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Friday, July 24, 2009

Homeschool Questions: What do you use?

Last month I started what I'd hoped would be a series of posts on "Homeschool Questions" in response to some questions I've gotten from new homeschoolers. I've been a bit slow in getting to the rest of the series, haven't I? Well, what can I say, summer has gotten the better of me and I'm ok with that!

The past couple of days I've been giving some thought to the year ahead and looking over curricula. It just so happens that Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers is having a Weekly RoundUp with a "What are you using?" theme, and I thought I'd join in!

So, in answer to "What do you use?" here's an overview of our curricula for this year:

Grammar Level Students
(5th grade son and 2nd grade daughter)

5th: Saxon 5/4
2nd: Singapore 2

Language Arts:
5th: Easy Writing (5th grader) - which oddly enough I'm using for Grammar. Possibly adding one of IEW's writing programs later this year (All Things Fun & Fascinating, probably). I'm considering adding a spelling unit using K. Stout's Natural Speller. HWT's Cursive and copy work.

2nd: Explode the Code (Books 2 - ? as far as we need to go until she is reading fluently). Adding some Bob Books or other simple readers as her fluency grows, which I expect will happen quickly at this point. Lots of games: Phonics Bingo, Sight Word Bingo and HWT's Printing Power and copy work.

Classical Studies:
This year we are in Rome: The Aeneid for Boys and Girls (AJ Church), Galen and the Gateway to Medicine. If we get through both of these, I'll also add Famous Men of Rome

Modern Studies:
Classical Conversations history sentences, timeline, and geography locations. Story of the World and various children's fiction/non-fiction supplemental reading - quite a few from the My Book House children's literature collection. God's World News for current events.

Science & Nature:
Nature notebooks (I've yet to do this consistently, but I'm hoping this will be the year!). Science reading, experiments, and projects to coincide with CC's science sentences. Our source material will be Great Science Adventures: The World of Plants and Discovering Earth's Landforms & Surface Features. I've found various books to cover the Animal kingdom, too.

Latin for Children
Tutored French for the 5th grader

We have a booklist for our kids that I compiled from a number of online sources. We just read whatever is next on the list. Here is what we are currently reading:
5th Grader: Lord of the Rings (read aloud with Dad)
2nd Grader: Chronicles of Narnia (read aloud with Dad)
Together with Mom: Story of Dr. Doolittle, Wind in the Willows

Building Thinking Skills - this is a maybe. I really like these workbooks, but we'll see if we have time to include it.

Arts: Artist and Composer study with Classical. Attending Children's Symphony concert and Children's Theatre productions. Possibly tutored art lessons - or mom-tutored. Picture study with National Gallery teacher resources. I try to keep a fair amount of art supplies on hand. We often pull out art supplies, listen to good music (folk, world, and classical), and just enjoy some free creation time.

Dialectic Level Student
My 8th grader

Jacob's Algebra with Dad

Language Arts:
Jensen's Punctuation
Poetry unit (Grammar of Poetry)
Newbery Literature and essays with CC Challenge B
The Short Story (reading classic short stories and writing their own) with CC Challenge B

Classical Studies:
Finish Wanderings of Odysseus, The Aeneid for Boys and Girls, Dragonslayer (retelling of Gilgamesh), Arabian Nights (selections from this), other selections from non-western cultures: China, India, Africa

Modern Studies:
Challenge B: current event research/discussion and Mock Trial

Science & Nature:
Challenge B: History of Science, study of origins

Latin's Not So Tough 5, 6

Newberry Literature (with Challenge B), plus selections from our family booklist.

Introductory Logic, Intermediate Logic (Nance & Wilson)

Arts: Drama with local drama program. Children's Symphony and Children's Theatre productions. Possibly attending some of the Metropolitan Opera performances being played in our local movie theatre (and these).

Earlier this week I looked over our annual, weekly, and daily schedules and I'll post more about that in the next week or so to answer the next "Homeschool Question": "When do you homeschool?"

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Cheryl - Somewhat Crunchy said...

I've heard great things about Explode the Code. I'm considering using that with Littlest when he's ready.

Weird Unsocialized Mom said...

Our kids are close in age. You've got some great ideas. I hope you'll consider doing the regular Weekly Wrap-Ups this year...I'd like to borrow ideas from you. ;-)

Kerry said...

Cheryl - The first time I used Explode the Code with my eldest neither he nor I liked them. For some reason he frequently found the pictures confusing. But I came back to them with #3 and she loves them! So do I. They are inexpensive and great practice books.

Kris - I hope I can contribute frequently, too!