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 Curriculum Plans for the 2014-2015 School Year

In our family, we usually homeschool year round, although we take the month of August off and bigger chunks of time off during the rest of the year. Therefore, I usually take time in August to plan for the new year starting in September. This year, I decided to do my planning early so that I can really enjoy our time off in August, especially since my school year at Georgian Court University begins August 25.

Andrew enters fourth grade this year, and honestly, most of the resources we used last year we are using again, making this year’s planning pretty easy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Math (Done Daily)

We are sticking with the RightStart Mathematics program. There are several reasons I like this program. First, it is an affordable and comprehensive program. Second, it is a hands-on curriculum with lots of manipulatives and games. Third, Andrew likes the program and that works for me!

Language Arts

We loosely follow the Charlotte Mason, and try to use “living books” and resources when possible.

Reading/Reading Comprehension – We get a variety of books from the library (our favorite place!) for Andrew to practice his reading. (Done Daily)

Handwriting – In the past I used kidzone.ws to teach him cursive. Then I moved on to handwritingworksheets to create custom sheets for practice. Now that Andrew is getting better with cursive, my plan this year is to give him various writing prompts and have him write a paragraph or two or three…to help develop his creative thinking and writing skills. (Three times a week)

Grammar – We use the kissgrammar.com program. The lessons are short, with interesting stories to use for practice. (Daily)

Spelling – For third grade I used the k12reader spelling list and it worked well so we are using their 4th grade spelling list for this year. This is their list. (daily)

Science (daily)

Last year we focused on the planets and the solar system, and then we moved on to Earth science, including living and nonliving things, using a combination of InstructorWeb.com and other resources gleaned from the library and online. This year Andrew is going to learn about the scientific method and then move on to chemistry (starting with the above website) which he has been asking to learn about for a while. He really wants to do some chemistry experiments!

History (3 days a week)

Weย  have been working through American History, and just recently finished learning about the Guilded Age. This year we are going to finish American History to the present and then move on to World History, starting with Canada, Central America and South America.

Geography (2 days a week)

Andrew has been learning the US states and capitals to go along with History; therefore, we will continue that trend and he will learn about Canada, Central America, and South America as we learn about them in History. We use geography games, such as Seterra which Andrew loves to play.

Physical Education (daily)

I try hard to make sure Andrew gets in some form of exercise and play every day. He also does basketball and this year he wants to play soccer. Also, the boys have an hour of physical education every week at the homeschool co-op with one of the dads where they focus on various sports and training.

Religious Education (daily)

I love our church’s religious education program and usually send him to CCD, but this year, my classes are on the same day, so I will homeschool for religious education. However, I will be using the books from the CCD program and working with them so that he gets “credit” for the time we work on it. Also, we read the bible together often, and of course we do our daily prayers. Andrew is working on learning the Hail Holy Queen.

Other

I am not as consistent as I’d like, but I will also try to get time in for music appreciation, art appreciation, life skills and crafts.

Whew! That’s it. If you are looking for ideas for your homeschooling curriculum, I hope these will give you some suggestions and inspiration.

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P.S. Just to let you know, in my Etsy shop I offer some planning worksheets (attendance record, weekly planners, and a literature list) that you may find helpful for planning your new homeschool year. Also, from now through August 31st, you can get 15% discount off anything in the shop when you use the code “BACKTOSCHOOL” (all caps, no quotes) during checkout. ๐Ÿ™‚