Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Back to School! Our 2016-2017 Curriculum!

Back To School!!!!  

    We are always so ready for school to start by the time September rolls around.  Although our family really enjoys summer, sleeping in, staying up late and hanging out in inflatable pools in the back yard- we were all ready for some routine and to start a new school year!!!
   Throughout the month I want to share our basic home school schedule, our routines, some of the things we enjoy using and just kind of invite you into our days as home schoolers!  I hope you all enjoy hanging out with my little family for awhile!  So without further ado, our 2016/2017 Curriculum!

    This year I have a 1st Grader, 9th Grader (Yay!  High School!) Preschooler, and a 4th Grader!
Sawyer doesn't have a set curriculum, (My preschooler!)  We just kind of go with it and give him some worksheets..  he often plays with the counting bears, and enjoys stacking our Math U see blocks while the kiddos are doing Math.  So nothing set in stone, but still, he enjoys schooltime!


   Throughout our time here at Bible college, my family and I have visited a few churches.  One sweet little church that is pastored by another student had a Sunday school class that hadn't seen any kids in awhile.  The teacher was sweet and gave me a huge packet of worksheets she had gotten together for a study on Moses for VBS a few years ago, so me and the little guys (Hudson, first grade and Sawyer, preschool)  will be working through that!  Also we plan to do a morning reading time, where they will learn a memory verse by songs with a book we have had for a few years now.  This will be their bible studies!  
   For the older kids, I purchased the youth and junior version of A Content Heart, from Not Consumed Ministries.  

The girls are excited about this, and just looking through it, I feel like perhaps I need to go through it as well!  It is very fitting and is coming at a perfect time of our life..  my kids are all sharing a bedroom right now..  and not only that, the holidays are right around the corner.  I'm thankful to have this resource and I think that the kids will learn.  They also have their own personal devotions. Callie's is a kids devotion and Lacey's is Beautiful Me by Stasi Eldredge.  I just love her!

   Once a week me and the girls will also be working on Polished Cornerstones together!


   Obviously, not all of my kids have a phonics curriculum, but for first grade we chose All About Reading for Hudson.  We haven't tried this product yet, so we are excited to dive in and I will certainly let you know how we like it!  I'm also using a few books from Explode the Code!  Callie's is on the very last book as of tomorrow, and she's sad to almost be done with it.  Hudson just started last year, so he's on the second book of Get Ready for the Code, but he likes it so far.  Callie has loved her journey through the Code books and has learned a lot..  I can't say enough for something daily to do that is simple but something she has learned a lot from!  We will be sad to finish it up!  



For Grammar we decided to revisit Easy Grammar, this time adding Callie into the mix.  Lacey tried this a few years ago and I really enjoyed it!  I'm excited to get Callie rolling into this for Grammar!  This is the first actual grammar curriculum that she has used, so we are both excited to try it.  


Both Callie and Hudson are using A Reason for Handwriting this year.  I think it's still a good fit for Callie, she has used it the past three years and is working through the series really well, but Hudson isn't too crazy about it.  I am thinking about revisiting handwriting for him at least.  She is doing great in cursive, but still needs work on print.  I'll keep you posted! 

Lacey is still working her way through Creative Writer by the Well Trained Mind.  She LOVED this last year, so she's excited to work on it again this year! Callie is working through a book I ordered from the Rainbow reasource center called How to Write a Story.  They both thankfully really enjoy writing!

I have to say out of all of my kids Callie is the biggest reader.  She's an excellent reader and writer, but spelling isn't her strongest point.  We began All About Spelling last year and love it!  So we pick it back up this year!  The early lessons were very easy for her, but we just went through a few of them a day to get to a level that challenged her.  She enjoys it!  It has minimal requirements or preparation.  I highly recommend this, and I'm excited to start AAR with Hudson!  


