August 2, 2014

Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

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Whether we like it or not, it's almost time to start school. I'm having mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I'm so ready for routine and order again. But on the other ... I'm lazy. Thankfully, I've been pretty convicted lately about my lazy attitude towards our lesson plans. Don't get me wrong, things have gotten done over the last 8 years. But it's time to tighten the belt and get a bit more serious. There are scary words like high school, transcript, college and algebra being thrown around.


The first big change is that I'm trying out the new My Well Planned Day online planner. It's a big sep for me because I really love my Well Planned Day homeschool planner. So far, I have the first five weeks of school loosely planned. It took me awhile to get the swing of things, but once I did it was very easy. There's a 30 day free trial (no credit card required) or you can get in on the sale price of $44.99 for the first year. {Sale expires on 8/15/14.} I'll have a full review up before the sale price expires, but until then go try it!


So with that, here are our choices for The Card Homeschool Academy. We will have students in 8th (Lael) , 6th (Alyssa) and 2nd (Lauren) grades as well as a preschooler.



History

Lael and Alyssa will be working together on Story Of The World Volume 1: Ancient Times. We have been very unstructured with history in the past, using lots of reading and documentaries to cover American history at length. I knew it was time for them to do ancient history but was not really looking forward to it, honestly. So even though this book is technically geared for elementary children, we are restructuring it a bit and charging ahead. Lael and Alyssa will each have their own text book and will be responsible for reading assigned materials, or listening to the audio cd. While I do have the activity book, I don't anticipate using it as much as I'll be using the test booklet. For the first time, these two will have regular quizzes and tests in history. I think it will be great for them to each have a bit more responsibility for their work.

Lauren, Addie and I will be working through American Pioneers and Patriots. This is one of my favorite history books! I'm really looking forward to introducing them to different characters and events from America's history. We will be supplementing this with different crafts and read-alouds.

Science

Lael will be on her own again this year with science, as she moves forward into Exploring Creation with Physical Science. She will be using the student notebook to help her digest some of the lessons.

Alyssa and Lauren will be continuing with the Apologia Zoology series. Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day will probably be the last science book that these two do together.  We thoroughly enjoy Apologia books. They are so fun and educational. {These Apologia texts were thankfully loaned to us from the lovely Heidi Strawser! She is such a blessing to me. :)}

Spelling and Vocabulary

This is the first time in quite a while that we are doing a formal spelling curriculum. There are free, online resources that have served us well over the last 3 years. But it was time to get back into the books. Lael will be doing Wordly Wise 3000. Alyssa will be trying out Spelling U See. I won it through a blog giveaway and was really impressed with the format once I had a chance to flip through it. I like that it will be reinforcing commonly used words, while also introducing new words and spelling rules. It will definitely be review for her but that's what I was planning on for her this year any way. And Lauren will be using a simple spelling and vocabulary workbook from Open Court Reading. I'll be using these workbooks and exercises as handwriting practice as well.

Language and Reading

Lauren will be working more phonics and reading with another simple workbook as well as lots of phonics readers from Reading Eggs. We will be doing some copy work as well, to start introducing sentence structure.

Lael and Alyssa will be working together on Jump In: A Workbook for Reluctant and Eager Writers. I reviewed this in the spring and after looking through it again, I'm very happy to have this for our Language program this year. I will also be letting Lael and Alyssa choose their own reading books, within reason. As much as I want to assign them the classics, what I really want is for them to enjoy reading. If that means no classics, I can take it.

Math

I almost forgot it! We will be continuing with Khan Academy this year. Lauren will be starting it, with my assistance. I cannot say how much we love it. I have a tutorial here, for anyone that's looking to get started. 
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So there it all is! I'm so glad that it's all chosen and acquired but wow, is it a bit overwhelming! I'll be linking up with the other writers at Home & School Mosaics on August 8. Make sure you come check out the link up, there will be lots of great curriculum plans!

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