Saturday, June 9, 2012

Big Curriculum Changes are Coming! {Trail Guide to Learning}

I am so excited!  We are going to be starting a new curriculum next year, mid July to be exact.

We are going to be using Trail Guide to Learning - Paths of Exploration {POE} by Debbie Strayer and Linda Fowler.  For times like this, I really wish there was a cute little abbreviation for a homeschool mom doing cartwheels in her front yard!

I knew that we were going to be studying American History this year and I had assumed that we would just continue with our regularly scheduled program {curriculum} but then I started peeking around to see what else was out there. 

Here was my criteria for potential new curriculum:
  • Biblically sound - check!
  • It had to be something everyone could do together {I am not about to embark on 3 different history books thank you very much} - check!
  • Bible, History, Science  should flow together - check!
  • I wanted to read REAL BOOKS - check, check and check!
  • We do oral narration but I felt like I we needed a little more, like discussion questions - check!
  • Charlotte Mason friendly - check!
  • Notebooking and lapbooking - check!
  • TM needs to be laid out in homeschool mom terms that my brain  could understand AND follow through with - double checkity check!!
  • Interesting books and hands on activities - check!
  • I would like to keep Fridays free or light - check!

When the UPS man delivered the box I tried to act like it was no big deal and sneek into the house.  ALONE.  But as you can see I ended up having help.  My little dude loved that everything was wrapped.  He helped unwrap everything while asking me if these were for his birthday {smile}.

Things that exceeded my expectations:
  • Character Traits are something I am always trying to incorporate into our day but sometimes fail to do so.  I love that this is integrated into the Bible Portion of POE {Light for the Trail which is sold separately}
  • We love Nature Studies but rarely fit in Nature Walks and never get around to using our Handbook of Nature Study book.  Would you believe that a main component of POE's Science is the Handbook of Nature Study!!!
  • I really like that the TM is broken into 6 week unit increments.  I also like that week 6 is for review and catch up. 
  • Language Arts in included in this curriculum.  From what I understand so far, it is taught through literature Ruth Beechick style. 
  • Not only are there hands on activities there are GAMES!!  My kids are going to love playing Columbus Bingo and Charades!

 As you can see, this looks like a great curriculum!  I will update my thoughts on POE once we get started and as we move along. 

Anyone else starting something completely new this year?

Disclaimer: I received Trail Guide for Learning - Paths to Exploration, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.


Samantha Kelley said...

You are going to love it!

Brandi said...

Thanks! Your blog is what led me to it : )

Amy said...

We are not starting any overall new curriculun, we actually use Ambleside Online for our core; however, we will be adding some new things like the "Who is God?" book during Bible and I am excited about it!

Enjoy your TGtL! I will look forward to hearing if you like it!

Amy @ Missional Mama

Kimberly said...

My good friend is using that one this year, too!

Brandi said...

Amy - You will really like "Who is God?" : D

Kim - it looks like a great curriculum, I bet they love it!

Homeschooling6 said...

Oh how fun. I love box day. I did take a peek at this program and am sometimes tempted ;)

Amy said...

We just started with POE today with my two daughters!! I am so excited about it!! Considering it was our first day (haven't gotten into a flow, yet) and my younger kids were very disruptive, I would say that it went rather well!! I was originally going to have my 5 year old join in, but it seemed to work better having her entertain the two youngest while I worked with the two oldest. I think I'll do something a little different with her & her younger brother instead.

Brandi said...

Hi Amy - It always seems to take a bit to fall into a new routine, at least for us.

I read on the TGTL yahoo group about using Galloping the Globe or Cantering the Country with the younger guys. I am considering this myself.


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