We have tried a LOT of math curriculum over the year!  I think after much though we have finally landed on our favorites!!!  We are all looking forward to Math, which is awesome because in past years, not so much.  
I'm not a very good math teacher at this point.  But I am learning!  And one of the biggest reasons I'm learning is following along with the kids on Math U See!  I can't say enough about this curriculum.  I really didn't even give it a second thought when I first saw it, but when the others weren't working out, i decided to try a sample video on youtube and both Callie and Hudson loved it!  I love his teaching style and feel like he's really teaching me to be a math teacher!  

      Last year I bought the whole kits, the DVDs, Teachers Manuals, Workbooks and manipulatives from the website.  I ordered Primer for Hudson (K-1) and Gamma for Callie.  I absolutely use the DVD, manipulatives and workbook, but so far I haven't used the teacher manual.  However, I do follow along with both of them on their DVDs, so and I would say for the lower grades you would be okay without the TG as long as you learn his style of teaching.  Because I loved his teaching style so well and thought it would be good for Callie to have some review to solidify her addition and subtraction skills (and to learn a new way of doing it!!) I ordered the Beta DVD only.  I plan to do this for the first few weeks and supplement with some basic long addition and subtraction worksheets.  We started Gamma at the end of last year and will return to it as soon as she has a few weeks of review with Beta.  I loved this so much I actually already purchased Alpha, and I believe Hudson will be moving on to this soon!  I can't say enough, I absolutely LOVE this program!!

  Lacey isn't crazy about Math U see, but she does like learning from a 'distance' approach.  She's a big fan of Teaching Textbooks and has been for awhile, so this year we are starting Algebra I!  We actually didn't get the automatic grade version though. We found the 1.0 for half the price on ebay, so we are trying that and so far, she enjoys it!  
   Also, Callie is supplementing with Life of Fred, because she loves Fred and wants to finish the series.  What can I say?  He's like part of the family now!


   For the younger kids, we read..  a lot.  Our favorite books are Berenstein bears, Pigeon Presents! books by Mo Willems, Dr, Suess and the Gingerbread Man books by Laura Murray

The older girls each have a formal literature book, we chose Abeka for Lacey and Christian Light Education 

The girls also have a reading series that goes along with our History Curriculum, which will be based on the American Girls/Pionner Era.  That will take a whole new blog to write about, so stay tuned and keep posted and I'll be updating on that later in the week!


This is absolutely the most impressive new curriculum choice we made at the end of last year, and the one we are sticking with for the long run!!

We began this at the return of school last year, when we just moved and got settled.  Also, we had spent the first half of the year in private school, so we didn't get a lot of this done.  To be honest, I really took our time and supplemented with a lot of videos so we could start from an early part of this book this year.  So we are picking back up from where we started.  The kids LOVE this book and this study.  So much that Hudson asked for Disney Oceans documentary for his birthday!  I can't wait to start again and the kids can't either.  I can't recommend it enough, and we absolutely bought and strongly recommend the notebooks!  Next up for us is Astrology, and we are so thankful that we found this series!  LOVE it!  


    Lacey will be doing All American History this year, and the kids will be reading a bit independently in Heritage Studies from BJU Press, but our main history curriculum is a comination of Portraits of American Girlhood, Prairie Primer, and lots of extras!  As I mentioned, our History curriculum is my favorite and something that we incorporate a LOT into, so I'll be updating on it soon!  Here's the rest of our American History lessons that we have worked on in the past!  I also will update with our lessons we did last year on Josephina!  Stay tuned, you will enjoy it!


I am excited about our art Curriculum!  I found free study sheets from Tinas Dynamic Homeschool Plus that goes along with the free Lessons from Concordia University Chicago!  This is a great resource, and a great springboard for an art study based on learning art history!  We do a lot of painting and crafting, so that ties into our art lessons as well, but I'm excited to incorporate Art History this year!

Thank you for joining me and taking a look at our curriculum!  Stick with me over the next weeks to share our home school days, and our history curriculum which I'm so excited about!  I'm praying all of you have a wonderful year!  Isn't it great to be a home schooler!

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