Homeschool Curriculum 2015-2016
As much as I’m going to miss my sweet girl as she heads off to college this year, I have to admit it’s kind of nice only planning curriculum for two kiddos this year.
My boys are in 10th and 3rd grades. Yeah, we pretty much won’t be able to do any multi-age homeschooling. It’s okay, though, because the 10th grader will do most of his schooling without my help. That leaves plenty of time to focus on my littlest man during the school day.
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10th Grade Homeschool Curriculum
Caleb won’t be completely on his own. We’ll still meet together as a family at the breakfast table for Bible study and I’ll be very involved in his writing instruction. Before school starts, we’ll map out each semester and set weekly goals for each subject. A weekly meeting together will ensure he’s sticking to the schedule and comprehending all the subject matter.
Bible/Character Study (1/2 credit)
For the most part, we’ll just read the Bible together and discuss. I will be assigning a few books (devotions/character/church history) but I’m still praying about which ones to use. I’ll keep you posted.
Math (1 credit)
We’re going to stray from Saxon this year and give Teaching Textbooks a shot.
English II (1 credit)
I know it seems a bit crazy to use so many materials in one school year, but (in my typical fashion) we are only using bits and pieces of each of these this year. Writing is a must. Analyzing & reading living literature is a must. I think diagramming sentences will give him a great grammar review. And, it’s important to me that we continue building his vocabulary. Thus, bits and pieces of several things. Because we won’t get through everything this year, you may see some of these on next year’s curriculum list, too.
Science (1 credit)
Apologia’s biology it is! I really appreciate the thorough teaching and Creation worldview in this curriculum.
World Governments & Current Events (1 credit)
I found the world governments book with supplemental CD by chance and really think it’s going to be a great first semester prerequisite to our second semester current events study. I’ll likely write an entire post on our current events course because it will use a variety of resources.
World Geography (1 credit)
Yes, I know these workbooks say 6-8th grades. They fit the bill, though, because they cover eastern and western geography and include political geography, population comparisons, physical geography, latitude and longitude, climate, major cities, agriculture, natural resources and more. Workbook pages make the course hands-off for me, but the assignments within the pages aren’t a piece of cake – even for a 10th grader. I may supplement the workbooks with a project each semester.
Logic & Critical Thinking(1 credit)
We didn’t quite make it all the way through our logic materials last year, so you’re seeing a book or two on this list from last year. He’ll work through these one by one until he gets through them all. I have a feeling he’ll finish these pretty quickly, which is why I have some project ideas stirring in the back of my mind to take him through the entire year.
Foreign Language – Latin (1/2 credit)
Caleb wanted to switch from Spanish to another language this year. We’re starting with a beginning Latin program to see how he likes it.
3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum
I love teaching 3rd grade!
Eli and I will continue reading through The Child’s Story Bible this year and take breaks here and there to supplement with other books to be determined. I plan to write an entire post on how I pull together Bible and character study soon.
Each morning after Bible is a time we call brain training. The purpose is three-fold: to warm up Eli’s brain before we jump into book work; to train memory, processing speed, attention, and logical thinking; and to “get in” some of the extras that don’t need to be done every single day. This time is very game-like and only takes 10-15 minutes total. You’ll be able to see a list of everything in my brain training arsenal soon!
As with my other two kiddos when they were in 3rd grade, I’m happy to stick with Horizons Math and supplemental living math lessons with Eli.
Now that Eli is a decent little reader, we will simply read from books of his interest. Otherwise, he’ll be working on cursive copywork, spelling and grammar. I’m so excited to try to new-to-me programs this year! Pentime comes highly recommended for cursive instruction and The Logic of English: Essentials has me over. the. moon. Oh, you’ll definitely be hearing more about The Logic of English from me!
As I mentioned in this post about stretching our history cycles, we will be using Story of the World: Ancient Times with some great living literature this year for history. (Many of our narrations will come from these lessons.)
NaturExplorers studies will fill in most of our science time. We’ll complete a human body unit study (and maybe another one or two) during the winter, too. I already have a great human body spine book that I’m really excited to use!
And that wraps up the bulk of our 2015-2016 homeschooling curriculum choices. I can’t wait to share some of the nitty-gritty details from each subject as the year goes on!
I’m so looking forward to this coming school year! I hope you are, too!
