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Monday, July 28, 2014

Homeschool Curriculum 2014-2015

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015 {The Unlikely Homeschool} 6th, 3rd, 2nd, Kindergarten, and tot school


Big changes are happening 'round here, folks!
Big changes.

With one child launching into middle school and another child just beginning the journey in kindergarten...not to mention the two other boys pressing forward in elementary and the toddler who prides himself in running-at-the-speed-of-sound..., I've officially hit a stage of homeschooling that requires evolution.  

Evolution of technique.
Evolution of schedule.
And for the sake of momma-sanity, evolution of core curriculum.  

With a huge gulp, I said "so long" to a history curriculum that we have absolutely loved for the past five years, and welcomed change.  (This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

Some day I'd love to expound on the many reasons that I shelved TruthQuest and replaced it with Tapestry of Grace.  But for now...for the uber curious...the short answer is that I needed a curriculum that would not only WORK for a wide rage of learners, but CAPTIVATE them all and allow us to remain somewhat cohesive in our studies.  I needed a curriculum that would allow my kindergartener to learn about the same topic as his 6th grade sister but at his own level and pace.  Looking down the road a few years, I knew I needed a curriculum that would accommodate for an 8 year learning span (the total number of years between Sweetie Pea and The Newbie).  I'm hoping that I've found that in TOG...but, for now, the verdict's still out.

I'm excited to be able to share my 2014-2015 curriculum choices with you.  Today, I'll only be sharing those titles that we will all be doing collectively during our GROUP LEARNING.  In the coming days, I'll share what each child will be using for their individual lessons in grammar, spelling, math, etc.  I have highlighted any NEW items in pink.  These are books or resources that we have never used before and so, I can not vouch for their quality or usability.  

Morning "circle time"

This year, for our start-the-day-together basket we will be focusing on learning hymns and sign language. We will be using the following resources.  
  • weekly memory verse- These are intentionally selected and placed in our family verse pack.  We make it a goal to practice the week's verse each school-day during morning circle time and at night after supper. (7x a week)
  • Manners Made Easy for Families- (4x a week)
  • Hymns for a Kid's Heart- It saddens me that so few young people today know any of the foundational hymns of the faith.  While my children know many already, I hope to introduce them to many more this year as well as recount the stories BEHIND the hymns.  (one chapter 1x month)
  • a hymnal- I plan to teach a new hymn each week. (4x a week)
  • a homemade song book that contains dozens and dozens of kid's praise type songs (4x a week)
  • How the Bible Came to Us- This is a reference book that explains how the Scriptures were originally written, how they were compiled into one Sacred Book, and how they continue to be retranslated and spread throughout the entire world. (1-2 pages a month)
  • Hero Tales volume 1- My kids love missionary stories. So, I've had my eye on this book for about four years.  I'm excited to finally be able to enjoy it with them. I will read a page or two of a chapter each day in hopes of getting through an entire chapter each week.  (4x a week)
  • various sign language books we get at the library- Ever since Sweetie Pea did a presentation on sign language for one of her independent projects, our whole family has been a bit intrigued by sign language.  Throughout the summer, we learned a sign or two every few days.  And even began memorizing some of our weekly verses in sign. (This is a painstaking process, but well worth it as it really helps us to set the verse to memory.)  I hope to continue learning a few signs each week in the upcoming school year.  (4x a week)

Science

At the end of the last school year, as is my habit, I took a family poll.  I wanted our science choices for 2014-2015 to be delight-directed and so, I needed to uncover the scientific passions of each of my children.  Although many ideas were tossed around, two stood out above the rest and were clear family favorites.  I have taken these two topics and have formulated homespun units for each.  (2x a week)
  • Dinosaurs from a Creation perspective- We will study this for the first third of the year using lots of living literature, creation-based books (I'll be sure to list those later.), a documentary, and a dinosaur fossils kit
  • Machines/Robotics-We will study this for the last two thirds of the year using a combination of living literature style biographies/non-fiction books and a simple and powered machine set by Lego Education. 

