Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2013-2014

I just love to hop over to all the blog posts highlighting everyone’s curriculum choices for the year. It gives me some ideas for later years, Some ideas for combining things I would have never though of, and I even get introduced to some wonderful curriculum I never knew existed!

Here’s our choices for this year, for our 13 year old, 12 year old, 11 year old, 10 year old and 9 year old.  We don’t really assign grade levels, but if you must, it would be 9th grade, 6th and 6th, 5th and 3rd. But to be honest, they are all over the place depending on the curriculum.

I can’t take pictures of the actual curriculum, as my hubs took the tablet (our only camera) to work, so I’m including stock photos and links to where I found the products the cheapest. I would LOVE to tell you these were affiliate links and that I was making money off them, but alas, they are not, and I am not.

Here goes:

 

For Micaela, Algebra 1, English 1, and Spanish 1 through Florida Virtual School. We like this option for the independence it offers her. I am not too concerned about Common Core or anything at this level. Her doing this frees me up some time to work with the younger kids and encourages her to work without me over her constantly, which we encountered last year. She has been enrolled for 8 weeks now with Algebra and English. So far so good. She starts Spanish next week.

FLVS

 

 

Along side this, we are doing Exercises in English for Grammar. We’ve not used this before, and I don’t know much about it, but it was cheap and everyone needs a little shot in the arm this year for grammar. We are using this for all the kids, The boys and Lydia will be using grade 5, Emily will use grade 3. Micaela will use grade 7.

grammar 7

 

 

I did not feel the need to purchase a spelling curriculum, so I downloaded grade level lists from Spelling City. I am a fan of the old write it 3x, write it in a sentence, study it, test it. Therefore, I don’t feel the need for a specialized curriculum. We will be using this for all the kids.  I can also nix some words off the lists that may be too easy for them, and tailor the lists to meet our needs.

spelling city

 

 

We are taking some Grammar and Language Arts material out of the Learning Language Arts Through Literature books this year also. I just skip through whatever I feel is useful or needed at the time. I am comfortable now with homeschooling and teaching that I can really start to tailor the lessons for the child’s needs and not just stick to a script. It has taken several years to get to this point. I do have the kids read the grade level assigned books, but really don’t stick with the book studies that are included in the curriculum.

LLATL

 

 

Oh my beloved Rod and Staff Math! I can not even begin to tell you how I have fell in love with this no nonsense approach to Arithmetic. The kids love it. They have really progressed well. I will not use anything else through the 8th grade. It really focuses on mastery of skills. I did find the speed drills, quizzes and tests to be more than we needed, so we cut those out early last year, and I did not purchase those this year. Sometimes the redundancy of facts in the earlier levels (1st and 2nd grade) can be a bit too much for my littlest, so we would cut some of that down. Otherwise I have no complaints!

th

 

 

For writing I like to give them prompts 3 times a week. They will write, then I will correct it for grammar and spelling. The next day they rewrite. I find story starters and prompts online by googling or use the Scholastic Story Starter scrambler. This also serves as their handwriting practice, along with other copywork they occasionally do.

story starters

We are going with Apologia’s Around the World in 180 Days for History. I like the continent by continent full immersion approach. Learning the History, Geography, famous people, missionaries, and current events of each continent and country. Since we do 1/2 year history and 1/2 year science, we will be compressing this into 6 months, 2 days a week.

180 days

We LOVE Apologia Science! Last year we used it for the first time, with Exploring Creation with Astronomy. This year we will be doing Anatomy and Physiology. We buy the Nature’s Workshop Lab Kits which include EVERYTHING you need for each lesson’s experiments and projects.

apologialab kit

I still have one who is doing Phonics work. I like the Rod and Staff Phonics and Reading program for 1st and 2nd grade, but beyond that I am not too impressed with the reading program for the older ones.  Emily is still finishing up 1st grade from last year, then we will move on to 2nd grade. From there I’m not sure where we will go, I’m still looking into that.

rod and staff phonics

There are other things we are doing throughout the year also, such as once a week we are doing a Biography lapbook. Each week will highlight a famous person, whether it be scientist, missionary, author, historical figure, etc. Other little projects here and there will add to the interest led learning that I like to allow time for.

We are very eclectic in our homeschool approach. I like interest-led learning, but feel we need some structure to assure the foundation is firmly laid. We are also blessed to be enrolled in a private umbrella school that negates the need to send anything in other than attendance. Therefore we are not bound to the same homeschool laws that other Floridians are, such as evaluations and keeping a portfolio.

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