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Curriculum Round-up Summer 2014

I’m in denial that our school year starts in just 3 short weeks.  I’m also in denial that I have a kid in high school.  When I started this blog I was a homeschool mom to a 2nd grader, a kindergartner, and a toddler.  And then I blinked.

3_Students(That is my finger in the upper left. I have mad photography skilz.)

I don’t think I really thought I’d be in this for the long haul.  I simply took it a year at a time.  Or as my husband would tell you, a week at a time.  My biggest fear (besides a complete mental breakdown) was how in the world I would homeschool a kid through high school.  I have no idea how I ever made it through high school, much less how I would get someone else through it.

So much of our journey has been trial and error.  Heavy on the error.  I think I’ve tried nearly every curriculum available, from A Beka through Our Father’s World.  Some worked some years, for some kids, for some of the time.  We’ve settled on an eclectic mishmash that I believe will get me through the remainder of our homeschooling journey.

One of my favorite curriculum is Our Father’s World.  I wish I had discovered it when we were beginning to homeschool.  Alas, I had to abandon it when Emme began Classical Conversations her 7th grade year.  I had all 3 of them on different schedules and curriculum and I nearly went crazy.  When I saw that we might not have a tutor for CC 8th grade, I switched her to a local Co-op which catered to 7th – 12th grade.  That was the best homeschooling decision I’ve ever made.  The courses offered suited her academically, the teachers were amazing, and I dearly love the kids that she’s become close with.  This program will see her through high school and save me from the scary high school courses that include labs and DISSECTING STUFF.  And she is excited to start school (first time ever) because of how much she loves this co-op and that two of her best girlfriends will be joining her there this year.

I attended our annual homeschool convention in May with my sister-in-law, Trish.  Honestly, when things get really bad in our homeschooling day, we can console one another with, “but if you quit, you can’t go to the homeschool convention.”  Not even kidding.

We both had to pay extra attention and attend all the “how to homeschool through high school” classes.  The biggest takeaway I got was how important the SAT scores are for scholarships and that transcripts really aren’t all that frightening.  Fortunately I am OCD when it comes to record keeping.  I’m certain that Emme’s transcript will be suitable for framing.

So, here’s a rundown of how our school year will look.  Both Emme and Cailey will be doing the Co-op one day a week.  Their teachers give them their assignments for the remainder of the week.  My job is to simply follow up with them to make sure they have their work done and have them to their class at 8:30 dressed in something other than footie pjs.

Emme (my 9th grader) will be taking Apologia Biology, American History, Advanced Literature, a 2-D Art class, and a Math tutoring class.  She will continue Teaching Textbooks for Math at home and will be in Algebra 1.  She will also continue Spelling and SAT Vocabulary with our Big IQ Kids program.

She’s been doing Big IQ Kids to supplement her Spelling since 1st grade, and I totally attribute this program to how amazing she is at spelling.  All 3 kids do the program to supplement and it is the one constant through all of our homeschooling years.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about it.

Oh yeah, and she’ll be taking DRIVER’S ED.  {{{Hold me.}}}

Cailey (my 7th grader…gulp) will be taking Apologia General Science,  Latin & Greek Roots, a Writing class, 2-D Art, and a Science study hall at the Co-op.  At home she will be doing Teaching Textbooks 7 for Math, Accelerated Christian Education for Spelling, English, and Social Studies.  I will continue Story of the World Volume 1 for history with both Cailey and Jensen.  We are in our 3rd year of Volume 1.  We evidently like to study our history in real time.

Jensen (my reluctant 4th grader) will be doing everything at home.  With his mother.  Otherwise known as The Torturer.   Jensen is my most difficult student to date.  I know.  Hard to imagine.  He’s a wiggly learner who is likely to spontaneously fall out of his chair at any moment.  But I have to say, he’s come a long way since the beginning of his 3rd grade year.  When we began last year, he was not reading.  Not.  At.  All.

He is now reading, learning cursive (the bane of his existence), and is known to carry armloads of books out of the library for his own personal science research.  The kid is scary smart.  I just need to direct and redirect ALL THE ENERGY AND DEFIANCE.

He will be doing Teaching Textbooks 4 for Math (he is certain that Math is going to kill him…but he’s doing great), and Accelerated Christian Education workbooks for English, Spelling, Social Studies, Creative Writing, and Science.  Since Science is his favorite subject, I’m adding a new curriculum that a girlfriend of mine suggested (she also has wiggly boy scientist wanna-be’s), The Sassafras Science Adventures: Zoology.  This is an adventure story with a corresponding work-book.

I’ve gotten my Journal all set up with Donna Young free printables, curriculum is on the shelves, and Extra-strength Excedrin is stocked in the cabinet.  I think I’m ready.

I love to know what curriculum everyone is doing, so please feel free to list yours in the comments!


10 Responses to Curriculum Round-up Summer 2014

  • I love hearing about your homeschooling! I graduated my twins last spring after years of a mishmash of curriculum from abeka to BJU to My Father’s World (loved it and wish I’d done it all along), Story of the World, and ending with a different publisher for each subject for their senior year. But in the end they both did very well on the ACT, so I’m pleased.

