Thursday, August 11, 2016

What We're Using This Year {Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2016-2017}



I've been hunkering down the last few days getting a bit of a curriculum plan put together seeing that it's, oh, August and I haven't thought yet at all about lessons for the new year.  Our plan is due to the district in a few days so I'm forced to not put it off any longer.  We normally start the day or two after the Nativity of Mary (September 8). We were doing a little bit of daily math, piano, and reading in June and July but that's since petered out a bit.  It helps me to lay my plans all out here (though I skipped last year!) and people have asked what we use so here's what I'm planning on for this year for each child.  (This is subject to change, of course, should it not be working for them or me.  But THIS will be the year when everything goes perfectly and smoothly according to my original plans, I'm sure of it.
.
.
.
HAHAHAHAHAHA

Ha.)  

All the boys will continue on with Classically Catholic Memory probably during breakfast.  We're halfway through Gamma Year.  I only use the book and CD and really only do the history, religion, science, and some of the great works.  I appreciate the framework it gives for those subjects as to what is good for memorization.



7th Grade

Math:

We only use the CDs, not the book or answer keys.  (Be sure to get version 2.0 if you want it self-correcting.)  I bought our copy used off of Ebay.

Writing/Language Arts:

This is a new program for us.  I needed a writing program that was simple and self-directed and this was recommended.  I'm hoping this will fit and take a little bit of the angst away from writing.  I'm not sure if this will be an easier level than he needs but I figured to err on the side of easier and go through it quickly than too advanced and get frustrated.

Spelling:
For spelling we simply use the spelling lists provided by our local homeschool group for the local spelling bee that feeds into the Scripp's spelling bee.  He's supposed to write ten or so words, look them up, and then quiz himself.

History:

He's still working on finishing the first volume but once that is done, he'll be reading the next.  This is a dense book but he's a good reader and can handle it.  This particular child loves reading history and I really only have him read an 'official' book so I can easily record something for the district as our "textbook."

Latin:



He's about a third of the way through this and we'll be continuing on.

Science:
I don't do science formally at all.  They are doing it all day long.  I do hope to at some point get or borrow Physics 101.  We loved their Chemistry 101 series and I've heard good reviews about the Physics.

Theology:

He started this one last year as well.  I'm not certain what we'll do once he's finished.  Probably some sort of deeper Biblical history course?  I've been thinking about the Great Adventure series for years now.

Music:  
Suzuki piano lessons (book 4) from the teacher who comes to our house.

Geography:
I'm hoping to use some good online geography game/programs (like Seterra) for them all.  



4th Grade

Math:

For the younger grades, I really like Singapore Math.  Straightforward and builds upon itself.  I buy direct from the company because it seems to be cheaper and I can buy ahead and get a bunch in one shipment

Grammar:

We were using First Language Lessons the past few years and while it was okay for my oldest, I could tell that the younger two were really just giving me the right answers without it sinking in well.  Plus, they needed me right there next to them to do it.  I already had a couple of these Language of God books from previous years so we're going back to these again.  I think this child especially will do better with an easy to follow workbook approach to learning the grammar basics.

Writing:

Again, this program is new to us this year and my fourth grader will be the guinea pig who tries it from the beginning.  We'll see how it goes!

Handwriting:  Cursive
He hasn't mastered cursive yet so this is a goal for the year.  My super fancy way of teaching cursive has been to grab handwriting paper and write a letter and they fill the rest of the line with the letter.  We do a few letters a day repeating if necessary until they learn it.

Spelling:
Same as above

History:

My younger son got this new CD set and workbook from Grandma as a birthday gift.  They've already listened to the whole thing once through and will be listening lots more I'm sure.  It's very similar to Story of the World but from a Catholic publisher and with some different information and stories.  We'll also supplement with the biographies and history books from our shelves for normal reading time.

Latin:



Religion

We just read through each chapter, answer questions, and talk about it.

Music:  
Suzuki piano lessons (book 1)


I'd like to somehow fit in a little English from the Roots Up with this one and we need to focus on lots of reading this year as well.



2nd Grade

Math:


Grammar:


Handwriting/Spelling:  
Copywork from spelling list and memory work

History:  
Like I mentioned, he's been listening and will relisten to The Story of Civilization Volume 1 - Ancient World with his brothers.
He's also doing the Activity Book.

Latin:

He went through the lessons and DVDs with his older brother so I got him the workbook for him to go through this year.  I have no idea how much, if anything, he retained.

Religion:


St. Joseph First Communion Catechism
This boy should be making his First Communion soon.  We haven't formally planned it yet but I hope he'll be ready sometime this year.  (He tells us he'd like to go to the Holy Land and receive it in the Upper Room.  Ha!)

Music:
I may or may not have the older boys start teaching him some beginning piano.  Or I may possibly work it out to have him start lessons, too.  I try to have very laid back appreciation of all sorts of genres just through listening with a special emphasis on classical. (I especially love the Music Masters set...though I can't seem to find the whole 18 CD set anywhere anymore.)

Geography:

For all the kids, I really like these geography puzzles.  We don't have them all but we've gotten a few as gifts and they're good for learning basic continent and country geography.



PreK/Kindergarten

Reading:


Math:
Very informally learning addition, subtraction, skip counting, etc. through play.  If he seems ready, I may break out the Singapore Math 1A.  He's wanted to try a few times but isn't quite there yet.

Handwriting:
Similar to my style of cursive, I just use plain handwriting paper and teach them how to make each letter.  More often than not, they've already learned the basics of the letter just from trying to write and learning their abc's through different toys and play.  It's just a matter of building the skill to write it well.

Science, history, Latin, grammar, et. al. are all learned but unintentionally so at this point.



So that's the plan and I have no doubt I forgot something.  There's a ton not listed that qualifies as learning, of course, but this is the official curriculum that we're going to start in a few weeks.  It looks so fancy and organized all listed out like this...now to actually, you know, do it.

Hope you're all having a great summer!  We've got a few weeks left here that I hope to savor!


(The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.  When you buy anything through that link, you help me earn a few cents at no cost to you.  Thank you!)


4 comments:

  1. Hello- I'm also in WNY and have been keeping my ear out for a piano teacher that comes to your home. Would you mind sharing her contact information if she is taking new students? Also, at what age do you typically start them on formal piano. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Katie! Welcome! I started my oldest at age 8, I think? He switched to this teacher and Suzuki at 9 or 10. My second started last year at age 8. Would you mind sending me an email at betterthaneden1 @ yahoo.com ? I can share her info with you privately :)

      Delete
  2. Just curious with your history and science subjects - do you do any sort of note booking or "tests"/worksheets for documentation purposes? I know that some states don't require student samples/documentation of learning and some do. Was wondering if you had any resources like that that you happen to use beyond the books/reading/oral discussion. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't. I've tried and failed and just try to assess myself where they are. Our state requires quarterly reports telling how far they've gotten in whatever curriculum we reported at the beginning of the year and a subjective assessment/grade for that subject (I just use S, S+ for satisfactory). I know that the Story of Civilization and Light to the Nations have complementary plans and tests but I've never used them. It's definitely something I could be better at.

      Delete

Your nice comment makes my day. I love knowing that you were here and the only way I do is if you take the time to leave a note here! Thank you for taking the time to do that! If you'd like to contact me privately, please email me at betterthaneden1 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please know I read and appreciate every comment even if I can't reply personally.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...