Homeschool Goals for 2009-2010 Revisited

Before I planned out this school year I set goals for my boys. We are almost halfway through our school year so I wanted to revisit the goals to see how we are doing.  S = Second grader  K= Kindergartener

Goal 1: Bible – Scripture memory, Praise and worship, Books of the Bible practice, completion of Josh McDowell’s True or False Workbook, and I’ll be designing a study on the life of Jesus. My goals are for the boys to be able to look up any passage in the Bible, have their own devotion time, memorize 10 scriptures, and understand the life of Jesus through participation in stories, crafts, activities, and videos.

This goal is on it’s way to being met.  I returned the Josh McDowell workbook shortly after I received it because it had some elements that conflicted with our beliefs.  The looking up passages in the Bible goal is going well.  S can find most anything now if he is given a few minutes.  K is learning to find the book of the Bible when named and he is still learning where to find the little books.  They have memorized about 5 different passages.  Right now they are finishing up learning Psalm 23.

Goal 2:  History – Show an understanding of ancient history through hands-on and literature activities. We will be covering the pre-flood period through ancient Rome. We may not make it through ancient history. We are looking at each period in depth.

After planning this out our studies will not make it through ancient Rome.  We started studying from Adam and Eve’s fall and will conclude at the flood and ice age.  We are looking at these things in depth.  We explored the lives of Adam and Eve’s descendants as related in Josephus and prehistoric times with saber tooth tigers and wooly mammoths.  We will also explore pre-flood legends and an in depth study of Noah’s ark and flood.

Goal 3:  Geography – Get an understanding of different cultures and countries in Europe and the Middle East. We will be continuing our study of Europe by doing in depth studies of the Ukraine and Italy. By the end of our journey in Europe the boys will be able to identify each country and describe what they remember about each country visited. Once we are finished with Europe we will start on the Middle East. I am still putting together that information, but we will likely study Iran, Syria, and Israel.

We had a wonderful in-depth unit study on the country of Ukraine and now we are studying Italy to finish up looking at Europe.  Identification of all the countries in Europe is still in progress.  My oldest knows the names and approximate location of all the European countries and my youngest knows the location and names of the more prominent European countries.  Both occasionally talk about what they learned from studying Scotland and Ukraine.  I have detoured our study of the Middle East until we complete our study of Asia.  We will be studying one country in Asia this school year.

Goal 4:  Reading – S will be reading at a grade 5 level and K will be reading at a grade 2 level as demonstrated by the test from Mindplay Online Reading Assessment. K will continue reading grade 1 readers and move on to grade 2 readers when he is ready. S will continue reading various chapter books.

I haven’t given my boys the reading assessment and I will hold off until the end of the school year.  Right now S is reading books typical of 4th – 6th graders.  K is reading Sonlight’s first grade books and he is about to start the grade two books.

Goal 5:  Handwriting – S will complete Italic Book C and do copywork twice a week. K will complete Kindergarten Handwriting without Tears and Italic Book B and do copywork once a week.

Due to time constraints I only had S do copywork once a week.  He is part way through his handwriting book.  He should complete it by the end of the year.  K will finish his Kindergarten Handwriting without Tears book and is about to start on the Italic B book.  

Goal 6:  Vocabulary – S will complete Very Very Vocabulary and will show an increase in vocabulary skills by reading at a grade 5 level at the end of the year. Both boys will play the Rummy Roots game at least once a week.

My second grader is halfway through Very Very Vocabulary and both boys play Rummy Roots almost every week.

Goal 7:  Phonics – K will finish his Modern Curriculum Press Phonics level A book and move on to Explode the Code online. My second grader will not work on phonics directly My second grader’s phonics skills will be a grade 5 level and K’s phonics skills will be at the grade 2 level by the end of the year according to the Mindplay reading assessment.

This goal has been revised.  I changed from Modern Curriculum Press phonics to Explode the Code workbooks.  Modern Curriculum Press Phonics workbook went through the concepts too quickly and I didn’t feel like my son was learning them like he should have.  I switched to Explode the Code which does a more in depth coverage of the concepts.  K is halfway through Explode the Code 3 workbook.  I am considering starting him on the Explode the Code online as soon as that is completed.

Goal 8:  Spelling – My second grader will be exposed to word patterns for spelling through Sequential Spelling. We will complete at least 3 spelling sessions per week. K will start spelling only if desired.

My second grader completes about four spelling sessions per week.  I don’t have plans to start my Kindergartener on spelling this year.

Goal 9:  Grammar – S will complete Bob Jones University English level 3 and demonstrate correct grammar usage in his written work. K will not do grammar.

S is on schedule to complete most of his English book before the end of the school year.

Goal 10: Writing – S will complete the writing assignments in Bob Jones University English 3 and blog at least once a week. K will blog at least once a week and complete the first Write About Me book.

S is on schedule to complete his English book.  He does occasional writing assignments outside of English and blogs when he wants to.  Blogging is not part of his regular weekly assignments though.  K is working on the Write About Me book and blogs approximately once a week on a topic of his choice.

Goal 11:  Math – Elijah will complete Critical Thinking’s Mathematical Reasoning for grade 2 and complete timed tests on addition and subtraction successfully. Luke will complete Critical Thinking’s Mathematical Reasoning for grade 1, Horizons Kindergarten Math, and Miquon Orange level math. They will also play Rainbow Rock Math game to supplement.

This goal has changed somewhat.  S will complete Mathematical Reasoning for grade 2 this week and is about to start the grade 3 book.  Instead of the timed tests the boys work on flashcards about once every ten days.  Both play the Rainbow Rock game every 7-10 days.  We ditched the Horizons and Miquon math and K is only doing Critical Thinking’s Mathematical Reasoning.  He should finish the grade 1 book and move on to the grade 2 book in about one month.

