Monday, August 1, 2011

The Plan for the upcoming 2011-2012 School Year

Hello! Welcome to all and especially to those hopping on over from the the Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter.

Today's post will be focusing on curriculum.

Since I home-school multiple ages, I try to do as many subjects together as possible. That includes science, history, Bible, and read-alouds. Also, I adhere to a learning lifestyle that includes many books that we read aloud together, looking up questions as they come up, observing wild life around us. But I do recognize that there are some academic skills that we'll not master if we don't take the time to intentionally pursue them.

So the following list is mainly for our in-the-seat work.

Our main text is The Story Bible by Catherine Vos. We read aloud. Then the kids take turns telling me what they remember, also called narration in the Charlotte Mason method.

AWANA handbooks: they each take ownership of memory verses and projects. I'll need to help the Kindergartener since he'll be learing to read. I have one who graduated out of the program after achieving the Timothy Award. So my seventh grader & I will be memorizing whole chapters of the Bible together. This will be incentive for me to memorize Scripture.

Sunday school class, VBS, and life lessons as they come up.

In order to create a fun atmosphere in regards to math we have these resources around.
I Hate Mathematics

Math for Smarty Pants
Games for Learning Math by Peggy Kaye

Muggins, Math-It, Yahtzee & many other games
Math-U-See blocks, legos
Dice, coins, chips, fraction wheels, rulers

Making Math Meaningful by David Quine for the K, 5 & 6th grader
Life of Fred for the 7th grader

English From the Roots Up, Vol. I by Lundquist
Emma Serl's Language Lessons (Both Primary & Intermediate depending on which student)
Four days a week prompts to write in a composition book.
Learning Spelling Through Copy Work

Our main text is V. Hillyer's A Child's Story of the World. We read a chapter and then the children draw a picture and write about it. As they get older, I'm requiring more be written. We emphasize using our best handwriting and applying grammar rules.

We're entering the Roman phase as we read chronologically. I hope to read some of Genieve Foster's Caesar Augustus World. I also look up books that will fit in this time period, using different book lists that I can find including a Carole Joy Seid book list, Valerie Bendt's Unit Study book. I also use Honey for a Child's Heart, Books Children Love, and the Read Aloud Handbook to find good books to read, not just for history but also for science and for fun. I love looking for new good books to read.

I will also check out a book or two from the library about crafts & projects we can do. We also have a global puzzle, spend time looking at maps, too.

Considering God's Creation: We have several units left that I would like to cover: animal classification, weather, and some others. There are other resources listed in each unit that I use to supplement.

The Periodic Table for Elementary Students.

Nature Walks & Observations in a field trip notebook

Artistic Pursuits by Brenda & Dan Ellis
Creating Books with Children
by Valerie Bendt (oh.. to finish this project! it is up first!)

I also try to have lots of art supplies on-hand.

Alphaphonics by Samuel Blumenfeld. I have taught the other three with this book. When we complete this book, they can get a library card of their own. (The local library will give you one when they are born. When we started the phonics program with the first born, none of them had cards and I thought this would be a wonderful incentive and directly related to reading! They loved not being restricted to the number of books because we had to share my card.)

Bob Books for practice of reading

Sparks handbook

Five In A Row Vol. I by Jane Lambert

Handwriting Without Tears

Making Math Meaningful-Kindergarten

Seventh Grader

Fix-Its by Pamela White, an IEW product. The student fixes grammar mistakes.

Other miscellaneous grammar workbooks that I picked up here & there. I still need to fill in the remainder of his grammar curriculum. This will be a focus while I'm hopping to other blogs.

Starting Points by Cornerstone Curriculum. I plan to do this over the course of two years. The program begins to teach how to discern worldviews and how they impact literature and history. In addition to the syllabus, the seventh grader will be reading: How to Read Slowly by James Sire, the Chronicles of Narnia, The Deadliest Monster, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Know What You Believe by Paul Little. This curriculum is to begin to teach Biblical world view thinking.

Other thoughts
In this post I am listing curriculum, if you click on a colored words it will take you to a website about that product. I tried to link to the writer of the product if I could. This is just for information. I haven't received anything to do this.

I appreciated when I began all the help that other home schoolers gave me. Still, when I need to focus on a new area, I'm thankful for the trading of resources & blog hops like this one.

If you would take the time -- which I'm assuming most of us don't have -- and clicked on my post from last year, you would notice we are using many of the same curriculum. We're in a groove right now that seems to be working -- and if it's working let's not fix it. The newest additions are for the oldest (a seventh grader) and the youngest (a kindergartener).

May we all have either a great School year no matter where we are educating our children!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

When do your children go back to school? Some folks around here go back today, which seems way too early for a girl who always started the day after Labor Day. Did you look forward to going back to school as a child or were you terrified? Or tell us your plans for the upcoming school year.


  1. Thank you for posting this. It helps me to think through curriculum!

  2. Sounds wonderful! I love, love, love Easy Grammar. Maybe it would work for you, as well.

  3. We like a lot of the same things - LOVE FIAR, for instance. I'll have a little boy hopefully reading BOB books this year too! And I definitely want to look at Starting Points in a couple years when my older is 7th grade or so. Thanks!

  4. Love your game plan this year! I am a CM -lover, so I hope you'll head over to the blog and see how much we have in common! I sure do hope you have a great year, and I'm following, so I intend to find out!

  5. It has been years since we finished homeschooling, but how I loved picking out curriculum. It is fun to see some I recognise still.


  6. We will be starting FIAR Vol. 1 this year too. Looks like you will have a lot of fun. Have a great year.

  7. Oh...this brings back so many memories of the years I homeschooled my, now grown, [3] girls! I loved preparing for a new school year. It was really what the summer months leading into fall was all about....I, sometimes, miss that dimension to those seasons...always like a new beginning.
    Hoping your school year is wonderful!

  8. Love your line up. I am going to have to check out some of these Math books. I wish you a great year.

  9. Thanks everyone for the encouragement about my plans. I will try to visit everyone, too. Also, thanks for the tip about Easy Grammar. Like most curriculum out there, there are many good ones. Choosing, buying, and sticking to one is sometimes the key.

    And thanks, too, to those who commented that are simply nostalgic about homeschooling. How nice! I've talked to some who are recently done and homeschooling & they haves this whew, relief that they are done. So its good to know that some look so fondly back on the process.

  10. I have heard such great things about Life of Fred from Renee at Baker's Dozen. Have you used it before? Do you like it?

  11. I saw your link-up on the Not Back-to-School blog hop, as we are trying out homeschooling this year. It's fun to see what everyone is doing. So great to see how we can customize the curriculum to our kiddo's interests and abilities....


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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