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10th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

Our poor girl may not have found it humorous when I texted her a picture of her HUGE curriculum pile. Granted the textbooks seem to grow astronomically each year the kids progress in school, but it definitely can seem a little daunting – especially when there is no way she’d be able to fit them all into one backpack without tipping over backwards. I honestly think the pile of books might weigh about half as much as she does. (gulp)

Laurianna has matured so much this last year, especially over the summer as she took on her first real job as a lifeguard and swim coach, also teaching swim lessons and participating in swim team. Overall, she was rather busy, but it was wonderful to see her really step up to what was asked of her and step in when something needed to be done. She is anxiously waiting for the day in September when she will be able to start driving. Please pray for me. (deep breaths)

10th Grade Curriculum Choices

Credits to earn: 7

American Literature high school reading list 2016_edited-1

So far, Laurianna has earned a total of 13.5 credits, so at the end of her 10th grade year she will have completed a total of 20.5 credits toward her diploma – meaning a somewhat lighter year for her 11th grade year and the option of dual enrollment classes. 

Laurianna did a great job figuring out her own routine last year (it may not have always been the way I liked it, but it worked for her). Learning to let go (on my part) is probably the hardest aspect of this, but we are encouraging her to take as much responsibility as possible to prepare her for dual credit classes in the upcoming future. 

Her dad and I are planning to sit down and go through the Constitutional Literacy class along with her. While we had considered putting that class off for another year, with her working through American History this year and also the election process, we figured it was the perfect time to jump in. 

Co-op Learning

We have a small group of high schoolers that will be meeting weekly to work on literature and American history this year. She will also be getting together once a week with a friend to go over Chemistry labs and assignments. 

In addition, one of the moms and I are planning some ‘girls only’ and family trips to a few historic places that will tie in with our history learning: Williamsburg, Biltmore (girls only), Washington, DC, and Philadelphia to name a few. We’ll see if we can squeeze in any more (maybe a trip to NYC??) but otherwise, those four will keep us plenty busy. 

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with Laurianna the past few years:

 

Does High School Have You Scared?

If homeschooling high school is worrying you, don’t miss the free middle and high school planning printables and map out your middle and high school years!

Homeschooling in High School Middle and High School Planning How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

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.

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

Click any of the images below to see our homeschool picks for the current school year. You’ll also find links to past years choices in each post. 

4th grade homeschool curriculum choices - from Homeschool Creations 6th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 from Homeschool Creations 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

9th Grade Year in Review – Homeschool Curriculum Choices

9th grade homeschool year in review

As the end of this year finished up, it brought with it a lot of OH MY WORD – THIS GIRL IS NOT GOING TO BE IN SCHOOL MUCH LONGER angst. While I realize the end goal is to graduate our children and have them move on in life, the entire process is becoming more and more bittersweet. 

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This year, Laurianna matured so much. She has always been a ‘solid’ and mature girl, seeming much older and wiser than her 15 years, but she’s deepened even more this year. In addition to getting her first real job (and saving money for a car, but we won’t talk about that now, ok?), she began leading worship for our church youth group. Over the last two years, she has virtually taught herself how to play guitar and singing is her passion. It has been absolutely incredible to see her grow and develop in this way because she has such a heart for worship. 

Add into that, her sheer determination work on projects and goals with a purpose – and she has all the makings of an amazing young lady. Of course, I may be entirely biased. (grins)

Here’s a quick look at what Laurianna worked on for her 9th grade year. Overall, she earned a total of 7.5 credits. 

Several of the above classes were done in a group setting this year (a small co-op of 6 high school kids) and one class she and a friend worked on independently during the week and then together once a week. 

History

Notgrass cultural influences

Notgrass was a new program for our family this year, but we absolutely loved the layout and projects in Exploring World History. Although the program offers two additional credits that can be earned through the year (literature and Bible), we decided not to do those. Personally I didn’t feel the literature component was as strong and detailed as the program we have used in the past (and used this year) – there were not solid literature prompts or enough direction for learning about the author, period, and components of literature (my personal opinion – so please don’t send me hate mail). As for the Bible credit, well, she does her own Bible study and we didn’t feel the need to earn an additional credit (again, personal choice). 

