Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This Year's Curriculum Choices

Red Apple on Books with Pencil
I have finally finished making curriculum choices for this coming year (always subject to change of course!!)

I turned in my ILPs (Individual Learning Plans) to the school, and am finishing up writing out my Parent Designed Course for Social Studies and Literature.

We are definitely eclectic!! Here is what we have decided to go with for the upcoming year:

Lexie (age 5) She is already reading quite well, made it through Explode the Code 2 1/2 and did Horizons Math K last year. She has been taking piano lessons for the past 3 months and is ready for a bit more school work this fall. She definitely needs to sit and learn to correctly form her letters before she starts forming bad habits. We will be working on handwriting a lot.

Horizons Math 1

Explode the Code Online (yes, I said ONLINE - cool, huh?)
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, Level 1
Wordly Wise 3000, Level 1
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey - Life Science
Piano Lessons and Music Ace software
PE - Pre-Ballet and/or Tap classes
Parent Designed Course for Social Studies and Lit (I will explain at the end)

Kate (age 7) She can read well, but unfortunately doesn't enjoy it much. Her strength (and interest) lies in math. She likes to do problems in her head! She finished Horizons Math 2 last year and Explode the Code 5.

Teaching Textbooks, Grade 4
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level 3
Sequential Spelling 1
Sonlight Language Arts 2 Advanced (I'm using the writing assignments)
Wordly Wise 3000, Level 3
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey - Life Science
Artistic Pursuits, (K-3 Book 1 and maybe part of 2)
PE - She wants to try out Tae Kwon Do, Swimming, and Archery. We'll see if we can fit any of that into our schedule :)
Parent Designed Course for History, Geography, and Literature

Ellie (age 10) Ellie has always been a voracious reader. She is also becoming quite a good writer. She loves to write very descriptive stories - and I love to listen to them!

Teaching Textbooks, Level 6 or 7 (she passed the test for 7, but I'm not sure which we'll go with yet)
Sequential Spelling 3
Daily Grams 6
Wordly Wise 3000, Level 6 They also have online reinforcement.
Artistic Pursuits, (Jr. High Books)
Gravitas Real Science 4 Kids Level I Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

PE - Ballet and probably various other dance classes, maybe gymnastics, maybe swimming (if we can find it available)
Rosetta Stone Russian Level I Homeschool Edition with Audio Companion
Parent Designed Course for history, geography, and literature.

So, for the parent designed course (that's what they call it at the correspondence school when you don't use a curriculum), I have to submit what I'm going to teach the kids, what resources we will use etc.

I'm still working on exact details, but we will be studying history from the Middle Ages through the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, Renaissance, and into Elizabethan Times. It's going to be an exciting year!

I will use Story of the World 2 and parts of Mystery of History 2 and 3 for our history readings. I am going to chose a read-aloud and readers for the kids for each week, along with picture books for the little ones. We will do mapwork, notebooking pages, and fun projects for each topic.

I have decided to separate the writing assignments from my history this year though, only because last year I had a very hard time with the Tapestry Writing Aids and ended up not really doing much for writing. I feel like we have some catching up to do in that area.

That is why I went ahead and decided on Writeshop for this year. I looked at IEW, but it looked WAY to confusing to me. I know that a lot of people use it successfully, but it looks so HARD to start in my opinion. I don't have the time to sit and watch DVDs on how to teach them writing right now.

I really agonized over our history studies this year. I almost went with Sonlight, but I decided that it wasn't going to fit this year. We just finished studying the ancients and the kids are geared up and excited about the Middles Ages and the Renaissance. I like having them all on the same page when it comes to our history. I felt like we would either be repeating or skipping if I jumped into one of the cores this year. I'm keeping it as a definitely possiblity for next year though when we move on to American History. It would definitely make my life easier!!!

Yes, we're going to be busy this year. I can order my curriculum pretty soon and I'm hoping on starting school in late July, after the girls have gone to camp. Andy will be home from Iraq in the fall and will have lots of time off to spend with us. I would like to be able to take off as much time as we can then. :)

Oh, and I got good news from the correspondence school. They will pay for Rosetta Stone. I had thought that there was a $200 cap, but that is only for large items, not curriculum. I'm so glad that I don't have to pay out of pocket for it!!


To read what other homeschoolers are using this year, or to join in the fun, visit !


Christina said...

Amazing. I don't know how you keep it all together, lady... Organized, dedicated... Damn impressive.

Chocolateer said...

Your curriculum choices look wonderful :) I applaud you starting school in July so that you can take time off to spend with your husband when he comes home. God Bless!

heidi said...

Sounds like your kids are doing really well. You sit back and breathe a huge ahhhhh cause you're doing really well. Good job!! I'm still working it out. My 8 yr old will most likely do Teaching Textbooks 6 this year but I might be the one holding him back at 5. A few items he didn't get but both are covered in both levels. sooo. choices. glad yours are out of the way.

Kalynn said...

I'm partial to tae kwon do for the PE choice myself. It's great for kids and especially girls. Then again, I am prejudiced.


Julie said...

Looks like a good plan. I see in your sidebar that you have History of Us in your library...that is what I have chosen for our history this year. Still waiting for book one to arrive (accidentally ordered book 10 first lol.) Have a great year!

Dusti said...

Looks like a great plan. We also use a correspondence school that gives us a stipend amount for buying curriculum (yeah!)
I love how you said subject to change I think that is deffinitely one of the keys to a happy homeschool~being willing to be flexible.

Tracy said...

I can't believe when we are DONE with ETC...they go on-line! HOW rude! LOL

Secondly my frend just moved to North Pole, AK!!! She is a homeschool Mom to 4!!! And by your scrolling movies you too would get along famously! LOL

Jenn said...

Your year sounds quite busy! It looks like we have quite a bit of curriculum in common. I forgot to put Wordly Wise on my post, but will be using WW Book 1 also. Not to mention many of the others we will be doing the same. Nice to "meet" you!!

Dawn said...

What a great plan! We really enjoy story of the world and are studying the same time period this year. Have a great year!

Karin Katherine said...

We are using R.E.A.L Science: Life Sciences this year too and we LOVE Wordly wise. I'd love to follow along your R.E.A.L Science adventures and compare notes.

My blog is:

Let me know if you are interested.