Friday, April 26, 2013

Already Planning for Next Year

So, now that this year is under way, I am thinking ahead to next year. As I've explained, we had to make a large cut to the school budget this year. This meant that several things were replaced with less expensive, or free, options. Instead of buying 2 levels of Easy Grammar this year, we are using Mad Libs, free online worksheets, books from the library, and a copy of Grammar Land that I found as a free download. Instead of buying 2 levels the Stack the Deck Writing program, I am just assigning Writing throughout the year. Instead of buying 2 levels of All About Spelling, I bought one level & we are also playing word games, such as Scrabble & Boggle. We changed our topics for Science & only bought a few things, relying mostly on the internet & library for resources. We skipped books we had intended to buy for History, and will rely mostly on the library & internet for that subject, as well.

Anyway, I have no intention of cutting the budget for next year. So, I am working on figuring out what to use. I had originally planned to go back to Easy Grammar & Stack the Deck next year. However, Jay has told me that he wasn't really enjoying those by the end of 3rd grade. I don't believe everything has to be fun, but I also know that if my kid is bored out of his mind he won't be learning. The writing assignments in Stack the Deck were often pointless. Easy Grammar is very repetitive. So, I am looking into other options for those areas. I am thinking about Brave Writer for Writing, but I'm still not sure about it. It isn't one of those options that is cheap & won't be a big deal if you buy it. So, I really need to do a lot of research on it before committing to purchase. I have been looking at blog posts explaining how different people apply it. I have been reading at the Brave Writer website & blog. I have been reading reviews of it. So far, everyone who has read it seems impressed. Though, several also mention using other Writing programs & just using what they learned from this to tweak the other programs. That is far more money than I am willing to spend on Writing. It appears to have a rather relaxed approach to writing, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, I don't specifically agree with waiting until high school to start academic writing. I believe that both creative & academic writing can & should be started in elementary school. So, I'm not sure that this book is really for me. I really wish it was something I could find at my local library or borrow from someone, so I could read it without having to spend so much money. Maybe I will just pull out some of the (near a dozen) books we own on writing & piece something together myself.