Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our 2011/2012 Home Education Plan

Not Back to School Blog Hop 
"Not" Back to School Curriculum Week

I've seen these posts popping up all over the place and thought it would be a great way to get my head together and remember what it is I plan on doing next month! It's really NOT back to school, even home school, for us yet but we may participate this month anyway, or as much as I find the time and energy to manage!

This coming year will be different for us as far as curriculum goes. We are usually a big unit study family, tending towards the Charlotte Mason-y/literature based, and always relaxed eclectics. This time we're using different curriculum for each subject. Weird, I know. I'm sure we will choose reading and projects that go along with the history (and science?) topics, but it won't be a full fledged unit study. We'll see how it goes. I'm sure we'll be adapting and changing as we go along!

So with no further ado, here are our curriculum choices for the upcoming school year (always subject to change!):

History: History Revealed- Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries
We'll be doing this as a family study (4th, 6th, 7th, 9th & 11th). It's designed for grades 7-12 but I'm thinking my 4th and 6th graders will be just fine. The 4th grader has the Elementary supplement guide as well and will choose projects based on his skill level. As I plan to read the text aloud, I'm thinking this will work well for him.

Science: Zoology I- Flying Creatures
I already owned this book and then happened upon the complete experiment supply kit at a CBD warehouse sale for only $18.99! Yeah, I took that as a sign (snicker) that Zoology is where it's at for this year. My kids are excited to have all the supplies and be able to experiment to the their heart's content. I also purchased the notebooking journals and a handy dandy already planned out schedule. My 4th, 6th and 7th graders will be studying this independently, working the experiments together.

Biology 101 along with dissection section of Apologia Biology & Life of Fred
This is a new one for us but none of my three oldest were fans of Apologia Biology and I know it wouldn't be a good fit for my 9th grader. We're going to give this DVD a try and combine it with other resources and see how it goes! If you have any experience with this course, I'd love to hear it.

Alternative Energy
My 11th grader will be using this project kit as a basis for studying alternative energy sources. We live in an area where we should be able to find other resources to add to this, as well as checking out what's available at iTunes U. He's excited to have the chance to study something "outside the norm" in his junior year. I think he'll really enjoy it.

Fine Arts: Shakespeare Class
Homeschooling friends of ours are offering once a week Shakespeare classes this year. There is a class available for 7-12 graders and another for 1-6th, I believe. I think this will be a great addition to our year!

Homeschool in the Woods Composers?
I actually just saw this on someone else's post and thought it looked wonderful. I love Amy Pak's work and am thinking about adding this to our list. My two oldest have file boxes of lapbooks they have done but we haven't been as prolific in the past few years. Adding one in this year may be nice! This is on my maybe list.

Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing, Student Intensive B
We began this last year as a review product and really enjoyed it (which surprised me!). The 4th through 9th graders will be continuing on with it this fall.

One Year Adventure Novel
We love this program but have been sidetracked continually and haven't managed to finish. I think it's time for us all to really focus and spend the school year writing a novel, rather than just the month of November (although we will probably do that as well!).

Spelling/Vocabulary: Big IQ Kids
We discovered this through the TOS Crew this past year and fell in love. The three youngest will continue with this throughout the year.

Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting
Yeah...unless they're planning to be doctors, they'd best do something about their handwriting. Yikes.

Grammar: Grammar Ace
I love this program that I found and purchased through Sonlight. It uses the Schoolhouse Rock videos and it teaches grammar in a simple and easy to understand manner. The younger two are about halfway through the program from last year, we plan to finish this year.

This is an online grammar program we found through Homeschool Buyers Co-op. I don't like that we have to use it on only one computer but I do like that it does all the teaching for me and they can work independently. I like to save together time for the reading aloud and the history and the writing lessons, you know, all the stuff that I actually like. I'm selfish like that.

Math: Big IQ Kids, Mathletics, Math Rider, Times Alive, Life of Fred
The goal for the three youngest will be to solidify basic math skills and start working their way through the Life of Fred program. Right now we start with the fractions and decimals but they just came out with new books for the elementary student and I'm still planning to check into those as soon as I have the chance.

Life of Fred Pre-Algebra, Mathletics
My 9th grader will be working through Pre-Algebra I & II.

Life of Fred Geometry
My 11th grader will be using the Geometry book and if he gets through that quickly, I already own Trigonometry. Lucky him.

Bible: Who is God?
My kids all have their own studies that they do independently but I'm thinking we may go ahead and use this resource for a group study. We used to have a time of prayer and song, followed by a devotion and I miss that!

Bible Institute
My 11th grader will be dual enrolling in the Bible Institute at our church. It is an accredited college program and so he can earn high school and college credits simultaneously. He'll be taking three courses this year and will have a full load or coursework, so I've attempted to keep his studies at home balanced. I think he'll really enjoy this and it's an excellent opportunity!

And there you have it!  Please do leave a comment and let me know if you've had any experience with any of these products and what you liked/disliked.  I love comments!


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