Our Home Education Curriculum for 2015-2016

I can’t believe that Andrew is officially in fifth grade. How did that happen?! In any case, in honor of his first day of school, I thought I would share what we will be doing this year.

Curriculum2015through2016

Over the last few years we tried several different things: including Catholic Heritage, and a mix-up of several sources. Personally, I loved Catholic Heritage but it was too workbook heavy for Andrew. He is all boy – very physical and needs to be actively involved with learning. I also needed to supplement the program a bit too much for our needs. Therefore, I stopped using this program after first grade and started to put my own classical curriculum together for a few years.

Now that Andrew is in fifth grade, I feel like I need to settle down and get more “academic.” I want to make sure that I do all I can to help him success in high school and beyond. I also feel like what we have been doing needs some tweaking again. Of course, all plans are subject to change, but here are our initial plans:

1. Our curriculum will be centered on Mother of Divine Grace. I am behind in getting him registered, but will be doing so this week. In particular, I will be signing Andrew up for some of the video classes which I hope he will love.

2. For math, we will continue with the Right Start Math program. We have been using it for a couple of years now and Andrew does really well with it. It is loaded with manipulatives and minimal with the worksheets. (Although, Andrew still moans and complains when he has to do them!)

3. For spelling, we are using All About Spelling. Andrew is behind and struggles with spelling. I’ve tried just about everything I can think of and I am so glad we found this program. We worked through level one in May and June and by the end, Andrew had already improved quite a bit. After we get through level two, I think I will do an in-depth review of the program.

4. For grammar, we may be continuing with Kiss Grammar. It is a free, all-inclusive, and in-depth grammar program. Andrew isn’t a huge fan of grammar in general and particularly thrilled with this program, but we are either going to stick with it for another year or use the grammar course through Mother of Divine Grace.

5. To supplement, and for extra help, we will be using currclick.com. There are a ton of free and paid clubs, classes, etc. that I plan to have Andrew participate it. This website comes highly recommended my one of my homeschooling co-op friends so I can’t wait to give it a try.

As for physical education, Andrew has “gym” for an hour once a week with our homeschool co-op, he also does hockey 3x week, and basketball 2x week. There will also be activities, classes and field trips with the co-op.

That’s about it! Looking at it, it looks like a lot, but most of the classes are only 15-20 minutes, so I am expecting it to be doable. If not, I will tweak/change as necessary.

If you are looking to homeschool or looking to tweak your current program, I hope posting my curriculum gives you some ideas.

 

Our Home Education Curriculum 2012-2013

Our Home Education 2012-2013

For kindergarten and first grade with used the complete Catholic Heritage Curricula. As I mentioned in my review of the program, I was very pleased with the program and was going to continue with Catholic Heritage for a few more years at least. I’ve changed my mind.

Oh, I’m still pleased with the program. I would still recommend Catholic Heritage to others. I kind of wish I could use the program again. The more I’ve prayed over it and reflected about our home education experience up until recently, though, I realized that I needed to make a change. A big change. The thing is, as much as I loved the program, it didn’t fit our needs, or Andrew’s way of learning or even Andrew’s personality.

So this year, I’ve put together my own home education program based on the Charlotte Mason method of teaching. I chose this method because I like the gentle, hands-on method of teaching, the short time periods for each lesson and the emphasis on living books and narration. I think this method will work well with Andrew. As a matter of fact, when I started showing Andrew what he will be doing for school he was so excited he wanted to skip camp and start school right away!

To put my curriculum together, I relied heavily on the inspiration and suggestions of the following websites: Simple Charlotte Mason,
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Scheduling, and Simply Convivial’s Homeschooling Planning, A year at a time series. I also used FiveJs year-at-a-glance calendar to get an overview of the whole school year. I am also adapting my own version of Amongst Lovely Things color-coded progress list, however, I am using last year’s version which I think will work better for me.

