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Monday, August 19, 2013

Our 2013-2014 Plans---Step 3: Our Curriculum

I’ve laid out our philosophy of education and where each of the kids is at…now I’m going to show you our course of study for this year and the materials we’ll be using.

Our course of study for this year and the materials we’ll be using

What if more really is more?

You hear a lot that less is more.  When you try to do too much, you actually learn less and risk burn-out.

While that can be true, there’s nothing wrong with shooting high, as long as you recognize that you probably won’t accomplish everything you’re aiming at. 

Stretching yourself (and your kids) is a good thing.  A strong foundation is necessary, but it’s a mistake to only lay foundational bricks.  Look at it this way---if a kid thinks all he has to aspire to in math is to memorize his math facts, why would he?

If all there is to history is to fill in the blanks on a timeline, what motivates him to pursue that knowledge?  If language arts is about circling nouns and underlining verbs, where is the art?

And so we lay it on thick around here, meaning we like to build in plenty of opportunities for going deeper, wider…wherever our path leads us.  A blogger I know, Lisa at Golden Grasses, calls this “lasagna learning.” 

I’ve always naturally done this---we have a base, our spine, whatever you want to call it, and then we have all kinds of extras.  Some of them, I “schedule” in and then others are there to entice inquiring minds.

So, without further ado, let’s get to what we’re doing this year. 

I don’t tend to think out my plans in terms of “subjects” (or at least I try not to), but our state requires us to teach 8 subjects yearly, so I’m going to to lay out my plans here in those terms to try to keep things simple (ish).  This is the framework, there will be extras worked in as well.

All Together

History-Creek Edge Task Cards (Ancient World) and our awesome at home ancient world history library.  Each of the kids will actually be using these independently, but they will all be using them.

PE-Family Time Fitness (but not every day, because they like to go for walks and ride bikes, too).  I actually won this program last year and it looks fantastic (I get tired just thinking about all the activities).  David, Mary, and Emma will also be playing soccer with a local homeschool group.

Art and Music-Harmony Fine Arts’ Ancient Art and the Orchestra

Grammar and Writing-We’ll be pursuing the Brave Writer philosophy of writing with help from the Writer’s Jungle.  We’ll also be using Write-On and the Big Bad Grammar Slammer from Learn for Your Life. We will also be participating in National Novel Writing Month.

Bible-Come and See Genesis

David, 8th Grade

Religion- Faith & Life Series book 8

Math- Rod & Staff 8th grade.  This is a new one for us and you’ll see that I’ve decided to go with R&S for all the kids this year.  It’s a curriculum I’ve avoided in the past without taking a close look at it---I tend to avoid Christian math programs and I really didn’t realize how this program is set up.  I’m actually excited to be trying this with my kids.  I also love the price.  We just found that that we’ll have the opportunity to review VideoText Algebra Online, also, and we’re excited about that.

Language Arts- Art of Poetry and possibly Latin Alive!  plus various literature selections

History and Geography-The Human Odyssey Vol. 1 and Philosophy Adventure

Science and Health- Exploring Creation with General Science

Electives- Computer programming with TeenCoder C# and scouts

Mary and Peter together

Religion-Faith and Life series book 4

History-Story of the World Vol. 1

Science and Health-Mr. Q’s Classic Life Science

Mary, 4th Grade

Math- Rod & Staff 4th Grade

Language Arts-copywork, Syllable Savvy 4Latin for Children A, Story Writing Club, and book club

Electives-handicrafts and computer programming with Logo Adventures

Peter, 3rd Grade

Math-Rod & Staff 2nd Grade

Language Arts-copywork, Syllable Savvy 3, book club

Electives-scouts and extra drawing

Emma, preschool

Logic of English Foundations A (review coming) and sundry fun things

What are your learning plans for this year?

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2 comments:

  1. Wow! You're doing a lot. I am curious to see how you like David's science. I considered it, but it seemed too textbook science for me. You be my product tester and report back next spring... okay?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I know you mean. Honestly, as he approaches high school, I can see a lot of value in using some textbooks, but I know that David also has an investigative nature and he's good at applying what he reads about (the book is likely to be a jumping off point for him). I also wanted to make sure he got a general overview of science---I'll let you know how it goes. ;)


    It does seem like a lot, doesn't it? I think everything complements everything else pretty well and the kids are excited about what they'll be studying.

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