Our 2013-14 Curriculum Choices

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Adapted from source.

It’s that time again for many of us – time to do all the fun homeschool planning! Today I’m sharing with you what we’ve decided on so far for the 2013-14 school year. 

Here are some things to note when browsing our list:

  • We school year round, beginning in June/July and take a lighter load with nicer weather so we can play more outside.
  • Our general approach is to have a solid course of study for the basics (Bible, reading, writing, math) and then be more delight-directed with other subjects. We decided against a formal curriculum for science, history, social studies, etc this year. We also pause on occasion to focus on character and training needs if necessary. 
  • I tinker and I wander. I like to have a general direction but will mess with plans and try different things. I like to go off page. Sometimes I like having a plan and sometimes I don’t. Frankly, anything could happen this year. 
  • Our kids: Jaron is 5.5, Sami is 3.5, Reagan is 2, and Miles is a sweet 7 months. 



So here’s our list! All, of course, subject to change. 🙂



Bible/Character:

  • Catechism Curriculum: I wanted to use Bible Road Trip curriculum (free and awesome!) with my kids this year but they’re still a bit young. Maybe next year! We decided to do a year study of the Westminster catechism for boys and girls along with some activities and resources to compliment it. But the curriculum we’re looking for doesn’t exist! So (big breath) I’m writing it. You’ll hear more about it soon and I’ll provide it to you for free!
  • Plants Grown Up: This is an amazing resource from Doorposts (I heart Doorposts) meant for use with the boys in your home from age 5 until they leave the house. Plants Grown Up includes hundreds of studies, projects, and activities that teach sons in godly traits and skills. We will choose studies to look at as a family and my husband will do projects with my 5 year old son on a regular basis. Doorposts also has a version for girls called Polished Cornerstones



Preschool/Tot School
  • Blue Manor: We will be using Blue Manor (affiliate) primarily with my two daughters as they learn preschool basics and get into beginning reading and writing. My oldest will pop in on these lessons and do some of his own as well because he loves to! Read my full review (and enter to win a full curriculum!) here
  • Ready, Set, Read: I love Ready, Set, Read because it provides really good and easy to digest information about teaching small kids pre-reading skills. I use the games from the book all the time and now my oldest plays them with the younger kids on his own initiative. 

Reading/Vocabulary
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Jaron is finishing 100 EZ Lessons up and it’s worked well for him. He’s reading really well and prefers regular books to the workbook. He’s just getting bored with it and so we’ve been dawdling  at the end. We may or may not finish it completely. We’ll probably start Sami on it sometime later in the year if she shows interest. 
  • All About Spelling: We bought AAS last year and never got to it. Jaron will begin working through it next month and, assuming all goes well, we will proceed to the next level. 
  • Miscellaneous Resources: We have several early reader sets and some Explode the Code workbooks that we may pull in to supplement. 
  • Roots and Fruits: We picked up Roots and Fruits at a used curriculum sale and it looks pretty interesting. I’m not sure when we’ll start it. It is a K-12 curriculum that teaches English forms of Greek and Latin roots and prefixes for vocabulary building skills. 


Writing
  • Getty & Dubay Italic Handwriting Series: We bought A Reason for Handwriting K and A level last year and Jaron skipped over it for the most part. He will be starting with Getty & Dubay in the next month or two. Depending on how that goes we may just start Sami with that when she’s ready. The print text is slanted and uses continuous strokes so that the transition to cursive is more natural.
  • Copywork: We’ll have copywork tasks associated with our scripture memory and catechism curriculum. We will probably also practice writing with notebooking and story writing.
Math
  • Horizons K and Singapore Primary Mathematics: We are continuing Horizons K curriculum from last year and are currently breezing through it since Jaron has apparently learned many of the concepts through life learning. We’ll finish up and move on to Singapore’s first grade level work

Extra Fun
  • Art: In exchange for piano lessons, we teach art. Up till now I’ve been using Pinterest for ideas but recently the Confessions of a Homeschooler made Vol 1 of World’s Greatest Artists FREE! (It still is, as of this writing.) So we’re going to try that out next.  I also hope to try out Ms. Wood’s Wild Adventures art curriculum. 
  • Fitness: I just recieved a homeschool family and a co-op curriculum for Family Time Fitness (affiliate link) to start next week! I’m really excited about it because, although my kids get a lot of activity, this will be something they have fun with and provides a good outlet for all the co-op kids too!

