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Mid-Year Curriculum Changes and Tweaks

Overall, our school year has been going very smoothly. We haven’t deviated much from our 2013-2014 homeschool curriculum list.  However, our 12 year old daughter decided she wanted to complete her 7th grade material early and work ahead.

We’ve gone back and forth on bumping her up a grade, and for the time being she will still officially be a 7th grader, but working on subjects/courses that are more challenging, including ones that will begin earning her high school credit.

I’ll be honest and tell you the whole thought of high school is making me feel old and scaring me.  Not because I don’t think we can do it, but it definitely brings an entirely new level of accountability to the table when you consider credits, transcripts, and the looming thought of college. It also means my babies are growing up – but that is an entirely different can of worms!

Our Curriculum Tweaks and Changes

Here’s a quick peek at what we’ve changed, added, and found for the remainder of the school year.

Geography

With high school credits looming in our future (gah!), one of the subjects that we added in for credit is geography. We are beginning North Star Geography, a brand-new program from Bright Ideas Press. We’re using it along with WonderMaps.

This is something we’ll be sharing more about with you in the upcoming months (so excited!!). In the meantime, be sure to check out the Google Hangout with Bright Ideas Press on “How to Add Geography to Your Homeschool”.

Spanish

In the early fall we took the plunge and bought the TELL ME MORE Spanish Homeschool programs (we purchased the cd-rom edition) since it allowed unlimited users and the full curriculum. Laurianna has worked through the intro program and started on year one – this has been one of her favorite subjects now!

Bible

image

McKenna is starting  Who Am I?, the second book in Apologia’s worldview series, and Laurianna is working on the fourth book, What on Earth Can I Do?  The girls also use the notebooking journals to go along with the textbooks.

Math

Laurianna has wrapped up Teaching Textbooks 7 and also Pre-Algebra, so she’ll be moving on to the Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 program shortly. This is another that she can officially earn high school credit on.

Language Arts & Writing

We’ve added in Growing with Grammar 8 to each day now. The younger kids use the Easy Grammar series and this was our first year with this program and Laurianna has enjoyed it – similar in some ways, but not a huge adjustment overall.

Laurianna has been working FULL speed ahead on the WriteShop Basic Set for Jr. High. She will be starting the second half of the program (for 8th grade) this week. Writing is one of her passions, so it’s one that she dives into with gusto!

Science

We are loving the Rainbow program from Beginning Publishing {a two year Jr. High science program}. Laurianna has finished the first half and is moving through the second part (chemistry based) now.

Have you made any adjustments to your homeschool year?

What programs have you fallen in love with this year?

Helps on Homeschool Curriculum and Organization

How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

 

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

Curriculum Choices from Years Past…

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2013

If you’d like to see what curriculum we’ve used in years past, click on one of the posts below. Grade levels taught each year are listed with the posts.

Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2013-2014

This year marks the beginning of our eighth year homeschooling. Typing those words seems so very strange. I truly cannot believe that it has been that long!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2013

Our children will be in 1st, 3rd/4th, 5/6th, and 7th grades. Our 7th grader is working hard to finish two years of curriculum during the year so that she can complete the 8th grade by the end of the year {gulp!}.

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

Homeschool Teaching Styles and Philosphies.png Identifying Children's Learning Styles copy How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

 Here’s a peek at what we’re planning to use this year. It’s entirely possible that I’ve managed to leave something off the list – which means I many edit it as the year progresses!

History {Daily}

Mystery of History-1

Our ‘core’ focus this year will be Mystery of History Vol. 3 by Linda Hobar. In addition to the main book, we are using the following go-along digital pieces from Bright Ideas Press:

Bible {Daily}

Language Arts {Daily}

Spelling {Bi-Weekly}

All About Spelling-1

Writing {Daily}

Reading ~ {Daily}

  • 1st Grade ~ finishing All About Reading Level 1 and then moving on to All About Reading Level 2
  • 4th Grade ~ All About Reading Level 3 {when released} and then books at reading level for independent reading.
  • 6th and 7th Grade~ Books at reading level to go along with Mystery of History 3. We will  be tracking books using our Reading Log and writing reports using this Book Report Form.
  • Entire family ~ We will also have read-alouds for the whole family during the week and I’m working on that list. The bulk of the books will go along with our studies, but we want to include some other fun books to read during the year too.

