Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Curriculum Choice for 2011-2012 school year

I think after wallowing through tons of catalogs, and spending time trying out samples of curriculum. We've boiled down our curriculum choices for this year.

Drum roll please.......


Christian Light 700 level Math , this is the start of their prealgebra level and I think she is really ready for it this year. I will do a little remedial work with the workbooks 601 and 701 before going full throttle into the 700 to make sure she is caught up with her math. She struggled with Saxon 7/6 last year but it mostly had to do with her not knowing her math facts very well, and not having as much geometry with the other math programs we used in the past.

Christian Light 700 Level Language Arts. We have some major remedial work ahead of us before she actually gets to this level. I learned recently that last year they didn't have grammar at school. More like vocabulary work. Which is not grammar. Needless to say my 13 yr old didn't know what an adverb was. So with that said I purchased the Christian Light Extra Practice Sheets for Grammar. We will be working on these until she gets caught up. I purchased 400-700 level workbooks. Depending on how motivated she is going to be this year will determine if we will actually start at the 700 level this year.

Spelling- I plan on purchasing the ACE Word Building for her for spelling. But for now I have a book from the library and I'm going to compile spelling lists for her to work on until then.

Handwriting - Pentime 3. This is a handwriting program sold by Christian Light and Rainbow Resource. It is in the style of cursive writing I am the most familiar with and grew up learning. I am not sure at the moment which style this is, but I've been looking for it for ages and I'm sure its existed all along. I'm starting her with the 3rd book , which is beginning cursive because Marilyn's handwriting is left to be desired.

Literature and Writing- Good books from lists from Sonlight, Veritas, Memoria Press, Ambleside Online... For Reading she'll be reading Stories of the Saints Volumes 1&2. I'm hoping there is enough writing assignments in the book to keep from having to purchase a seperate writing program. But if I must I will most likely get Writing Strands for her.

Science- Apologia Physical Science. Yes, she's a 7th grader but I think she can tackle this on just fine. We've used the Apologia Elementary series and so another year of general science she just can't take. She actually has her own goal to do Physical Science and Biology both this year. If she can accomplished both I'll be very proud of her. I'm not sure if we can manage 2 yrs of science in one year. Its sure worth a try though.

History- the jury is still out on this one. We've studied so much world history that I want to move on to American History now. Currently I have the Homeschool in the Woods CD's. We used the first one and had fun with it. I think if we continue on that it will work well. They are currently up to the Industrial Revolution, and I've heard word that their World War 2 series will be out eventually.
I've been looking at some other history programs but like I said in my first sentence The jury is still out at the moment.

Latin - Latina Christina 1

Art- we plan on reading about art, and plan to get together with another family for hands on drawing, and craft art.

Music- Marilyn is interested in learning how to play an instrument. She hasn't chosen yet.

Phys Ed- this will be a tough one because Marilyn is 13. Yes, you know the age where they don't want to do anything. So I will have to thrust upon her activities she doesn't want to do.


Christian Light Math 400. I feel comfortable starting her at this level. Generally this is the equivalent of Saxon 6/5 , and I think she'll do just fine.

Christian Light Grammar 400. I don't have to add spelling it will be right in the Grammar book.

Writing , I'm hoping there is enough writing for Katie with the CLE Grammar. If not I'll be purchasing Writing Strands.

Reading/Literature- Katie will be doing CLE's 5th grade reading since I already have it. After she is finished with that she will either go into the 6th grade Reading or Stories with the Saints (once her older sister is finished with it). Plus great literature from the Sonlight, Veritas Press, Ambleside, Mater Amabalis lists

Handwriting - Pentime 4. Katie has better handwriting than her older sister. So I feel very comfortable starting her with this level

Science - We'll be starting with the Apologia Astronomy and work her way through the series. That way next year she can start the Apologia General Science. Unless they come out with another Elementary Book. Somewhere I swore I read they were coming out with an elementary chemistry and physics. But I'm not sure.

History- I'll combine Katie and Marilyn with Homeschool in the Woods.

Latin - Latina Christiana 1

Art- reading about different types of art from our Come Look with Me series and our little group art class once a month. I'm looking at maybe the Thomas Kincade drawing program that Alpha Omega sells for drawing.

Music- Katie wants to start up an instrument , she think she might want to play a guitar but is thinking violin. Wants to check out her options first.

Phys Ed. - plans on joining the gymnastics team at the YMCA

Hannah 2/3rd grade.
I'm combining these two grades because Hannah was held back to first last year. Which really didn't do her any service. Granted she improved with her writing a bit. other then that she struggled with nothing and it ended up being a blow off year for her. Currently she is working through her 2nd grade stuff and wants to get into 3rd. I have faith she'll do it because Hannah is very independent and when she sets a goal for herself , she does it.

CLE Math finishing up the 200 level and wants to get into 300. I think she'll do fine since she blew through the first 4 workbooks since June.

Christian Light Grammar 200

Christian Light Reading , she is working on the 200 level. Plus books she wants to read from the library.

Writing - I plan on using Writing With Ease for with her, and will see how this goes.

Science, will do the Apologia Science with Katie

History, will sit and listen and or participate with the Homeschool in the Woods with her older sister. I might find something different for her if it proves to be to difficult. Or I may just start world history with her and do some lapbooking.

Latin- Prima Latina

Music - Hannah did start piano but she found it wasn't her forte right now. So wants to try something else.

Art- will read the Come Look with Me for art history and the once a month class with our friends.

Phys Ed - she to wants to be on the gymnastics team.


Christian Light Math 100 , we've been slowly working through it. Some times she speeds up and some times we slow down. She's only 4, she'll be 5 in 5 more days,and its a 1st grade program. So I'm letting her lead the way.

Christian Light Learning to Read. well she already knows how to read. But I think that the work at this level is more manageable for her. I'll let her lead the way with this as well. LTR is a 1st grade program. She also reads her Bob Books, books from the library etc.

Christian Light Language arts 100. To practice her phonics skills. Sight reading is a good skill to have but phonics is as well. Again we'll slowly go through it as its a 1st grade program

I'll have to see how much practice there is with handwriting at this level. I think there maybe plenty but I want to make sure. If not I'll print out some handwriting sheets for her off the computer.

We'll cuddle up and read stories, play games, do some hands on things like playing with playdough and so on. Most people would think this is crazy doing this level of work with an almost 5yr old. But she wants to do it, she can do it, and if she couldn't we wouldn't be doing it. Maggie seems to be an accelerated learner. Which is good for her because she's spent most of her life with health problems. Something good has got to come out of it for her.

As for history and science she can sit in and listen if she wants. No pressure there. I think at her stage the only important things for her are Reading, Writing and Math.

Phys ed , she likes to swim, run, and go to tumbling toddlers class.

Final Thoughts: Well there you go everyone. Those are our curriculum choices this year. I chose to go with Christian Light because 1. Its academically sound, and 2 my daughters love workbooks. Well at least my youngest three. Another reason is that its a very independent curriculum. My older girls won't have to wait for me to get the teachers manual out and lecture them as to what they need to do if they just want to get started with things. Of course I'm not going to throw the workbooks at them. I always go over material to make sure they understand what it is they are doing. But if they can read the instruction in their workbook and understand it , and do it on their own while I am working with a younger one then that will definitely make my life so much easier. Plus my 3rd and 4ths are extremely independent so this will fit them just perfectly. My 2nd usually requires some kind of hand holding and my oldest, well, she doesn't like anything. After all she's 13.

So here's to a good school year. We'll see what works for us this year and what we've had to tweak. Over all I feel pretty confident about it all.

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