Goal 12:  Arabic – Both boys will recognize each letter of the alphabet and it’s pronunciation through the Alif Baa textbook and DVD. They will be able to write each letter correctly with assistance from Arabic without Tears Book 1. S will develop a vocabulary of 200 words demonstrated through flashcards when given the English word.  K will develop a vocabulary of 200 words demonstrated through flashcards when given the Arabic word.

We have focused the first half of this year learning the Arabic letters and sounds in general.  We have started using the Alif Baa curriculum and the boys are learning more information about each letter including how to write the letters.  They are using Arabic Instant Immersion for vocabulary development right now.

Goal 13:  Mandarin – Both boys will learn the pinyin alphabet and practice the four tones though Chinese Made Easy for Kids Book 1. They will demonstrate a vocabulary of 200 words through flashcards where Elijah is given English words and Luke is given Mandarin words.

This goal has been adapted somewhat.  I never did purchase the Chinese Made Easy for Kids curriculum.  I decided to give Rosetta Stone another try.  Based on progress I will likely purchase the Chinese Made Easy curriculum next school year.  I am in the process of creating flashcards and the boys are familiar with the pinyin alphabet.  They are not fluent in pronunciation or the tones yet.

Goal 14:  Greek – Complete Hey Andrew Teach Me Some Greek Book 1 and be able to recite the Greek alphabet, recognize each letter and the sound it makes. They will also be able to read 20 simple Greek words.

They have made good progress toward this goal.  They boys are almost finished with book 1.  We will be moving on to book 2 soon.  S can recite the alphabet and knows the sounds that most letters make.  K can recite most of the alphabet and is still learning the sounds the letters make.

Goal 15:  French – They boys will demonstrate a 50 word vocabulary through activities in Ecoutez! Parlez! Learning French for Kids.

I have been using Ecoutez!  Parlez!  and my kids don’t enjoy it.  I am in search of a new curriculum.  Meanwhile they are learning French vocabulary and sentence patterns.

Goal 16:  Music – Both boys will complete 10 Music Ace levels and play a simple song on the trumpet.

The boys are making good progress on Music Ace.  They have completed 4-5 lessons with good accuracy.  We did have to ditch the trumpet lessons with our move since we live in a place that is connected to another residence.  We will likely pick up guitar lessons next school year.

Goal 17:  Art – Both boys will participate in art activities related to Bible, History, and Geography as well as complete lessons in the Sketching and Drawing for Children book.

They boys participate in any and all art activities they can.  I didn’t keep the Sketching and Drawing book since it wasn’t what I was really looking for.  We are focusing on the creative process this school year with a different art activity every week.

Goal 18:  Science – Boys will develop an interest in bugs through participating in experiments in Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method. They will develop an interest in botany through exploration and identification of wildflowers in the area by using Ontario Wildflowers to identify flowers found. S will engage in an in depth study of the ocean through reading the Exploring the Oceans series (Midnight Zone, Seafloor, Sunlight Zone, Tidal Zone, and Twilight Zone) and exploring online resources. He will also complete experiments in the Awesome Ocean Science! book. K will participate as desired.

We started out the school year using the Creepy Crawlies book.  It is a great book, but my S hated studying bugs.   With our move we didn’t have the space for the terrarium so I am substituting various science activities for the Creepy Crawlies book.  We will likely watch the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly this spring though.  Both boys are participating in the Ocean study.  S has found, identified, and mounted about 9 different wildflowers.  We will resume this study in the spring.  S will likely start an online astronomy course soon to feed his passion.  Next school year I plan to separate the boys for science since one child is a science nut and the other is not.

Goal 19:  PE and Health – Both boys will complete Health & Safety Curriculum for Primary students workbook. Boys will demonstrate an increase in their gross motor skills through observation of their play. They will participate in a minimum of 4 hours of PE per week and engage in activities designed to increase tone, flexibility, balance, and challenge their cautiousness. Consultation with an occupational therapist as necessary.

The Health and Safety Curriculum was not as expected so I returned it and created my own Health unit study.  Their scheduled PE and Health time ended up only being 3 hours and 20 minutes.  They have been evaluated by an OT and will receive direct treatment for sensory integration and motor skills.  We will follow the home program set up by the OT.

Goal 20:  Typing – S will continue typing practice and will be starting the Roller Typing program. K will participate if desired.

S does about 30 minutes of Roller Typing practice every week.  K does not participate.

Goal 21:  Games – Each Wednesday will be game day. The boys will forgo any regular school work and we will spend the day playing games. Besides some of the games we already have like Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, and 10 Days in Europe we are getting Dutch Blitz, Take Off Game, Corinthio, Sputnik, and Snorta.

Up until our move we had a game day on Wednesdays.  However, since we took six weeks off during our move we have been playing “catch-up” and game days are skipped or take place once a month right now.

If you did read through all that you will see that we are well on our way to meeting some goals and others we have had to revise.  This is one of the beautiful things about homeschooling – being able to adapt as necessary.  We will likely adapt even more as we continue through the school year.


  1. The only reason I attempted Horizons K with my Kindergartener was because I had an unused workbook that my oldest never used. I only attempted the workbooks and did not have the whole program. It is a decent program, but Critical Thinking’s Mathematical Reasoning fits our family much better. It goes over the whys and practical application of math so much more with less problems to solve. For example one math page my son did today was to measure something using a toothpick and a paperclip and explain why it took more paperclips to measure. He also had to measure his doorway using his shoe and his dad’s shoe and then compare and explain why the measurements didn’t come out the same. I guess the simple reason why we ditched it was because we like Critical Thinking’s Mathematical Reasoning so much better. I did a post on that curriculum before with pictures if you want to see more about it.

  2. Why did you ditch the Horizons K Math?

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