Math {Daily}

Science {Varies by Grade}

Handwriting {Daily}

Art {Once a Week}

PE {When I Remember…}

Spanish {Bi-Weekly}

Curriculum Choices from Years Past…

If you’d like to see what curriculum we’ve used in years past, click on one of the posts below. Grade levels taught each year are listed with the posts.

Additional Resources: Unfamiliar with some of the curriculum choices above? Follow the links below to learn more about the companies and resources:

What is on your curriculum list for the upcoming year? Join up with the 2013 Curriculum Blog hop by clicking on the link below.

Curriculum Week in the 2013 Not Back to School Blog Hop

 

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Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2012-2013

Updated: If you’d like to see our CURRENT homeschool curriculum choices, please click on the button below. My menu bar is acting a bit strange and I can’t change the links. Sorry to make you hop around!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2013

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

Homeschool Teaching Styles and Philosphies.png Identifying Children's Learning Styles copy How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

 Curriculum Choices for 2012-2013

All four kids are on the official homeschool map this year {i.e. all four were reported to our local school district as homeschooling}. At times the thought is overwhelming to me, but also so very exciting! This is our seventh year homeschooling and we officially start on Monday, August 6th! Our list of homeschool curriculum choices is finally in place {phew!} ~ here’s a peek at what we’ll be using this year…

Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Bible {Daily}

Language Arts {Daily}

Spelling {Bi-Weekly}

All About Spelling-1

Writing {Daily}

Vocabulary {Daily}

Reading ~ {Daily}

  • Kindergarten ~  All About Reading Level 1.
  • 3nd Grade ~ Zachary will be reading books that I pick for him {some are the All About Reading books} as well as other grade-level books.
  • 5th and 6th Grade~ The girls will be reading books at their level to go along with Mystery of History 2 that we are doing as well as books for fun! They will be keeping track of their books on their Reading Log and writing reports for me using our Book Report Form. We will also have read-alouds for the whole family during the week and I’m working on that list. The bulk of the books will go along with our studies, but we want to include some other fun books to read during the year too.

Math {Daily}

History {Daily}

Mystery of History-1

Our ‘core’ focus this year will be Mystery of History Vol. 2 from Bright Ideas Press. In addition to the main book, we are using the following go-along digital pieces:

We started using Mystery of History late last fall. Can I just tell you how much we are all enjoying history?? Very much!

Science {Daily}

Handwriting {Daily}

Art {Once a Week}

  • All ages – See the Light art curriculum dvds {we ordered the art class 1 year set}. We also are planning to do several of the special art project dvds.
  • Draw Write Now ~ these books from Barker Creek have been a staple in our home for years and our kids LOVE them. We have the full set which is available from both Barker Creek and Amazon.

Birds pastels-2

Spanish {Bi-Weekly}

Kindergarten Core

For the bulk of our year we will be finishing up Before Five in a Row, working on some Five in a Row books, and also using various Printable Packs. Technically Kaleb is kindergarten this year, although he is academically ahead in a few areas, so we are adjusting things accordingly.

Additional Resources:

If you are unfamiliar with some of the curriculum choices/names above, you can follow the links below to learn about a few of the products that I’ve previously written reviews for.

nbtsbloghopcalendar2012

It is definitely shaping up to be a full year! What are your favorite picks for upcoming the upcoming year? Link up and see what other moms are using this year at the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop. Leave a comment too ~ I’d love to hear what you are using!

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2012 Curriculum Changes

Officially we’re halfway through our school year and we’ve had a bit of rearranging going on ~ some over the last 8 weeks and a few new pieces added to start this semester. You can see our full 2011-2012 homeschool curriculum list in the post I wrote earlier this past fall. Here’s a look at the areas we made changes.

I do love the fact that we have the flexibility to tweak things in our schedule that are {or are not} working for us so that our family gets the most out of what we are doing. Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating, but when something ‘clicks’ ~ that is just a wonderful feeling!

