Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum

I’ve had my curriculum picked out and bought since attending the Midwest Homeschool Convention at the end of March. I am so excited to finally sit down and organize it all on “paper”!!

UPDATE: I have tweeked some of our curriculum after 9 weeks of school.

Core Curriculum – will once again come from My Father’s World. This year we will be going through the Adventures Program which will include our History, Bible, Geography, Literature/Read-Alouds and simple Science – the focus is on early American History and the 50 states and the different names of Jesus (light, bread of life, etc.)

We will actually be completing the Science portion of Adventures with a four-family co-op that will meet once a month. I'm really excited to be a part of a small co-op, where all the families are using the same curriculum, and our kids can develop close relationships with one another.
Because we will be doing the MFW science as part of our co-op we will be doing other science on our own. I haven't decided what exactly we're going to do yet, but for now we are getting lots of hands-on, real-life learning done through nature study. It's fun to follow the kids interest in what they want to learn about, but it can be time consuming and a little frazzling to plan things on the fly at times, so I don't know if I will be able to keep up with it throughout the year, or if I will purchase an actual science curriculum.

I am currently adding in Pandia Press’ REAL Life Science. We are “trying before we buy” with a 10 week unit on the human body. 

Bible – As well as what MFW offers Treyton will continue working through the Sparks AWANA program. Memorizing approximately a verse a week (instead of the MFW memory verses).

Math – just this week I considered changing my mind (again). After going back and forth for several months I had purchased Singapore 2A and 2B, but I continue to think about using Horizon’s 1st Grade. I’ve asked Treyton on 3 different occasions which one he thinks he will like better and he’s picked Singapore every time – after hearing my “speels” for both. We still have 1B to get through so we will see if I change my mind before we even get to 2a and 2b.

Spelling – I have heard tons about All About Spelling and we have really enjoyed it so far (we have already completed up to step 5). I love the multi-sensory approach, and how untraditional it is compared to other spelling programs. I also appreciate the “rules” it teaches, as this really helps Treyton learn and retain.

Language Arts/Grammar – This was not an easy decision, but after months of research I went with Language Arts for the Very Young. We have not started it, and we won’t until we start Adventures, but I really think we’re going love it – it offers short, simple lessons which I think is all Treyton (a 6 year old) needs at this point. It has copy work, memorization, picture study, grammar, reading, narration and more. I’m not sure if I will have Treyton do the memorization or not, it depends on if he is able to learn it while learning his AWANA verses. If it proves to be too much I will take it out.

In addition to this I am having Treyton complete a few Explode the Code pages a day – this is more of a phonics program, to encourage mastery of what he already knows.

Art – This actually came with our MFW Adventures Core, it’s called I Can Do all Things (How Great Thou Art). It’s a 3-year program. I am obviously lacking in the art department, but it looks pretty self explanatory without too much prep on my part (always an added bonus).
We will also be continuing using Mark Kistler Drawing Lessons on-line, because we have the membership, I think it’s good practice and Treyton and I both enjoy it.

Fine Arts Study – Throughout our school year we will be studying famous artists and musicians. This will primarily be done through picture/music study, living books and our timeline. I have a list of artists and musicians I would like to cover this year (including: Jackson Pollock, Beethoven, Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Monet, Van Gogh and DaVinci) I plan on spending 4-6 weeks on each person looking at (or listening to) a few of their pieces, discussing them and possibly reading a living book on their life, if we are able to find appropriate ones. Many artists did not live “upstanding or moral” lifestyles that I’m quite ready to explain to my 6 and 3 year old…. We will be studying one musician and one artist at a time.
For our living books we plan on using “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artist” Series (when available) 
For musicians the Opal Wheeler books (when available)

Handwritingwe will primarily be copy work (his memory verses) and poetry in his Language Arts Program, as well as his on going copying-a-book project he’s currently doing.

We are currently of lesson 6 of A Reason For Handwriting book A. We are both really liking it.

Latin – We will be studying a new latin root each week as part of our daily board. I made my own program from this year, very simple, covering only a few simple roots (1 per week I hope), next year I plan on finding an actual latin curriculum, but for now, I feel like this is a good starting point.

Treyton was doing so well with the roots, and they were helping out so much with his vocabulary I went ahead and got Song School Latin, which I hope to add in in the next couple of weeks.

