Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 Curriculum Picks

When it comes to preparing for a new school year I tend to start early, as in before the old year has finished. Mr S & I often laugh about the fact that before Morgan officially started his Kindy year I had his school mapped out through 8th grade. Of course plans changed & I had to remap things out, but at the time I thought I was doing great. Yep, we have a lot of laughs about it now & after 9 years of homeschooling I'm much more aware &, I like to think, adept at knowing when changes need to be made for one reason or another.

The downside to preparing so far in advanced is I get kinda excited about what's to come & so, while the kids are eagerly enjoying summer holidays, I'm raring to go! We've split the difference with a slow easement back into school. Read alouds, some math review, & a bit of science one week, language arts added in the next week, & then adding in the final bits the following week. The kids really need the gradual build up, as it just makes our transition back into the daily routine so much easier.

As for our picks this year, we have:

Morgan {14}

Bookshark History 6 & 7 -- We're halfway through & will finish it up before starting in on 7; we added a bit into 6 & loved every minute of it, we won't add as much into 7, but we will add a little. Morgan has really enjoyed using MOH alongside SOTW & the choice was left up to him to continue that path, he's keen.  He'll also be using any available audio books that co-inside with the core via the Bookshark list to aid him in his independent learning.

Writing & Rhetoric Book 3 -- While it's not exactly his LA level, it covers fictional writing & he's really keen for it. The book will only last for 14 weeks so we'll divide it over 2 terms. He'll do the writing portion via Dragon as advised by his Specialist, Dr T.

Writing With Skill Book 1 -- We haven't finished this book & with his new helps & aids he's keen to get right back into it. He really loves it, & I love the way it teaches non-fiction writing. He'll do this on the opposite 2 terms of WR, using Dragon for the writing portion.

Math-U-See -- He'll pick up right where he left off last year, Zeta, prior to his appointment with Dr T. He was heavily disappointed not to meet his goal last year, but when you can't see the digits swimming in front of you that puts a bit of a complication in the works. Unless he hits a major road block he'll move into the Pre Algebra book mid-year or sooner.

Sequential Spelling -- this is one of the only LA items he'll be doing the actual writing for. He made huge strides last year & we'd like to keep the forward motion rolling with it.

WP LA -- We'll finish the book we're on & then he may or may not move into the next book. I'd rather he spent a good deal of his time on the writing aspect of things, but the grammar portion doesn't take us that long.

General Science -- Despite not being full sold on Apologia Science he'll be using GS this year following the SL schedule. He'll take notes via Dragon on the computer & listen to the audio lectures. He's keen to listen in on some of his brother's Chemistry readings & all ready put in a request that we wait for him on those.

Electives -- Rosetta Stone French 1, Hoffman Academy {music}, computer programming {various programmes}, & sport {undecided which one as of yet}

Jayden {11}

Sonlight Core D -- We're using an older version which I've altered to reduce it to a 4 day schedule. This meant swapping some of the scheduled 4 day for some of the scheduled 5 day, adding in a few I know he'll love & deciding which ones we could skip in it's place so as not to overload his schedule. It's a balancing act, especially if I want him to be able to do this independently.

Writing Rhetoric Book 2 -- Again, this book is below his grade, but as there are only 3 books out yet & you can accomplish at least 2 in a year he can catch up quickly. Jayden has had a lot of writing practice in general as he's spent most of his time previously using Writing With Ease, which took him from, "I hate writing." To "Writing is my favourite subject!"

Scout's Guide To Good Paragraphs -- This is part of the WP LA 5 programme which will cover more writing for him. It should be a lovely fit for him especially since he stated that he really wanted to learn more about writing this year.

Sequential Spelling -- Both boys are doing the same lessons with these & doing really well. We'll finish up our current book & continue moving forward. Sequential Spelling is a non-graded curriculum in that you start with Book 1 & keep moving until you finish book 6. I appreciate that considering one child would be on grade level while another might feel behind, yet they are both exactly where they need to be!

WP LA -- Again, this is another subject they do together. They'll finish up the book they are in & Jayde is most certainly moving into the next book. He's a little disappointed that Book 5 isn't a mystery to solve again & he'll have to wait until Book 6, but WP makes the grammar lessons so painless I don't think he's really that upset about it.

Math-U-See -- He needs to finish up his current book {Delta} which he's very nearly done with, & then he'll slip into Epsilon. He's had no problems whatsoever with his previous lessons so unless an unforeseen issue happens with the last few lessons in his book he should stay on track for finishing this off.

Noeo Science -- We're pulling Chem 2 & it's books off the shelf & digging in. He's really excited as he's been eying up the experiment kits for a while & telling us how they look like so much fun. We'll be adding in a few Earth Science books in some of the latter weeks as they fit into the topics & themes as well as using the Chem Kit we have on hand. He's very excited about the Chem Kit!

Electives -- Rosetta Stone Latin 1, Computer Programming {scratch}, Sport {undecided yet}

We'll also be reading, together as a family, It Couldn't Just Happen as well as The Fallacy Detective.

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