Monday, August 5, 2013

Curriculum Week

ACK! August is upon me like a dust storm: fast, unexpected, and bringing all kinds of work with it. The 5th Annual "NOT" Back to School Blog Hop is in full swing already, and I haven't even gotten my first (and favorite) post written.

It's Curriculum Week at the blog hop, and as always I have a long old post to share. I'm an eclectic homeschooler with five kids, so really there is no adequate way to tell what we're using for curriculum in a short post.

1st grader - I suspect this little bundle of pink energy might just be ADHD. She can't focus if she isn't moving, she has the attention span of a gnat, and she talks excessively. Thankfully, we homeschool, so she can do math on the floor, listen to history while folding towels, and practice reading between running back and forth between Daddy-Boy (her name for my husband) and me.

  • All About Reading Level 1. She's been working on this since April or so, and is still only on lesson 9 out of 49. I am thankful this program is designed to go at the child's pace, because having to slow something down this much if it wasn't designed this way would be hard.
  • Miquon Math Orange. Followed by Red when she finishes Orange. She will be the last of all of my kids to do Miquon. It lays the foundation for mathematical thinking and understanding that follows them into high school math and beyond. Couple that with the fact that it's inexpensive and easy to use, and I can't stop singing Miquon's praises.
  • Renaissance through early 20th Century with Sonlight Core C, for the first semester (or less, if we can get through it faster), then moving into American History with Sonlight Core D. I considering her "tagging along" in these Cores, as she is below the age range Sonlight recommends them for. However, she is getting a fair amount out of Core C and with everything else we have going on having her tag along with her brothers is better than having her own Core that we never get around to doing.

3rd grader This guy is a math wiz, but has more struggles with reading. His comprehension is great, and he has no fears about attempting harder books, so I'm confident that he'll be tearing through harder and harder chapter books this year.
  • Singapore 3A, then 3B. He finished Miquon a year early, at the end of 2nd grade, and is now tearing through Singapore 3A. I definitely foresee calculus in this kid's future.
  • Sonlight Core C, then D, as explained above.

5th grader -  This middle child is dyslexic, and works hard to be just on grade level in all areas.

  • Sonlight Core D, after we finish Sonlight Core C. I updated my 2007 Core D to match the 2013 version, because I love the new Landmark book and the Children's Encyclopedia of American History. However, I only got the 4-day option as I don't like the 5th-day History books and wasn't excited about the 5th-day Read Alouds either. I will add in a few of the 2007 books that were removed to make my own 5-day version. The titles I'll be adding back in are: Paddle-to-the-Sea, Sign of the Beaver, maybe Secret of the Andes, and Winter at Valley Forge (this one is a 5-day book in the new IG).
  • Singapore 3B, moving into 4A and Challenging Word Problems 3. I know I said he was on grade level in everything, and doing Singapore 3B in 5th grade seems to contradict that. However, I spent some time looking at other math options at the Phoenix homeschool convention, and he would be ready to go into 5th grade math in a couple of other programs, so I am confident that Singapore 3B is grade level for a 5th grader, especially one with learning difficulties.
  • All About Spelling 4. He'll move into All About Spelling 5 about mid-year or so. All About Spelling 7 is high school level spelling, so level 4 is quite appropriate for 5th grade.
  • Science and Bible the same as his brother and sister above.

9th grader - My newest high schooler. 

  • Sonlight Core 100. This will count as 1 credit in American History and 1 credit in American Literature English (we're only using one of the Core 100 Bible books). I'm using the 2012 version of this Core, which has a few books different but is generally much the same as the current version.
  • Life of Fred Beginning Algebra. She's going to try Life of Fred out for Algebra I, since I already own it. We can go a different route if she has too many difficulties with it.
  • Apologia Biology. We are doing this as as a teeny co-op with two or three other families, getting together for the labs. It won't start until Sept.
  • Guitar and Choir, we're tracking hours in these for high school credit.

11th grader - Can I just spare a moment to stand in shock that my baby is /this/ close to being an adult? Anyway, this kid is bright to somewhat advanced in all areas and really wants to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Prescott for a degree in Aerospace Engineering. While legally we are still homeschooling this kid, we are outsourcing a lot of this (and probably next) year's school.
  • English 101, at the community college. Yep, he only completed Sonlight through Core 100, with Brave Writer's Help for High School thrown in, and yet he tested well above where he needed to to place into English 101. This will be his English credit for his Junior year, plus it will transfer to ERAU as Com 122 "English Composition". 
  • Strategies for Success, at the community college. This is an electives credit, but both my husband and I know that this course will teach skills that will help him greatly in the long term. From the course description,  
    "Strategies For Success is course designed for students to develop and enhance their academic and personal skills. Emphasis is placed upon promoting a successful college experience through improved study skills, critical thinking skills, and general life skills. Topics include: self awareness, career exploration, college resources/policies, memory techniques, test-taking strategies, note-taking, time management, goal setting, learning styles, technology, values clarification, community involvement, and effective communication. The course will encourage students to examine their own behaviors, expectations, and attitudes to help them exercise more effective strategies for success." 
  • Constitution class, through our local Freedom Library. There is a $1000 scholarship opportunity attached to taking the class as well. For a full 1/2 credit in Civics, in addition to the class I am having him read the Communist Manifesto; Whatever Happened to Justice?; Are You a Liberal? Conservative? or Confused; and Ancient Rome: How it Affects You Today
  • He is reading the Bible through this year for Bible, as well as reading Do Hard Things and Foxes' Book of Martyrs. I might add one other book as well, but I haven't decided what yet.
  • Life of Fred Trigonometry. This is only a semester course (full year trig courses actually add other things to it, as there really isn't that much to trig), so he'll move into Life of Fred Calculus at semester.
  • Finishing Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish, Level 3. Assuming he finishes this fall, and does well on the practice test, I will have him taking the SAT subject test, Spanish with Listening.
  • Advanced Welding. Last spring, my son got a personal invitation from the public high school's welding teacher to attend his Advanced Welding classes. This teacher has been Teacher of the Year multiple times, and is known the county over for his outstanding students. The Advanced Welding class is first and second period each day, meaning my son would have to be out the door no later than 7:10 in order to drive himself to the 7:30 class time (he's usually rolling out of bed at 7:15). He still wanted to go, which told me something about his dedication, so we did all the paperwork and standing in line to get him partially enrolled and registered, including having to buy uniforms. Many (most?) kids that come out of two years of this class (junior and senior year) are ready to sit for their welding certificate, and the content corresponds to the community college's welding classes, so for an additional fee (but less than the college classes cost) he'll get 6 credits a year.
  • He'll read a play (we haven't decided which one yet) to finish out a 1/2 credit in Drama (he's acted in a couple plays and a few skits since he was a freshman). 
  • Finishing up How to Listen to and Understand Great Music. That, along with attending a number of local civic orchestra concerts, for a 1/2 credit in Music Appreciation.


Dawn said...

You have lots of great plans. We love all about spelling and life of Fred. Have a blessed year.
Blessings, Dawn

Homeschooling6 said...

All I can say is you rock big time mama! I am so proud of you. Your children are so blessed and I can't believe your youngest is in 1st grade!!! And oldest is almost done with school, wow!

Alicia said...

Thank you for sharing your curriculum, I'm always interested in seeing what people are doing for the grade my son will be in next year. It's never to early to start planning ;)

Garden Tenders Kim said...

Oh some great ideas! This is what is the Homeschool mom's constant dilemma though, all these great curriculum choices.... Thank you for sharing yours!