History/Geography

Tapestry of Grace is a classical curriculum that combines history, church history, geography, vocabulary, and writing.  I'm still exploring the HOWs and WHATs of the curriculum, but know that we will start where we left off in our timeline last year.  At the end of our first unit, I will reassess and decide whether we will continue into the next phases of history with TOG or head back to what we know and love...TruthQuest.  (4x a week)

  • Tapestry of Grace, Year 1, Unit 4 Rome- At this point, I plan to split our learning into three different areas of focus.  Twice a week, we will center our learning on history.  One day a week, we will look at church history.  And the final day, we will focus on geography and extra projects. 
  • History notebook- I'm not sure how this is going to look yet, but we are no strangers to notebooking and look forward to creating a year-long Tapestry of Grace history notebook.
  • Family timeline

Art

Last year, we veered off of the beaten art-time path quite often...scrapping my original plan for a fun youtube tutorial or pinterest project.  I've decided to continue with that plan and dub this year as the year of ORGANIC ART.  I will be pulling projects from the following resources to make a tentative plan, but will deviate to PLAN B whenever the notion strikes.  (1x a week)

Phy. Ed.

Admittedly, we do most of our Phy. Ed. requirements in the summer when we sign up for local community-sponsored sport's programs.  But, since we live with arctic temps for over half the year, it's nice to have a sanity-saver plan for getting the wiggles out. (as often as we need to)

Creative Writing

  • Creative Thinking Journal Topics- We will use these as story starters. (1x a week)
  • continue using our homemade creative writing journals

Additional curriculum by grade level
(Coming in the next few weeks...)

Curriculums from year's past
2011-2012 (3rd, K, Pre-K)


Be sure to head over to the Not-Back-To-School Hop to check out more 2014-2015 curriculum lists from around the web.


While you're preparing for the upcoming school year, don't forget to grab your copy of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideasa must-have resource form 55 seasoned homeschool mommas.  This is a book that will grow with ALL your ages and stages of learning!

15 comments:

  1. For sign language, I highly recommend Signing Time DVDs, which you could probably find at your local library (we especially like Series 1). It is a great, easy, and super fun way to learn new signs.

    I've been looking into Tapestry of Grace, but since we just got All About Spelling and I'm planning on doing BJU English in a year or so, I'm wondering how that would work with TOG. Are you still planning on doing All About Spelling and BJU English with TOG? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TOG doesn't have a formal grammar or spelling component, so we will continue with our All About Spelling and BJU. The writing element of TOG, in my opinion, is not a complete Language element.

      Delete
  2. We are entering our third year of TOG. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family has.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I recently did a review of a really great audio drama based on missionary stories that you might like as a supplement to the book you're reading. It would be awesome to listen to in the car. It's called The Brinkman Adventures. Here's a link to my review so you can look it over and decide whether it's something you want to look into.

    http://craftsbywendy.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/product-review-brinkman-adventures/

    ReplyDelete
  4. A great plan. I hope you all have a wonderful year.
    Blessings, Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hope you enjoy your year with TOG! We tried them, but it did not work for my family as a whole. However, since we are back to Ancients with my younger set, I am going to incorporate some of the hands-on aspects. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I absolutely love Leslie Sansone's walk at home! She's my 6 am workout buddy. Sounds like a great eventful year fun year! I did a test run of TOG early this summer with my soon to be 1st grader (and I have a pre-K boy). I love everything about the curriculum, but my soon to be first grader was just not ready for the work load and I wasn't ready for planning the work load. I plan on revisiting TOG when he hits 6th grade. So for now we are reading the story of the world volume 1 for history. It's a living literature book and has a activity guide with maps and hands projects. So far we love it and it's just the right pace for us. Thanks again for sharing with us I can't say it enough how much of a blessing you have been to our homeschool. Blessings and lots of love in Christ Jesus, Ashley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a lot more than we've ever done for history, so I've taken a few steps back in other things. I've heard good things about Story of the World. Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Delete
  7. I love all your curriculum choices and get so many great ideas from you! Thanks so much! I hope everything goes well with your plans! I was wondering how you are planning on using the Rose Book of Time Lines. Also, I was wondering where you happened across Manners Made Easy. After seeing it here, I want to use that with my girls, but I can't find a reasonably priced hard copy. Suggestions?
    Thanks so much for all your work.
    Krystal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will use the time line with our Tapestry of Grace study. It's an excellent resource that shows what was happening in Biblical and church history at the same time as other important events.

      Manners Made Easy is a difficult book to find. We bought ours on Amazon when it happened to go on sale. Others have mentioned they've seen it on CBD. I think it is no longer in print, so the remaining books are quite spendy.

      Delete
  8. Can you please tell me more about the Truth Quest History?

    Thanks, Jill.

    ReplyDelete

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