Sunday, August 1, 2010

Our 2010-2011 Curriculum

This is our second year participating with the Annual Not Back to School Blog Hop which this year is being hosted by Heart of the Matter each week in August. This week’s discussion is curriculum, sharing what we have decided to use this homeschool year.

We have grown a lot this year as a family and I do not mean physically (although you could say that about the boys). We have some subjects that we wanted to pursue further and some that did not quite make the grade so we change some curriculum while expanding on others.

Here is a detailed glance at what we be using for Curriculum for 2010-2011. .


Basic Skills - We will be using the Kumon Books "My First Book of Numbers 1-30" and "My First Book of CUTTING." We used these with my oldest son and he loved them. Their books for basic skills have step-by-step exercises that help children gain independence in learning to write, cut and paste!

HORIZONS PRESCHOOL - This bible based curriculum has it all. from Bible, phonics, math, art and language arts. The lessons are easy to follow. You can chose between a 3 day week or 5 day week to use this curriculum. We were using only the Student Workbook but this year we are adding the Teacher’s manual, We are starting with a 3 day week and this year are expanding to a 4-5 day week with my youngest, age 4.

MATH - Using what is available in the Horizons Preschool curriculum (listed above)and supplementing with file folder math games and math activities that I create.

Bob books and read alouds from books we borrow from our public library.

with my youngest will include for now Celebrations around the World: A Multicultural Handbook by Carole S. Angell. We will also be learning about the seasons and holidays, community workers, and about family values. Turtle will some geography: Galloping the globe if I can tailor it for a 4 year old by using some aspects of the curriculum with him. (see SUBJECTS boys are doing together further in this post).


Read alouds and selections of books based on reading level and the unit studies we will be covering throughout the year. Our library books for our geography studies will be included with our reading.

the Natural Speller and free online resources from these sites: Super Teacher Spelling and Spelling City. One good thing is that Explode the Code covers vocabulary so we will be using that for our weekly spelling words. We use our letter tiles with our vocabulary words as well.

I hope to use First Language Lessons by Peach Hill Press. This is my first time using this book and I am not sure how it will go. We will be starting with this book in late Winter after working more on Phonics and Reading.

Rod and Staff Arithmetic 1. We start using Horizons Math last year after having no success with Modern Curriculum Press Math. We switched gears in the late Spring and started with Rod and Staff and I am happy to report that my son is retaining the information much better and is enjoying math for once!


I am considering Lessons in Responsibility for Boys, I read a review of it at the Curriculum Choice and was pleased with the review. For now until I can afford getting it, we will be using my old copy of Learning at Home by Ann Ward and use the bible lessons in it.

Explode the Code books. We started using this curriculum last year. The boys have enjoyed this curriculum and it has helped my oldest son. My youngest son will, be using Books A, B and C while we begin with Books 1 – 2 with my oldest.

Handwriting without tears. It has been the mainstay for us and I would never change to something else. It works tor us and what’s important is the boys like it.

Nature Studies became our main focus for our science curriculum last year and the boys love it! We now have a list of links on our sidebar that we found along the way of our Study in Nature.

For Nature Studies we are using The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock as a guide, Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers as well as Kingfisher's Young Discoverers Series. For diagrams and printables we enjoy using the Giant Science Resource Book: Grades 1-6 by Jo Ellen Moor.

We started using the Handbook of Nature Study in the Fall. I have the e-book for now and we follow the Handbook of Nature Study blog. This year we are doing more with Nature Studies so I added some books to our family library which include:

- Nature for the Very Young by Marcia Bowden
- Sharing the Joy of Nature: Nature Activities for all ages by Joseph Bharat Cornell
- Peterson First guide to Trees
- Peterson First guide to Mammals of North America
- Tell Me, Tree: All about Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons
- The Kids’ Wildlife Book by Warner Shedd
- The Kids' Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences by Susan Milord
- Backyard Detective: Critters Up Close by Nic Bishop
- Science Play by Jill Frankel Hauser
- Watching Nature by Monica Russo and Kevin Bryon

Galloping the Globe from Geography Matters. This year will be the first time we are using a purchased curriculum for geography. I was able to find affordable prices for additional materials to add to this curriculum (some of these materials with tie into our Bible Studies). I found a few similar books to what was suggested and I think what we have will work well this year.

- Galloping the Globe by by Loree Pettit, and Dari Mullins.
- Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley.
- Geography A to Z by Jack Knowlton
- Maps and Mapping by Barbara Taylor
- Rand McNally School House Beginner’s World Atlas
- Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia
- Usborne Internet Linked Children’s World cookbook
- Hands-on History Projects: Home Life: Learn About Houses, Homes and What People ate in the Past
- Hands on Geography by Maggie S. Hogan (Has great ideas for homemade games)
- Trail Guide to World Geography by Cindy Wiggers (I am going to water down this book for my oldest son to add as additional supplement)

We are still looking for a book on Missionary stories so for now we will be reading bible scriptures and stories.

