Thursday, September 4, 2014

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014-2015




 Over the years our homeschool methodology has been tweaked and refined as we have come to understand what our children require for a positive and uplifting experience and what their Mama/Teacher needs in order to experience the same.. Each year I fall in love with homeschooling a little bit more, and this year promises to be no exception.  I am thrilled with the progress I see in our kids and delighted to be learning so many things I missed during my own formal education.                                                                                                                       


Story of the World, volume 3
We have enjoyed the Story of the World curriculum for the past 2 years and will be continuing on with Volume 3 this year.  Because there are 42 chapters and only 36 weeks in a school year, in the past we have struggled to finish the book in a school year.  I know this shouldn't be a problem and that one of the beauties of homeschool is that we can just continue reading until we finish and not have to worry about fitting into the public school timeline.  Which is what we've done for the past two years.

This year, however, I purchased the Audio CD version of Story of the World.  We have been listening to it in the car and love, love, love it (Jim Weiss is the narrator and he's amazing!).  This gives us time to delve a little deeper into the additional literature and history readings suggested in the Story of the World activity book.  So far we are all enjoying this set-up.




Aleks Math
Ellie has expressed an interest in doing more advanced math than she has in the past few years.  We are trying out Aleks Math this year in the hopes that it will be low-stress.  Our sweet girl is easily frustrated by setbacks (she gets that from me, I'm afraid) and we want her experience in math to be a positive one, unlike what so many of us have experienced.

Biology
We are studying Biology this year using NOEO Science: Biology 2.  Both big kids have enjoyed this Charlotte Mason/ Classical approach to science so far.  I appreciate how well the lessons are planned and laid out.  So far this curriculum has been the perfect blend of hands-on, reading from living books and low planning time.

MCT Language Arts
Ellie is using the Grammar Island level of MCT Language Arts.  She has been exposed to the parts of speech and last year she took an excellent writing course (which we both learned a lot from), but this curriculum seems to click better with her than others we've used.  Another win, so far!

Ellie is also doing an online class called Drawing, Sculpting and Animation foundations.  She is so thrilled about this class and can't wait to dive in!

Ethan joins us for history and science and we do separate math and language arts for him. Years ago we were given a Hooked on Phonics set as a generous donation for foster families.  Ellie learned to read using HOP and Ethan is now making great progress with it, also.

Extras
In addition to the plan above we participate is some fun extracurriculur activities including:
Swim Team for Miss Ellie
Soccer for Ethan (he'll do gymnastics when the soccer season is over)
Piano lessons for both
Weekly Park Days with homeschool friends
Weekly Homeschool Co-op
Nature Club
Biography Club (monthly)
Culture Club (monthly)


If you are a fellow homeschooler, do you have a favorite curriculum?  I'd love to hear about it!

Happy homeschooling, friends!

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