Planning for the 2014-2015 School Year


Planning has begun!  Since we school year round I need to be ready to start the new school year in July.  As a result, I have to start preparing now.

What you will see here is a list of my curriculum choices.  This is only the start of the planning process for me.  I often adapt and supplement a curriculum to make it fit my child.  I also enjoy making up my own unit studies for my kids so it can take a bunch of time to pull everything together, hence the need to start now.

I’m planning on putting together unit studies on these topics:  Names of God (primarly for 7th and 5th graders, but also some participation by 1st grader), Old Testament types and shadows (also primarily for 7th and 5th graders with project participation by my 1st grader), Nutrition and Fitness (for all 3), World Poverty (for 1st grader), Africa countries and culture (all 3), Documentary-based Early Modern History (7th and 5th graders), and Magic School Bus (1st grader).

I’m listing my tentative plans for my upcoming 7th, 5th, and 1st graders.  This year I’ve started to get into the swing of working with 3 kids rather than 2.  It has been a difficult transition for me, but I think the major kinks have been worked out and I’m now finding ways to see to all 3 of them during the school day.

We have been doing baking competitions this school year and my kids have loved them.  We have several more to do before we finish this year.  Next year we will continue, but my kids will be cooking entrees according to a theme like Italian food, Indian food, or another cuisine.

Some of these curriculum choices will be started later in the school year.  We don’t always finish a book at the end of a school year and we often start new books at different times during the year.  I expect a good portion of the school year will be spent using these choices though.

7th grade

My 7th grader is a diligent learner who enjoys the process of learning.  He is strong on the language arts front and has a high interest in science.  He has plans for a future in a STEM field, so we are using a strong math program.

Math: Art of Problem Solving Introduction to AlgebraZome Advanced Math Creator 4with Zome Geometry

Science:  Miller Levine Biology Macaw iPad edition with labs (finish) and Hewitt Conceptual PhysicsEngineering Everywhere units with brother.

History: Documentary-focused early modern world history with McDougal Little Modern World History book and the People’s History of the United States

Geography:  Africa (countries and culture) unit study, Human Geography by Norton

Language Arts: Classical Writing Poetry for Older BeginnersNaNoWriMo, Harvey’s Elementary Grammar 2, Classical Writing Diogenes Maxim, Movies as Literature, Excellence in Literature as a literature guide only.

Reading: Autobiography by Ben Franklin, Poor Richard, Julius Caesar by Shakespeare and Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, short stories, Robinson Crusoe, Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Around the World in 80 Days, Prince and the Pauper, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans, Call of the Wild, Great Expectations, Pilgrims Progress, The Man in the Iron Mask

Foreign Language:  Arabic for LifeSahlawayhi 1: Graded Stories for BeginnersIntroduction to Spoken Standard Arabic: A Conversational Course on DVD,Arabian Sinbad DVDs, New Practical Chinese Reader Vol. 1Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek Book IContacts by Valette

PE:  Running, Swimming, Nutrition and Fitness study

Fine Arts:  Mel Bay Modern Guitar, Music Ace Deluxe, The Phonics of Drawing

Bible:  Read through Bible (1/2 way this year), 52 names of God study, OT types and shadows study

Logic:  The Examined Life: Advanced Philosophy for Kids, PerplexorsTraditional Logic I 

Computer:  Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing– until 50 words a minute, Codeacademy


5th grade

My upcoming 5th grader is a visual-spatial learner who shines when encountering creative problem solving.  He also has dreams of a future in a STEM field.  As a result, I’ve incorporated lots of creative problem solving into his science studies.  Because he is a visual-spatial learner I’ve found that I need to approach many language-heavy subjects in a different manner.

Math: Art of Problem Solving PrealgebraZome Advanced Math Creator 4 with Zome Geometry

Science:  Cells  – Ellen McHenry,  Engineering Everywhere units – Urban Landscapes, Insulated Homes (with older brother), Engineering Adventures units – Rockets and Rovers, Bubble Wands, Aid Drop Packages, Earthquakes, Recycled Racers, Invasive Species (with younger sister), Chemistry – Ellen McHenry

Computer:  Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing– until 50 words a minute, Codeacademy

History: Documentary-focused early modern world history with McDougal Little Modern World History book and the A People’s History of American Empire by Zinn.

Geography:  Africa (countries and culture) unit study

Language Arts:  Classical Writing Aesop B, Finish Rod and Staff English 4, NaNoWriMoMovies as Literature, Handwriting, AVKO Individualized Spelling, Sadlier Oxford Vocabulary Workshop Grade 5 – Blue, Practice visualizing chapter books (Trumpet of the Swan, Old Yeller, Tuck Everlasting, Anne of Green Gables, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Cheaper by the Dozen, Wizard of Ox, I Am David, The Call of the Wild, Black Arrow, Little Women, War of the Worlds, The Prince and the Pauper, Around the World in 80 Days, Return of the King)

Foreign Language:  Alif BaaArabian Sinbad DVDsNew Practical Chinese Reader Vol. 1Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek Book IContacts by Valette, Learn French with Vincent on Youtube Unit 1, DuoLingo

PE:  Running, Swimming, Nutrition and Fitness study

Fine Arts:  Mel Bay Modern GuitarMusic Ace DeluxeThe Phonics of Drawing

Bible:  52 names of God study, OT types and shadows study

Logic: Orbiting with Logic, MindWare Grid Perplexors: Level CPhilosophy for Kids


1st Grade

My youngest child will be entering 1st grade.  When we started homeschooling, she wasn’t even born!  I haven’t quite figured out how to best teach this kid yet.  I suspect she is a highly creative visual-spatial learner too.  Only time will tell for now.

Math:  Singapore 1B and 2AZome Advanced Math Creator 4 play

Science: Microscope exploration, Rock On Geology game, Engineering Adventures units with brother, Magic School Bus unit study

Geography: World poverty unit study, Africa (countries and cultures) unit study

History:  Story of the World 1 audio with activity book

Language Arts:  Explode the Code workbooks 4+, Write About My World, Just Write 1, Handwriting with StartWrite Handwriting Software, Mad Libs, Rod and Staff Spelling 2, Reading (Sonlight readers)

Read Alouds – Stuart Little, Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, James Harriot’s Treasury for Children, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Peter Pan, The Reluctant Dragon, American Tall Tales, Now we are Six, Heidi, Runny Babbit, James and the Giant Peach, Just So Stories, The Jungle Book, Lassie Come Home

Foreign Language:  Finish Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level One and start Song School Greek, Arabian Sinbad, Arabic alphabet apps and start Alif Baa, My First Chinese Words, Mandarin videos, and apps.

Fine Arts: Music Ace DeluxeThe Phonics of Drawing

Bible: OT audio Bible going to sleep at night, God’s Love for You Bible Story Book, Jesus Storybook Bible, Participate in Names of God and OT Types and Shadows study with brothers

Logic:  Dot to dot and maze books, apps

Computer:  Dance Mat Typing, Scratch

PE:  Swimming, Ballet, Nutrition and Fitness

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