Because Lexie is only 3, I didn’t want to start her on a hard core letter-of-the-week program, instead I decided to continue on with B4FIAR type study. I didn’t want to move up to Five in a Row yet because it would be a little over her head, so instead I’ve decided to use a few of my favorite sites (Confessions of a Homeschooler, Homeschool Share, 1+1+1=1, Homeschool Creations and a few others) and have put together a literature based, B4FIAR approach program.
Each week we will be reading 1 book for five days, I have found crafts, printables, games, lapbooks, preschool/packs and units to go along with what we are reading.
I have also associated each book with a letter, and plan on doing a small amount of letter recognition and writing in our studies as well.
I actually still have 5 or so B4FIAR units left from last year that we hadn’t finished yet, that I will be rolling over. I am more than halfway through my planning (up to letter S) this is what I’m thinking (as far as book titles go)
A- Animalia by Graeme Base (we will focus on the Bible Story of Noah’s Ark while working through this book).
B- Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
C- If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
D- Angus Lost by Marjorie Flack
E- The Excellent Egg
F- Play with Me (I’m doing a Frog Study this week) by Marie Hall Ets
G- Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
H- One, Hand, Two Hands by Max Lucado
I- Ten Little Ladybugs (Lexie’s Favorit Book) by Melanie Gerth
K- Katy No Pocket by Emma Payne
L- The Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkey
M- Curious George by H.A. Rey
N- The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
O- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
P- Princess (not sure on the exact book yet)
Q- The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
R- Muncha, Muncha, Muncha (Rabbit) by Candace Felming
S- Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
S- Red Sings from Treetops (Seasons) by Joyce Sidman
T- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
U- The Umbrella by Jan Bret
V- Tops & Bottoms (Vegetables) by Janet Stevens
W- Davy’s Dream (Whales) by Owen Paul Lewis
Y- Yellow Ball by Molly Bang
Z- 1,2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle

Some of the book units weren’t working out the way that I had hoped they would, while others worked out great (when I could correlate them with Treyton’s school). We are going to continue with our book units, but will be using FIAR books (volume 1 & 2) whenever we can correlate them with MFW Adventures, and the other book units in between.

I am really looking forward to this year with both of the kids and slowly introducing Audrey into some Tot-school activities, when that time comes. Mostly just play, play, playing – nothing really structured this year at all.


Mary said...

Awww- so many good books on Alexa's list! Looks like a fun year is coming!

Rikki Kreger said...

I love reading curriculum posts. Have a good school year!

Kathie said...

Aaahh! Yay! I've been looking out for this post. So glad you added what you'll be doing for Lexie. She is about the same age as my daughter and Treyton is about 6 months or so older than my oldest. Anyway---I would love to see what you have planned for Lexie. As I was putting together almost the same BFIAR/Intro Alphabet style activities for her and alot of the title are similar.


Milk and Honey Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Milk and Honey Mommy said...


I've also been waiting for this post from you. I love seeing what other mommies are using in their classrooms. My youngest is between Alexa's and Lexie's ages and I've been trying to put something together for him to use now because he will be starting kindergarten in January. I love the reading list you have for Alexa and your plans for activities w/each book. I'm doing something similar for my older two.

I recently learned about Opal Wheeler and found out that one of the libraries we use has many of her books. You are right about finding stories that tell a "lighter" version of the composers' lives; so many of them less than moral. Another person I found who writes biographies for children to read is Mike Venezia. We'll be using some of his books for our living readers too.

Rodna Allman said...

You know, I have never used anything on your list! HA

Usually I have used at least some of what I see people list.

I will have to look into some of these things, as I have never heard of some of them.

Thanks for linking up with me. I love to see what others are using.

Unknown said...

awwww....I miss Before FIAR. We loved it so.

looks like both your treasures will have a fun year!

Elizabeth Herr said...

Great curriculum! You're going to have so much fun.
Stopping by from the TOS Crew.

Heather Hart said...

I have a 3 year old named Alexa too! :)

Visiting you from the Training Children up for Christ curriculum link-up.

Christa said...

Your preK list of books looks FUN! I love FIAR!! I am off to check out I Can Do All Things!

Our Peculiar Lives said...

Your kiddos are so cute! I've heard great things about MFW, hope you enjoy it! Have a great school year! (Visiting from the curriculum link up on Training Children up for Christ)

Catherine said...

I'm stopping by from the link up, too. I wish I had started homeschooling from the beginning. It sounds like you're going to have a wonderful year.

the Mcclanahan 7 said...

Looks like you have a nice list going, I like seeing what other families are using in school.

We have never used any of your items either.

Unknown said...

What a great list! I am considering the I Can Do All Things for my own artist this year. I really enjoyed reading your plans for pre-k. Im working on my own plan for my pre-ker right now too.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

You've got a great lineup! We are switching this year from Horizons Math to Singapore and I think we're really going to like the change (at least I hope we are-ha). I'm very excited about it anyway! I also love that series on artists and composers, sometimes we find them at the library to use in our studies as well.

Amy said...

We're using MFW too! My oldest is in First Grade this year and it's going really wel :-)

fixedonHIM said...

What a fun year you have planned!