Some projects were more involved than others and took a bit longer than a week, so we moved around projects as needed. Otherwise, Laurianna loved the creative outlets to tie in with her history lessons (illustrating a children’s book was one of her favorites). We loved it enough that we have made plans to use their American History in our upcoming year. 

Math

Well, I suppose Algebra 2 can be exciting for some, but there really isn’t much to say other than SHE SURVIVED ALGEBRA! Much happiness on that front and we are ready to move on to the next level of math. Praise Jesus. :) 

Literature

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Our Literature and Composition class was so much fun this year since we added two additional kids to our small co-op (for a total of 6). Each of the kids has such a distinct writing style and personality, and it was so much fun to see them all grow throughout the year. 

One of the best parts of the class is the peer review time. Each book unit we worked on included writing three papers during the month – a profile of the author, a look at the historical period of the book, and then an essay topic based on one of the major ideas of the book (typically a 300-600 word essay). A week before the essay is due, the kids trade papers and take turn reading everyone else’s paper and making editing suggestions. While sometimes they get a little goofy, that time has been wonderful for them to gain five additional perspectives on their thought process and take additional criticisms. 

Not all the books were well-loved (there may have been much mocking about bean picking from the book Walden), but we did also have a chance to enjoy a live production of The Importance of Being Earnest at the end of the year (SO MUCH FUN). Grading papers for the mom isn’t near as enjoyable, but being with the kids and talking through book topics with them = very much fun. Laurianna is honestly a solid writer – which makes me very happy. 

Science
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Laurianna worked throughout the week on her science lessons and weekly met with her best friend to go through labs together. The other mom and I chose Biology from Science Shepherd for various reasons, one being the approach to evolution in the book. While we believe in a created world, we wanted the girls to have a solid understanding of the theory of evolution and be able to give a strong debate (or support of Creation). The book didn’t quite have the approach we were hoping for, but it is a solid curriculum. 

Dissection was the focus toward the end of the year, and the girls worked their way up from small creatures to a fetal pig. I may not have been present for that dissection (or been sad to have missed it for the most part (grins). 

Spanish

Spanish is probably the area that we are struggling most with – between having computers die on us and then the program we were using not having support available since it was merged with another company, Laurianna hasn’t quite finished her second year. We found another program that we are going to try beginning this year and see exactly where she is (so far she has finished about 1.5 years of Spanish). 

When the program wasn’t working for her and we were trying to figure out an alternative, she checked out books in Spanish (some of her favorite novels) and worked on reading them alongside her copies. She also has been spending time with several friends who speak Spanish which has been encouraging and helpful to her. Overall, hoping for a much better outcome in the upcoming year! 

Personal Finance

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While there really aren’t any exciting pictures to show from this class over the past year, our Foundations in Personal Finance class via Dave Ramsey is one I would highly recommend for any high school student. We typically worked on one unit over the process of two or three weeks and the kids completed additional assignments during the week. 

One thing I personally loved – the kids created a zero-based budget each month (granted for some kids very easy since they currently had no income), but having them consistently walk through the process was good practice. Overall, the kids learned about a huge realm of topics: creating an emergency fund, insurance, purchasing a car, paying for college (without borrowing money), and hands-on, practical topics they will use for years to come. 

For Laurianna, it was very encouraging and gave her some definitely goals for the upcoming years. She has already established her $500 emergency fund and been working hard over the summer to put aside money for her first car. 

Apologetics

This was another class Laurianna absolutely loved, and one we completed as a part of our small high school co-op. Although we had a small group of kids (only six), the discussions on current topics and issues that have shaped society were great to listen to. Overall, the Lightbearers program itself was solid, and our only complaint was the need to update video clips to more current clips (rather than from the late 80s and 90s). 

