Thursday, July 21, 2011
I know that I have not posted much recently but we have been busy enjoying our summer vacation. For the last several months, I've spent a great deal of time thinking and planning for our new homeschool school year. Early on, I knew some of our curriculum choices and ordered throughout the year as we could afford them.
In truth, we did not get everything on our wish list so I managed to tweak our current materials on hand and pull out some books that we not been using (that the boys are ready to begin this Fall).
I have been been busy reading, reviewing, gathering, printing and using my Homeschool planner (thanks for Jolanthe@ Homeschool Creations) to organize and prepare for our new school year which begins in late August. I'll be posting how we use the Homeschool planner next month. I have been composing our book list for Literature and found some great reading books thanks in part to the book Great Books for Boys by Kathleen Odean.
Here is a tentative list of what we will be using for our 2011-2012 school year:
For Language Arts, we decide to remain with unit studies since the boys enjoy our reading lists and have learned quite a bit from previous theme units. Here is a look at what we’ll be using:
Before Five in Row by Jane Claire Lambert for my youngest who will be starting Kindergarten level. He is currently five and I know that he will enjoy the books with this curriculum. I found out our local library has most of the books and we have a few in our personal family library so we are all set to begin our rowing adventures next month!
Level Readers, Children’s Classics and Poems with my oldest son who will be supplementing his literature studies with poems about nature, the seasons, holidays, and life events. We will also be reading Aesop’s Fables and Just So Stories by Ruyard Kipling as other children’s classics. Click HERE for the children’s classic book list by the Horn Book (PDF file).
Explode the Code for Phonics – I can’t say enough about this curriculum. We started using this curriculum over a year ago. The boys have enjoyed this curriculum and it has helped my oldest son.
Handwriting without Tears for Penmanship – We had been using Explode the Code for both phonics and handwriting and it has worked well with our sons; however my oldest son needs work on his printing so we are going back with Handwriting without Tears.
The Natural Speller by Kathryn L. Stout. This book provides spelling instruction for grades 1 through 8. Spelling rules are provided with charts that include suffixes and prefixes along with phonic and writing rules.
We will also be using free online resources from these sites: Super Teacher Spelling and Spelling City.
In Mathematics, the boys were using separate curricula. I had plan to use Rod and Staff publishers math books with both for our upcoming school year. After much thought, I realized that Turtle (my youngest) may miss his colorful work books - which is something that Rod and Staff lacks) so I have decided to use the following for Math:
Horizons Math K - My youngest son will be using Horizons Math K, math manipulatives as well as file folder games.
Rod and Staff Math and living math books with my oldest son. We are using the living math book list as a guide in selecting reading books that help teach math concepts.
For Science, we knew what we wanted in this area to continue using Nature Studies as the main focus of our science. In our search, we discovered Rod and Staff has a great curriculum for life science that allowed us to study the seasons and nature as we have been doing. What’s great is that I can use our nature readers and other books for further study. Here’s what we will be using for Science:
Rod and Staff Patterns of Nature.
After looking at the sample pages of Patterns of Nature and how the book covers the subjects of seasons, plant and flower life, trees and animals, I decided that it would work well with Nature Studies. We will be using our current home library of Nature Crafts books as supplement.
Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers for reading and for diagrams and printables we will be using the Giant Science Resource Book: Grades 1-6 by Jo Ellen Moor. We will also do from time to time science projects as part of our Before Five in a Row studies.
Bible, History and Geography I have put a lot of thought into what we would be using this coming year. We had planned to purchase the Grapevine Studies but I decided to put that off since our History curriculum is bible based and I felt it was enough material with our family
Bible Stories and Devotionals – reading stories from the Old Testament this Fall and then New Testament in the Spring season. We plan on doing devotionals as a family. We are also using our History curriculum as part of our bible studies.
History for Little Pilgrims – This curriculum (which is aimed at 1st – 2nd grades) introduces American history with a bible perspective.
We will be supplementing with the following books:
- Lessons on Liberty: A Primer for Young Patriots by Peter A. Lillback,
- America : A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney.
- A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney as well as books from our library to read biographies of a key persons in America.
Beginning Geography by Evan Moor – This year we are going back to the basics. We are going to be studying History and I felt that the boys need a refresher course.
We did a Timberdoodle review of this book in March. We will be able to expand on the lessons by adding a reading list of books on oceans, continents and world animals for our homeschool.
Art and Crafts
We will continue to use the many nature craft books that we have for our Nature Studies as well as ideas and projects that we do from our unit studies. This year I wanted to add something that we could explore different art mediums with.
The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas – This book explores different materials as well as techniques to use in creating art projects. We will also be planning on doing Crafts for our Nature Studies, Bible lessons as well as Five in a Row unit studies throughout the year.
Draw Write Now books 1-8. These books will work well with the boys. It is my hope that they will help my older son (with special needs) who has some difficulty in writing and learning to draw.
This year we will be using several books for Art with Nature Crafts which include:
- Nature Crafts for Kids by Joy Williams (from the Creative Kids book series).
- Nature’s Art Box by Laura C. Martin
- Nature Crafts: 50 Fantastic things to make with Mother Nature’s help by Gwen Diehn and Terry Krautwuerst.
Music Appreciation – We will be studying music from various composers. We plan on listening to one composer throughout the month. We will be listening to different music selections of a composer as we homeschool or go on errands. The boys will continue to listen to pieces by the same composer for several weeks until they become familiar with that composer’s style. We will also read a book or listen to a short biography about that composer sometime during our study of his or her work.
Health and Physical Education
Abeka Health and Manners and
Yoga Kids DVDs by Marsha Wenig. We started doing Marsha’s Yoga Kids DVDs and the boys love it. While the DVDs are meant for ages 3 to 6, my oldest son enjoys doing the yoga moves along with his little brother. They are having fun while staying fit. We recently found Stephanie Adams’ Yoga Fit Kids DVD which is introduces to children ages 4 to 10 ages over 20 yoga poses and breathing activities. You can see a YouTube video preview of her DVD by clicking here.
I believe our choices for our homeschool curriculum are a much better perspective of our beliefs. We have been leaning to the Charlotte Mason method for sometime and the boys really enjoy it. Although, our curriculum is not all exclusively Charlotte Mason, some of our subjects such as Literature and Science and music are.
It is my hope that my children will learn and grow with our selection of material and that they will have an appreciation of it. We are excited about our new homeschool year and it's still sometime away!