Friday, 11 August 2017

2017-2018 Curriculum choices

It is almost time to get back to our full school schedule.  I have been working and planning all summer and think I have it finally figured it all out for both kids.  I think I have most things purchased and have a plan:) Whether I stick to that plan is the unknown LOL

This year my oldest, Firedrake, will be entering 10th grade.  After much discussion, after finding out our local inclusive homeschool group has split and we lost our favorite Literature and Spanish teacher, we decided to send our daughter to High School part time.  Firedrake is not happy with the decision but has reluctantly agreed to give it a try.  This has been a very tough decision for us all but we feel like it is time as we are finding it impossible to find decent secular science and history curriculums in a coop setting.  Our daughter also struggled a bit with Algebra last year and I am just not the right person to teach that subject, I must know my limitations!! By doing this my schedule will be even busier as I try to meet the needs of my oldest as my youngest will continued to be homeschooled.

Firedrake -- 10th grade total of 9 credits earned this year

PE/Health (.5 credit for each)-- we are participating in the program couch to 5K and circuit training at home.  Our goal is to participate in a 5K race this fall. She is also reading and working through the book Lifetime Health by Holt.  I also found a great online course which teaches first aid and CPR which she will be completing. Check it out here. We have already started working on this subject this summer with the hopes to wrapping up with the required hours by the mid September, if not sooner.
Geosciences (1 credit)- going to do this with Dad this year.  My husband is a geologist and plans to delve deeply into this topic and will use this Glencoe book as a spine.  This is one topic my husband is planning and I don't have too:)  He did amazing teaching biology the last two years:).
World Literature I and II (1 credit)--We will be using Lightening  Literature and I am going to use their plan as describe in the books and try to keep us on schedule for the year.

Vocabulary --Worldly Wise

World History (1 Credit)--  I am creating my own world history program using Crash Course World History and the following book as my spine for this class.

I read this book this summer and just loved it.  It really gives so thoughts to why things are they way they are.  I may not agree with everything but it will be interesting to discuss as a family.  My husband read this book years ago and love it!

Japanese 1B (1 Credit)-- with a private tutor using the book below  Firedrake has already spent a year working on Japanese with this tutor.  She has already completed 3 years of Spanish but decided she didn't want to continue:(

Piano and music theory (.5 credit) -- with a private tutor

Art (.5 credit)-- She will be taking lessons at coop once a week with the art teacher who will be designing a specific class just for her, working on the skills she still needs to improve on.

Classes being taken at the local High school--Firedrake will be attending the last three classes in the afternoon.  While I will drop her off at school she will take the bus home:) this is so I can still get MarioFan to afternoon activities as needed.

Psychology (.5 credit)

Creative writing (.5 credit) 1st semester with possibly taking Science fiction or art the second semester

Algebra 1 (1 credit) --the one area where I feel I have failed my daughter, I am just not able to teach the higher math and my daughter really struggled trying to figure it out herself so we thought and hope going to a class with a teacher 5days a week will help her be successful with this topic and be able to move on.

the second semester she will pick two elective classes she is eyeing a science fiction class and an economic class, but we shall see how it works out scheduling wise

MarioFan -- 8th grade

English --  We will be working on Lightening Literature 1.  I plan in doing this with a friend and her son.  We will be getting together weekly to do a class and then the boys will work on their own during the week for writing assignments and homework

Vocabulary-- we will continue with the book Wordly Wise, this book only has 20 lessons so we will be spacing out this topic for the whole year in conjunction with our Literature program

Growing with Grammar--This is the last book in this series and we like this program and he can do it independently.  I am hoping that once this book is completed we will no longer need a grammar program  in high school.

All about Spelling book 7-- last book in the series (we have done them all)  MarioFan is a natural speller but I do like these books.  Once this book is finished we will not need a spelling program in high school

Pre-Algebra --I am torn here.  I have used Math U See for many years and do like the program, esp since the answer book gives a complete break down on how to solve each problem (which helps a math phobia like me)  However my oldest really lost the enthusiasm for math and struggled mightily with algebra last year and I am not sure if it was the math program or something else.  I ended up buying a used Teaching Text book to use but I really don't like the way the answers are layed out in the teacher book (it doesn't break down the problem--so it will not be of much use to me, should I need help).  I might use a mix of both books and see which one my son gravitates more to for his learning style (which is completely different from his sister)

Science--I am going to use these three books as a spine for the Science this year.  MarioFan loves science and has requested more science experiments!! I plan to mostly focus on genetics, evolution and cell biology.  I am throwing in a bit of physics and chemistry too, because they have the coolest experiments;)

Geography--We will be using this work book for geography.  MarioFan loves maps and learning where countries are so this appeals to him.  I find the book a bit dry but he liked the one we used last year so we are going to use this one this year.

World History-- I am choosing for the first time to use a text book for this topic.  I usually hate text books for history as they sugar coat a lot of history and whitewash events.  I prefer to find alternative resources and create my own curriculum, however this year I am going to be really pushed for time due to our oldest returning part time to High school.  I have decided to use the following text book as a basic spine for our world history but I do intend to find additional resources to try to make it more even in the recounting of history.  

Computer-- We are using the program Kid Coder Visual Basics  MarioFan has already started this program over the summer and is halfway done.  We have used this company for several classes and I like that MarioFan can do them independently, as I know nothing about computers!  Plus the customer service is excellent!

Spanish advance intermediate-- taking at local coop, trying out a new teacher, fingers crossed that it is successful.  

Art --  Using Meet the Masters program and meeting weekly with a friend to work together on this program with our boys.

Piano and music theory--We use a private tutor 

PE -- couch to 5 K and circuit training at home with the goal to participate in a 5K race this fall

I want to clarify that while it looks like a lot for each child, we do stagger some things so the kids don't do everything every single day.  That would be overwhelming for us all!  I usually do a mid year (around January) progress report and always find I dropped the ball on something (usually vocabulary, spelling and geography, if I am being honest).  I simply do my best and since we school year round we often fill in our summer with what ever didn't get done from Sept to May.

Public High School starts next week for Firedrake and we will allow her a couple of weeks of working in just those three class, in order to get settled before adding additional subjects.  Coop starts Sept 5 for MarioFan and he will only be taking one class there this year.  I will begin our regular school with him once Firedrake begins high school.  I am hoping this all comes together, but we shall see as I know we have a very ambitious plans for both kids.


  1. It sounds like a great plan. We to struggle with finding secular curriculum for the kids. We are using Prentice Hall Biology this year. Hopefully all will go well.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. We like the Lightning Literature here too! My husband and I completed our first 5K last month. It's very rewarding to finish!

  3. They look like great plans. My oldest daughter in particular loved Lightning Literature. We've also used many of the Prentice Hall science books and found they worked well. I've enjoyed Jared Diamond but haven't used any of his books with my kids. Despite having a grad degree in history I didn't manager to raise any history lovers. I'm sure my now 19 yo would have loved reading and debating his ideas. Hope the transition to part-time high school foes well.