PE/Swim

Laurianna received credit for participating in a year-long swim team (she attended practices 3-4 times a week for 1.5 hours at a time). Her swimming did improve over the course of the year and she is definitely one of our more determined and focused children when it comes to practice. Her love for swimming has spilled over into her job for the summer too, and for her birthday she asked for a lifeguarding course – and now lifeguards and teaches swim lessons at a local pool.

Voice Lessons

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During the spring semester, Laurianna had the opportunity to take part in voice lessons through a local university.  We had much fun getting to know her instructor better (what is nicer than having a weekly home lesson?) and preparing for a small recital. Singing is another passion of Laurianna’s, so this was an area we were completely blessed to have work out (all thanks to one of her swim team coaches). 

This year was wonderful, a bit challenging at times, but puts us another year closer to graduation. Gulp! It’s hard to believe the year has flown by so quickly and we definitely can’t wait for the upcoming year either!

Other Year-End Reviews

 Take a peek at our 3rd grade, 5th grade, and 7th grade year end reviews too! Click on the below images to read the post.

3rd grade homeschool year in review 5th grade homeschool year in review 7th Grade Homeschool Year in Review 2016 from Homeschool Creations

7th Grade Year in Review – Homeschool Curriculum Choices

7th Grade Homeschool Year in Review 2016 from Homeschool Creations

Very few pictures exist from this past year showing McKenna throughout the year. Well, I say that and then realize there are pictures, but many of them show her hiding behind a book, under covers, or doing something equally as goofy when the camera was anywhere around. Her self consciousness increased quite a bit this year, especially when she embarked on the wonderful journey of braces. I absolutely love looking back through my pictures though because I cannot believe how much she has really grown and matured in this past year! 

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Overall, nothing in school really impressed McKenna near as much this year as her vocabulary program this year. She absolutely loved it. And PE (which is saying a lot, since she strongly dislikes PE). McKenna moved more toward independence during her 7th grade year, taking responsibility for many of her subjects – which worked at times and at other, there was a little catching up that needed to be done. (We’ll chat about that later.)

BUT even if she didn’t necessarily love all of her subject areas, that doesn’t mean she didn’t make progress. And all progress is good progress and we will take it! One of her favorite things was using a Student Planner I put together specifically for her. She marked that planner up and had fun making it her own. 

Here’s a quick look at the initial 7th grade overall plan…

Vocabulary

 

Best vocabulary lesson EVER! All of a sudden McKenna started cracking up while working on vocabulary today – she is using WordUp from @compassclsrm – and then we all had to watch this and are laughing our heads off. This program has been so much fun! Here’s the program we’re using: http://hscreations.net/WordUpVocabulary (affiliate)#homeschool #hscreations

Posted by Homeschool Creations on Monday, 12 October 2015

The Word Up Vocabulary program from Compass Classroom brought more laughter into McKenna’s day. She absolutely loved this video class – enough so that she wants to work on Visual Latin next year. The above clip was one that we watched over and over (and still laugh about). 

Math

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McKenna was more than a little worried about starting pre Algebra this year, but Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra 2.0 made it SO much easier for both of us. We started out the year with the non-grading version, and DEAR MOTHERS. Do yourself an immense favor and buy the 2.0 version of Teaching Textbooks everything. You will thank me when you no longer have to grade a single thing. Amen and hallelujah. 

This would be one area though that carried over to the summer months for her because of poor planning (on her part). Math is not one of her favorite subjects (this and science she would rather find a million other things to do), so she will quickly distract herself from the subject. She will definitely be fine for the start of next year though – but I can’t guarantee a love for math will top her list (grins). 

Bible

Grapevine’s New Testament Overview was the program we loved the most. Although we thought the Route 66 would be a great fit for her, I let her put it aside a little after Christmas, because there were some frustrating (to us) parts of the program. I didn’t get a physical book (instead opted for the ebook version), and the teacher’s book was tied up in the ebook as well, making it really difficult to print off parts for her to fill out and really thoroughly review as well. She wasn’t crazy about the format overall, even though the concept was good, and since it wasn’t necessary for her year, we moved on to Grapevine and had a lot of fun with that.  

