Curriculum Choices {2016-2017}

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This year will begin our fourth year of homeschooling! Here are our curriculum choices for the 2016-2017 school year which begins on Monday, July 11th:

~ Together ~

Bible

We always begin our day by reading a Bible story. It’s a habit I want to instill in my children from a very early age. We’ve read several stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible but we’ve not read it cover to cover yet. We will also watch The Jesus Storybook Bible DVDs. The girls have reached the age where I want to start reading to them straight from the Bible. Both girls received The Adventure Bible for kids for Christmas so we will begin reading from there this year.

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We began reading Apologia’s Who is God? this summer. Once Sarge is in bed we all gather in the living room and Dave reads a page or two. This book teaches a Biblical Worldview. The age recommendation is 6-14 years old so our girls are definitely on the young end of that age range, but we feel like they are picking up what they can at 7 and 5 years old and we’ve had some wonderful discussions with them.

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Classical Conversations ~ Cycle 2 Memory Work

We are looking forward to our first time through Classical Conversations Cycle 2! Every week the girls will have 7 pieces of Memory Work to memorize. By the end of Cycle 2 they will have memorized and/or been exposed to:

Timeline: 161 events and people in a chronological timeline from Creation to Modern America

History: 24 history sentences from Pre-Reformation to Modern history

Science: 24 science facts about Ecology, Astronomy and Physical Science

Geography: Over 100 locations and geographic features in Europe, Asia and select parts of the world

Math: Multiplication tables up to 15×15, common squares and cubes, as well as basic geometry formulas, algebraic laws and unit conversions

English: Grammar facts including pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and conjuctions

Latin: Verb endings of the first conjugation

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These are the resources we use to learn more about our Memory Work:

Usborne Books

Magic School Bus books and DVDs

Let’s Read and Find Out Science books

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I do not plan an activity for every piece of Memory Work, but I do occasionally plan a fun craft or activity. The girls look forward to special activities that are not something we normally do every day, but most of all, they love to just read books together about our Memory Work!

Blob Mapping

We do enjoy Blob Mapping and will continue perfecting those skills this year!

Classical Conversations Community Day

One day per week, we will join our Classical Conversations Community for Community Day where we meet from 9am-1pm. During this time we will be learning about/participating in the following:

  • Exposure to drawing techniques
  • Music Theory
  • Tin Whistle
  • 6 Great Artists and related projects
  • Introduction to orchestra
  • 3 classical composers
  • 12 science experiments
  • 12 science projects
  • 24 oral presentations
  • Lunch Hour with our Community!

Handwriting

We started Handwriting Without Tears K during the summer and will continue until we complete the Letters and Numbers for Me workbook together.

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Read Alouds

Read Aloud time has always been one of my favorite times of the day. We like to enjoy our Read Aloud after lunch and before rest time! It is a nice way to unwind and we have gone on some amazing adventures together via books and stories over the years!

Some of the books we plan to read this year:

Little House on the Prairie series (We started this last year!)

 The Imagination Station

The Shakespeare Stories

Who Was Issac Newton?

Who was William Shakespeare?

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Math Games

At the early elementary age, I believe math concepts should be taught through various games and activities and not just from a workbook. Over the past year or so, I have collected (from the internet) math games and activities for preschool through 2nd Grade. We will play these games along with our math curriculum! We have games for the following math concepts: Basic Addition Facts, Fractions, Geometry, Graphing, Measurement, Money, Number Sense, Patterns, Shapes and Time.

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Little Bug ~ 7 years old  ~ 2nd Grade

All About Reading Level 2

We started All about Reading Level 2 towards the end of last year and will continue where we left off as we begin this school year!

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All About Spelling Level 1

It is recommended to begin All About Spelling Level 1 with Level 2 of All About Reading. We will have to find our groove with doing both AAR and AAS. I am almost certain we won’t do them both everyday. If Little Bug’s love for AAR is any indication, I am sure she is going to love AAS just as much.

