Last year we embarked on a new school year with a number of major changes: my husband had just retired from full-time ministry so he joined me working from home full-time, plus we had moved to a new church after being at our previous one for ten years. The change was good for our family, but it forced us to develop a lot of new routines.
This year we're carrying on the tradition of major changes. We're in the process of getting licensed to foster-to-adopt, so hopefully that means we'll be adding another child or two (age 5 or under) into the mix within the next few months. Obviously we'll need to figure out some new routines as a result!
In the meantime, I've been planning for this upcoming school year, and it'll be a doozy! We'll have a 7th grader, a 10th grader, and a 12th grader who will be graduating next spring. I can hardly believe it!
Jaden, our 12th grader, already has his college plans worked out. After he graduates he'll be enrolling in the Audio Engineering program at a local community college, and he'll be taking his first couple college classes during the summer term of 2015. He says he's actually very excited about college because he'll get to focus 100% on things he's extremely passionate about. I can't believe we'll have a college student in less than a year. This is definitely new territory for us!
So without further ado, here is our curriculum plan for the 2014-2015 school year.
7th Grade Girl
- Language Arts: Lightning Literature 8. We've used a number of the Lightning Lit curriculums before, but this is the first time we'll be doing LL8. We would have done LL7 for Joely, except she's already read a number of the literature selections from that guide.
- Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 7.
- Math: Chalk Dust Basic Math. Since Joely has finish with Singapore Primary Math up through level 6 and several of the Key to… series, I'm having her go through a 'clean up' year with Basic Math to make sure she's covered everything she needs to know before she starts pre-algebra next year. (You might like to read my post about how we like to do math from k-12.) Once she's done with Basic Math, she'll do Key to Algebra (books 1-4). I really like the way Key to… teaches Algebra concepts, so I always have my kids go through the first 4 books of Key to Algebra before embarking on Chalk Dust Pre-Algebra. (Other families might be different, but I'm in no hurry to rush my kids through all the high school math subjects if math isn't one of their strengths and something they enjoy.)
- Science: Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science. Joely is finishing up Answers in Genesis' God's Design for Science series this summer. She wanted to finish all 4 parts of the AiG series before starting General Science, and she's managing to make it through all 12 books in one calendar year! Science is one of her favorite subjects for sure, and she's looking forward to doing Apologia this year.
- Social Studies: Notgrass's America the Beautiful. We did Notgrass's Uncle Sam and You curriculum last year and Joely and I really enjoyed that, so it was only natural that we continue with Notgrass this year.
- Foreign Language: BJU Spanish 1. Joely has spent the last two years learning Spanish using the Español Para Chicos y Grandes curriculum (a tutor comes to our home for the classes). Now she's going to move on to the BJU Spanish 1 curriculum, aiming to complete 1/2 the curriculum this year and next, and then Spanish 2 in her freshman year.
- Music: Joely has started playing drums on occasion in her youth group, and at home she's learning with Drumeo. We are taking a fairly informal approach to music this year since she'll be doing more application as she's playing with the youth.
- Missions, Bible & Worldviews: Joely currently has a deep desire to eventually serve as a missionary somewhere. So we've created an eclectic course that will hopefully give her a good foundation whether she ends up on the foreign mission field or not. Here are the books she'll be studying this year.
- Christian History Made Easy
- Why Trust the Bible?
- What Christians Believe At A Glance
- Christianity, Cults And Religions
- From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions
- Unveiled at Last: Discover God's Hidden Message from Genesis to Revelation
- Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation
10th Grade Girl
- Language Arts: Lightning Literature's Shakespeare (4 tragedies, 4 comedies & 16 sonnets). Jerah absolutely adores Shakespeare, believe it or not. She read the original Julius Caesar play this last year, and decided that she's a diehard Shakespeare fan. She'd already read some of the prose children's versions of the plays with Charles Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, but now she knows she loves the originals just as much. She literally begged me to let her do a year of Shakespeare for her English credit! Thankfully, Lightning Literature has a full year of Shakespeare curriculum. I just had to swap out Julius Caesar for Romeo and Juliet (since she's already read it), and she's all set to immerse herself in the bard's writings!
- Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 10
- Math: Chalk Dust Algebra 2. We decided to do Algebra 2 this year instead of Geometry since Jaden is doing Algebra 2 this year as well. I think having two of them doing the same course will help each of them to stay on track (and it'll make my grading much easier!)
- Science: Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry. This is going to be a challenge for us this year. Jaden took Chemistry online through The Potter's School a couple years ago, and even with that extra help, the course was tough. Chemistry is definitely one subject I'll have to help her a lot with this year. But thankfully my father (who lives next door) is a chemistry nut so he'll be helping with experiments and such as needed!
- Social Studies: Jerah isn't doing anything in social studies this year since she's ahead having taken a high school U.S. History course in 8th grade through The Potter's School. With Chemistry on this year's schedule, not having a social studies course to worry about will be a blessing for sure!
- Public Speaking: Thinkwell Public Speaking. Both Jerah and Jaden are taking this course online through Thinkwell. Just like with Algebra, I think having them both take the same course at the same time will help each of them stay on track.
- DriversEd.com: This is the same parent-led drivers ed course that we did with Jaden. I'm not overly excited about the quality of the program (so many of the graphics and videos are out of date), but it was effective enough with Jaden to do it again with Jerah.
- Photography: Lynda.com Photography Courses. Jerah is pretty certain that she wants to start a photography business eventually, so she's already planning on taking some photography courses at our local community college eventually. She's watched quite a number of the photography courses on lynda.com before, but she'd like to do a major refresher.
- Home Economics/Cooking: Since this is Jaden's last year in high school, we want to make sure he's equipped with some real life-skills, so Jeff (the real cook in our family) is going to be taking both Jaden and Jerah through a full year of home ec, specifically covering cooking skills. He'll be covering cooking techniques and the kids will be preparing at least one meal a week (planning, shopping, and cooking). By the end of the year, (ideally) the kids should each have a notebook full of recipes they like and know how to cook. We'll also be having them read Home-Ec 101.
12th Grade Boy
- Language Arts: I've chosen a number of books that somewhat correspond with Jaden's World History course. He'll read each book and then write a paper on a related topic. Each book has a different writing assignment, some of which are research papers and others which are opinion papers. Here are the books he'll be reading.
- Math: Chalk Dust Algebra 2. He swapped out a math credit last year with Computer Science which is why he's waiting until now to do Algebra 2.
- Science: Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physics. We'll be using the textbook by itself, but we'll have Khan Academy and Homework Helpers: Physics in reserve to help when we run into problems.
- Social Studies: Notgrass's Exploring World History. Although this curriculum can be used for Bible, History, and English credit, we'll be using it only as the History credit (although I did take some of the literature suggestions to create Jaden's English curriculum this year).
- Public Speaking: Thinkwell Public Speaking.
- Home Economics/Cooking. As I mentioned above, Jeff will be teaching cooking throughout the year and Jaden should have a notebook full of recipes he likes and knows how to cook by the end. He'll also be reading Home-Ec 101.
- Music: He'll continue to play guitar in the youth band, run sound during church services, and I'll also be teaching him piano basics in preparation for his music courses he'll be taking in the Audio Engineering program. I'll be using W.S.B. Mathews' Standard Graded Course of Studies for the Pianoforte in Ten Grades (Grade 1), which is a book I used with some of my students when I taught piano from home.
- P.E.: Jaden will be accumulating some physical exercise hours through a variety of activities, probably mostly bike riding & weight exercises.