A House Full of Fun Activities

We have SO Many great educational games, activities, and manipulatives! And we really never use them because there’s no plan to do so and they’re packed away. 

My husband suggested a great idea to take a certain set of those activities a month and have them on-hand for when the kids want to do something different or things are getting a little wacky in our day. You know what that’s like, right? I’m working on an implementation for this and will share what I come up with soon. 

Other Resources That “Delight” Might Direct Us To:
  • Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool: Easy Peasy is a pretty good and completely free curriculum covering pre-K to 8th grade. My girls especially love the alphabet and phonics lessons in the Getting Ready section.
  • First Language Lessons: This was a used curriculum find. First Language Lessons is a grammar and writing text for the early years and uses such things as copywork, narration, dictation, picture study, etc. 
  • Nature Study: I’ve always wanted to learn more about this and use it in our home. I picked up Andreola’s Pocketful of Pinecones to get me going and found a few Pinterest boards and blogs to help me out. 🙂 
  • Unit Studies: We will do units on things that interest us and a few that I have up my sleeve as well. 
    • BFIAR/FIAR: We did several BFIAR/FIAR units last year. These are our stand-by unit studies when we need something simple and fun. The kids and I really enjoy them! 
    • Science/Geography: These will be delight-directed unit studies. We have some fun science books and sites to use, along with A Child’s Geography Vol 1 and Beginning Geography.
    • History/Social Studies: We’ll stick to American history most likely, although we’ll probably cover more on other cultures along the way. We are currently doing a high-level trek through different countries and covering basic geography there.
  • Critical Thinking Company resources: We’ve enjoyed using materials from The Critical Thinking Company and will be continuing with Building Thinking Skills (Beginning and Primary), some Mind Benders books, and the Can You Find Me book. I’m on the hunt for a used copy of Hands On Thinking Skills too!

So there it is! The basics of a great school year with lots of buckets o’ fun to pick from when we want to. 

Hope your homeschool year is a blessed one!





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Linking up with:
Monday – The Better Mom, A Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine
Tuesday – Road to 31, Growing Home, Time-Warp Wife, Hip Homeschool Hop
Wednesday – Raising Arrows, Black Fox Homestead, Deep Roots at Home, Hope in Every Season, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well
Thursday – Teaching Mama, All Things With Purpose, Serving Joyfully, Leaving a Legacy, Giveaway Day with Hip Homeschool Moms, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, Raising Mighty Arrows
Friday – Womanhood With Purpose, Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling
Other – Look What We Did

This Post Has 10 Comments

    1. Yes, won’t we all be! The beauty of homeschool is that we can change it and cut back any time we see fit. 🙂 I like to have a pool of ideas and plans to draw from and then go with the flow!

  1. It’s always fun to see what others are using! We love AAS and I used 100 Lessons….with my 4 year old. It worked for him! We plan to do some FIAR this year as well. Have a fabulous year!

    1. Glad to hear about AAS! I am excited to get going with that. 🙂 Have a great year!

  2. I love seeing what everyone’s curriculum choices will be! I’m waiting for mine to all get here but I’m working on the post for ours too! Thanks for mentioning the Bible Road Trip! I had forgotten about it and am looking into it for our daily devotions!

    1. Can’t wait to read your post! Yah the Bible Road Trip curriculum has some great notebooking pages too. I’m sure it will be a blessing to you!

  3. Thanks for sharing this with us, Tauna. I love to see what your plans are. They always inspire me, like the artist study. I didn’t know about that but have been looking for something cheap (or FREE) to use. I’ve already downloaded it! Blessings to you, sweet friend, as you prepare for the new homeschooling year!

    1. You’re welcome Keri! Glad you snagged it while it was free! That’s the awesome thing about those homeschooling mamas who make their own curriculum – they so often share it with the rest of us for free! Have a blessed year! I look forward to following along.

  4. even this working mom can benefit from your homeschool posts. when i see these i consider what can i add to my personal summer and after-school programs for my littles, who go to public school. i really like the character stuff you have been posting. since i am drawn to those in particular i know Someone is guiding me to focus in that area for my children and for myself. thank you, tauna! ~aj

    1. Thank you so much Angie! I always appreciate your encouraging words. The character stuff is my favorite too. There will be more giveaways soon on those!

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