So, without further ado, Here is our plan for Andrew’s second grade curriculum:

Daily

Religious Education:

Bible Memorization (5 minutes)

Bible Reading (5-10 Minutes)

Little Acts of Grace (10-15 minutes)

Memorize the Apostle’s Creed (5-10 Minutes)

Math:

Right-Start Mathematics (20 minutes)

Chore payment counting and sorting (save, give, spend)

Language Arts:

“Delightful Reading” and spelling using my adapted method (15 minutes) – I am planning on getting the full curriculum for this soon. It just isn’t in our budget quite yet.

Handwriting practice by doing copy work (10 minutes)

Composition: (Writing a sentence or paragraph on a subject of choice. 5-10 minutes)

Narration: Reading a chapter from a book and having Andrew explain it back in his own words. (20-30 minutes)

Literature: Read-alouds as per our compiled list (done as part as our night-time routine. (Here’s the pdf if you want to print it to use for your family)

Spanish:

Pimsleur Spanish DVDs (30 minutes)

Physical Education:

Free play and/or directed play + weekly karate and weekly Co-op gym class

Art:

Drawing, sculpting, coloring, etc. (30 minutes)

Trice Weekly

Science:

Guest Hollow’s Little Otter’s home-school curriculum (30 minutes)

Biweekly

American History:

From Sea to Shining Sea for Children (30 minutes)

Supplemental videos and DVDs

Geography:

Scrambled States of America the book and the board game.

Art Appreciation/biographies of artists:

Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir (30 minutes)

Music/Music Appreciation:

Bach, Mozart, Beethoven (30 minutes)

Other

CCD and First Communion Prep on Tuesdays 4-5 pm

Home-school co-op on Fridays 1-3pm

In case you want to print out this schedule in order to adapt for yourself, here’s a pdf copy of the curriculum in list form and a pdf copy in chart form.

I haven’t completely fleshed out all the books I will be using, especially for handwriting, composition and narration, but I have some idea. I will probably add these as we go along.

My next step is going to be putting together a daily schedule so I can figure out how I am going to fit in our home education with me going to back to college full time. It is going to be tight, but with God’s help it will work out! When I have the daily schedule finished I’ll put it up for you.

How about you? Is your home education curriculum solidified yet? What programs or curriculum are you using? Do share in the comments.

 

Getting Boys to Read Advice Update

Two months ago I asked for some advice on how to get my son to practice his reading. All the support and suggestions that I got from so many people in the comments, emails and calls were so helpful and overwhelming. I can’t tell  you how much that support meant to me. I was so relieved that I wasn’t alone in my struggles and gleaned so many useful tips. so THANK YOU to everyone for reaching out!

To update: Things have been SO MUCH BETTER!! First of all, I took a few days off of school just to regroup and take a break. A few days later, my son came to me and said, “Mama, can we use a different book for reading instead of the school books?” I said sure, and he picked out the book he wanted to read and the reading practice was like a miracle in action! He read through the book with no problems and when he came to words he didn’t understand, he tried his best to sound it out. WOW! I almost hit the floor! 🙂 From then on, I’ve let him pick the books he wants to read and we use them for reading practice. He still has his moments, mind you, but things are so much better than they were.

As for me, I’ve been able to relax a lot more and enjoy the process of teaching/reading my son. That’s made a big difference in both of us. Before, I was so concerned about making sure he was learning what he “supposed to” and being at the level I thought he should be – especially since he is more advanced in the math. I’m  not so worried about that any more. He will learn what he needs to in due time and that’s enough for me now. 🙂

Saint Philip Neri – A Day Late :)

I love learning about the saints. Do you? In raising my son, and wanting him to know and love the traditions of the Church, I’ve been getting to know more about the Saints then I ever have!

St. Philip Neri is case in point. (Yes, I know this is a day late!) I never knew anything about him until now. According to my daily missal, he is called the “saint of joy.” Who knew?! If you want to get to know him -and you should!- you can go here or here.

Let me just share with you the beautiful opening prayer from yesterday’s liturgy:

Father,
you continually raise up your faithful to the glory of holiness.
In  your love, kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit who so filled
the heart of Philip Neri.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who
lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever.
Amen.