Curriculm choices

Curriculum Choices for the School year 2016-2017




9th Grader (total 7.5 credits)

History:  She will be doing a history class at our coop focusing on early American history (we have already covered that in the past two years) and at home we will be focusing on the later part of history  1920's to modern day.  I create my own history program and will continue to do so for High school.  Doing it this way will allow me to make this a credit for American History for the year.

Literature:  Will be done at coop and will be focusing on American Literature.  The coop using Hewit and Packard Lighting as it base.  There is plenty of writing, grammar and reading in this class so I will not be adding any thing extra.

Spanish level 2:  Will also be done at coop

Japanese intro/level 1:  we have hired a private tutor as this is an interest my daughter has.  We will be counting this as an elective this year. 

Math:  Algebra 1 using Math U see -- we have used this program from the beginning but I have heard it gets more difficult to follow in the higher levels so we shall see if it continues to work for us. I will admit this is the point where Math sort of kicks my butt and I freeze up.  So here is hoping I can relearn it enough to help my child, otherwise my husband will have to pitch in here as well.

Science:  Biology level 2 and we are using EO Wilson free online books from apple iBooks and we design our own curriculum. using these books.  My husband will continue to teach this subject this year! We have research these books and feel confident that they met a high standard and can be used for Bio 1 and Bio 2 -- we used the first three books last year and counted that as Bio 1, this year we will complete the last four books and count it as Bio 2. 

Art:  Drawing 2 to be taken at coop this year

Music:  Continuing with private Piano tutor this year

PE:  Fencing club daughter wants to learn Saber fencing


7th grader 

History: I provide our own resources for history and we will continue to work on history from 1920's onto the modern era.  I use books, videos, movies and text books to make this curriculum

Spanish:  Advance intermediate class taken at coop.

Math:  Math U see Zeta

Science:  I create my own science program.  This year my son ask for more science experiments so I will be pulling out every science kit I have on the shelf (and never used) and we will be completing many experiments and working on creating a science class of our own.   I will probably have him keep a science journal of our experiments but I am still working out the details. I also have several science field trips planned.  We will also be learning about simple machines using a K'nex kit I purchased last year. 

Art:  done at coop

Music:  Private Piano lesson continuing

PE:  MarioFan attends different sport activities at a local club weekly

Computer skills:  We are continuing Kid Coder an online Homeschool computer class

Minecraft Classes:  we are doing several Minecraft courses throughout the year that are fun but also educational often focusing on geography, history, or science.

English includes the following:
Reading:  Lots of books to improve comprehension, vocabulary etc will be chosen this year, some related to our history lesson, others will just be books for fun. We will also be doing a mini book club with a friend while at coop in-between classes.  Never done this before so we shall see how it works out.

Grammar:  We are using Growing with Grammar and are on Book 7 this year

Writing:  We are continuing to use IEW and will begin their continuation course

Spelling:   All about Spelling book 6 this year

Geography:  We are working on map reading skills, and looking at various countries around the world.  I completely missed the mark last year on this so I am hoping I do a little better organizing something this year.  I am still working on a plan for this topic:)


Curriculum Choices for the school year 2015-2016

8th grade curriculum

Pre-Algebra/Algebra:  Math U See due to it taking a while to find a math program that works we are slightly behind but hope to catch up this year

Language Arts:  My daughter will be participating in a coop class using Hewitt and Packard lightning literature curriculum.  I have heard amazing things about this teacher and think having a new person teaching this subject will really benefit Firedrake.  I am told this class requires a lot of homework which will be an entirely new experience for her.  This class will include grammar, reading, and writing assignments

Spanish:  This class will count as a credit for high school, class will be held at coop

Drawing 2:  this class is held at coop and will be the same teacher she had last year and she has been taking summer tutoring sessions with him as well.  We have seen tremendous progress with her drawing and this is a skill she wants to learn

Piano:  Continuing to take Piano lessons privately along with music theory

History:  This is really the only class she will continue to do with me and her brother we are working on history from the Civil War until the 1st World War.   I feel I go quite in depth in our history lessons and she will be expected to do extra assignments and produce higher quality of work than her brother!

