Here it is! Our curriculum choices for our SEVENTH year of homeschooling! I can hardly believe that we’ve hung in there for so long!
As soon as we started our homeschool journey people asked me “How long are you going to homeschool?” I always answered, “We’re taking it a year at a time. We’ll see how this year goes & then re-evaluate.” However, now that I have seven years under my belt, I feel pretty confident in saying that I think we can go all the way. I know that answer mortifies some people – All I have to say is that Hubby and I made the decision after much thought and prayer. For now, God says stick with our homeschool. We obey.
Thanks to friends who have homeschool graduates, it feels as though a path has already been paved for us. While I know our path will be slightly different (as all homeschool paths are), we’ve seen how it can be done. Knowing that the journey can be wondrously successful helps to set our sights on 2020 and 2022, the years that Woody & Tigger will graduate.
We have decided to homeschool year-round. So, technically, our year will start on July 8th. Our calendar schedule is roughly, three weeks on, one week off, with larger breaks for summer camp and the Christmas holidays. This helps to alleviate the summer “brain drain”, and because routine truly helps to ward off behavior issues, schooling year round works best for our family. (I hope to put a post up regarding our schedule in a week or so.)
So, without further ado…
Our curriculum for 2013/2014:
Woody – Age 11 (5th to 7th grade level, depending on subject)
Tigger – Age 9 (4rd to 6th grade level, depending on subject)
Most of this year’s curriculum. *Not pictured: Sonlight, Phonetic Zoo, Easy Grammar & Art.
Both: Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him? text and notebooking journal by Apologia. This is a new curriculum for us this year. We have thoroughly enjoyed Apologia’s Exploring Creation series for science, so I decided to try this.
Both: Jonathan Park’s The Adventure Begins – Volume 1. Also something new, but I’ve heard wonderful things about all things by Jonathan Park, so here goes!
Woody: Weekly speed drills, wrap up Math-U-See Epsilon, then start Zeta. We started with MUS Primer years ago & have stuck with it – it works for both boys.
Tigger: Weekly speed drills, Math-U-See Delta.
Both: Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Zoology 2 text and notebooking journal. (accompanied by lots of trips to the aquarium!) This is our third year with Apologia Exploring Creation. Their textbooks are awesome. They are the only textbooks I know of that talk to you rather than at you. I think that helps both boys feel like they can master the subject. It is delivered in a manner that is easy for them to take, so they feel quite successful with it.
Both: The second half of Sonlight Core D+E. Technically Core D+E is a one year course, however we have stretched it out to two by adding things here and there. As with our previous years with Sonlight, it all comes down to our love the books. Sonlight has a way of selecting stories that are so engaging and entertaining that both boys (and Mom!) love reading them. I particularly like how the stories really help the history to “stick”.
Both: Trail Guide to U.S. Geography by Geography Matters. We did part of the Trail Guide to World Geography a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. Tigger has been asking to do it again, so I figured we could focus on the U.S. Geography since we are focusing on U.S. History.
Tigger: Sonlight Grade 4-5 Readers, library books from our weekly trip, & Younger Boys Book Club with our homeschool group
Woody: Sonlight D+E Readers, library books from our weekly trip, & Older Boys Book Club with our homeschool group
Language Arts (Grammar/Vocabulary/Phonics) -
Both: Grade appropriate Daily Grams, Easy Grammar, Wordly Wise and Tigger only: Explode the Code. This will be our second year with Daily Grams and Easy Grammar. They were quite effective last year. We’ve used Wordly Wise for several years, the difficulty has increased dramatically for Woody. I hope to stick with it, but we might have to alter something if he continues to have trouble. And for Explode the Code, Tigger has one book to finish and then we will have completed the entire phonics set.
Both: Taking a weekly IEW class through Matthew Road Academy. This will be the second year that both boys are taking a Composition class. Their writing skills improved dramatically last year. They have an excellent teacher and I truly love the curriculum.
Both: The Phonetic Zoo by IEW. We started this curriculum in May (we school year round with frequent breaks) and it has been a GREAT fit for us! I can’t tell you how happy I am to say that! Spelling has been one of the toughest subjects for us, but the way The Phonetic Zoo works is wonderful! No more arguing over spelling. Both boys actually look forward to it!
This is a subject in which my feelings vacillate greatly. On the one hand, technology is taking over so many aspects of life, I am not sure how relevant cursive will be in the future. On the other hand, it has come to my attention that the writing portion of the SAT requires cursive, and I really want both boys to be able to read cursive writing… So, for now -
Both: we’ll utilize the “Handwriting” sections in the Bible & Science Notebooking Journals from Apologia.
Other Electives -
Art - Both: Art museum field trips & occasional classes, Artistic Pursuits.
Latin – Both: Visual Latin. It will be our first year using this, but we are truly looking forward to it. After reading “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch” last year, where the main character learns Latin, the boys have decided that it would be cool to learn it. I agree, and hope that it can help them with vocabulary in the future.
Logic – Both: The Fallacy Detective. Another elective that looks like a lot of fun. We’ll see how it goes!
Music - Both: Symphony field trips, occasional composer studies, also looking into SQUILT.
Keyboarding - Both: using a Google Chrome App called Typing Club. Researched several options that include a purchase, and felt that the free app delivers just as good of a product. It might not be as “fun” as the typing games with a themed background, but I think it is just as effective.
Cooking, Gardening, and Life Skills - Both: with Mom, and Scouts.
Gardening, Lawn Care, and Shooting Sports - Both: with Dad, and Scouts.
Boy Time (aka. time to be dirty and grubby exploring the woods, capturing bugs, avoiding snakes, and scaring fish) – Both: monthly visits to Grandpa’s place.
- Both boys will also be continuing with Boys Book Club.
- Both boys will be attending monthly classes at the Fort Worth Zoo.
- Both boys will be attending monthly classes at the local gym.
- Both have plenty of time for “recess” in the back yard and bike riding.
- We will continue to volunteer with Meals On Wheels.
- We will continue to utilize our family membership to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. (Also, I’ve heard wonderful things about the new Perot Museum in Dallas. We may bump up our FWMSH membership so that we can use the reciprocal membership to the Perot.)
- I also have a list of other field trips and away-from-home activities that we will be doing.
- We will also be continuing with Scouts. Cub for Tigger and Boy for Woody. While that is not a “school” activity, the boys often work on scout tasks (belt loops/pins and merit badges) once school work is completed for the day.
I think that’s it, looks like a full year. I know the boys and I will have fun learning. Once again, I am really excited about the choices we have made for the year.