I've used ABeka this entire year, barely straying except for my horrible experimentation with KONOS, the curriculum for people with jillions upon jillions of children and for mothers with patience longer than this run-on sentence. I've purchased a few secondhand science and health texts at my local homeschool resource store; I've also ordered a few dinosaur books from Usbourne (hi, can we be BFF, Usbourne? Seriously? I heart you lots). I can't stand how disjointed everything is when you don't use a unit study (It doesn't flow! There is ZERO flowing), yet I personally don't have a lot of confidence in unit studies just yet.
So! I've already decided that first grade will be totally different but not really because I'm still scared to death about leaving a thoughtfully prepared curriculum authored by people who didn't spend their college years studying classical literature that no one but nerds care about and print journalism. People who are able to write short, concise sentences even under the influce of antibiotics and allergy medication. (Throat infection. Can barely talk. Kids planning mutiny. Halp.)
Anyway, on with the changing.
I'm trying to fit in a nice science curriculum to balance out my fine arts-heavy lesson plan. So far Usbourne and Bob Jones were the only texts I liked and then I saw that John Clayton, of DoesGodExist.org is offering a science curriculum for homeschoolers. For $30. Thirty. I KNOW. Also, because Clayton's such a stand-up guy, you can borrow the curriculum if you don't want to buy it. However, since personal contributions fund all of Clayton's work - as he's solely interested in spreading the word instead of making a dime - I'd prefer to purchase it.
"We are pleased to announce that the first program in our science study series called Grandpa John's Science Lab is now ready. In this children's video series, John Clayton teaches elementary children science lessons on magnetism, electricity, wave motion, light, sound, and mechanics from a Christian perspective. This series is very science oriented and is ideal for home schoolers and Christian teachers. Demonstrations are done, and explanations are provided to help the students understand what they are seeing and what it tells us about the world in which we live. In addition to the videos, a teacher's guide is provided with content explanations, additional activities for the students to do, and biblical applications. This material is available in video tapes or DVDs. The entire package will be $30 ppd or can be borrowed by contacting us and making arrangements to do so."
I've loved just about everything Clayton's written; there was a political item he wrote with which I disagreed a while back, but it's pathetically insignificant in the context of the bigger picture. You can receive, also for free, Clayton's well-produced bi-monthly journal. Every Christian should have this journal in their magazine pile and I hate saying things like "Every Christian ... cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck." But I will so say it this time. Clayton is a former physics and chemistry professor and atheist. He teaches from a Christian perspective and throroughly analyzes every topic from every possible angle. I'm looking forward to seamlessly incorporating this material into our curriculum.