A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What's The Plan? Curriculum Choices for 2015-2016 School Year

In the autumn, I will be homeschooling Jack, Hannah, and Katie.  They'll be in 6th grade, 3rd grade, and Kindergarten.  Samuel, Brianna, and Eli will be attending private, Christian high school together.  As funny as it sounds, I'm pretty excited to be downsizing to only two school settings for my kids next year!  We started last year with homeschool, private school, and two different public schools, so this is bound to be less chaotic.

If you missed what we used last year, you can read it here.

My plan for next school year is to use Exploration to 1800 as our spine.  This is year 4 of My Father's World's 5 year cycle.  We've really enjoyed using My Father's World the last 3 years.  I'm glad we switched.  MFW covers history, geography, Bible, music, art, and literature.  But MFW by itself doesn't cover everything.  So here's what we'll be adding.  Some of the following links included for your convenience will be affiliate links.

Jack will be using Math U See - Zeta
Katie will be using Math U See - Primer
I'm not quite sure about Hannah yet.  I was planning to have her do Arithmetic 3 from A Beka, but there's a possibility we might get to review a math program for her, so I'm waiting to see if that happens before making the final call.

We've spent the last couple years without a formal English program, and I think that was a mistake.  I gave Jack and Hannah the diagnostic test for English PACEs from School of Tomorrow, and they'll be using the exact ones that they need to fill in their individual learning gaps.

All 3 of my students will be using Spelling You See, which we've reviewed in the past.  I got Level A for Katie, but looking at it, I'm not sure she's quite ready for it yet.  I think she could do the first 3 weeks, but after that, it picks up the pace and we're still working on her letters at this point.  We'll see how it goes.

I'd like to finish up The Nose Tree, the Fix-It Grammar book from IEW with Jack.

We'll continue using Dynamic Literacy for vocab.

Jack is going to finish up New American Cursive.
Hannah is going to finish up Cursive Logic (review coming soon).
Katie is going to be using the world's cutest curriculum book ever.

I'm eyeballing a couple different projects from Art In History, which we love.  The Sutter's Fort scrimshaw project would be perfect, given that it's local to us, but I'm not sure my students are ready for such fine details yet.

We so enjoyed Home Art Studio last year that I bought the next DVD and our supply cabinet is so well stocked we only needed to buy one item to be totally ready to go with it.

About half way through the school year, we'll hit the Spanish Missions.  Being in California, I'd like to take a field trip to at least one of them.  We'll also probably do a mission kit of some sort.

The end of the year will be state history, which I'm pretty excited about, since we haven't done state history around here in ages.  MFW gives us 4-6 weeks for state history.  We'll be using Our Golden California during this time, since it's something I already have from our days in homeschool co op.  Pretty sure Eli took it as a class.

I bought a subscription to Groovy Lab in a Box because we enjoyed our review box so much more than most of the science we've had the last couple of years.  We've started our Moon Dance box already, and we'll continue doing the other boxes as time allows.

I'm not a K teacher.  I've always said that.  Almost all of my kids have gone to school for K and come home for first grade.  I'm a little nervous about teaching kindergarten, but since Katie is too young to go to public school this year (she misses the birthday cutoff by days!), I'm trying to not stress out about it.  If it flops, we'll send her to school next year.

Right now, my plan is to start her with handwriting and number concepts and ease into math and spelling.  Whatever she picks up from me reading aloud to the other kids, from related coloring pages, from art projects, and from science experiments is a bonus in my opinion.

I'd love to hear what you'll be using next year, and for those of you who've taught kindergarten, I'd especially love to hear what you used and how it worked out for you.

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  1. I always find it interesting to see what curriculum other people use to homeschool their kids. It looks like you've thought it through!

    1. It's fun to see what other people are using! I've gotten some great leads that way.

  2. It sounds like an exciting year ahead! I enjoy seeing what others are doing. There are so many choices these days.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. I hear you on the choices! Back when I started, 17 years ago, it was pretty much A Beka, and very few other publishers. It gets a little overwhelming now. Homeschooling has grown so much that we're a serious niche market these days.

  3. These posts are always my favorite. Looks like a great list of options! I really am considering a Spelling You See after all of the great reviews I keep seeing on it.

    1. We love it! I also like A Reason For Spelling, because of all the variety in the activities, but it's obvious that it was designed for classroom use, and some things don't work in a homeschool setting.

  4. You have given me some great ideas for curriculum! I have also been using My Father's world and can't wait to try out the 5 year cycle.
    linking up with you at favorite things friday:)

    1. How do you like the younger years? I thought about getting the K level, but decided to just make do with Math, spelling, and handwriting, and let her pick up history, and science from what the rest of us are doing. Wish me luck! I'm a little nervous. I don't usually teach kindergarten.

  5. I love reading what other people are using for curriculum! I just checked into Groovy Lab in a Box ;)

    Thanks for sharing and linking up at Favorite things Friday! Hope to see you again this week!

    1. You'll love GLIAB. Jack (11) is able to do many of the projects with minimal guidance.

  6. Quite a few of these look familiar. :-) Thank you for linking it up.

    1. The Crew has exposed me to some great products! :)