I found EP on the Texas Home School Coalition page’s list of resources and a fellow homeschool mom recommended Khan Academy (EP uses this resource for older grades too).
These resources were perfect for what I needed and we completed the entire 3rd grade year in the remaining 9 weeks. EP was a great way to cover the basics. Khan made it simple for him to work independently while I got things done around the house. It was also nice that I can access them from any device, anywhere.
As the school year began to come to an end I was already contemplating his 4th grade year. I felt a sense of relief that I had such a great curriculum ready and waiting at my disposal. Until last week, I had no intentions of changing what was working.
However the more I thought about it, the more I realized that although I loved everything about Khan and EP, I also wanted to supplement a few things with it. For example, I was so focused on language arts and math, that we had barely touched science and history. For this upcoming school year I want to go a little deeper into those subjects.
After a couple weeks of over confidence, I started thinking about my student. Did he love Khan and EP, what would work best for him? So I asked him what he liked. Did he want to do paper work or online work? He had some feedback and definitely wanted to do math traditionally. He struggled a lot with the Khan online courses.
So with that in mind, I started looking for things to supplement the curriculum at Rainbow Resource. I gave myself a $100 budget. I chose this amount because there are a ton of free resources available and EP really provides everything I need. The rest is just a “want”, and I didn’t need to go overboard buying more resources than I could use this year.
I found the website overwhelming when trying to compare products and gave up. Then last week I received their catalog in the mail. After a couple of hours of combing through the magazine I was able to narrow down what I wanted based on several factors. They have a great page in the front and back to help you organize and choose what will work for you.
Here is a rough example of how I made my choices:
- Subject – what subjects did I want to supplement? I was mostly interested in Science and History.
- Cost – is it in my budget? Which subjects did I want to spend most of my budget on?
- Teacher involvement – how much work will I need to put into it? For me, I’m looking for simplicity. Also, my son struggles academically and behaviorally so anything too complicated will not work for him.
In the end I bought 6 books, in 5 subjects, for $85. They covered language arts, reading comprehension, science, math, geography and social studies. All of them except one had the answers included, which was great. Some programs had too many pieces. I didn’t want a program that had 5 books for one subject. Again, I was looking for simplicity.
I never intended to change up my plans on the curriculum for the upcoming year, but I’m very excited to add these resources. I will share titles and what my first impression is when they come in!
I also intend to add note booking, science labs and more hands on activities this year. I am so excited and I think he’s going to love it too. Sometimes it’s good to re-evaluate and revise.