Back to (Home) School 2010: Our Curriculum

Updated to add: I’m also linking this to The Heart of The Matter Online’s “Not Back to School Bloghop” – you can hop over there to find MORE posts about school curriculum. =)

Not Back to School Blog Hop

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I am a SERIOUS school supply, office supply, and yes.. curriculum junkie. I have to keep myself in check when this time of year rolls around and it can be really hard sometimes to make decisions over which curriculum to go with. I know, I know, I could just pick an all-in-one, straight out of the box curriculum. I’ve tried to go that route, but I’m just not really happy with it. I most prefer picking and choosing things based on how well they fit our needs, my kids’ strengths and our budget. Besides, while browsing I get to drool over all kinds of interesting books and creative learning tools.

I’ve actually had most of our curriculum planned out for weeks (though I have yet to actually buy anything) but I still like to peruse up until the very last minute.. just in case I change my mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Most likely I won’t change my mind (much) and here’s our curriculum as it stands right now:

The Princess

MathFinish Switched on Schoolhouse 5th Grade & then move on to LifePac 6th Grade. We switched to Teaching Textbooks and are so happy with it!
Language Arts – Finish S.O.S. 5th grade and then Lifepac 6th Grade. Maybe. Or I may just use McGuffey Readers (probably the Fourth,) the McGuffey Speller, A Shorter English Grammar With Composition, etc. After all, they’re free, and they’ve worked for generations and generations.

Here’s what we ended up doing for Language Arts.

Drama Queen

MathHorizons Math, 2nd Grade (She’s already about a quarter of the way through this and we LOVE. IT!)
Language ArtsMcGuffey First Reader, First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, the McGuffey Speller. I also have a Houghton Mifflin public school spelling book I can use with her. For handwriting (I’m kind of ashamed to admit this…) several leftover workbook halves from big sister to be used up. I’m also looking at several free penmanship books on Google Books, let me know if you know of a good one!

Little Prince

Math, Reading, Writing – with mom, hands on, as his attention span allows. When he’s ready, the McGuffey Primer. I have several dollar store and Walmart pre-k/k workbooks with activity pages and basic skills when he wants to work in those. I also REALLY want to have a variety of hands-on items available to him throughout the school day, like this Gears! Gears! Gears! set and these Tinkertoys He likes to do things with his hands, it keeps him busy for hours, and he learns a lot through it, too. I also have a lesson book that goes along with the first four Magic Treehouse books, which he received for Christmas. It’s for early elementary kids but it will be very easy to adapt down.

All Together

BibleESV Children’s Bible, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism for Kids, Volume 1

Science – Apologia Astronomy and the Notebooks, Science videos from pbs.org, the National Geographic Channel online, and my favorite: www.godofwondersvideo.org

HistoryThe Mystery of History Volume 1, History Through The Ages Timeline Creation to Christ, Draw & Write Through History for Princess

Supplemental ReadingWeather (Usbourne Beginners, Level 2), Sun, Moon And Stars, Level 2: Internet Referenced (Beginners Nature – New Format), Planet Earth (Usbourne Beginners, Level 2), Gilgamesh the Hero, The Tales From the Odyssey series by Mary Pope Osborne, and Favorite Greek Myths

As you can see I truly AM an eclectic homeschooler. Not only do I mix and match curriculum but also methods, teaching styles and whatever else I need to use. I adore the older books such as the McGuffey readers but I also love a well put together and brand spanking new math or science curriculum. I want both structure and routine but also “free learning time” with a variety of games, books and projects available to them. This method has it’s advantages but also a bit of extra work involved. Still, it’s my favorite way. =)

A lot of how I choose our curriculum does have to do with cost, and free is definitely my favorite amount, but it’s not our only deciding factor. It was very important to me that I found a biblically based science curriculum and a history curriculum with a biblical worldview. I needed science and history programs that I could easily use with multiple grades. I also wanted to find things that would make it easy to incorporate a variety of teaching methods and learning styles. The math curricula are chosen specifically for the child’s ability with math and learning style. All these things together are what have guided me through my choosing process.

Princess will be finishing up her history and science this month and then we’ll begin our new year with her current math and language arts to finish but that will free us up to do all of our group subjects together. Drama Queen already has a jump start on her 2nd grade math book & McGuffey reader so she’ll just dive right back into those after taking off this month while I help Princess wrap up and while I work on getting ready for the new year. I can’t wait to get started with the new curriculum. I need to get that science and history ordered!!

Now it’s your turn:

If you haven’t already, tell us what your children will be learning this year. Tell us how you pick and choose. Or write about one of the other topics if you haven’t already. Everything links up on the linky list on Monday’s post. There are also linkies for your homeschool blog and a curriculum-for-sale post if you have one. There are so many options! (It should be obvious by now I LIKE options! So go ahead, link up!

