Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What I'm Using Next Year

Ok - I know you all have just been dying to know what our curriculum will be made of next year. All (maybe) 1 of you.  Seriously, is anyone out there? 

Anyway -

Math - Grades Michael, Cassia, and Anna - A.C.E.  This curriculum works great for us as I am not mathematically minded and when the kids can't get it on their own it's written write there in their book where I can understand it!
Katrina, Seth, & Gloria - BJU.  What else?

English - All grades will use the best curriculum in this area - BJU.  Not that I've tried them all, but I did major in English when in college and their concentration on the writing process and the intricacies of grammar are superb.

History - This year, I let the older kids actually choose what they're going to do.  Daring, I know.  Mike is doing (surprise) Evan Moor's Civil War History Pockets.  He already knows much more about this war than I do, but I have a feeling it's going to play a part in whatever he chooses to do in his future.  So, I don't mind him spending a year of concentration on it.  He has purchased even more books and will do reports on it on top of the projects included in the pockets.  I truly hope one summer in the next few years he'll be able to intern as a guide at Mannasses.  
Cassia is also doing a History Pocket - Moving West.  She is very much interested in pioneers, etc.  She will be doing the projects, a report or two, and reading various books including on on Narcissus Prentiss & Marcus Whitman.
Anna is my more orderly, no-frills student.  Therefore, she chose to use the BJU 6th grade Heritage Studies.  She's basically covering world history & geography.  I personally like the organization and "no-thinking" planning that gives me, as well.
Seth & Katrina will be doing history in our homeschool group.  As we have 19 weeks total and most history curriculua for that age-group tend to only last half a year, that will suffice.  We will build on what they are learning in class and we will also be reading the Little House series.  We read that series together when the 3 older ones were young (Anna, my 9 year old, barely remembers that) and I think they'll enjoy it very much.  It also ties in nicely with Cassia's history studies.

Health - each of them will be using the A Beka health books geared towards their grade level.  It's basic, easy to read and understand and covers all sorts of issues such as diet, hygiene, changes in teens, manners, etc.

Science - I'm really excited to join the Apologia family this year.  Mike & Cassia will be doing the General Science program.  Mike will be taking the Hands-on Science class in our homeschool group, as well.  Cassia is undecided.  We will be doing as many of the experiments in our book as possible.  Anna is doing Apologia's Human Physiology & Anatomy and Katrina is doing Flying Creatures of the 5th Day.  The fact that they have notebook activities to go along with their lessons was a huge selling point for me.  Science is more about observing and doing.  Seth will be doing A Beka's Enjoying God's Creation.  It's only about half a year's worth of information and he will enjoy the experiments of the older children.

Reading/Literature - Katrina and Seth will continue with Hooked-on-Phonics for improved reading skills and utilize the Pathway Readers for practice.  I love the Pathway Readers and so do all of my children.  I don't make my kids do a lot of workbook work for reading and I think that has proved a good decision.  None of them see reading as work, but as something they love to do. 
I didn't plan on the older kids doing a formal reading program until I came across some great literature books as a used curriculum fair.  Mike is going to use an old BJU edition of "Explorations in Literature", Cassia is using A Beka's "Of People", and Anna is using the 6th grade Pathway Reader, "Step by Step."  Each book has questions at the end that my kids can answer aloud.  This way, I can make sure they are reading and comprehending all of the material.  This is important especially for those stories that seem to be a bit more dry to them.

Handwriting - Katrina and Seth will continue to use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.  Katrina is in the 2nd cursive book and Seth is in the 3rd printing book.  I began using this series about 4 or 5 years ago and I love it.  My kids' never minded doing handwriting and they improved without much time put forth every day.  This program won't last a whole year, but they'll continue to get practice as they write out their spelling words, etc.

Spelling - I found a great antique speller among my husband's grandmothers' books - "The Essentials of Spelling".  This speller was published in 1919 and covers 5-8 grades.  Michael and Cassia will be using the 7th and 8th grade word lists given.  Anna has opted to use the BJU 6th grade spelling and Katrina & Seth will also be using BJU for their grade levels, as well.

Bible - We rarely use a formal  Bible curriculum.  We will finish reading Adventures of Missionary Heroism and probably continue reading other missionary biographies together.  We also go over our church's Sunday School lessons together on school mornings and sing a few hymns together.  I plan on implementing more Scripture memorization, as well.

My children, as I've mentioned, are also involved in our church's homeschool co-op.  They receive their physical education and art instruction from this group.  They will also be involved in choir, home ec., and literature classes besides the classes I have previously mentioned. 

I've already planned what days we will be doing school.  With 4-day weeks beginning August 16, having all school-year birthdays off, a short Thanksgiving & Christmas break - we will still have 180 days of school (19 are co-op days and 6 are field trip days).  I'm excited to have next year planned out ahead of time. 

So, there's our plan.  Even if no one is reading this, it's nice to have it all in one place.  Wonder if I could send a link to this blog to my school Superintendent and use it for my IHIP.....:)


Carolee's Corner Canary Islands said...

This year we felt we had to join some sort of home school academy in order to satisfy the Spanish legal requirements, just in case they give us a problem. We went with the Bob Jones Home school academy, not sure what the official name is. I am very satisfied with the dvd program they have--it keeps us on track.
I couldn't keep up with all the things you do!! You must be really organized.

The Reynolds said...

make that 2 readers! lol...

Good to have a great plan. Homeschooling that many and getting everything in is a job! Good for you!

Jamie Parfitt said...

Just letting you know I read your detailed plan. I too am working on how to organize next year (slowly working on it). I should make Reese write a paper on the experience of cleaning and painting the tandem bike you gave him. I'm sure these real-life experiences teach something no book covers!