It’s hard to believe that we officially have our first year of homeschooling under our belt and am already chipping away at year #2.
We started our school year on Monday and have been working on getting back into the groove of things. We have most of the same curriculum as last year because, well, it just worked for us. So, here is a round up of what we have planned for the 2015-2016 school year.
Just a reminder, Natali is in 6th grade (11 years old) and Emersyn is in 2nd (7 years old.)
- Math: Teaching Textbooks
- Natali will be finishing up a few lessons from last year’s Teaching Textbooks 7 and then move onto Pre-Algebra.
- Emersyn started Teaching Textbooks 3 towards the beginning of the summer, because she was excited about it. She completed 11 lessons randomly throughout our break. I’m glad she likes it enough to grab the computer and dive into her math on her own.
- Language Arts: Easy Grammar & Daily Grams
- Natali is using Easy Grammar 6 and completes 3 pages per day. However, on Tuesday, she was “on a roll,” as she said, so she did about 8 pages. I love the simplicity of this curriculum. The kids can work through it quickly and don’t get burnt out. Natali also does Daily Grams, along with Just Write occasionally.
- Emersyn is using Easy Grammar 2. We actually haven’t received her book yet, but it will be here tomorrow. I will update soon and let you know how she likes it.
- Reading: A little of this and a little of that 😉
- I picked up this book at a local curriculum sale that I thought Emersyn would love. She doesn’t like to read and we struggled with it last year. I finally decided to just find something on her level that she would actually enjoy. Since she is a science-kinda gal, this is the perfect fit. She reads a lesson a day and has yet to complain. In fact, she actually started reading this book to herself as soon as we got it. And for only $2, how could I pass it up!
- Natali will continue to read whatever she chooses. I have no complaints with her reading, except that she reads too much, if there is such a thing. She will still read and write a report on one book of my choice each month. I tend to pick older books, which she wouldn’t generally pick on her own. Last year, she read “Indian in the Cupboard,” “Trumpet of the Swan,” “Jacob’s Rescue,” “Because of Winn Dixie” and others.
- Phonics: Emersyn will continue to use Explode the Code. She isn’t crazy about it, but I feel like it helps build necessary skills for reading. We use the workbooks instead of the online version. We will not be renewing our subscription to Reading Eggs since we haven’t used it in about 5 months but I do think it’s a great resource. Emersyn is just more of a “hands on learner” and sitting in front of the computer wasn’t cutting it for her.
- Science: We are continuing with Apologia. Last year, we completed “Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day” and this year we are doing “Land Animals of the Sixth Day.” We started reading this over the summer as well so we should be done with it by Christmas, if all goes as planned. We’ll probably follow up with “Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day” although I would personally prefer “Exploring Creation with Astronomy.” I’ve also thrown around the idea of just “winging” science after we complete our first book and do lots of unit studies and interest-based learning. We shall see.
- History: The plan was to do the second book of Mystery of History. However, my kids are not crazy about it. They didn’t like it last year and it doesn’t look like this year is going to be much better. It’s really hard for me to give up on it though because I feel like it’s such a useful curriculum and is full of all kinds of information. We may just take a break from history this year and try again next year. Another option would be “winging it.” I’m still up in the air as to what would be best for us but I’m going to continue it until I make a decision.
- Geography: We will be finishing up “Road Trip USA.” I’m sure everyone knows by now that this is my kids’ favorite curriculum. It will be fun to jump back in and have some delicious food from all over the country.
- Cursive: I picked up a few random cursive workbooks at a local homeschool store when they were having a 60% off sale. We will be working in the a few times per week. I would like for my kids to be able to write in cursive fluently by the end of this year.
- Latin: I spent a lot of time researching Latin and whether or not it was something that would be beneficial to our family. I finally decided to give it a shot with “Getting Started with Latin.” I found a used copy and a CD with the pronunciations at the local homeschool curriculum sale for just $10. We’ve done 3 lessons and they literally take less than 5 minutes. In fact, lesson 2 only took about 10 seconds.
- Bible: We have never done a Bible study as part of school. I view Mystery of History as our Bible study, since so much of it studying Biblical characters and events. This year, I wanted more Bible in our day. I was planning on doing a 9 week Discover4Yourself study but at the last minute decided to switch to Grapevine Bible Studies. We chose to start with Esther and so far, we love it! We did our first lesson on Monday and Emersyn woke me up on Tuesday asking when we were doing Bible again.
- Spelling: We will be using spellings lists printed from GradeSpelling again this year. I like that this site has a few different activities that you can complete if you are struggling with a set of words. I am not a big “spelling” pusher because I think that people who read a lot tend to pick up on the correct spelling of words, without having it drilled into their heads. And my goal is to aim a couple of girls who love to read.
- Art: I plan on doing a lot more art this year. We tend to do a lot of crafting but we never really learn any art skills, so that is another goal for this year. I have debated whether we should sign up for an art class through Pineapple Paintbrush, but I think for now we will be using the countless free resources that can be found online. Some of my favorites include Art Projects for Kids, Artful Parent, Deep Space Sparkle and That Artist Woman.
I’m excited about the changes and the “tried and true” in our school!
What are you most excited about in your homeschool this year?