adrienne (who is 13) here.  This time, I am writing about what curriculum is working well and what doesn't for my son Andre who just turned 12 yesterday.

My son is very different in many aspects than Adrienne, but they do rate Math as their top favourite subjects and Teaching Textbooks as their favourite independent curriculum. Andre started only this year with Teaching Textbooks (TT 6). He was using Singapore Math before, and was doing well with it, but didn't particularly like math. Now he enjoys math! I think he really likes that it is on the computer and that the program tells him right away if his answer is correct or not, and if it is incorrect, after giving him a second try, tells him the correct answer and how to get there. There's never any complaining about doing math from Andre now, and that tells me a lot!

Growing with Grammar is another winner when it comes to my son as well. The lessons are short enough and the exercices too. He definetely benefits from not having any distractions in the lesson book and the exercices. Photos or drawings would affect his concentration. Growing with Grammar also reviews previously learned material in every exercice sheet. I am able to see if he is retaining the lessons this way and when he doesn't, we ca go back to the particular lesson and read it again. Growing with Grammar works for him and he actually enjoys doing the diagramming!

The Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series is another curriculum that has worked really well for Andre. He continues to practice his handwriting every day.

We started Sequential Spelling this year. Andre is at level 1. He isn't a strong speller. He basically writes words as they sound. Sequential Spelling is working slowly, but I am starting to see a small difference. Andre likes that spelling only takes a few minutes every day to do. We will continue with this program next year. I think it needs a few years commitment to see a big difference. 

For writing, we are using Write Source 2000 as a reference/spine and Story Starters for writing assignments. We haven't done a lot this year with these, but Andre participated in NaNoWriMo in November and he also regularly writes narrations for science and history. I think that Write Source 2000 is a good reference for Andre, but so far he hasn't enjoyed the Story Starters assignment very much. I might look elsewhere for writing prompts.

It is a little more difficult to write about what works for Andre but isn't his favourite. Anything to do with "school work" isn't his favourite. He much rather do anything besides lessons and exercices. The way I measure what he likes, after asking him, is how much he whines or complains about it. Yes, I wrote kid whines about school work! The only one he has really complained about this school year is Science. Adrienne also rates this one as her least favourite. This is a subject we do together, so I will write about it more in another post.

This year, for Andre, there isn't any curriculum that is failing for him, which is great! It is nice to have found what works for him. As much as he doesn't like school work, he is the first one to start his independent work every morning and the first to show me what he has done. He needs structure and focus, and our current curriculum choices meet those needs.

Next post will be about Celeste...

1 comment:

  1. All 3 of my daughters use teaching textbooks and love it.They are ages 12,14, and 16 but for my older girls they do say that sometimes some things aren't explained thoroughly & leave them clueless.We can't wait to try growing with grammar for my 12 year old.I really love that you post what works for your really helps out homeschoolers like myself.


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