OK, so I have been doing a little pre-planning for the upcoming school year. I now understand how completely important your choice of curriculum is, and so I truly want to make the "right" choices. However, I also have learned that the "wrong" curriculum is not the end of the world. That is what's great about homeschooling...flexibility! I can keep doing what works, and change what doesn't! A Beka has definitely worked for us for phonics, spelling, reading and language arts. Therefore, that decision is easy! I know Isaac has vastly improved in all of these subjects since the beginning of his first grade year. And, the way I measure a good curriculum (in my limited experience) is to ask myself: Did I use all/most of the curriculum. If I am skipping lots of the curriculum, I know its time to move on. If I am using most or all of it, its a winner!
For math, I have liked Developmental Mathematics, but have found that there are very key elements that are missing. I have had to supplement these workbooks for the past few months. I will probably look for something new for Isaac's second grade year, and have no idea what that might be at this point.
I am also considering "Five in a Row" for a supplemental reading program. I am still learning about it, but it seems like something that might work well for us.
I will keep doing lapbooks/unit studies, which coincides with FIAR. We will continue using this as a way to implement history, science, etc. Whether I will purchase an actual curriculum for these subjects remains to be seen.
Graham will be doing four year old preschool with me full time next year. I plan on using "Letter of the Week" with him, as well as preschool packs and lapbooks. I would like to purchase this for him for next year.