Sunday, June 12, 2011

Curriculum Choices 2011-2012

I think I have our curriculum choices narrowed down for the 2011-2012 school year.  It is definitely no secret that this year has been a huge learning experience for me.  From learning that one daughter is very right brained and visual to figuring out the hard way that my other was bored to tears and needed a challenge so badly, I can say without question that I have done my research on what will {hopefully} work best for our family next year!  Some things I'm listing, we are already using since the big curriculum switch we made in March and we will finish those this coming year.  Other things are brand new to us and I cannot wait to get started!  So, here is our coursework plan for next year...Kamryn in 5th grade and Karsyn in 3rd!!!

Together we will study...

Bible - We will continue reading together from the Arthur Maxwell Bible Story Books I have from my childhood!!   They are phenomenal!  Both girls will also read a good bit on their own from Old Testament with history.

Latin - We began Latin for Children this year and LOVED it!!  It was beginning to get pretty complicated however, so I didn't want all of what they had learned to be forgotten over the summer, so we just stopped where we were {before it became in depth} and we will pick it back up in the fall with a few weeks of review and on to finish the book!  Everyone really likes the program and we enjoy doing it together!

Memory Work - Strangely enough memory work has become one of our favorite parts of the day.  Each day after we read our Bible story, we work on memory work.  Next year the girls will also have some independent time to work on individual pieces as well.  I am going to use things from our history and science curriculums for memory work assignments!  And some fun poems too, of course!!  We memorized Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout this year and it was a huge hit!

History - History is so tough for me because I want the girls to really enjoy learning about God's plan for the world and how it has played out so far because history is just HIS STORY!!  It is also difficult for me to commit to one particular curriculum.  I really want to do My Father's World, Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, and Story of the World, but I want to do them all.  This year we did world geography for the simple reason that I just couldn't decide on one.  For next year, I had to make up my mind.  The other crossroads for me was whether I would start the chronological 4 year cycle, or if I would do American History {I could do colonial America til the cows come home}.  It was a tough decision for me, but after much prayer and research we will be doing Ancient History and sort of beginning the four year cycle.  Im not crazy about this time period, but I know that the girls will get so much more out of it to learn it in context!!  After all, I didnt know that the world truly existed PRE-1492 until I got to college!!

So, we will be using two curriculums and I am just going to piece things together and make things work for us.  We will be using Living Books Curriculum (teachers guide) and TruthQuest History guides.  I like them both and just couldn't decide, so why not use them both??  The Living Books Curriculum is a full curriculum, but we will only be using it for Science and History mainly.  It is an amazing program in that it teaches World and American History simultaneously!  I am very excited about that because neither of my girls have had any real history as of yet, so I think it will be good for playing catch up.  It is a little too rigid for me, but I love they way that they are total Charlotte Mason.  I am also so in love with their language arts additions like story-telling and Shakespeare!  BUT, TruthQuest has an extensive booklist so I won't have to search the library constantly like I did this year.  I love that TruthQuest has books listed by grade level so it is a no brainer and it will be great for beefing up lessons,  but its a little too unstructured for me.  So, I think that it will balance well with what I will be pulling from Living Books Curriculum!!!  In the LBC guide we will be working quickly through 1st grade.  I know that you are probably thinking I am nuts, but when you switch curriculums it is always so hard to place them.  Neither of my girls have had any American History, so I want to start them from the beginning.  That is where the TruthQuest booklist will come in handy because I will be using their recommendations where needed, especially for my 5th grader.  I am hoping to get through the Living Books 2nd grade year by Christmas and then move onto 3rd for the remainder of the year which I think will be more on their level.  We will study Ancient Egypt and American Westward Expansion the first half of the year, and I can't wait.  Im very anxious to get this in my hand and get busy picking it apart and planning because whether it looks like it or not, Ive got a plan (oh my)!!!

Science - Living Books Curriculum also includes a science plan of earth, physical, living, and health that I am very excited about.  We did a full year of flying creatures last year and it was a little monotonous.  I want to go back to Apologia in the future, but I think that we need a more true science next year to give the girls a good foundation for what is to come for them as they get older.  Because everything is living books, many books are recommended and once I see what is involved I may add in some things of my own.  Nonetheless, we will for sure be doing earth, physical, living, and health sciences and for that I could do a jig!


IEW - Need I say more....really???  We will be doing Level A and I am starting out with the girls watching the DVD and hoping to move to me teaching after the first couple of units.  I really want to combine this with our history and science readings, so I want to work without the DVD eventually, we will see!!!

Independently Kamryn will work through...

Megawords Spelling
Fix It Grammar
A Reason for Handwriting
Science Detective
Logic 
Mindbenders 
History and Science to some degree
lots of on her own vocabulary cards, writing assignments, researching, and reading!




My plan is to have Kamryn working independently for around an hour and a half each day.  She will be in the fifth grade, so I know that she needs more, but she came from being very spoon fed, so we are working slowly!!!


Together Kamryn and I will work through...


Right Start Math Level E


I have love feelings for this math program and excitingly enough, the next level after E is independent.  WOW!!!  I think we are all learning more about math than we ever knew!!!  Kamryn has been a little bit reluctant to begin thinking in a math way, but she is coming around!!  She sees the fruits of it and can't help but get on board, but it does take her a few lessons to finally give in and stop saying, "Mom, why does it matter, I just know that 7x9 is 63.  I don't care why!!!"  The program also comes with so many games, and we love to have a Math Game Day, every now and then!!!



Independently Karsyn will work through...