Science:  Biology by E.O. Wilson which is a high school book which is free on apple apps.  My husband is going to take over this subject but most of the work will be done independently by FireDrake--this will be hard for me to let go because I love teaching science to the kids!  We are going to take two years to complete this book and it will count as a high school science credit

Geography:  we will continue with country studies as time permits

Drama:  taken at coop

Fencing:  taking a fencing class though the Parks and Rec which will count toward her PE for the 1st semester, she may choose something different for the 2 semester and stay with this if she likes it


6th grade curriculum:

Math:  Math U See Fractions

IEW: we will continue to use this program to improve writing skills

Grammar:  Growing with Grammar book 6

Spelling:  Complete AAS book 5 and possible begin book 6

Spanish:  intermediate class taken at coop

Art:  taken at coop

Computer class:  taken at coop

Drama:  taken at coop

Piano:  private lesson along with music theory

Geography:  we will continue to do country studies throughout the year

PE:  MarioFan will be taking weekly gym class at the local TASK center

Reading:  assigned reading chosen by me will be given out throughout the year along with required book reports, comprehension questions and other projects

History:  we are continuing with American history starting from the Civil War until WWI

Science:  We will be working thru Prentice Hall Science Explorer book Cells and Heredity and Chemical building blocks and looking at the Periodic table.  I am still working on putting this together since I usually create my own science curriculum.  It is possible we will veer away from this depending on MarioFan's interests






2013-2014 Curriculum Choices -- Posted on August 16, 2013

Math:
Kids are doing well with Math U See so we are continuing with this program for both kids

Language Arts:
Wordly Wise Vocabulary computer program--NEW
IEW for writing
IEW Fix it -- Tom Sawyer--NEW
Growing with grammar
All About Spelling
Creative writing -- daughter is writing her own novel in her free time:)

Science:
1st half of the year ---  Geology --  Real Science 4 kids as well as creating my own curriculum
2nd half of the year --  Human body -- I will be creating my own curriculum for this area -- I did notice a dissection class offered for children at the local community college in our area so I am looking into that option as it is something my daughter would like to do.


Geography:
The kids have requested to learn about Canada, Russia, Chile (particularly Easter Island)
We include studies in cultures, religion and customs.  We will also look into doing a mini unit on a few individual states as well.

History:
We are going to study the Pre-Columbus period and the discovery of the Americas.  Again I create my own curriculum for this area

Art:
Meet the Masters Art program.  We try to complete 6 artists a year.  We will also do art activities as it fits into our other studies

Music:
Continuing with Piano lessons with outside instruction, this includes music theory

Character Traits:
Character First program-- we try to complete at least 3 traits in a year

Foreign Language:
Spanish -- We will be enrolling in a Spanish class at a homeschooling coop--our first ever coop class:)  I just haven't been very successful teaching it on my own.
Visual Latin--NEW--
My daughter has developed on interest in learning Latin so we are going to try Visual Latin via the computer, my husband is going to learn with her as he has an interest in studying medieval history.

Typing/Handwriting
Continuing to encourage typing for both children either with a typing program which we have or typing school assignments.
Introducing cursive writing to my son this year, using Handwriting without Tears,  I hope it improves his penmanship;).  Encouraging my daughter to continue to use and improve her cursive writing.

P.E.
I am still looking at various possibilities in our new area.  At this time nothing is on the schedule that is organized but I hope to find at least a swim program that they can participate in.

Reading--NEW way of doing things:)
I have been very lenient with the children on their reading choices.  This has work fairly well with my oldest who is fantastic reader but I have noticed she is stuck on one genre, mainly fantasy.  My youngest while a great reader is not picking quality books to read, preferring to read favorites over and over and over again.  So I have decided that I will be putting together a reading list for the children that emphasis quality books.  The children will be completing book reports or lap books based on the book selection that I have made (kids will have some input).  Currently my daughter is reading Island of the Blue Dolphin and my son is reading Wizard of Oz.  I am currently working on a completing a list for both children and am researching what is consider "must reads" for their grade level.

Home Economics/Health--NEW
My goal is to have my Daughter plan and cook one meal bimonthly, this will include picking the recipes, putting together a shopping list, looking at coupons, reading nutrition labels, and planning a shopping budget.  I hope to throw in there other relative topics as needed.  I am still in the planning stages of this idea.
Both kids are also going to be learning and doing far more household chores as we have moved into a bigger house and no longer have a cleaning service coming into the house on a weekly basis.  Learning how to do their own laundry in top on the list:)!!

