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Monday, August 2, 2010

Having a Hard Time Finalizing This Year's Curriculum?

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I'm raising my hand sheepishly, from behind a pile (ok, several piles) of books.

Yes, I am a curriculum junkie.

And I'm a little (ok, a lot) OCD when it comes to deciding what we will study each year.

But, I think we finally have it in hand. This is not so much a curriculum list, as a list of what we will be studying and some of the curriculum we will use for that. The blanks will be filled in with the library, field-trips and real life.

Here, in the state of Maryland, we are required to cover the following subjects (in no particular order): Math, Social Studies, English, Science, Health, PE, Art, and Music. While the law says that the areas covered should be comparable to the local schools, it does not dictate curriculum or particular topics of study. I will also note what we will be using for Computer/Typing, and Religion. And, of course, we will also be learning about life skills and chararcter, but these are simply things that we do:-).

We have 4 children. This year, David (age 10) is entering "5th grade." Mary (age 6) is entering "1st grade." Peter, who will be 5 by the end of September, will be entering "kindergarten." Emma will be following along for the ride. I use the quotes simply because the grade designations are for state monitoring purposes only. My kiddos' abilities vary widely from subject to subject. Part of the reason we homeschool is so that they can soar with their strengths and work on their weaknesses.

Family Studies

Social Studies:
  • History: Time Travelers New World Explorers and Colonial Life Studies from Homeschool in the Woods
  • Geography: We will be studying maps and basic world geography using primarily hands-on activities. We'll make salt maps, create our own globes and so on. We'll also be studying the 50 states plus Washington, DC through notebooking and library resources.
  • Anna Comstock's Big Handbook of Nature Study
  • Last year we did a very basic study of the human body. We will probably go a little more in-depth this year and also focus on exercise and making healthy food choices. We'll probably do some cooking.
Art (appreciation): We'll probably visit some museums but also learn about a couple of the Masters through library books and online resources.

Music (appreciation): Emphasis on listening to classical music. What we don't have, we will borrow from the library. We will also be using using resources from Practical Pages (she has art appreciation resources, too).

  • St. Ignatius Press' Faith and Life Series
  • Faith Folders on The Sacraments and The Rosary. Possibly The Holy Mass as well (it's new!).
  • The Baltimore Catechism
David (grade 5)

Math: RightStart Math C. David lacks a strong math foundation, so we are stepping back a bit, hoping to give him that.

Science/Social Studies (this is in addition to the above): I'm putting together a unit on Architecture (David asked to study this topic). It will include studies on structural engineering, the history of architecture and the artistic aspects of architecture. I hope to share the unit here.

  • Plenty of independent reading with an emphasis on the books written before he was born (possibly some Jules Verne? He is reading LoTR now).
  • Getty-Dubay Italic Book E
  • copywork
  • Either Ignite Your Writing or Write with the Best Vol. 1 or ? for writing.
PE: soccer and informal activities

Art: Artistic Pursuits gr 4-6, Book 1

Music: Music Ace Deluxe and harmonica

Computer: Snake Wrangling for Kids (teaches computer programming using Python).

Typing: Our goal is that he learn to touch type. We will use a typing manual (Keyboarding for Christian Schools) instead of software.

Mary (grade 1)
Math: RightStart B
  • plenty of independent reading. Mary is reading at about a 2nd-3rd grade level easily, but is currently working slowly through The Hobbit.
  • Gett-Dubay Italic Book C
  • copywork
  • All About Spelling Level 1
PE: soccer and possibly dance (we may wait and pick up dance in the winter or spring, depends on scheduling and how soccer goes).

Art: Art Adventures at Home, Level 1

Music: guitar, using Worship Guitar Class for Kids

Peter (kindergarten)
Peter will join in with us for the family activities, but the rest of his kindergarten curriculum will be pretty informal.

He will be doing Art Adventures with Mary. He may also join in with AAS. We will be focusing primarily on beginning reading, proper letter formation, beginning math concepts, etc. We will probably use the LeapPad a good bit and a number of online resources. Mostly he will be having fun doing stuff, because that's how little boys learn best.

Now, head over to Heart of the Matter to see everybody else's Fall Curriculum Choices.


  1. Thanks for your links - I hope you have a fantastic new school year and enjoy the journey! Your plans look great!

  2. It's going to be a busy and great year! ;-))

  3. thanks for visiting my blog today! I enjoyed visiting yours and reading your curriculum lists!

  4. Oh, how I laughed at Snake wrangling for kids until I saw what you had written behind it. That does look quite useful, but what a title!

  5. Oh, I totally understand about kids' "grades". Hey, I have an "8th grader" doing more than one high school subject this year, and a "2nd grader" working on a 1st grade level in more than one area. Grade levels in school are almost totally about AGE and that is what I use as well.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing on the NOT Back-for-School blog hop.

  6. I also laughed out loud at Snake Wrangling for Kids! I was thinking it was a VERY hands-on Charlotte Mason-ish nature study! What a catchy title. Will definitely check it out.

  7. Nice brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

  8. I also had to laugh at your Snake Wrangling topic! I am also still finalizing our plans and a bit undecided here and there. We had a prolonged summer vacation this year. Last week I was too busy traveling and then unpacking and attending my last used homeschool book sale to figure it out. Now I think I have a handle on what we will be studying next week; I need to write it all up and post it. ;)


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