    This year, with my very advanced and different from his brother and sister 8 year old boy, I’m trying something totally new to me that I stumbled across while blog reading: Ambleside Online’s Charlotte Mason curriculum guide. It looks so interesting to me (and cheap) and I’ve kinda been doing that approach through the years anyway. And I figure my son is ahead of his grade level, so if this year is a complete failure, he should be fine.

  • We are also homeschooling through high school. The nephew has his learner’s permit and is practicing driving to take his test and get his license. He turned 18 a few weeks ago. We lost a year of school around 5th grade due to a family issue ( long story) , but I am so grateful for homeschooling. I have no idea how we would have gotten through that time if we also had to deal with public school and days missed, etc. The flexibility of homeschooling is amazing.

    So, not only do we have the ACTs and transcripts to deal with ( not my strong suit) we have decided he will begin dual courses at the local Jr. College. OH, and we are going to squeeze the remainder of 11th grade and 12th into one. just for “fun”. I may need a chocolate IV drip before this year is over. 😉

    We school year round taking June and December off, normally, as well as all federal holidays and days “here and there”. So, we are “in school” already.

    We use Math U See, Apologia for Science and Life Packs for English, Bible and History/Geography as well as the Government/Economics required for 12th grade. He chose Sign Language as his foreign language and I do that online. 🙂 YAY for free.

    My brother, the writer, does the English (Thank you God) and uses the LP as more of a guideline. He supplements other books; including Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Yep, we are indeed eclectic.

    There is so much I wish we would have done. Like you I have used many other curriculum; some worked, some didn’t. When we began I had all kinds of plans for us. We were going to be THE perfect picture of homeschooling; “Latin”, Challenging Science (even though I stink at Science); reading the classics before Jr. High…. you get the idea.

    What I got was a kid who can definitely research what interests him and can hold a conversation with anyone of any age group about anything concerning computers/technology. ( I know NONE of that.) A young man who loves the LORD and can discuss the Bible and our history; NOT in Latin. A young man not afraid to hop on a plane and go to the Tenderloin in San Francisco and tell the homeless and drug addicts about Jesus while handing them a sandwich.

    A leader in our county for 4-H. Having served 2 years as county President and this year as club President. A young man willing to help guide/lead others in projects and introducing them to new ones. One who is not afraid to get down on the floor with the even the youngest int he group to help them make fruit salad and teach them the health benefits of the dish for the Food and Nutrition project.

    Yes, there are days when I cry thinking “We have not done enough”, “I’ve ruined for life”, “he’s ‘behind’ compared to others”… Then there are days I look at this young man and think, “There is no way he would be this young man had it not been for our journey and homeschooling.” God has blessed us.

    • Seriously, you are doing such a great job!!! I do miss schooling “year round.” Loved having December off. Sigh. Hang in there, sweet girl. You are storing up treasures in heaven. 🙂

  • Three Weeks!!!??! Noooooo! I think I have a little longer than that yet. This week I am frantically prepping to tutor a Latin Camp at our CC Practicum starting –gulp– tomorrow! I have bought all the books that I can get cheaper used online than from the CC bookstore, so I can buy the rest of the Boy’s curriculum at Practicum this week. He will be doing Challenge I this year. The girls are in Foundations and Essentials, and I haven’t even thought about it yet. Nor purchased any math or any other curriculum for them. I had better have more than three weeks, because it isn’t getting done this week!

  • We start next week, although we broke out Latin and math this week so my head wouldn’t explode when they couldn’t remember what a number is from four whole weeks of summer vacation.

    We will be doing tapestry of grace, starting over with year 1. My 5th graders will do Latin for Children and my youngers will do Song School Latin, which they love, little nerds.

    We also have math usee, reading comprehension from classical academic press, sequential spelling, Michael clay Thompson language arts stuff, I teach them Brave Writer at home and will also be teaching the co-op writing class. They will get apologia swimming creatures taught to them by Someone Else, and a geography cultural curriculum about Africa in co-op. Plus, I have about four who are still doing phonics, so I will need to hack off my ears with a butter knife at least once a week. 🙂

  • I’m looking for a new Kindergarten Bible curriculum for my K class this year. Any suggestions??

  • I think I did a lot like you- tried everything under the sun. We LOVED My Father’s World. But now that I have 2 in high school, we found Notgrass for History is our favorite. Love, love, love it! I’ll be teaching 7th, 9th, and 11th grade this year. When I first started it was like a dark tunnel and I felt I’d be homeschooling the rest of my life. Now I have to pinch myself that I only have 2 years left with my oldest. In some ways, it actually gets easier when they are older in my opinion. Anyway, we’re doing Teaching Textbooks for Math, The Fallacy Detectives for Logic, Notgrass for History and Bible, ACE for English and Wordbuilding. My 11th grader will be doing Apologia for Science- it is hard, but he loves it. I’m trying A Beka Science with my 9th grader. He’s brilliant, but reading isn’t his strong suit. Neither is sitting still, and I felt Apologia might be too much for him. We’re trying ACE Science for the first time with the 7th grader. And, yikes, we’ll be starting the last week of August which is coming up way faster than I am mentally prepared for. But once I start organizing and planning the new year, I’ll be all excited to get started… weird, I know.

  • Sticking with My Father’s World. Teaching 8th and 9th Grade this year.

    I’m realizing that I’m on the home stretch. I might have to “borrow” children so I can still go to the convention! 🙂