History

Mystery of History Volume 1The biggest switch has been with our history. At the beginning of November we began using Mystery of History Vol. 1 from Bright Ideas Press. We have several of the go-along digital pieces {reproducible tests/quizzes, folderbook, notebooking pages, and coloring pages} and are slowly working in some other things such as the Read Aloud Guides and Family Study Guides that are a part of Illuminations. Can I just tell you how much we are all enjoying history?? Very much! :)

Language/Grammar

imageThe girls both switched over to Easy Grammar in early December and that change too has been such a great switch. It came highly recommended to me from Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Our prior program just was causing more frustration and tears than learning, and Easy Grammar has made a world of difference. We are also using Daily Grams to go along with the Easy Grammar and the girls {and I} like the layout of the program. We also now have separate levels for the girls {we are using levels 4 and 5}.

Writing

Zachary is moving into Write Shop Primary B and the girls are starting Write Shop Junior Book D that just released at the end of 2011.

Mathimage

Laurianna wrapped up Teaching Textbooks Level 5 and has now started Teaching Textbooks 6. We’ve also added in Life of Fred: Fractions for her to work on on Tuesdays/Thursday in addition to her TT lesson. She loves the simple format and giggles through many of the questions. :)

Reading

Kaleb has finished up All About Reading Level Pre-1 and is now working through All About Reading Level 1 and we are having much fun. He asks to work on it every day {even days we don’t have school}. You have to love that enthusiasm!

McKenna will also be working on her reading comprehension using Beyond the Code 4.

That’s it on this end. Have you made any recent tweaks or changes to your curriculum?

 

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2011-2012

This year our oldest three {Zachary ~ 2nd, McKenna ~ 4th, and Laurianna ~ 5th grade} will be working together and focusing on 19th Century {or thereabouts}. Here’s my list of what we have in place for each subject for the 2011-2012 school year along with the how often we’ll be working on that subject during the week.

Preschool/Kindergarten

For the bulk of our year we will be focusing on Before Five in a Row along with various Preschool Packs. Any added subject/curricula will be listed below.

Language {Daily}

Preschool ~ Language Lessons for Little Ones as well as our studies with Before Five in a Row

2nd Grade ~ Zachary will be continuing with First Language Lessons Year 2. We both love the scripted lessons and the depth that they cover {making it easier for me!}. If you are using First Language Lessons Years 1 & 2 don’t forget the poem printables I made to go along with the memorization.

4th and 5th Grade ~ Both girls will be working through Analytical Grammar. This is a company that I found at homeschool convention and sat down to chat with the creators for quite a bit. VERY excited to start using this with the girls and it will segway great from First Language Lessons.

Update: The girls both switched over to Easy Grammar in early December and that change too has been such a great switch. It came highly recommended to me from Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.We are also using Daily Grams to go along with the Easy Grammar and the girls {and I} like the layout of the program. We also now have separate levels for the girls {we are using levels 4 and 5}.

Vocabulary {Daily}

2nd – 5th ~ We will be using Dynamic Literacy’s Word Build Foundations throughout the year. We started this during the summer months and it’s a 15 minute a day program that I’m really excited to continue using with the kids. I’m not putting huge pressure on Zachary for this one, but we’ll work through it with him at his pace.

Math {Daily}

Preschool/Kindergarten~ ABeka Arithmetic K

2nd Grade ~ Zachary will be using ABeka Arithmetic 2 until he is ready to move into Teaching Textbooks.

4th and 5th Grade ~ Both girls will be using Teaching Textbooks. McKenna will use Teaching Textbooks Level 4, moving into Level 5 and Laurianna will use Teaching Textbooks Level 5 and move into Teaching Textbooks 6 when she is ready.

Update: We’ve also added in Life of Fred: Fractions for Laurianna to work on on Tuesdays/Thursday in addition to her TT lesson. She loves the simple format and giggles through many of the questions. :)

History {Daily}

Our ‘core’ focus this year will be from American Revolution to the Late 19th Century. We’ll be using Homeschool in the Woods Time Traveler’s units for part of the year {and making the units longer than 6 weeks} and also the Prairie Primer to mix things up a little. I have a feeling there are two girls who are going to love the latter part!