We never used a purchased curriculum for ART before, we've been happy just making arts and crafts from open ended art, StArt projects, and projects related to our unit studies. Most of what we make is made from recycled items and it teaches the boys how to find other uses for items.

Making art and crafts from recycled materials won’t stop and this year we are expanding our art and crafts to include Nature Crafts (because we love Nature Studies), Art Projects for Geography and Drawing (to go with both Nature study and Geography).

This year we will be using several books for Art with Nature Crafts:
- Nature Crafts for Kids by Joy Williams (from the Creative Kids book series).
- Nature Crafts: 50 Fantastic things to make with Mother Nature’s help by Gwen Diehn and Terry Krautwuerst.

Our Art and Craft books for our Geography studies will include:
- Crafts from World Cultures by Jan Wierth. A Monday Morning book.
We used last year “Patterns for World Cultures” and enjoyed it so we are adding another book by the same publisher.
- The Kids' Multicultural Art Book: Art Craft Experiences from Around the World (Williamson Kids Can! Series),
- Hands-on History Projects: Home Life: Learn About Houses, Homes and What People Ate in the Past, with 30 Easy-to-Make Projects and Recipes by Rachel Halsread.

The rest of the books pictured above will be borrowed form our public library and still on our wish list is:
- Nature’s Art Box by Laura C. Martin
- Draw Write Now books 1-8. I hope to get these books to help my older son (with special needs) to have a desire to draw. I think they will made a great addition to our Geography studies when we learn to draw different animals from around the world.

We do not use a purchased music curriculum instead we learn about musical instruments and musical pieces from different countries as we have been with our Geography studies.

We will be covering health as part of Physical Education this year but I have not worked out how many days a week we will cover health. I plan on using Abeka’s Heath with the boys. We will also doing outdoor activities with our homeschool playgroup as well as gymnastics with hubby teaching the boys some of the basics. (My hubby was a gymnast in his youth to adulthood).

Make sure you head on over to Heart of the Matter, to read about what others have planned for the upcoming school year.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by!

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butterfly wishes and Wonderland Dreams said...

I just listed my curriculum for this preschool year too.

man your school curriculum looks awesome they are so lucky to have you as a teacher!!! can't wait to read as the school year progresses

SANDRA said...

I owe a big thank you for inspring us to do Nature Studies when we participated in your weekly blog post on Nature last year. Since then the boys have enjoyed being outdoors and wanting to know more about nature.

Tara B. said...

Wow!! Looks like so much fun stuff! I really like all of your Geography selections. Have a great year!

No Ordinary Me said...

What a great line up. Thanks for sharing all the Nature books. We are increasing our nature study. Last year I didn't add it until late spring. So, I hope to make it more of a weekly plan. I also love the blog that goes along with the Handbook of Nature Study book.

SANDRA said...

Thanks Tara, it does look like a lot of stuff but we will be using the books through the year as needed when we cover specific themes/units. I am excited about using this new curriculum for Geography.

Most of our reading books will come from the library. We have done quite a bit of reading this past school year.

Kysha said...

Beautiful line up and beautiful music!

SANDRA said...

We follow the blog too and I really like how the Handbook of Nature Study blog is set up. We were looking for a blog that had Nature study for kids and have seen a few like but none quite as extensive as Barb's.

Jessica S. said...

We are definitely looking forward to our Nature Study as well. Happy Homeschooling and thank you for participating in the Blog Hop! :)

Ryan Egan said...

Hi there! I just wanted to stop by and thank you for the kind words about Horizons Preschool. We're glad you're enjoying it!

Ryan from Alpha Omega Publications

Robin E. said...

We've used many of the books you have listed for Geography, Nature Study, and Art, and I think you will have a fine year. Thanks for sharing on the NOT Back-to-School blog hop.

Spesamor Academy said...

It looks awesome! Have a great year!!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I just can't wait to see your geography studies - I am sure the boys will enjoy them a lot and will have a great year!

MamaGames said...

This is a terrific list, especially the books you have listed for geography, nature, art, etc. I have bookmarked this page so I can come back when I have more time and take a look at each book individually.

Have a great year!

Jeanette said...

Great resources. Thanks for sharing.

MissMOE said...

Your nature and art studies sound like lots of fun. And I do have to say that BOB books are some of my favorite. The time when children's reading clicks is precious. Enjoy your school year. Thanks for sharing your curriculum.

Our Village is a Little Different said...

It looks like you'll have a great school year! I'm stopping by from the blog hop, and following on GF.

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

You have some great resources here! You have put serious temptation in my path. ;-)