Our 2010-2011 Homeschool Curriculum

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3-6-8 curriculum

I've found that even after five years of homeschooling, I'm still making a lot of adjustments to our curriculum each year. This coming year some of the adjustments are due to the fact that I need some subjects to be independent for my kids, hence the self-teaching math my older two are switching to.

As usual, I reserve the right to change the curriculum to suit our needs throughout the year. The following list is a basic outline of our curriculum.

Joely, 3rd Grade Girl

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Joely's halfway done with the Rod & Staff 3 curriculum already, so she'll likely finish it toward the beginning of next year. I'm not going to have her move on to book 4 until she's actually in 4th grade — well, unless she begs me to, which is pretty likely. She's apparently turning into a grammar nerd like her rather odd mother.

(2) We'll be doing the Write Shop 1 curriculum somewhat informally. My older children completed the curriculum last year, and Joely's been eager to do it herself. It's not a 3rd grade curriculum, but Joely is eager to write like the rest of the family, so she's literally been begging me to do Write Shop with her. She'll also be listening in on the One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum the older kids are doing.

(3) I'll be reading Medieval History & Geography Through Literature aloud to all three kids.

(4) History of Classical Music was on our list to do last year, and we only made it through about 20 lessons. Not because it's not a good curriculum, but because I dropped the ball with scheduling. The kids and I both enjoyed the lessons we did complete, so I'm going to work extra hard this year to make sure we don't let it fall by the wayside again.

Jerah, 6th Grade Girl

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Jerah is also actively writing stories on her own, sometimes up to several thousand words a day.

(2) Jerah's already completed a lot of the Teaching Textbooks 7 curriculum since we started it this school year. When she finishes, she'll move on to Key to Percents and then Teaching Textbooks Prealgebra.

(3) I'll be reading Medieval History & Geography Through Literature aloud to all three kids.

Jaden, 8th Grade Boy

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Jaden will be completing Rod & Staff 7 this year. Rod & Staff 8, although it does delve into some areas a bit more, is entirely too much review for us to spend a whole year going through the curriculum. Instead we'll be picking and choosing particular subjects and looking at them throughout the year. We'll be focusing more on application of principles this year as he works on his writing curriculum.

(2) We'll be using the Bluestocking guides along with the books.

(3) I'll be reading Medieval History & Geography Through Literature aloud to all three kids.

This is a summary of where we are starting on our homeschool curriculum for 2010-2011 for our 3rd, 6th and 8th graders.

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Comments

  1. says

    Nice to see that a grammar geek like you uses Rod and Staff. My son did 3-6, but he really tired of the repetition. I understood his point and I switched him to a book called Our Mother Tongue. I think it is really neat. My intent was for him to go through it and then be done with formal grammar study. He'll be over half-way through by the end of this year, and now I'm doubting myself. What I think we should do is focus on composition with him next year, but I'm having trouble figuring out what to use for that. It's not a subject I feel comfortable teaching, yet the really structured programs that hold the teacher's hand, I'm afraid are too contrived. Anyway, sorry for the rambling comment:) I looked at Write Shop at convention last year. Did your kids like it?

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    @Kristen, My older two attended a writing class once a week for 90 minutes. The class was taught by another homeschool mom. During the week my kids did the assignments on their own and then turned them in the next class day.

    I wasn't terribly involved in the curriculum at all, but I do know that my children's writing improved over the course of the year. I do like what I've seen of the curriculum and how the lessons are structured. It seems to teach the concepts pretty well.

    I'm sure it could be used on a one-on-one basis as well, but it seemed to work really well in the small-group setting.

    [Reply]

  2. says

    Love BF Books!
    Couldn't help noticing you're using a diff math for each kid. May I ask why? Also, what do you think of BF Books Classical Music study? (If you've used it prior to this year.)

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    @Ginger, Well, all 3 kids have done Singapore Primary Math, which I adore. Jerah switched to Teaching Textbooks this year because she and I were butting heads with math. She's not very math-minded and she's stubborn on top of that, so math time began to be a battle.

    I knew I needed to find an alternative to Singapore for her, even though it's a fabulous program and she was learning through it. She just needed to be taught by someone else other than me.

    The good thing is that she was almost done with 5B when we switched her to Teaching Textbooks, and after running her through the placement tests, we determined that TT 7 is where she'd do best. So even though she's not very math-minded, she obviously learned enough with Singapore. She's gone through about a 1/3 of the course so far, and as expected it's a lot of review and she's handled it just fine.

    As for my oldest, we did Singapore's New Elementary Math this year. It's a VERY challenging curriculum, and although he and I are both very good at math, I felt that I needed some more guidance with teaching him. I didn't feel that I had enough support through the teacher edition to teach him confidently.