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Explode the Code Books 3 & 4

We left off on Lesson 4 of Book 3 at the end of last year, so Little Bug will pick right back up where she left off. These books are excellent in reinforcing the phonics she is learning in All About Reading. As an extra bonus, for the most part, she can complete these lessons independently. Once she completes Book 3, she will move right in to Book 4.

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A Reason for Handwriting Level K

A Reason for Handwriting K provides excellent practice for writing the uppercase and lowercase letters. Little Bug did this last year and she will work through it again this year for some extra handwriting practice.

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Horizons Math 1

Little Bug will move in to Horizons Math 1 this year. I always find myself second-guessing which math curriculum to use. At the convention this year, I probably visited half a dozen or so math curriculum booths and, at the end, I stuck with Horizons for one simple reason: If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it! Horizons is working for us, so why change?

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Sweet Pea ~ 5 years old ~ Kindergarten

My baby girl is in Kindergarten! I am taking a different approach with Sweet Pea’s Kindergarten year compared to Little Bug’s Kindergarten year. I am not beginning any formal curriculum with her at the start of the year. We will take a gentle approach to Kindergarten. I will follow Sweet Pea’s interests. After Christmas (or even before!), if she is begging me to teach her to read, I will pull out All About Reading Level 1 and get started! However, if she seems to enjoy my relaxed approach to her Kindergarten year, we will save the formal curriculum (AAR & Horizons math) for when she is closer to 6 years old.

K4/5 Kindergarten from Confessions of a Homeschooler

K4/5 Kindergarten from Confessions of a Homeschooler will be Sweet Pea’s core Kindergarten curriculum! It includes: basic phonics & math and handwriting practice as well as much, much more. You could use it as a full K curriculum, but I just printed and organized into file folders what I want to use with Sweet Pea, which is less than half of the complete curriculum.

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Explode the Code Primers ABC

She won’t start these right away, but once those fine motor skills develop a little more and we complete Handwriting Without Tears K, Sweet Pea will begin the Explode the Code Primer books that teach and reinforce letter sounds.

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A Reason for Handwriting K

After we finish Handwriting Without Tears K, Sweet Pea will begin A Reason for Handwriting K.

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Saxon Math K

Sweet Pea’s math will be a hodgepodge of math resources I already had on hand. We probably won’t complete anything cover to cover, but we will dapple in everything here and there throughout the course of the year! Here is what I’ve got on the shelf to use with Sweet Pea for Kindergarten Math:

Saxon Math K is perfect for preschool or gentle Kindergarten. There are lessons that we will skip and lessons that we will do because they look fun. I like Saxon’s playful approach to math and believe it will be a great way to introduce and reinforce some basic math concepts with Sweet Pea. However, with a new baby coming soon, I am not planning to pull this out until after Christmas.

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In the meantime, I have several other resources that we will use:

Life of Fred Apples – Both girls will enjoy reading this. I’ve had it a couple years now. I need to make time to read it to them!

Usborne’s Wipe Clean First Math and Usborne’s Wipe Clean Telling the Time – This is a fun way to learn math!

BJU Math K5 – This was Little Bug’s math book the half-year she went to private school during her K year when life was so crazy after Sarge’s birth. If Sweet Pea wants to be a big girl with a math book, I will pull this book out and give her a page to do.

Various workbooks I have picked up over the years – These can also be used if Sweet Pea wants a “math book” like her big sister!

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In summary:

Together

  • Bible
  • Classical Conversations Cycle 2
  • Blob Mapping
  • Classical Conversations Community Day
  • Handwriting Without Tears K
  • Read Alouds
  • Math Games

Little Bug

  • All About Reading Level 2
  • All About Spelling Level 1
  • Explode the Code Books 3 & 4
  • A Reason for Handwriting K
  • Horizons Math 1

Sweet Pea

  • K4/5 Kindergarten from Confessions of a Homeschooler
  • Explode the Code Primers ABC
  • A Reason for Handwriting K
  • Saxon Math K + supplemental material
Posted in Homeschool Curricula, Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling, Uncategorized
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