2012-2013 Curriculum Choices -- Posted on Sept 5th, 2012


Language Arts
Hand writing Without Tears for printing and cursive writing at their own levels
Growing with Grammar books at their level
IEW  at their own level ( NEW for us and I have high expectations that it will help us overcome  writing anxiety)
All About Spelling at their level

Math
Math U See books at their level

Science
Real Science 4 Kids continuing where we left off from last year with Physics, also working on the Biology book this summer wanting to finish both books by January.  We have been working with another family on Science and if they wish to continue we will plan to continue after Jan with new topics. TBA

Geography
Continuing to study one country every 4 to 6 weeks.  Using books, Movies,  lap books, Notebook pages, and Little Passports (we didn't finish every country from Little passports last year so going to continue with that system and then we will see about switching to Top Secret Adventures  I do not use a prepared curriculum for this area preferring to put it together myself. I have also signed up for the Cultural Exchange swap and have had some good luck with those packages which we use in our studies.

History
In the three years we have been homeschooling we have worked our way thru the Eyptians, Greeks, and British/European history up to WWII.  Now are going back to look at some of the ancient civilizations and Ancient Asia.  I am still in the planning stages here:)  We will be working with books, lap books, Note booking pages, movies and going on lots of field trips for hands on experiences.  Again I don't use prepared curriculum for this area preferring to put it together myself.

 ***Any resources you can suggest would be appreciated***

Art
Meet the Masters-- continuing on from last year, my aim is to complete one new artist every 4 to 6 weeks, which is what we did last year.  Also I have a friend who is an art teacher who will be working with the children every other week on some art skills.  We also read books, visit museums, complete notebook pages on each artist we study.

Foreign Language--NEW
I admit here....I haven't cracked the code on trying to teach the kids Spanish.  This year we are going to try Rosetta Stone the home school addition.  When we go back to the states I will be looking for a tutor if we still aren't making gains in this area.  I have been unable to find a Latin Spanish tutor in England.

Typing
We are using Sponge Bob and Typing instructor.  Princess is beginning to email friends on her own and in addition is typing her own story on the computer

Music
Piano lessons with an instructor and exposure to different music thru concerts or CD's. Since the music teacher is including theory in her lessons I haven't gone any further.  If there is time we may try to learn about a few composers using lapbooks, notebook pages, books, CD's and movies.  I will aim for us to learn at least 3 this year:)

Character Skills--NEW
 Character First--I have been searching for a Character Training program for years and think I have finally stumble on one that might work for our family.  I hope to complete one trait every 4 to 6 weeks. 
     
Technology Skills
This is another area that we haven't been 100% successful at.  I really want my oldest child to learn power point and may be do book reports or other reports using this method.   This is my husband's area to teach but with his work schedule he has a hard time fitting it in.  So we work on it whenever we can.

Physical Education
Martial Arts lessons
Swim lessons
Horse riding lessons (for Princess)
There is a possibility of a Home Schooling PE group starting up at our local base so we may give that a try, if it gets off the ground, but it will depend on our schedule which is looking pretty packed

Extra Curricular Activities
Girl Scouts
Boy Scouts

On average we "school" about 4 hours a day, sometimes more sometimes less.  I keep a tentative schedule, but find I don't stick to it, as we will often get side tracked on an interesting topic.  I try not to stress if we fall behind.

Here is our tentative  school schedule:
 Language Arts and Math 4-5 days a week
 Piano is 5 days a week (one day with instructor)
Science and History is done 2-3 days a week.
Rotating Geography, Artist, and Character Training 2 days a week (rotating every 3-6 weeks)
That leaves Spelling, Foreign Language, and Typing to fit in somewhere:)  We do it at least 1-2 days a week

 2011 -2012 Curriculum Choices: Posted on July 6, 2011

English/Grammar both kids at their appropriate grade level
Scott Foreman free grammar program   UPDATE NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR FREE :(
So we are switching to Growing with Grammar and giving it a try this year
Writing Spectrum books
Handwriting Without Tears 
All About Spelling

Math

Math U See for my daughter
Steven Slavin Math Book for 1st and 2nd graders for my son

Science both children
Real Science 4 Kids physics, chemistry, and biology

Geography both children
Lapbooks from a variety of sources
Little Passports
Reading books

History both children
Lapbooks from a variety of sources
Reading books
Lots of fieldtrips

Art both children
Meet the Masters art program

Music both children
Piano lessons with an instructor and listening to homemade CDs on varying musical periods

Spanish both children
Oliveta Oink Spanish Program Level 1
Just purchased Rosetta Stone Spanish which we will also try

Typing/technology
Typing Instructor for kids
Internet Literacy for kids
Computer Projects for kids

PE
Swim lessons
Martial arts lesson
Horse riding lessons

Outside Activities
Girl Scouts
Boy Scouts