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Hi, Cindy. I would like to pick your brain for a moment. If you don’t mind. I am having problems with picking a curriculum for my 9th grade highschooler. I got the Latin, easy grammar, word wise 3000 and math. The question I would like to ask is for history and literature. What did you use for your daughter. You started grade 11th grade with her on your blog. I would like to know what books you got her for grades 9th and 10th. Thank you so very much. This is my first year homeschooling. I need all the help I can get. Thank you for your time.
Tammy, I think you’ll find the following posts helpful. 🙂
My high school favorites: https://ourjourneywestward.com/high-school-homeschool-curriculum/
Many of our materials for 10th grade are the same! Looking forward to hearing what books you choose to read for Bible devos.
Great plans. I can’t believe it is almost time to start thinking in credits again. It has been years since I had a high school student.
We really like Veritas Press. We used them last year as well. They have little activities, good discussion questions and opportunities to write.
Thank you, Dawn! Have a great year. I love your choices!
I have recently come across your blog that has been very helpful in planning for my upcoming year. I also have a horse lover interested in equine science.
Do you have a link for 8th grade curriculum choices by chance?
Thank you so much, your blog has been a blessing to me 🙂
Hi Brooke. Thanks for your sweet words! Here are two curriculum lists which include 8th grade choices… When Mahayla was in 8th grade (the horse lover): https://ourjourneywestward.com/201011-curriculum/ When Caleb was in 8th grade: https://ourjourneywestward.com/2013-14-curriculum/
Hi Cindy, how are you liking Teaching Textbooks for your high schooler? Is the program rigorous enough? Would you recommend it for middle school grades? Thanks for your comments.
Tamra, I am LOVING it for this particular son of mine. He is finally understanding algebra and making MUCH better grades than last year. He even answered a question my daughter was asking about her college algebra homework the other day! You have no idea what a giant accomplishment that is!
I still can’t answer if it’s rigorous enough. I’m going to hold judgement until after my son takes the ACT next year. However, at this point, I don’t really care whether it is or not. LOL Seriously, if he comes out UNDERSTANDING more, but getting a little less instruction than if we had stuck with Saxon, I’m okay with that. (I also love that I’m totally hands-off. He needed me EVERY SINGLE DAY last year.)
P.S. My daughter used Saxon all the way through – except for geometry. She is not math-minded, but did just fine in the courses. She’s doing just fine in college algebra, but it’s still kicking her tail. So…I’m inclined to say, use what works for understanding rather than what seems “the best” curriculum out there. And, that program will vary greatly depending on learning styles.
As for middle school, I haven’t used Teaching Textbooks at that age. We were so pleased with Saxon, that it never crossed my mind until algebra whipped my son.
Hi, can you tell me what curriculum you would recommend for a 5th grader who is also a horse lover?
Anna, there are several horse lapbooks out there – any many of them free. A quick google search will lead you to the most popular ones. Besides the occasional lapbook, I just allowed my daughter to check out lots and lots of horse books from the library. Good luck!
I have four younger children (12, 9, 7 and 4). I am struggling with our days because my two eldest are struggling learners and so I am still in the process of teaching three kids how to read and trying to fit in a young boy learning his letters and numbers. Not one of my children reads fluently yet and it can make for one anxious mama, but I’m trying to stay positive. My eldest has been diagnosed with all kinds of differing labels over the years. He has cognitive issues, ADHD (I agree about red dye!) and others. My second son has dyslexia, I believe. He was diagnosed as Nonverbal Learning Disorder, but that doesn’t make much sense as those kids don’t usually have trouble learning to read, but with comprehension. My son definitely has troubles learning to read and spell.
I am trying to figure out how to schedule in some fun into our day that is packed full with only the basics (reading, writing and math). I was looking at your Nature Explorers. Did you do that once per week? We are also involved in Classical Conversations so one who day is out for me. That leaves me with four days left in my week.
I also noticed your brain training and logic. It reminds me of a program I did with my boys a few years ago called equipping minds. It is focused on all the same things. I am hoping to bring some of that into our day as well. It’s just been real tough on me as I tend to be more of an anxious person and am trying to get better at planning and organizing. Thanks!
Equipping Minds is the same program I use with my children! Love it. If you aren’t seeing significant improvement after doing brain training, you should probably look into some professional help for your struggling learners. It’s best to catch and fix issues earlier than later.
NaturExplorers are definitely fun. 🙂 You can add them to your school day as many times a week as you like, but one day would certainly suffice if they are learning other sciences at some point during the week, too.
Let me know how it goes!