I shared what Malachi (5) will be doing this year…now I’ll share about our three older boys:
Asa (13) will be working through most of Sonlight 100 this year (History, Geography, Literature, Current Events, Creative Writing, Spelling) and will be doing much of it on his own. He’ll begin Apologia Science this year, Exploring Creating with General Science. For math, he will be going through Teaching Textbook Pre-Algebra. We LOVE Teaching Textbooks and HIGHLY recommend them!!!!!
Justus (10) and Elias (8) will be doing much of their work together this year.
We’ll be studying American History with them (from Civil War era to present) using Sonlight’s Level 4 Books. I remember studying these with Asa a few years ago, so I’m really excited to revisit them with Justus and Elias!
These two boys are about on the same reading level, so I’ve put together a big shelf of Sonlight readers for them to choose from throughout the year. Ooh, such good books!!
For science, we’ll be making a monthly trip to our local science museum, where they have a special program just for home schoolers! They’ll also be going to a once-a-week science class here in town taught by a wonderful gal who really knows her science. Here and there at home, we’ll be reading through a few of these science books that I’ve purchased in years past and never got around to reading.
Elias will be finishing the last two Miquon Math books this year. Justus will be working through Teaching Textbooks 5. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Teaching Textbooks!!?!! For the older kids, it is a tremendous teaching tool!
I use Sequential Spelling with them and they work through MCP Phonics books.
Whatwe do with ALL four boys together (well, Malachi is hit and miss with some of this!):
- Grammar Ace – These activities are simple and fun. (When asked to make a list of nouns, one of my boys wrote “boogers”. It was a proud moment.) Grammar Ace goes along with the School House Rock DVD, which is so much fun and is bringing back so many memories for me! (“Conjuntion Junction, what’s your function” – remember?!)
- Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad – I’ve pretty much been TERRIBLE in the past about making time for art lessons with the boys. Sonlight recommened Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad…I got it, along with a nice sketch pad and some pencils for each boy and we are all learning to draw together. (By all, I mean all. Mom is learning too because up until now I have had NO artistic ability. Hand Mama Mark Kistler’s book and give her her very own sketch pad!)
- Bible – I don’t know why I’m mentioning the most important part last. ;) We read the Bible together at breakfast time (currently reading through the book of Matthew). In addition, I read a section of Why Pray? each morning and we discuss it a little bit. It is AWESOME that the boys are old enough to have thoughtful Bible discussions now. (Which sometimes ends with, “Mom can I have more french toast?” But still.)
I’m sure I forgot something off of our list. What are your kids studying this year?
I’ll try to take time this week to tell you more about our schedule and what our school days look like. Because yes, we sort of have a schedule. Sometimes.
We are actually having out first day of classes today! By Michigan standards, this is early, but here we go! We are using BJU distance online classes. In addition, Justin wants to learn German so we are going to try some free online resources and see if that will work. I’m hesitant to spend the big bucks for Rosetta Stone, but we’ll see how it goes.
Katie Pretot says
another really good book is Apologia world view curriculum. the first one is ” who is God and how can we know him”
then they have older kids books too! I really like it, because it introduces other world beliefs and why Gods way is best! It also answers some hard questions for little kids in an age appropriate way. Thanks for sharing what you are doing, I came away with some good ideas!
We are using Sonlight 6 & 1. Both are World History, so I am combining them to make them work for all 3 kids (K, 2nd, & 6th) We were supposed to start school this week, but I ended up having 4 appts scheduled for this week. So we had to put it off until next Monday. Good thing, I haven’t finished planning yet! Good luck with the school year!
We also love our Sonlight cirr. We are using Core 4 this year. This week is week 36 of Core 3 and with a couple weeks break to organize my binder, we will be off and running with Core 4. This is my first year trying to school all year with a week or two break here and there and it really seems to fit our family. The other two little ones will work with other bits and pieces of other cirr. I purchased (Math-U-See, Hooked on Phonics, etc.) Heres hoping that everyone has a great school year and that we all, big and small, learn alittle something new!
You know how you did the curriculum project over so much time?I did a report when I was homeschooled, it is unfinished. I dug it up yesterday. It is about the Aztecs, and my husband (and I-kind of, I don’t preform), are Aztec dancers. So as I was looking up info online, seeing what info I had meant to continue researching for the report etc yesterday, I had the thought to finish it. So when he preforms, we can sell Aztec items (ie jewelry and other knick-knacks) and maybe a finished history booklet. Would also be a good thing for homeschoolers. Will take a long time, as I was only about 1/3 done gathering facts and had yet to put it in a readable, flowing form.
We started last Mon. I sure wish we lived closer. My almost 13-yr old son has started the Apologia General Science, and we’d love to have a science partner to share the making messes with. But also, he’s studying the civil war! I’ve always used Sonlight as my reading list, so most of those books we’ve read. I’m not sure how he’s going to have a Union vs. Confederate debate with himself. He might choose instead to memorize the Gettysburg Address. I’m not using any curriculum on that because there is SO MUCH information on it. Here in TX we’re sitting in the middle of a Civil War fort area, so we’ll probably do some field trips later on.