History

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Out of all of the kids, our comic strip printables were MOST enjoyed by McKenna. While the boys enjoyed it because they didn’t have to write and take notes, McKenna loved the opportunity to be creative. Her drawings were always so much fun to review with her. 

While we loved the two programs we mixed together this year, next year McKenna will be moving to work on a program independently – North Star Geography

Language/Grammar/Spelling

While one kiddo says this is a favorite subject area, another thinks it’s just ho-hum. Nothing super special to report in this area, other than basic grammar is done and she did great with it – and is ready to move onto a high school level course next year. Growing with Grammar has been a great move for our kids though and overall we really do enjoy it. 

For spelling, we did an occasional lesson here and there as needed and will finish up the entire program next year with McKenna (through level 7).

Reading

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McKenna wasn’t too sure about all of the books on her list this year, but we sat down together and talked about the overall plot line, characters, and more of each book over the course of the year. The list was compiled using Reading Roadmaps and I absolutely LOVE that tool! 

Favorite book: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Least favorite: A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck – she may have left me a sticky note with how many inappropriate words were in the book. (I may have laughed when I saw that.)

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For read-alouds, she loved, loved, loved the audio drama Beric the Briton from Heirloom Audio. When she saw the CD sitting on the counter, she may have actually squealed a bit. 

Writing

If there is one program I am thankful for, it’s WriteShop Basic Set II. Over the years it has been such a fantastic program for our kids to get a grip on writing a solid paper. While I’m sad she will be moving on to a high school literature class next year, I am also thrilled because I know she has such a great foundation!

Science

As much as her sister loved the Rainbow science program, McKenna almost disliked it. This year is was so hard to get her to complete the weekly labs, but she did work on the reading. Next year promises to be a little more involved since we will be doing physical science with a small group of other kids. 

Co-op Classes

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Out of the two different co-op groups we were a part of, McKenna had a favorite class in each one. The larger co-op class offered PE and a musical this year. McKenna tried out for one of the speaking parts and played the nurse (rather comically – which was much fun to see her add her personality to the character). Her favorite class otherwise in the co-op was PE. 

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In our smaller co-op, the kids had two classes they took part in: a lit/science class based on the Mad Scientists’ Club book and a law/court class (learning how the judicial system works). All of my friends teaching these classes do an amazing job of making it fun for the kids, including creative projects for them to deepen the learning. Mad Scientists wrapped up the year with a mini science fair (McKenna did her project together with a friend and focused on different egg experiments), and the court class put on a mock trial for the entire co-op, pooling from those in the high school class and above for a jury. Overall a great year and a group we can’t wait to get together with again!

Swim Team & Just for Fun

Outside of our homeschool time, McKenna also participated in a local swim team, practicing almost every evening. She is really an incredible swimmer and has improved her time much – especially when she applies herself. The first several months were spent convincing her that her focus/dedication does make a difference and once she did begin to apply herself, her techniques and times rapidly improved. We are still deciding on swim team for the upcoming year since there are new coaches and practices, but it is something we are definitely considering! 

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One of the things that I’ve loved seeing throughout the year is McKenna playing with Spielgaben. While we have it primarily for Kaleb to use, I frequently find her sitting down somewhere with all the trays and creating different scenes. It’s a different art medium but creative still!

Other Year-End Reviews

 Take a peek at our 3rd grade and 5th grade year end reviews too! Click on the below images to read the post.

3rd grade homeschool year in review 5th grade homeschool year in review

 

5th Grade Year in Review – Homeschool Curriculum Choices

5th grade homeschool year in review

When I asked Zachary what his favorite subject for the year was, he immediately said science. And grammar. (I’ll tell you it’s definitely not writing, although he is doing fabulous at that). This boy is incredibly hands on and our science choices (and additions) for the year were a perfect fit for him. That said, there were a few things that he wasn’t super crazy about – and that’s ok too!