Updated: At the beginning of November we began using Mystery of History Vol. 1 from Bright Ideas Press. We have several of the go-along digital pieces {reproducible tests/quizzes, folderbook, notebooking pages, and coloring pages} and are slowly working in some other things such as the Read Aloud Guides and Family Study Guides that are a part of Illuminations. Can I just tell you how much we are all enjoying history?? Very much!

Science {Daily}

We loved science this past year and this year we’ll be using Nancy Larson Science 2. Science 2 can cover between ages 7 to 9, so we will all use this together. During the year, we’ll be focusing on Life Science {bug, trees, human body and more}. The Science 2 Homeschool kit comes with everything I’ll need to use for the entire year…so I don’t have to go searching for things to do our projects and lessons!

Laurianna will be writing some additional ‘reports’ to go along with the topics that we’re studying to give her a little extra meat. She is thrilled at the chance to do a little internet searching. :) In addition, we’ll be doing weekly science experiments using the book How to Do Science Experiments with Children.

Spelling {Bi-Weekly}

It shouldn’t be a surprise that we will be using All About Spelling this year. We’re working on Level 2 with Zachary and Level 4 with the girls. As they progress through the level, we’ll move onto the next one. We’re also going to be using All About Homophones with everyone during the year where appropriate.

Handwriting {Daily}

A Reason for Handwriting has been a great fit for our family and the kids enjoy it as well. Kaleb will begin with Level K. The girls will be continuing with cursive with Levels D & E. Zachary will be working on printing with Level B and will also continue to use ABeka K4 cursive to work on his cursive writing.

Bible {Daily}

New to us this year will be Grapevine Studies Stick Figuring Through the Bible! I’ve heard some wonderful things about the program and am looking forward to using it with the kids! We will also be reading through the Bible using our Hands-On Bible.

All four kids will be attending Awana, so we’ll be learning the verses that go along with their books and using our Awana printables {and I’ll be making the ones that we need to go along for this year}.

Writing {Daily}

2nd Grade ~ We will finish up WriteShop Primary A and then continue on to use Primary B with Zachary. We switched to this program at the end of last year and LOVE it. Writing has become so much more enjoyable for all of us!

4th and 5th Grade ~ The girls will be using WriteShop Primary C and then WriteShop Junior Book D when it becomes available. I have the teacher’s guides in spiral bound format and we’ll use the ebook format for the kid’s workbooks.

Independent Reading ~ {Daily}

Preschool/Kindergarten ~ Kaleb will continue with All About Reading Level Pre-1 and then move on to All About Reading Level 1 when it is released.

2nd Grade ~ Zachary will be reading books that I pick for him {some are the All About Reading books} as well as other grade-level books

4th and 5th Grade ~ The girls will be reading books at their level to go along with the studies that we are doing as well as books for fun! They will be keeping track of their books on their Reading Log and writing reports for me using our Book Report Form.

We will also have read-alouds for the whole family during the week and I’m working on that list. The bulk of the books will go along with our studies, but we want to include some other fun books to read during the year too.

Update: McKenna will also be working on her reading comprehension using Beyond the Code 4.

Spanish {Bi-Weekly}

All three kids will work on Rosetta Stone Latin America Level 1 {Homeschool version}. When we switched to a new laptop for the kids, I managed to somehow delete the files from our old laptop, so they had to start over again {ahem}. Needless to say, they should be well-grounded in level 1 when all is said and done!

Art {Once a Week}

Once a week we’ll be doing an artist study using some new printables that I’m putting together with a friend. Part of our study will also use the book Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl to try our hand at some different art techniques.

Greek Mythology {Once a Week}

Somehow I managed to get talked into this to do along with a friend. I wasn’t too sure about it, but when the book showed up, the kids immediately grabbed it and asked when we’re going to start learning…go figure! We’ll be using D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths along with Greek Myths Teacher’s Guide from Memoria Press.

Additional Resources:

If you are unfamiliar with some of the curriculum choices/names above, you can follow the links below to learn about a few of the products that I’ve previously written reviews for.

Phew! I think that’s it, but I have this feeling I’ve forgotten something! It’s looking like it’s going to be a full year!

