Monday, August 5, 2013

Curriculum 2013-2014


I can't believe it's that time of year already -- though we started school at the beginning of July it's been sporadic, but to realize our fall schedule is starting to fall into place is…. surprising…. and I'm totally looking forward to the relaxing busyness of normal!! 


Bible I went with Bible Study for All Ages - my mom actually used this for us when I was in school and while it has changed ALOT, I still really like the set up and how it is so listening intensive - it has EXCELLENT review and visuals to help the kids retain as well as exercising their "following direction" skills. 

Our core curriculum this year which covers history, geography and arts is Tapestry of Grace Year 2 "Between Ancient and Modern", it covers a lot of history from the Middle Ages to early American history. I'm really looking forward to this year, it's probably one of my favorite historical periods to study (I mean, seriously, how cool are knights?)! 

Science We are continuing Earth Science with Answers in Genesis. We covered the first book the last half of last year and will work on the 2nd (Our Planet Earth) and 3rd (Our Weather and Water) books this year. I read these to all the kids and we do the experiments together, but this subject is primarily geared towards Treyton. 

Geography while TOG covers geography in it's curriculum I wanted to do country studies this year as well to give the kids a (simple, very simple) over view of world geography and countries. I am using parts of Confessions of a Homeschoolers Expedition Earth as well as A Trip Around the World and Another Trip Around the World and various other resources that I find throughout the year. My goal is to pick a country every week to simply overview and locate on the map. My goal is that by the end of the year the kids have a good grasp on the difference between continents and countries as well as can located 10-15 different countries on a world map (on their own). 

Hymn Studies We are also (hopefully) studying a weekly hymn together - I am using Joni Erickson Tada's hymn books, which tell the story of the author, has CDs for the songs, a devotional and words to the hymn. I love these books and I really hope we have the time to get through them this year. It's shocking to me that they are out of print, if you can find them for a good price somewhere I highly recommend them!! 


THIRD GRADE (Treyton) 

Math - Singapore 3A and 3B - this math has worked very well for Treyton and (when I remember to use them) the teacher's manuals are a tremendous resource with extra teaching ideas and games included. 

Spelling - All About Spelling Level 3 and 4 Treyton is finishing up level 3 within the first couple of weeks of school and we will then move on to level 4

Writing - Writing with Ease Level 2 - I went back and forth on whether to go with level 2 or 3 with Treyton and I think technically I could have gone with 3 but I wanted Treyton to have extra practice learning how to narrate stories well which level 2 offered better than level 3 and with all the other school he's doing I figured going easy was better than going hard. 

Grammar - First LAnguage Lessons Level 2 (finishing from last year) and Level 3. I LOVE these books, and while I wish they had a few more "technical" exercises" I love all the definitions that Treyton is memorizing, and I know that in the future the facts he's learning now are going to be more useful than the exercises. I add in some of my own "workbook" style exercise when I feel like he needs it, which is not too often, but makes me feel better when I do them. 

Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting T(ransitions) Treyton worked on learning a cursive letter a week with a few words each week, last year. This year we're focusing on putting those letters together to form words and sentences. He enjoys writing cursive and is starting to use it on his own during other writing assignments. 

Music - Treyton is going to continue taking private piano lessons this year 

Reading - Treyton is first going to be working on finishing reading aloud the book of John to either Tim or I - so far I think we are to John 10 or 11. He also is required to read 15-20 minutes (at least) a day on his own. He usually reads more (about 30-45 minutes) at night before bed

Typing - we are also focusing more intently on typing this year using the Talking Fingers curriculum online as well as having him type up his history narrations - my goal is that by the end of the year he is more comfortable with the computer and typing, as of right now, it is a skill that is lacking a little bit (but one I'm sure he will have plenty of time learning in the future). 



Math - Singapore 1A and 1B - math comes fairly easy to Alexa so far, I think because she has learned a lot just from watching and listening in to Treyton's lessons. 

Reading - All About Reading Level 2 - we LOVE this reading program! Alexa begs to do reading and so far it is going very painlessly. She loves reading her readers to Tim and I, though the longer stories this year seem to tire her out, so I may end up breaking them up for her at first. I think it's important to keep in mind just because she's advanced in this area, she is still ONLY 5. 

Spelling - All About Spelling Level 1 - I do not plan on pushing too much spelling with her this year but supplementing it in throughout the year with her AAR program. 

Phonics - Explode the Code Book 3 - this is Alexa's favorite subject. She asks to do it even when it's not a school day! 

Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting - one of Alexa's weakest subjects I have here in book B this year (because I had it lying around) but I'm not sure she's really quite ready for it. I may just have her continue to work on forming the letters. At this point there are still quite a few backwards letters and starting in the wrong spots. I've actually even thought of using Handwriting without Tears Kindergarten but am not sure if it will mess her up or not. 

Music - We plan on enrolling Alexa in piano lessons this year as well, but I'm not 100% on it yet 

Dance -  She will be doing dance again this year tap and ballet. 

Typing - Talking Fingers online curriculum



B4FIAR - though it will be occasional and simple I plan on starting some Before Five in a Row with Audrey. I think she will really enjoy the teaching time and it will be a gentle way to begin introducing her to structured learning and school time. She begs to be a part of school and while I don't want to start doing "school" with her this year, I do want her to have some fun learning time with mom. 

Speech - Our primary focus with Audrey right now is just learning to understand her better and for her speech to continue to develop. Starting in August she will be doing private speech therapy (as needed) and I'm expecting to pick up some more pointers and activities to do with her at home. Truthfully the type of therapy that Audrey will be in is more for Tim and I, teaching us how to work with Audrey at home, than it is for Audrey. :) 


I am really looking forward to school this year. While I will be honest and admit I'm having a harder time getting into "school" mode than most years, I am excited about our curriculum and the subjects we'll be learning this year.