August 22, 2008

2008-2009 Curriculum Plan

This topic for this week's Heart of the Matter Online Meme is What We Are Using This Year.

Our 2008-2009 Curriculum Plan

Kathryn, grade 4:
Allyson, grade 6:
Jordan, grade 8:
  • Math: Teaching Textbooks 7
  • Science: Physical Science with a focus on Electronics (we are developing our own program using Science Scope, by Kathryn Stout, and various books and Internet sites - lots of hands-on)
  • Copywork, Dictation, Spelling: Spelling Wisdom
Nathan, grade 9 (we are still working on this, but it is pretty much complete; course names may change):
  • English I: Tapestry of Grace Year 3 Literature & Writing components, 1 credit
  • Algebra I: Algebra 1: Expressions, Equations, and Applications, by Paul Foerster (see Maria Miller's article about this), 1 credit
  • Western Civilization: the 1800's: Tapestry of Grace, 1/2 credit
  • U.S. History: Tapestry of Grace, 1/2 credit
  • Earth Science: We are developing our own curriculum together, 1 credit
  • Government Studies III: Tapestry of Grace, 1/2 credit
  • Spanish I: Speedy Spanish I and supplements, 1/2 credit (Speedy Spanish I & II will be done over 1-2 years and will furnish Nathan with 1 credit for Spanish I)
  • History of Fine Arts: the 1800's: Tapestry of Grace, 1/4 credit
  • Church History: the 1800's: Tapestry of Grace, 1/2 credit
  • Music: Guitar, 1/2 credit
  • PE: The President's Challenge, 1/2 credit

August 15, 2008

My Favorite Curriculum

This topic for this week's Heart of the Matter Online Meme is Favorite Curriculum or Books.

My favorite curriculum is definitely Tapestry of Grace. This will be our fourth year using TOG, and it has worked out really well for us. TOG covers history, geography, literature, writing, fine arts, government and philosphy using a classical style unit study approach. The main focus of the program is to teach your children to identify God's hand throughout history.

Although TOG is an extremely rich curriculum, I do supplement with Diana Waring "What in the World's Going on Here?" CDs. We listen to the appropriate topics as an overview before each TOG week.

I also love the resources by A Blessed Heritage. I used This Far by Faith Volume 1 last year, and it meshed well with our TOG studies. I used it as a supplement, adding to or replacing some of the TOG literature selections. It is very important to us to incorporate an in-depth study of African American history into our curriculum, and these inexpensive unit studies, written by a homeschooler, are a perfect fit.

For math in the younger years, I like the Living Math website, Miquon Math and Math Mammoth books. I also love the Key to... Series books. Last year, I decided to purchase Teaching Textbooks 7 for my two oldest boys (then 7th & 8th grade). Nathan is almost finished with that, and it looks like he will be ready for Algebra I, but I'll have to let you know about that when he is done. :-) As you can see, my approach to math is pretty eclectic. Nathan, my oldest, is the guinea pig (sorry, son); we'll see how it goes.

The Heart of Wisdom Bible Study is wonderful and free! I also really like Robin Sampson's Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach (I have the e-book). Although I use and love TOG, I have gleaned a lot from HOWTA. It has helped me tweak my curriculum. In fact, it has inspired me to organize a high school earth science curriculum for my oldest son's ninth grade science course. We are working on this together.

We really enjoyed Christian Kids Explore Biology. It is recommended for upper elementary, but I adapted it for my older two (7th & 8th grades). I just found out that there is a Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space! I definitely have to look into that; maybe I'll use it with the younger kids this year. I wish I had known about it before Nathan and I started working on his earth science "curriculum." The list of extra resources at the end of the Biology book was worth the cost of the book itself, so I am guessing that it is the same for the Earth & Science book. Hmmm...

This will be our first year with a high school student, and I found Homeschooling: The Teen Years, to be extremely informative and encouraging.

Well, that is enough from me. :-) Time to check out everyone else's favs. If you would like to participate, go here.