My high schooler is on her own, researching the Ancient Americas. She has started the Learnables for Spanish. This is a wonderful foreign language program. And both of them will be starting an on-line writing program that they are EXCITED about. She will be doing chemistry with a co-op. And Jacobs geometry on her own.
That’s what we’re doing. I wish you all a happy, productive school year.
Have you seen Jeannie Fulbright’s science books(they’re from Aplogia)? They’re amazing! Even if you’re not using them for curriculum, they’re great to have around for the kids to read.
Oh, this was such a fun read! I’ve been looking for good “how to draw” books, and I’m excited that you listed one. Off to check it out!
Ok, back again… I just found Mark Kinstler’s website, and it’s
awesome. Lil Allan was jumping up and down when I showed him! I
think we’ll have to do a few of the sample lessons, and then get
My 8 and 10 year olds are also doing core 4 this year, and my 11th grader is doing American History as well. He is using Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the US” and “Patriot’s History of the US” as a compare and contrast, with a homeschool group. I think that will be great, to see how much history can “change” depending on who is presenting it.
My 8 yr old also has two more Miquon books to finish. My 10 yr old is doing Life of Fred fractions and then decimals, then we will go back to Saxon again. The LOF books are only about one quarter each. My 11th grader is doing precalc from TT this year, with a tutor. He has done Saxon Alg I and II, and TT geometry, and I really did not like the TT geometry. It seemed very very easy to me, and it did a poor job of explaining that there are many diff ways to prove any one set of facts. I’m a little nervous about the precalc, since TT doesn’t publish calc, I hope he will learn enough to go on and do another calc course next year. I have heard that TT starts to fall behind in Alg II, not covering all the topics other publishers do. His tutor is using TT because the homeschool organization that organizes the classes asked her to, but her own junior is using Saxon at home. She has 10 children, and the three oldest, who are at that level, all did Saxon. She said she liked it very much, and she is an engineer by profession. Her oldest is a junior engineering major right now. So I hope I’m not making a mistake letting him use TT again.
We also used sequential spelling last year, for my then-4th grader. It was too much for my 2nd grader, so I got her the Christian Liberty Press spelling workbook instead. Amazingly, she loved that workbook, and my older daughter wanted one too. So this year we are doing 3rd and 5th grade CLP spelling. I really liked the sequential spelling books, they teach the way I think, so I was disappointed, but when we received the 5th grade CLP, I was amazed. It’s called “the world of words” and each week has a diff theme – the world of sports, world of government, world of business, world of the elderly, and on and on. It looks like a vocab and geography text as well as spelling. Oh yes, and the world of the world as well – all the countries, capitals, states, continents, etc. It looks great to me. The 3rd grade book is still doing phonics rules – not nearly as exciting, but she loved it last year.
My 11th grader is using Apologia Physics this year, with the same teacher as for precalc. He did their Biology in 9th grade and Chem last year. I majored in biology, with a chem minor, and they seemed very well done to me, and much more academic and comprehensive than the honors biology text he was using in public school. (We pulled him out half-way thru the first semester, so I looked that book over very well before we did.)
My girls do lots of misc science – Apologia’s Flying creatures, swimming creatures, and land animals, and chem as described in “well trained mind” last year. This year we have Apologia botany and astronomy. We mix them up and add other science books as our interests lead us though, rather than going straight thru.
We used Rod and Staff English texts, but this year I plan to edit them more, as they are meant to keep a whole class of kids busy for hours a day. More than we need at home. We may do more of the lessons orally.
Did I make it sound as if my girls did all those science books in one year? Nope, that would be over the last four years! And we won’t do all of the astronomy &/or botany in one year either. I would also like to see the elementary human anatomy book – it is new this year, and everyone seems to have it backordered. It seems timely to me, as I have a soon-to-be 11 yr old daughter. Maybe we’ll get that one in the spring, if I can get a chance to see it.
I think I need my own blog post here, but one more thing! Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad – I got that at the used book sale a couple of years ago and we like it a lot. We never used it for an art “class”, we just draw with it. Do you know about Bruce McIntyre’s “Drawing Textbook”? Mark K credits him in his Draw Squad book – he was one of his teachers. It is a small yellow paperback that I think cost $7 at Rainbow, and it goes much farther than “Draw Squad”, although it is much more concise. His website is http://www.AVDP.com if you are interested. You might like it as well.
I just checked that link, and I think it is old – I’m sorry. Just look at rainbow resource.
Two high schoolers here! We’re not ready to start because we haven’t settled on some our courses.
Our senior will be doing AP German, Latin 1, Advanced Physics and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy course, AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics.