Last year I shared a similar series of year end posts and it really helped me figure out how we would approach the upcoming year.  You can see all of our curriculum choices in this post here, but below you’ll get a good look at what we used for Zachary’s 5th grade year and how it all worked out overall. 

The 5th Grade Year Plan…

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One of the biggest helps for him this year has been his weekly assignment sheets. They have been huge in keeping him on target and making him more accountable for his schoolwork – and what is (or needs to be) finished.

Here’s a quick look at the overall plan for our 5th grade year…

Science

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As I mentioned earlier, science is hands-down one of Zachary’s favorite subject areas. Christian Kids Explore Chemistry gave him a great opportunity to work more independently in this subject area. He had two days of reading and questions, a review day, and also a day for a hands-on experiment. He learned a LOT about elements and truly loved the course. A few of our favorite projects were building atom models and also making cookie skillet atoms

In addition to the chemistry course, one of his co-op classes worked on projects with KEVA planks

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A few months into the school year we started working on the monthly subscription projects from EEME, and Zachary fell in LOVE with them. I shared last week how he learned to build an electromagnet, but there were so many additional ones as well. He especially loved (and continually uses) his Project Ampa real life amp that connects up with musical instruments or his iPod. That amp has been carted all over the house! 

While we already have our choice for science down for him next year (one that has a weekly projects as well), we definitely plan to continue using EEME for additional learning fun! 

Spelling

For All About Spelling we typically worked on one lesson a week (a few chunks where we did every other week). We didn’t push hard, but over the last year he has shown remarkable improvement in both spelling and reading but did see huge improvements in the area. We also worked on All About Homophones, but that was more of an occasional lesson (maybe seven throughout the year based on what we were learning). For those of you who know me well, you know that it is our favorite homeschool spelling program, hands down!

Reading & Read-Alouds

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Having a set shelf for Zachary to see what books are in the line-up for him to read over the course of the year has been a big help for both him and me. We managed to get through almost all of the books from Zachary’s 5th Grade Reading list, with the exception of The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (which he is reading this summer). After most of the books, he would complete a book report  and we would discuss key points of the book using this helpful guide

The Dragon and The Raven audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions

We did listen to some great audio adventures from Heirloom Audio as well, and those CDs have been in the boys’ room during their rest time to listen to over and over.  

Math

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Teaching Textbooks is definitely another program we plan to use next year with Zachary. It has been a perfect fit for our family. We added in some fact learning fun using Times Tales (we used the download version). This program helped the boys focus on some of the harder times tables and we’ll keep the videos on hand to review next year as well.  

Grammar/Language

Grammar is another of Zachary’s favorite subject areas, especially Daily Grams.  There honestly isn’t much to show in this area, but it is one thing he is determined to work on each day. (grins)

For vocabulary, we worked through several cards a week and will continue to use the cards from Marie’s Words next year. All of the kids really enjoyed the visual part of learning the words. 

History

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Zachary loves drawing to go along with history, so our comic strip illustration printables were helpful (especially since he would rather draw than have to write notes). He is able to keep up better with the lesson – both of our boys are not a fan of anything that involves physical writing. Any chance we had to build or do something hands-on was also a huge help. The above miniature Stonehenge kit was one of those things the boys loved and had a blast recreating (and then watching endless YouTube videos on different theories).  

Next year we will be switching up history a little bit – not because we don’t like Mystery of History 1 and Story of the World 1 – but we are going to try to tie in our learning with our high schoolers so we can go on some fun field trips together for US History. 

Writing

Zachary worked through the WriteShop Junior E program this year and it was a great pace for him. We have loved their programs, but will be using something different next year for him as he isn’t quite ready for the next level of WriteShop. 

Bible

We took it slow and easy with Grapevine’s New Testament Overview (as a group) and also added in Big Truths for Young Hearts each morning. The latter is one we will continue working through since it’s more of a family discussion time and has about 52 weeks of reading. 