    He learned a lot of algebra and geometry with NEM this year, so he should be pretty prepared for ChalkDust. I looked into several computer or DVD-based programs and Jaden and I decided ChalkDust would be the best fit for him. Teaching Textbooks wouldn't be rigorous enough for him at his level (and he'd be bored to tears with the pace), so that wasn't an option. He and I both really liked the ChalkDust instructor and his teaching style, and I'm also pleased with how challenging the course should be for him. Even though he claims not to like math, he still complains if the lessons are too easy and boring. He definitely needs a challenge. :)

    So that's why we're using 3 different math courses — to fit the needs of each child…and me as well, since I will now only have to teach math to my 3rd grader.

    And as for BF Classic Music, we did several lessons last year and really enjoyed it. We just let it slip through the cracks in our scheduling and it got laid aside.

    [Reply]

  3. says

    Wow, what a glance of what's waiting for us in a few years time! Congrats for a curriculum well designed and thought. Homeschooling moms rock, and never cease to amaze me. Hope to hear about how plans develop. Ah, I never commented before, but I've enjoyed several of your posts. I love the ones on building your library.
    s

    [Reply]

  4. says

    What we've done to avoid me needing to teach math is to do the Key to series before Singapore. That way they learn on their own and get the info in two ways, and they need very, very little help with Singapore and with NEM. We also really benefitted from doing a month of intensive ALEKS in the summer. I'm happy to have a top-notch math curriculum with almost no work from me. In fact, I don't even know what it is my older three kids are learning unless they ask me a question! Hmmm! Maybe that's not so good, either.

    Annie Kate
    .-= Annie Kate´s last blog ..This Week’s Homeschool Highlights (Book Sale and MathScore) =-.

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    @Annie Kate, Yes, we love the Key to series. Jaden complete the percents, fractions, and first 3 of the algebra series in 5th and 6th grade.

    I've just never felt comfortable letting him work alone on NEM. Although he's really good at math, and is doing well with the NEM curriculum, he doesn't always have the greatest initiative when it comes to really studying a concept on his own. That's why we've always done math together, with me there to make sure he actually understands the new concepts that are presented. Unfortunately, that often caused a lot of friction and frustration between us at times as well.

    My biggest motivation for switching him from NEM to ChalkDust this next year is because I wanted him to have a teacher (who wasn't me) to help him thoroughly understand the concepts. I think ChalkDust will fit that need for him.

    [Reply]

  5. says

    Wow! I like seeing what others do for curriculum. When you teach three children with different curriculum how long does it take?

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    @Karen, Some of the curriculum is independent, so I don't have to actually teach them. Other curriculum I'll be teaching all 3 kids at the same time, such as history and geography. We're switching to independent math for the oldest 2, so that alleviates some of the time that I need to be working with them individually.

    I definitely couldn't say how much time this takes yet since I haven't sat down to figure it out based on this curriculum schedule. Another thing that affects the time needed is that from day to day our school schedule is different because of my own piano teaching schedule. Some days are 'lighter' than others as a result.

    Sorry, I know that didn't answer your question :(

    [Reply]

  6. Debbie says

    I know what you mean "switching" ..Seems like when I finally find something I like that works for my kids..I end up having to turn around and change something aghhh!!! lol :)
    I really liked what you have chosen……I am still trying to figure out next year for my clan ,So Jealous!!! ;)
    I did thou just ordered http://www.Time4Learning.com for the kids to do this summer & longer if need be.. I have heard mixed reviews on it but who knows maybe this will be the end of my search …Crossing fingers :)

    [Reply]

  7. Dawn says

    Total Health sounds like a great health curriculum for jr/sr high. We will be using it this year. My Father's World has a 5 dollar lesson plan book for this that incorporates Josh Harris' book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.
    Just stumbled across your blog while looking for a more clear lesson plan for BF's Medieval study, which we are also doing this year. (no luck yet, sigh)
    Have a great year!
    Dawn

    [Reply]

  8. niki says

    How is Joely doing with the Minimus latin?
    I'd like for my 3rd grade daughter to start learning latin too, but I have no experience with latin. Is it this program easy to teach?
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    @niki, She's actually doing VERY well. We've only done 3 lessons so far, and her stack of vocab cards we've made is nearly an inch thick, and she knows 90% of them very well.

    I've done Latin with a couple different programs for 2 years now, so I have more of a background with the language. But I think that even without and previous experience with Latin, you could learn right along with your student just fine. The teacher's guide is fairly well written, so it explains things in the lesson for you.

    [Reply]

    niki Reply:

    @Joy,
    Thank so much Joy!
    I am really enjoying your blog!

    [Reply]

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