A Reason for Handwriting
Mindbenders
History and Science to some degree
Reading

I want her to begin working independently, but I also don't want to wish away her childhood.  I want to enjoy our time together learning while still giving her a little bit of time on her own.  She will work independently for about 45 minutes this year I think!

and with me she will work through...


All About Spelling Level 3
First Language Lessons 3
Right Start Math Level C

I cannot say enough about all 3 of these programs.  It seems that Karsyn has learned more since March than she has learned her whole life.  The light bulbs are just going off everywhere and it is so great to see!!!


We have ourselves a busy year, but I have copied Carrie's planning system and have made my own planner and all.  She is so talented and organized...I love her!!!

I am very much ahead of where I was this time last year, so I am excited!!  Ive got lots of work to do, but I will post lots of pics!!!  Especially since I realized that this post HAS NONE!!!!  Let me make that better...here is next year's schedule!!  The reason it has 2 history slots is because one is World and one is American!!!  Im so excited!!!


Hope your plans for next school year, whatever they may be are bringing you lots of joy this summer,

Kellye

21 comments:

  1. hi kellye--your schedule looks GREAT. i admire anyone who can map her time that way!
    cute blog. :)

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  2. Thanks April!!! If I don't map out my time to the minute, we will literally watch Food Network all day!!! LOL!!! Accountability!!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

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  3. Stopping by from the HOTM blog hop. Your plans and curriculum look great. I hope you have a blessed school year with your children!

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  4. HA! Your history bit sounds EXACTLY like mine!!! I wanted to do .....oh well, it's so long-winded, you nee to go read it for yourself! Bottom line: I have decided to to Truthquest History AHYS 1-- just like you, and for the same reason -- we don't have a hillbilly's clue about our own country! Have you seen Liberty's Kids cartoons? They got my gang all revved up (and now my 4 yo goes about the house talking about being a redcoat and a bluecoat. and the "Lost" (Lone) Ranger. But that's another story.)
    So, anyhoo, I hopped over here from HOTM's NOT Back to School Blog Hop and it's so exciting to me to see other moms list their aspirations for their homeschool! I am totally digging your blog!! I do hope you'll head over to see what's going on at our homeschool!
    Thank you for sharing, and have a great year!

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  5. loving your calendar - and that SLEEPING is in big bold letters!!

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  6. Hi Kellye! Just stopping by from the HOTM blog hop! LOVE your schedule!! This is our first year homeschooling and I can't wait to get started in 2 weeks!! Good luck with your year! :-)

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  7. Schedule looks great!! I love Carrie too! :)

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  8. Good for you deciding on TruthQuest! We did American History I this past year and LOVED it! So many great books! It sounds like you're going to have a great year.

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  9. Love your schedule....so colorful! :) I need to get mine down on paper too. It would really help me stay more focused. :)

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  10. Wonderful! Love your schedule. Have a great year!

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  11. Two spots for history. So exciting. It is HIS story and I love history too. Any good tips for the future on how to get my kids excited about it? I think I like it now better than when I wasa kid because I think of what it was like for other people at other times. (Though my reading of Laura Ingalls Wilder probably factored in a bit when I was a kid.) I try to see it from their point of view and imagine how they felt.

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  12. Wow, your planner page is awesome--I'm going to figure out how I can copy that. Even though I have like 3 planners going...

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  13. "IEW-Need I say more" OH,I LOVE IEW! It is so phenomenal!!! and I love your calendar, thank you for including that....reminds me, I need to finalize ours!!! So glad I found your blog on the HOP!

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  14. Yall are all too funny!!! Okay, we must all think alike!!!! Hope everyone has a great year and thank you all for stopping by!!!

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  15. Sounds like a great plan! I hope you have a wonderful year.

    ~Lynn

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  16. Hi! Stopping by from the hop - really glad I found your blog! I have a 3rd grader who is working through Right Start, too (LOVE that program!)...and she'll be moving into C this year, too. I've been just a little worried that we weren't moving fast enough - but it sounds like your family is on a similar track; that encourages me. :) Love your schedule, too - just finished ours this afternoon {{whew!}}.

    Blessings to you in your school year!
    Collette

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  17. I just joined the hop, and your post was the first I read. I have to say what an encouragement it was. I generalized (on mine) what you articulated so beautifully about your girls being so different and the struggles that presented last year. It was such a comfort to see another mom dealing with 2 very different girls. Last year was VERY difficult. I so appreciated and was inspired by your details of schoolwork and schedule. Thank you for being open and teaching - if no one else...ME.

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  18. I laughed when I read your comment about having to schedule to the minute or you'd end up watching Food Network all day. We have actually done that on more than one occasion and that is why this year, I am going to schedule my homeschooling into a similar chart.

    Hope you have a great year!

    http://thechaosandtheclutter.com

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  19. Hi Kellye! I found your blog on the Heart of the Matter blog hop. :) I love your schedule and am so impressed with how nicely everything is planned out! I've been homeschooling for many years now, and I still have a hard time keeping a good schedule. I'm praying that this year will be the best yet! I love your blog and am looking forward to visiting again soon.

    Blessings to you and your family!

    Wendy

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  20. Hi Kellye--it's Wendy again. :) I'd love for you to visit my blog if you can. I haven't blogged much over the summer because we were so busy. I'm planning to try to blog more regularly now that we'll be getting back into a routine, though, and I'd love for you to visit!

    My link is: http://wendy-homeschoolingblessings.blogspot.com

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  21. Is IEW Institute for Excellence in Writing?

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