Art

Zachary is not an art lover at all. Despite that, we will continue it next year (because art is important!), but this time we’ll do it as a co-op class with a small group of kids. Being a part of a group of kids will likely make a big difference in his attitude toward it as well. :) 

Handwriting

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While the cursive program (and memory verse learning) we worked on this year was great, next year Zachary will be moving into more writing overall, so we may skip out on a full handwriting program. 

The Bust Subjects

Although I had grand plans with geography for the year, we focused on what we learned through history and didn’t on a specific program. Waiting until next year on this one.

Co-op

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Between two different co-ops this past year, Zachary had a variety of classes, including a lit/science class based on the Mad Scientists’ Club book, a law/court class (learning how the judicial system works), PE, and a STEM building class. I truly love the chance to get together with other families and work on different classes we might not normally fit into our year. Next year we will only be participating in one co-op (for my sanity). 
 
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One of the classes (Mad Scientists Club) allowed Zachary the chance to put together a science display for a small science fair, where he shared how electromagnets work. He put together a board explaining more about them and walked everyone through building one using his recent EEME Project Attraction
 
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A highlight for Zachary was also taking part in the co-op musical where he had a solo and one of the speaking parts. Typically the kids have to wait until their 5th or 6th grade year to have a speaking part, so he was excited to be a part in this way.
 
The kids were also a part of a year round swim team, and while they started off enthusiastically, by February/March, their energy was petering out. If we decide to do it again in the upcoming year, we will likely choose a shorter time-frame for the kids. Zachary truly loves it, but it involves a lot of driving and time in the evenings, so sometimes finding the balance is tough! 
 
While this isn’t necessarily school related, in a round about way, it is. Zachary was eligible to join Boy Scouts earlier, but we held off until he was showing a little more responsibility in areas at home and school. He has absolutely loved joining up and finished up a week at Scout camp – and had a blast! 
 

Other Year-end Reviews

3rd grade homeschool year in review
 
Take a peek at our other year end reviews for 3rd grade. I’ll be sharing our 7th and 9th grade soon, so be sure to check back – as well as our plans for the upcoming year!  

3rd Grade Year in Review – Homeschool Curriculum Choices

3rd grade homeschool year in review

We are far past officially DONE with the year, but it’s fun to look back and see what worked well – or didn’t work. (There’s no shame in that. We can always learn from what happened!) 

Last year I shared a series of year end posts and it really helped me figure out a plan of attack for the upcoming year as well. You can see all of our curriculum choices in this post here, but below you’ll get a good look at what we used for Kaleb’s 3rd grade year and how it all worked out overall. There were a few more challenging spots for us with him (and one area we didn’t get to), but it has been a great year overall. 

progress in small way adds up to big improvement - HomeschoolCreations

The one thing that I feel I personally have walked away with this year and Kaleb’s learning is that progress is progress – and sometimes it’s seeing the small progress over time that adds up to big improvement. 

The 3rd Grade Year Plan…

Here’s a quick look at the overall plan for our 3rd grade year…

 

Science

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Science is hands-down one of Kaleb’s favorite subject areas. In addition to Nancy Larson Science 3, Kaleb had a BLAST with creating Little Bits projects and creations with KEVA planks (secretly I may want to get many more of both). 

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We also added in some more hands-on fun with the  Rock Hound’s backpack and it has opened up a love for ALL rocks with Kaleb. He is constantly looking for rocks to learn more about and I love that it has inspired something in him. His backpack now sits in our living room and there are rocks on our counter all.the.time. 

While we are not planning to use a full science program next year, these three will definitely be handy and we are looking at getting more of the Little Bits and Keva Planks to use! 

Spelling & Reading

Our weekly schedule for All About Spelling was about one lesson a week or every other week, and I love that our spelling and All About Reading overlap and tie-in together. We didn’t push too hard but did see huge improvements in the area. We also worked on All About Homophones, but that was more of an occasional lesson (maybe seven throughout the year based on what we were learning).

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Writing is one of Kaleb’s least favorite areas, but one thing that helped a lot was our Boogie Board LCD tablet – for Kaleb it made the handwriting bit of things a bit more bearable (grins). Every lesson we worked on several sentences as well. Overall, a slower year than what we were planning, but we were trying to keep pace and not have him get frustrated, so we’ll be finishing up the book next year.