Our sophomore will be doing pre-calc (undecided how), chemistry (also undecided), literature using Michael Clay Thompson’s materials, Latin 2, AP Computer Science and American History. For history, we’re using _The Unfinished Nation_ as a spine, taking field trips and using PBS as a supplement.
Becky C says
I have a K-4, a K-5/1st, and a 2nd grader. It’s gonna be FUN!!
English/ Phonics/ Reading are all with A Beka Curriculum. I don’t do everything they call for in the curriculum, I order the books, and make lesson plans for myself.
Math is BJU Press. Loved their math with the K-5 book last year, and am looking forward to doing it again with all three boys.
Writing I am using Handwriting Without Tears the green and orange books for my youngest. Then using Christian Liberty Press’ Handwriting curriculum for the older two boys.
For Science/ History/ Health, I am using the internet, any subjects that the boys are interested in at the moment, and a variety of coloring books and other books that I have.
I am starting not this coming Monday, but the following one, and I’m getting excited. The books haven’t all come in, but I’m anxious to plan lessons and get going on the schoolwork!!!
Well, I have a 4 year old who loves to “do school” and a 6 year old who detests writing and reading. We recently discovered that our oldest needs vision therapy, has ADHD (no meds), and Tourette’s. So until we get that all under control, reading and writing will be minimal. Nonetheless we have had an interesting time coming up with what works.
My 6 year old is using A Beka 1st grade for reading, Explode the Code 1 1/2 and 2 for phonics (and spelling), and Math U See Primer and Mathematical Reasoning K for math.
My 4 year old is using Explode the Code A, B, C, and A Beka for reading and phonics, and Rod and Staff “Counting with Numbers” and Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2 for math.
Science and history we do together. I discovered 106 Days of Creation on Ambleside Online and we love it! History is Beautiful Feet’s US History through Literature for Primary Grades (adapted to include less writing). The boys really enjoy the stories and discussions.
I couldn’t help but to reply about your 6 y.o. Have you heard about
Dianne Craft? She does Brain Integration Therapy. She came to our
home school conference in Ohio and has her own line of books for you
to work with your child at home. I know she has helped a lot of
parents in working with children with learning glitches as she calls
It has to do with crossing the midline and more often than not a
nutritional program. She also has a series called Teaching the Right
Brain child. I loved listening to her at her seminars which filled up
quickly and there was a line just to talk to her at her table.
She lives in Colorado where she has a clinic and has worked with kids
with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, ADD, and kids with slight learning
She has a website, but if you ever get to hear her in person, jump
at the chance. We will be starting the Brain Integration Therapy with
our daughter and have already started the nutrition program she
recommends and have already started seeing results just with the
supplements and taking her off of dairy. My daughter was also
recommended to take vision therapy, but it’s so expensive and Dianne
says that these cross the midline exercises are so effective that she
might not need vision therapy after doing her program.
Other parents I talked to saw big results with their children.
Hope some of this helps those parents who have children that seem to
have some sort of a processing problem like my daughter has.
Her website is http://www.diannecraft.org
We also use Teaching Textbooks, LOVE it. Been a huge blessing.
Fortunately, it looks like our insurance will cover 100% of the vision therapry. I have heard of Dianne Craft as her approach is similar to a program we have been looking into through Disconnected Kids by Robert Melillo. Diet is so important, and I would be interested to read through her approach. We have already eliminated the standard triggers such as food additives and processed sugars, and he does not drink milk (yogurt and cheese on occasion). One trigger we have noticed is yeast. I have had to quit making my own bread because the active yeast seems to build up in his system and triggers his Tourette’s episodes. I will definitely take a look t the Brain Integration Therapy program and see if it is something we can invest it. Thank you for the info.
I have a 4th and 6th grader and we will be doing Core 4 with Sonlight this year. Love it. We are doing latin, spanish and my dd will be starting french also. Using Singapore math, but I am concerned about what to use for pre-algebra and upper math. I hear good and bad things about Teaching Textbooks, I’m not sure of the best options. Trying BJU english this year. And doing Apologia Anatomy and Astronomy. Also doing Artistic Pursuits. Hopefully it is a good art program. Continuing with piano, maybe adding guitar. I think I went overboard on my spending this year, like I did last year, but I want my kids to learn everything. Hopefully, I am not overloading their brains or time.
I could tell by the list you were using Sonlight! We use it too, and I have loved it. We did the Condensed American History 3&4 in one year last year, and this year can’t wait for 5. I didn’t love Grammer Ace so we are working with Easy Grammer this year. Looks really great! I have found my daughter does really well with Math U See since she is primarily a kinetic learner, and since conceptual math just gets lost on her. We are also blessed to have co-ops for Latin, Logic, Orchestra and Chior this year. :) So fun!
Janelle @ The Smudge Curve says
I totally remember watching “Conjunction Junction” in middle school!