Chapter 12 of Volume 1 is the Human Body unit. But, while we’re studying the human body, we’re also studying “family.” I’ve chosen to do some read-alouds with this unit. We’ll be taking five weeks to go through this chapter, so I have four “families” to read about.
The first week we’re covering the family institution and preparation for family living. I chose to read Abigail Adams: First Lady of Faith and Courage (Sower Series). I chose this book because I simply love the way families were structured in this time period. It’s very different than what we now see, and this book gives me a chance to discuss those differences with my children. (Having just finished John Adams the time period is still fresh in my mind, as are John and Abigail Adams.)
During the first half of week two, we’ll be studying guidelines for dating. I’ve chosen to read about Billy Graham from the book, Backpack Books: Modern Heroes. All of these families exemplify godly people, which is what I’m focusing on for this unit. I don’t know if this book will touch on his relationship with his wife or not–the Abigail Adams book talked a bit about their courtship–but I’m sure I’ll find many character traits to point out to my children during this read-aloud.
During the second half of week two and most of week three we’ll be studying marriage. I chose The Swiss Family Robinson from Christian Adventures… 4 Books In 1. I realize this is a fictional family, but it’s also a family that works together to survive. Teamwork is another trait I’m trying to instill in my children.
During week four and the first half of week five we’ll be studying death, so I’ve chosen Susanna Wesley (The Sowers). I’ve read this book before and I seem to recall that Susanna loses a few babies along the way.
None of these books are suggested in the Volume, but they are what I have on my shelves. You will need to choose your own families to study if you chose to do read-alouds. As a way to wrap-up this unit, during the last week we’ll be studying “famous families.” I’ll be asking my children to write a letter to any of the famous families we’ve read about, even the Swiss Family Robinson, and ask them questions. It should be interesting to see what they come up with!
I just wrote a review of this fantastic Language Arts resource and posted it at my other blog:
Check out the review, and then check out the Weekly Writer Club. If you sign up, or if you contact the owner, be sure to say that Kelly sent you!
Okay, I know this isn’t the program from the Weaver line. I’ve been using Success in Spelling (from the Weaver line) and my son is still a terrible speller. So, I picked up a copy of Spelling Power from a local homeschool used book store. I was amazed at how similar it is to Success in Spelling!
I’m going to use Spelling Power for a year and see how it works for my children. I’ll probably find a way to combine the two programs, taking the best ideas from both and merging them to tailor-fit my children’s needs. I’ll let you know how it goes a year from now.
This morning I received an email from a woman asking for info about Penmanship to Praise. I thought I’d share some of my response here. Penmanship to Praise (or P2P, as we like to call it) is a penmanship program written by Becky Avery, the author of The Weaver Curriculum. Within each book you’ll find colored cardstock with both cursive and italic alphabets. (Although I’ve never seen the A Beka or BJU programs, I’m told that the cursive and italics in P2P are not quite the same–seems no two companies are alike when it comes to how to form letters.) The younger levels also have a page that is block-style, and the older levels have a page that compares the three styles. I tend to teach cursive myself, and have been known to ‘change’ a letter or two if I don’t like how it looks on the chart. You need to choose the level based on the size of the lines that are comfortable for your child. I started my then-1st-grade son on level 1 last year and after about a month I moved him up to level 2 because the lines were too far apart and he was writing sloppy. P2P is set up in three sections: Memory Verse Choices, Practice for Praise, and Border Sheets. The Memory Verse Choices section is co-ordinated with the Weaver volumes, with all the memory verses for each volume listed by chapter. This is the only program within the Weaver Curriculum that has the Bible verses printed out (New American Standard), but it is just as easy to use your own choice of translations. The verses are merely type-written, not done in cursive or italics. The child is expected to “translate” the verse to the proper form on their sheet. The Practice for Praise section gives suggestions for letters to focus on each week, and then provides four days’ worth of practice sheets (Mon-Thur). The Border Sheets are for Friday, when the student writes the week’s verse in their best penmanship. There are detailed instructions at the front of the book that explain how to use the program, but as with any curriculum you are free to adapt it since you are the teacher. You can get a free sample of the program from AOP if you call them. They’ll send you sample sheets from each level so you can see the various line widths. Again, this is very important for placing your child in the correct level.