One thing I’m thankful for is the flexibility the lessons offer in working through the levels as appropriate for our kids.The similar formats simplify the teaching and they streamline well together. This will definitely be a program we use again next year. (For those of you who know me well, you know that it is our favorite homeschool spelling program, hands down!). 

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While we didn’t get through our All About Reading Level 3, Kaleb did make some HUGE strides in his reading. Buddy Reading was something that made a big difference in our reading as well (taking turns reading pages – this article explains it a little better). 

We took a bit of a break for a little while and added in the Life of Fred readers – and oh my goodness, the boy LOVED them. Kaleb prefers to read these over and over again, building his reading fluency and speed as he goes through them – and I LOVE that. You can learn more here. For now, we’ll move the rest of AAR 3 to next year and keep going at a pace that works for him. 

Read-Alouds

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We managed to get through almost all of the read-alouds from Kaleb’s 3rd Grade Reading list and then some other great books and audio books as well. Kaleb has loved the audio adventures from Heirloom Audio this year especially, and those CDs have been in the boys’ room during their rest time to listen to over and over.  

Math

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Using Teaching Textbooks was a great fit for Kaleb and we will definitely plan on using it again next year for him. We added in some fact learning fun using Times Tales (we used the download version). This program helped the boys focus on some of the harder times tables and we’ll keep the videos on hand to review next year as well. 

History

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This isn’t one of Kaleb’s favorite subject areas, but it was made tolerable with our comic strip illustration printables. He isn’t a huge fan of drawing overall, but he does stick figures like a boss, especially since he can keep up with them. For us, that’s his way of ‘writing’ so he doesn’t have to ask how to spell every word and the pictures help him remember the story. 

Next year we will be switching up history a little bit – not because we don’t likeMystery of History 1 and Story of the World 1 – but we are going to try to tie in our learning with our high schoolers so we can go on some fun field trips together for US History. 

Grammar/Language

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This boy loves his grammar work. There honestly isn’t much to show in this area, but it is one thing he is determined to work on each day. (grins) For vocabulary, we worked through several cards a week and will continue to use the cards from Marie’s Words next year. All of the kids really enjoyed the visual part of learning the words. 

Writing

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Kaleb finished up most of his WriteShop C program, although he didn’t necessarily do a lot of physical writing, but would dictate his stories to me. One thing he loved were the Story Detective printables that I put together to go with some of his lessons. 

Next year may prove a little more interesting in the writing department, but I have to remind myself that we’ve had another reluctant writer in the past as well. These tips for a reluctant writer have been a renewed encouragement to me this year too. 

Bible

We took it slow and easy with Grapevine’s New Testament Overview (as a group) and also added in Big Truths for Young Hearts each morning. The latter is one we will continue working through since it’s more of a family discussion time and has about 52 weeks of reading. 

Art
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Definitely a subject we will continue next year, especially with Home Art Studio. Kaleb enjoys art so much and creating projects to display (where we have other kids who could care less – grins), so if he is willing to work on them, I am more than happy to oblige!

Handwriting

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While the cursive program (and memory verse learning) we worked on this year was great, I will likely switch us back to a pre-planned program next year, since I was the one putting it together. 

The Bust Subjects

Our geography plans went out the big ol’ window this year, but we are re-vamping that for next year. It’s all good. 

Co-op

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This past year we participated in two different co-op groups, and I truly love the chance to get together with other families and work on different classes we might not normally fit into our year. Next year we will only be participating in one co-op (for my sanity), but it was fun while it lasted! 
 
Different classes Kaleb had this year were US Geography (perhaps I reason I didn’t focus as much on it at home), Five in a Row books, Spanish, PE, and Music. We wrapped up one of our co-ops with a large musical as well. 
 
The kids were also a part of a year round swim team, and while they started off enthusiastically, by February/March, their energy was petering out. If we decide to do it again, we will likely choose a shorter time-frame for the kids. Kaleb is one of our strongest swimmers and truly loves it, but it involves a lot of driving and time in the evenings, so sometimes finding the balance is tough! 
 