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Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2010-2011

This year our oldest three {Zachary ~1st, McKenna ~ 3rd, & Laurianna ~ 4th grade} will be working together and focusing on Early American History. This list focuses on the curriculum that we will be using for our older three {preschool excluded…since I’m still tweaking that!}. Otherwise, this is what we have in place for each subject this coming year along with the how often we’ll be working on that subject each week.

Language ~ First Language Lessons was a great addition to our library last year. I love the scripted lessons and the depth that they cover {making it easier for me!}. Zachary will be working through FLL Year 1 and both girls will be working through First Language Lessons Year 3. Is it wrong to say that I am almost giddy that the girls will be learning how to diagram this year?

If you are using First Language Lessons Years 1 & 2 don’t forget the poem printables I made to go along with the memorization. I’m working on the ones for Level 3 right now and will share them soon! {Daily}

Math  ~ Teaching Textbooks is our primary curriculum for the girls. They have been working on lessons this summer and should be moving up to the next level mid-year. For now, McKenna is using Teaching Textbooks Level 3 and Laurianna is using Teaching Textbooks Level 4.

Zachary will be using ABeka Arithmetic 1. He really liked it last year, so we’ll continue it now until he is ready to move into Teaching Textbooks. {Daily}

History ~ This is the ‘core’ of what we’ll be focusing on this year. We’re blending two things together ~ Homeschool in the Woods Time Traveler’s units and Beautiful Feet Early American History for primary grades.

The literature, read-alouds and independent reading choices for the year will primarily come from the Beautiful Feet book choices. Our hands-on activities and lapbooks will all be from Homeschool in the Woods and their Time Traveler’s units {they are absolutely amazing!}. We’re starting with New World Explorers and working up all the way through the early 19th Century. {Daily}

Science ~ This is one area that I am very excited about this year! We’ll be using Nancy Larson Science 1. Science 1 can cover between ages 5 to 9, so we can all use this together {hooray!}. During the year, we’ll be focusing on Life Science {bug, trees, human body and more}. The Science 1 Homeschool kit comes with everything I’ll need to use for the entire year…so I don’t have to go searching for things to do our projects and lessons! {Bi-Weekly}

Spelling ~ It shouldn’t be a surprise that we will be using All About Spelling this year. :) We’re working on Level 1 with Zachary and Level 3 with the girls. As they progress through the level, we’ll move onto the next one. We’re also going to be using All About Homophones with everyone during the year. {Bi-Weekly}

Handwriting ~ A Reason for Handwriting was new to us last year and the kids enjoyed it. The girls will be continuing with cursive with Levels C & D. Zachary will be working on printing with Level A. We will also continue to use ABeka K4 cursive for him since he has enjoyed learning cursive {grins}. {Daily}

Bible ~ All four kids will be attending Awana again this year, so we’ll be learning the verses that go along with their books and using our Awana printables and I’ll be making more to go along with the Cubbies book, Truth & Training and the new SkyStormer book.

I’m also working on some more family time devotions that will incorporate the Seeds Family Worship CDs, but have yet to sit down and get all my thought out for that. {Daily}

Writing ~ The girls will be using Complete Writer Level 4 and Zachary will be using Complete Writer Level 1. These are books that I have cut the binding off and can duplicate to use with other children since they have a copyright permission for families. {Daily}

Independent Reading ~ The girls will be reading books that are suggested in Beautiful Feet.  Zachary will be working on our All About Reading books {and I can’t wait for their new program to be released this fall!!}.

Spanish ~ All three kids will work on Rosetta Stone Latin America Level 1 {Homeschool version}. The homeschool program allows up to 10 users to work on the program at their own pace, so Rick and I are planning to work along on Spanish also. Should any of the kids finish Level 1, we’ll move onto Level 2. {Bi-Weekly}

PE ~ We’ll hopefully be participating in a class at a local college again and also have classes at co-op. {2-3 times Weekly}

Art ~ Twice a month we’ll be doing an artist study and using the book Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl to try our hand at some different art techniques. The book has art activities for kids based on famous artist along with a brief bio on each artist.

Additional Resources:

If you are unfamiliar with some of the curriculum choices/names above, you can follow the links below to learn about a few of the products that I’ve previously written reviews for. I will be sharing more about Nancy Larson Science and Homeschool in the Woods soon and will update these links as I do.

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