Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop - Curriculum

Well, it's official, we are back to homeschooling for 2013-2014.

Despite our foray into the world of regular school, we realized it's just not a great fit for the kids, and with Faith going to (but not happy about) middle school, it seemed the perfect time to switch back.  Ben, who was always quite content to homeschool in the first place, is extra thrilled to be going back to it too.

This year, they'll be attending a local charter school for homeschoolers one day per week, which focuses only on enrichment classes--math, language arts, science, history, art and technology.  With it, they'll have the options for other clubs and classes including drama (Miss Faith's pick of course) and Kung Fu (which would be Ben's choice).  They can both attend on Wednesdays, so I'll have one day free to catch up, run errands and all that jazz without them.

So what are we using this year?  Well, it's back to a number of old favorites, and a few new ones that look awesome!

Core Classes

Math - We are most assuredly going back to Saxon (8/7 for Faith, 5/4 for Ben).  I despised the math program my two used at school the last two years--very Common Core, University of Chicago, Everyday Math style which I can not emphasize how much I hate.  So it is back to Saxon, which works well for my two and I happen to like the style.

Language Arts - We're returning to Shurley Grammar (6 for Faith, 3 for Ben).  I love how well Shurley teaches grammar and I feel like Faith has a much better foundation because she used it up to third grade.  Ben should be able to catch up fairly quickly with it too.  We'll be using some of Shurley and some other writing activities (ie. journaling) to work on writing skills, Spelling Workout for spelling, classic books on audio to also work on listening skills, poetry, Great Books, Shakespeare, and unit studies for literature.  Our first two unit studies are going to be Mr. Popper's Penguins for Ben and Island of the Blue Dolphins for Faith.  I'm probably most looking forward to language arts this year.

History - I'm really excited to try History Odyssey from Pandia Press.  I have both kids doing Ancients this year, with Ben doing Ancients level 1 and Faith doing Ancients level 2.  I debated different cycles for each, but in the long run, they are both going to end up interested in what the other is doing, so it seems easier to just do Ancient History with both.  I also ordered a simple geography curriculum (the name fails me right now) to review some geographic terminology and concepts.

Science - We're going to go with Pandia Press again for this one--Real Science Odyssey.  Again, I kept a similar topic for both, which is Life Level 1 for Ben and Biology Level 2 for Faith.  Since Biology is the first level 2 science they have out, we're starting there, which ties into Life for Ben.  Again, I think they'll be happier with more similar topics.

Extra Classes

PE - They're probably going to be doing year-round swim this year, plus we ski in the winter and walk 2.5 miles/night.  Faith is also interested in dance classes, and she's dancing for theater right now, 2 hours/night at 3 nights/week.

Art - Their charter will handle this for me!  We'll add some art elements to other subjects too.

Technology - Their charter does this too!  They are also going to learn to type this year if it kills one or all of us.  We're going to work on some other tech skills in the course of other subjects.

Foreign language - Their charter will give each of them a one-year Rosetta Stone subscription, so they are both wanting to learn French.  Fine with me as learning a language Mama already speaks is much easier than learning something new to everyone!

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  1. This is a great lineup for the coming school year. Are the kids homeschooling and part-traditional schooling? I saw you mentioned a 'Charter' school.

    1. We live in Colorado, so there is school choice. The neighboring district offers a 1 day/week homeschooling enrichment charter. The parents still homeschool as planned (with curriculum choice, as long as it's not a K12 type option due to funding) and the kids go one day a week for enrichment classes, kind of like a co-op idea, but I'm not on the hook for babysitting or teaching a class. :)


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