 
I’ll be sharing our year end review of 5th, 7th, and 9th grade soon, so be sure to check back – as well as our plans for the upcoming year as well!  

9th Grade Mid-Year Homeschool Curriculum Review

For those of you who have followed us for a bit, you’ll know that our 9th grader, freshman, 14 year old – call her what you will, started her high school credits early in anticipation of having wiggle room to work and possibly take a few college classes (or concurrent enrollment) in her later high school years. We’ve affectionately dubbed her a ‘freshmore’ since she has earned quite a few high school credits already, and feels a bit further along in her high school journey to call herself a mere freshman. :)

And you all – she is doing AMAZINGLY well. Not that I’m bragging, but I am very proud of her dedication and commitment to the classes she is taking as well as competitive swimming and many additional outside school activities. Laurianna has been working as a mother’s helper two afternoons a week and also began serving on the worship team at church (and is teaching herself guitar). The girl is really, truly a gem of a student and child.

Overall, we’ve been really happy with our homeschool curriculum choices – and I thought you all might like to see what she is enjoying the most as well! You can also see our You can also see our 3rd grade mid-year review5th grade mid-year review, and 7th grade mid-year reviews as well.

9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices


9th Grade Curriculum Choices

Credits to earn: 7.5

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My one sadness for Laurianna is that her workload hasn’t allowed her as much free reading time. Between her course load and also extra activities (granted, these also include movie nights with friends and working to earn cash), she doesn’t have as much time to read ‘fun’ books for herself. When we were recently snowed in for the weekend, she took that time to put everything aside and devoured a three book series. Other than that, her workload truly isn’t too difficult – just typical.

Algebra 2 – Math is never her favorite subject, but she is happy she switched back to Teaching Textbooks this year for math. It was her decision to try a different curriculum last year (which wasn’t bad), but she definitely prefers the format of Teaching Textbooks.

Notgrass world history project {%{% Homeschool Creations

History – So far, this has been a fun class for her. Each week there is a some type of project for her to work on which she has really enjoyed. A few of them have been more involved for her (mainly because she wanted to do something more detailed than what was required). Overall she is enjoying it.

Biology – Until about 2 weeks ago, we were loving biology (and the lab she does with a friend). Right now she is in a chunk that we aren’t crazy about the layout, but that will hopefully get back to normal soon.

Literature and Composition – This is a class we are working on as a co-op and this year has definitely been fun. There are 2 more teens in the class this year which keeps it hopping, but definitely a fun one! As the teacher of this class it has been great seeing each of the kids grow and really put out some amazing work.

Apologetics – This is another of Laurianna’s favorite classes. Again we are working through this as a co-op (six kids total) and the conversations being generated are at time hilarious and also fun to listen to.

Personal Finance – This is one of Laurianna’s favorite subjects overall, and I’ll admit that I’m really enjoying it as well. The program from Dave Ramsey has been very thorough and generated some great discussion (and eye opening

PE/Swim – Laurianna has been working so hard with swim team. Out of all the kids swimming she has been most dedicated from the beginning, really pushing herself during practices and meets. She is practicing at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4, depending on our schedule.

Spanish 2 – For the first month and a half, this subject was a struggle because we were trying to figure out how to transfer all of her progress from one computer to a different one. Once we managed to get Laurianna’s Spanish program transferred to a different laptop (i.e. not the one her siblings are constantly using for school), lessons picked back up in wonderful time and she is back on track with her year.

 

Does High School Have You Scared?

Embark Conference 2016

If homeschooling high school is worrying you, don’t miss the free middle and high school planning printables and map out your middle and high school years! Might I also suggest the Embark Webinar coming up later this month?

Homeschooling in High School Middle and High School Planning How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

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.

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations

Take a peek at our  7th grade, 5th grade, and 3rd grade curriculum choices for the year as well! Click on one of the images above to look over their curriculum piles.