Check out the:

(All Amazon items are linked with my Classic Housewife affiliate id.)

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Roscommon Acres » Blog Archive » Back to (Home) School 2010: Curriculum

[…] more curriculum posts and to share your own, check out A Classic Housewife in a Modern World. And don’t forget to let me know how you “do school.” Have you used any of these […]

Ryan
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Ryan

So glad to hear you’re enjoying Horizons Math! Working on the computer just wasn’t fitting for Princess? Thanks for sharing!

Ryan from Alpha Omega Publications

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Our Curriculum for 2010-11 « 5 Kids and a Dog

[…] Curriculum for 2010-11 Welcome! If you came here from Back to (Home)School over at Classic Housewife, youโ€™re in the right place. Sort […]

Amber
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Amber

Ryan – Not quite the right fit, mainly. She tends to space out after sitting at the computer for a little while. She’s always loved workbooks, and I knew that, but I was hoping that she’d really like working on the computer. I’m very excited to try out the LifePac, I’m expecting the worktext to be the right fit for her, just like the Horizons fits her little sister so well. Funny and sad both – Lifepac is what I wanted to start her on a few years ago but never made it happen. Here we are a few years… Read more »

Dusti
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Dusti

Thanks for sharing. I love peeking into others homeschools. ๐Ÿ™‚
I too have ours all planned out but wait to the last minute to buy.
Just posted ours.

Gwen T
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Gwen T

We also love Apologia Science and we have the HTTA timeline but we’re waiting until we move to do it – it’s so hard to wait!!! Here’s more about how we teach Bible to our 7 – http://toliverstotexas.blogspot.com/2010/08/from-babysitter-to-homeschooler.html

Karin Katherine
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Karin Katherine

Was there a linky? I couldn’t find it. Here is a link to what curriculum I have chosen for my 2nd grade boys: http://www.passportacademy.com/2010/08/planning-our-2nd-grade-year-curriculum.html

missmoe
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missmoe

I love reading what others are doing for the school year. Everyone has a different twist on doing the same basic subjects. We read the Tales from the Odyssey last year. Loved them. Thanks for taking the time to share your plans.

Wendi
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Wendi

I just picked up a copy of the McGuffey Second Reader at a used bookstore…I LOVE it! I have put the First Reader on my PBSwap wishlist.

I really enjoyed reading about your curric choices…especially since your kiddos are about the same age as mine…I have a ds8 (3rd grade), dd6 (1st grade) and ds3 (will be 4 in Oct).

Amber
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Amber

Thank you, everybody! I’m sorry I didn’t get around to responding to all the comments faster. I’m so glad to hear so many positive reports about the things we’ve chosen for this year. Certainly is encouraging!

Samantha
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Samantha

We are using almost the exact same curriculum (Horizon, McGuffey, Astronomy, MOH…) but I am feeling called to the Weaver unit study curriculum from AOP. ESV is also my favorite Bible!

Tonne Herron
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Tonne Herron

Fifth Grade Bible โ€“ Explorerโ€™s Bible Study Discovery series In The Beginning Genesis Math โ€“ Teaching Textbooks Math 4 & 5 (four times a week) Language โ€“ A Beka Language B Reading โ€“ A Beka readers Writing โ€“ creative writing class at Co Op (three times a week) Vocabulary โ€“ Word Roots A1 (once a week) Critical Thinking โ€“ Building Thinking Skills Level 2 (daily) & Mind Benders A3 (once a week) Spelling and Poetry โ€“ A Beka History โ€“ All American History Vol 1 (three times a week) Geography โ€“ Evan Moor Daily Geography Practice Grade 5 Science โ€“… Read more »

Cindy
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Cindy

Hi there, I have an almost 3 month old, 2 yr old and 4 yr old, and my husband is currently working out of town for 6 months….we are going to homeschool but from reading some of the questions and comments, I feel so behind with my 4 yr old…I am going to start preschooling her again, but how much time does she need a day? How do I take care of everyone and do this too without having the dreaded “mom guilt?” Thanks!

Amber
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Amber

You are not behind!! At four, it’s not important to have a schedule or syllabus.. they learn from everything they do. Sit down and do things with her (read books, color pictures, do puzzles) for as long as her attention span holds out. Point out colors, shapes, letters.. count objects on the page.. have her cut, color, glue and tape.. she’ll absorb so much through that kind of educational play. I did 30 minutes a day (intentionally) with my 4 year old.. but there were other things throughout the day as well, other opportunities to read and play and learn.… Read more »