Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop - Curriculum Plans for 2012-2013

Today I am talking about Curriculum Plans.  Am I the only one that gets a little bit stressed about this process??  Even though I have been schooling for about 7 years I still get the "am I using the right such and such program for so and so" feeling.  You would think I would just be a little bit more relaxed by now.  I am a work in progress!

I originally started this post out by saying I wasn't quite sure of all of my plans for the year, a not so great week can do that to a homeschool mom.  I have since gotten into a little bit better of a grove and reminded myself that there is usually a learning curve when starting a new curriculum.  I also had to remind myself that there is a grace period at the beginning of a new school year. 

No matter what curriculum we choose, it should not totally stress us out.  We need to not be slaves to our curriculum, but have the freedom to adjust it to our family. 

So after all of that rambling, here's what we plan on using this coming year..... drum roll please
Things we will be doing as a group:

Bible & Character
My Father's World - Exploration to 1850 - I had purchased a used copy of this prior to getting trail Guide to Learning.  i am pretty sure that we are going to us their plan for Boy Have I Got Problems by Kay Arthur, as well as their plan for memorizing the book of James. 

Character Sketches - We try to read through a few of these each week together in the evenings.  We usually read the nature stories and the kids color pictures that go along with the animal.  This is part Bible and part nature study, the pictures end up in their nature notebooks.

Character First - We are reviewing Volume 1 from Character First and so far we really like it.  So far we have been focusing on one character trait for a few weeks at a time.  Character First has songs, nature stories, historical stories, games and crafts.  The kids are really enjoying this! 

We Choose Virtues - We will continue going over these, my kids love them.

History, Science, Geography, Art, Thinking Skills
Trail Guide to Learning, Paths of Exploration - The older 3 children have been all been doing the TGTL program.  My 1st grader mostly just listens, discusses, narrates and draws, although I was informed today that he wants to do the notebook pages too!  So far the literature is fabulous, you know the kind of books that your kids beg you to read more of. 

In TGTL- POE we will be studying the following units:
Unit 1 - Columbus (Carry On Mr. Bowditch)
Unit 2 - Jamestown (Pocahontas)
Unit 3 - Pilgrim (Almost Home)
Unit 4 - Daniel Boone (Sign of the Beaver)
Unit 5 - Lewis and Clark (The Captain's Dog)
Unit 6 - Trails West (Bound for Oregon)

The books that I have posted here are the middle school supplement books that my 7th grader is supposed to be reading independently but we decided to read them aloud together.  It is extra reading for me (by choice) but I am so glad to be reading Carry On Mr. Bowditch.  It is a really good book and the little guys are really enjoying it too!

For science the kids will be doing nature studies as guided from TGTL.

I really would love to get a little co op going for hands on stuff to go along with our TGTL studies.  I am praying about this and we'll see what the Lord does : )

Hymn Study - we are going through different hymns this year using the book, Then Sings My Soul.
Singing - my girls love to sing.  It has been on my heart for several years now to take my kids to nursing homes to visit with the elderly patients.  Our thoughts are that the girls {and possibly one friend} are going to visit and singing to some of the patients, maybe one a month.

Life Skills
Lessons in Responsibility for Girls 1 & 2- I know it is for girls but Alpha Boys can do some of this stuff too.
Chores - Yep, my kids have them. Every day in fact.  I am continuing to teach them to cook, do laundry, vacuum, clean bathrooms, clean their room, dust and sort socks {can I get an amen to the sock sorting!}

Independent Studies -

Just to clarify, by independent I mean separate from our group studies.  Most of these things are done one on one with Mom, like math, phonics and grammar.  

There are certain things that my 4th and 7th graders do independent, meaning alone, be they will come to me with questions and for corrections.  Like with Teaching Textbooks, I am not really involved unless there is a question, technical problem or to show me a good grade.  Same thing with copy work, I am not really doing this with them, I just go over it  once they are finished.  : )

The Lil' Chef - 7th Grade
  • Abeka Spelling 7 - I asked her if this year she wanted to try something different and she said no.  She loves to spell and likes the challenging words that she gets from this program.
  • Teaching Textbooks 7 - This is the 2nd year we will be using TT7.  It is a great fit for her.
  • Time 4 Writing
  • Easy Grammar Plus
  • IEW
  • Apologia General Science - she is doing the experiments mostly on her own, but she gathers her siblings to watch all the cool stuff their big sis' is doing.

Computer Girl - 4th Grade
  • Abeka Spelling
  • Daily Grams 4
  • Math Made Easy - to get those multiplication facts down.  So far so good!
  • Teaching Textbooks 4 or Math U See - not 100% sure on her math yet.
  • IEW - this is a maybe
Alpha Boy - 1st Grade
  • Abeka Letters and Sounds K & 1- we jumped ships last April so we are finishing up the K book before we move on
  • Abeka Arithmetic 1
  • Handwriting - manuscript
  • FIAR - mostly just using the list of books but I may grad an activity here and there

Little Bits - Pre K
Here is what I am not doing this year:
I will NOT be looking at other families and all the activities that they are doing and think that our family should also be doing them too{excuse the run on sentence, just had to get that all out}.  That was a life lesson I learned last year. 

There are lots of families that thrive on the go, and enjoy doing all kinds of different activities.  We are not one of them.  We do better when we are home.  If we commit to doing something this year it will only be one thing.  This is just not the season for us to be running.


Julie said...

We are homebodies too. No keeping up with the Jones' for us either!

Lora @ my blessed life said...

You have some great choices here! We also love the Character Sketches book. They're really wonderful!

Aurie{OurGoodLife} said...

A lot of your choices are new to me - thanks for some fun links to check out! I learned big time last year to NOT read/compare my methods to others because I always feel like I fail. Miserably. Happy new school year!!

Brandi said...

Julie - LOL! I just feel SO much more relaxed when we are not running all over the place.

Thanks Lora - Character Sketches are a huge blessing!

Aurie - Glad to introduce you to some new things. I guess I am still learning not to compare. Problem with me though, is I like reading about different ideas and ways to do things. : )

Leah Mathis said...

Comparison is a killer! I am having to remind myself about that this year! Thanks! I am your newest follower! I am so excited to find other homeschool Mommies!

Learning 4 Keeps

Betsy Price said...

By Independent learning, do you mean that is what you instruct each individual child or that they actually do that work individually by themselves?

Brandi said...

Leah - Thanks for following, I tried your link but it didn't work.

Betsy - Good question! I added my response to the original post....

Just to clarify, by independent I mean separate from our group studies. Most of these things are done one on one with Mom, like math, phonics and grammar. There are certain things that my 4th and 7th graders do independent, meaning alone, be they will come to me with questions and for corrections. Like with Teaching Textbooks, I am not really involved unless there is a question, technical problem or to show me a good grade. Same thing with copy work, I am not really doing this with them, I just go over it once they are finished. : )

Does that explain?

Anonymous said...

I have also been homeschooling for 7 years now ;) I also used to stress too until I found our core program, Time4Learning. Now I don't worry because I know my kids love this program and it works for our family. I still like to add things of course. This year it is some US unit studies and some extra work books from school zone.
Anyways, Thanks for sharing &Happy homeschooling :)

Rachel @ day2day joys said...

I wouldn't be worried at all if I were you, looks like you have a great plan! This is our first year, we are doing University Model schooling! and using A Beka books.. any tips?


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