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Curriculum planning …

May 11, 2015

Next year we’ll have a 9th grader, a 4th grader, and a 1st grader. They are all so different! We’re starting to plan curriculum, not that we always adhere to our plans, or any curriculum for that matter …

9th grader: The Bean will continue working on Saxon Algebra I this summer, then we are giving Saxon the ol’ heave-ho and switching to Teaching Textbooks for Algebra II. Saxon just has too much “homework” and is boring to boot. Sure, it’s thorough, but we are OVER IT. We might add back Life of Fred as well. Also this summer, we’ll be working on knocking out another block of Analytical Grammar. For science, starting this fall, we’re looking at Preparing for the AP Biology Exam over at EdX. Hopefully, she’ll be able to take the exam, but we’ll see how things develop. We’re investigating options for French I, but we may delay that or pick a different language. For literature and history, we are going to work up our own class here in the family, combining the two. (That’s a whole project!) For fine arts, she’s continuing guitar lessons as well as basic piano with music theory, plus she sings in our amazing church choir. She’ll also add in a variety of fun activities like the local homeschool dance lessons and hopefully some visual arts.

4th grader: Buddy is continuing with Life of Fred for math. He’s competent at multiplication and long division, so I expect to finish up Ice Cream and Jelly Beans this summer/early fall and move on to Life of Fred: Fractions this fall. In a perfect world, we would finish Story of the World I this summer and move on to SOTWII this fall … but we shall see. We’ve been using worksheets from “Using the Standards” for language and might continue that in fourth, just to touch a lot of bases. I plan to use some of Michael Clay Thompson’s language arts materials with him in fourth grade also. For science, unschooling works well for Buddy; he’s an avid reader and generally curious. We also get the EEME boxes (electronics) and the Tinker boxes. I’ll try to register him for the homeschool labs at the McWane Center and hope that they will actually do what he considers “science” this year, but in the past they have been disappointing.

1st grader: Little Man is still working on reading. We switched from Reading Eggs (online program) to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and he is showing much more progress with this program. Once he’s reading fluently, we’ll add in Life of Fred Elementary for him. He has always been a wiz at computation. He listens to all our readings aloud and audiobooks for history and we’ll continue that next year as well. His science has so far been video-based, and we’ll continue that for now. He consumes science documentaries with a voracious appetite.

Obviously, there’s still a lot to nail down between now and this fall, but this is where we are now.

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