2013 – 2014 Homeschool Curriculum Plans

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While we adhere to a year-round homeschool routine, I usually take the months of July and December to evaluate what we are doing, see where we are, and make changes if necessary. For more on our decision to homeschool, please read Why Our Family has Chosen to Homeschool.

2013-2014 Homeschool Curriculum Plans | AmyLovesIt.com

Over the summer, we have been working on Math, Reading, Writing, and Handwriting. This month, we have added back Song School Latin, at the girls’ request.

Although we don’t have a “grade” system in our home, Abby Grace is in 4th grade, Reese is in 2nd grade, and Meleah is in PreK-Kindergarten. Meleah won’t be 5 until September, so we will see how this year goes as to whether or not she will move to 1st grade or repeat Kindergarten next year.

Math

Math is a subject we have struggled with; we simply couldn’t find a curriculum that worked with either girl. My friend Mandi mentioned she was having great success with Teaching Textbooks, so I decided to try it myself. We have had it for a few weeks, and all of us love it. I went ahead and just bought Teaching Textbooks 3 (the lowest level… I wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable with the new way of doing math before we got into any new material), and Abby Grace is flying through it. At three lessons a day, she will easily be in TT 4 within two months.

Reese is also loving Teaching Textbooks. It is above her grade level, but she is doing quite well. The two of us work through it together when necessary, but this is the first time place value has clicked with her. Yay! {Apparently, I’m not great when it comes to teaching place value!}

Meleah

Reading

Abby Grace is still working on her Rod & Staff books, but when she is finished with this set, we may drop the “formal” reading curriculum in favor of her reading selected books. At this point, I’m not 100 percent the direction we will go from here, but I don’t feel this curriculum is for her anymore.

Reese and I are working through The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. Both of us love this book, and I will be using it with Meleah, as well.

Everyone participates in “quiet time” for an hour each afternoon (although we haven’t had much quiet time this summer!), which includes at least 20 minutes of individual reading time. The girls are also responsible for reading their daily Bible study at some point before supper. I will share more on how we do this later, but Shane or I usually read with Reese and to Meleah (or one of her sisters reads to her). However, no matter how the girls get the lesson, they are each responsible for a few minutes of quiet time with God on their own, whether they can read or not.

We also have the thirty minutes before bed set aside for reading, either with one of us, or individually.

Language Arts

While we haven’t been consistent with First Language Lessons every single day, it is one of my favorite parts of our homeschooling. We are almost finished with the first level, and will begin working on Level 2 in August. Meleah can listen in, but will not formally begin Level 1 until next year.

Writing

Now this may be an area I have failed at until recently. Abby Grace will begin taking Essentials in our Classical Conversations program this fall, and in preparing her for that, we came across Writing with Ease (Level 2). We are making slow progress, but I feel she will be up for the challenge that is Essentials by the time mid-August rolls around.

Reese is using Writing with Ease Level 1, and doing well. She is not old enough for the Essentials program, so while we may stop WwE with Abby Grace, we will be continuing it with Reese.

Reese math

Meleah will be working through this fantastic PreK Daily Learning Notebook from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I printed off the pages and put them in plastic sleeves so she can use them over and over again.

The girls have a journal that they write and/or draw in daily, and I’ve admittedly been a little lax on the subjects of these journals. I purchased several books over vacation, and they will get to choose either a page from these books (wildflower and bird guides) OR one of our CC History Facts Cards to copy.

Foreign Language

As I mentioned earlier, we have used Song School Latin and loved it. However, it fell by the wayside last year when we added Classical Conversations (which has it’s own Latin program), so while we picked it up again this summer, come August, we will once again put it aside.

History/Geography

The girls really enjoy listening to The Story of the World cd’s, and I play them while they are working on Handwriting or coloring. We are getting most of our History and Geography from our Classical Conversations class, so SOTW, while wonderful, is just extra.

Science

Again, we rely on our Classical Conversations curriculum for the majority of our science, but we still enjoy working through our Sonlight Animals, Astronomy, & Physics books. {Yes, we’ve been working through it for quite awhile now!}

books

Handwriting

Abby Grace has been learning cursive for over a year now, but I still like her to practice. Reese began cursive this summer, and both girls are working through the Classical Conversations PreScripts books. I love how they incorporate drawing, coloring, and writing in one book, and how they include writing Scripture.

The PreK Daily Learning Notebook also has letter and number writing for beginners, which is what Meleah will be using.

Classical Conversations

I’ve mentioned CC several times throughout this post. So. What is Classical Conversations?

Classical Conversations is a Mission: The purpose of education is to know God and to make Him known.

The purpose of CC is to lead the home-centered education movement by equipping parents and students with the classical tools of learning needed to discover the order and beauty of God’s creation and to inspire others to do the same. Parents and families are supported through local CC communities, online communities, and more.

Classical Conversations is a Model: CC combines classical learning and a biblical worldview.

Classical Conversations’ programs model the three stages of classical learning — grammar (knowledge), dialectic (understanding), and rhetoric (wisdom). Using age appropriate methods, children are taught the tools for studying any subject.

The Classical model emphasizes mastery of facts during the early years. This gives students a foundation on which to build later learning and a solid framework where ideas can be categorized and compared as students mature.

Classical Conversations is a Method: In CC Communities, parents equip parents.

Classical Conversations Communities exist to complement home-centered education. Each community is facilitated by a trained parent-director, and classes are led by trained parent-tutors who model the classical tools of learning.

Reese-reading-to-Cam

Why did we choose CC? Teaching and learning the basics are very important to me. I feel that if you don’t know the basics well, you are missing out on building your foundation. I also feel that each “piece” should tie together, so rather than having each subject separate, we incorporate them with each other. I feel that each child learns differently and at different stages in their life… and they should be allowed to explore learning at their own pace. CC brings my love of order and facts together in one sweet package, and assists me in providing my girls with a solid foundation.

This will be the second year in Foundations for both Abby Grace and Reese, and the first for Meleah. As I mentioned earlier, this will be Abby Grace’s first year in Essentials.

Arts

Abby Grace will begin her fifth year of piano, and has aspirations of competing in the Spring! Reese also takes weekly piano lessons, and will be taking formal art classes, as well.

Typing

In their spare time, we like for the girls to practice their typing with Dance Mat Typing.

Many {but not all!} of the items I’m using can be found on Amazon, and qualify for free shipping on orders over $25, which is awesome! Here is a recap of what we will be using this Fall:

Do you homeschool? Have you used any of this curriculum?

Linked to Curriculum Week at iHomeschool Network’s “Not Back-to-School Blog Hop”

nbts-blog-hop-2013

Comments

  1. Charity says

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this information. We will be in our third year of homeschooling and I am so grateful that the Father keeps showing me new and different resources to use for my kids. I’m excited to introduce them to typing through the link you provided. Thanks again for the information. God bless!!

    • says

      Hi Charity! Thank you for sharing :) I hope you and your children enjoy that typing program as much as our family has!

      Blessings (and congrats on beginning your third year!),
      – Amy

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