Sunday, August 11, 2013

Curriculum Plans for 2013-2014

I'm actually still working on my plans for the upcoming school year. I still have lots of ideas rolling around in my head. I figured I'd join up with the blog hop to help me figure it all out.  This will be my 11th year homeschooling, but don't let that fool you. I always tweak things as I go.

I will be homeschooling my three boys ages 17, 12, & 9 this year. I dislike placing them in grades since I feel that is pretty subjective. They simply work at the level they are at and continue to progress to more difficult material.

Here's what I do know at this point.....

I know for sure my two older boys will be doing literature online through Homeschool Book Study for the fall semester. It will be our first time trying an online class so I'm waiting to see how it goes. They will meet weekly online to discuss the book and will have an essay due each week. It will be a challenging course for them but it also will give them the chance to learn from a different teacher.

We will all also be participating in a bi-monthly, enrichment style co-op. My oldest will be doing field trips and fun lectures on various topics. The two younger boys will be learning about castles, ocean life, and taking a virtual cross-country trip through the United State.

All three boys will also continue working on Teaching Textbooks for their math. We made the switch mid-year this past school year and it's been fantastic thus far. I've been keeping my eye out for used copies and I've been able to purchase all we've needed.

We will also be continuing with Institute for Excellence in Writing for, well, writing. If you have a struggling writer or even one that loves to write, this program is for you. I love how it is set up and how easy it is to implement. The lesson plans are priceless and the teaching DVDs are beyond helpful. I love the fact that my boys even like it! And even though we haven't quite finished the first level, I can already see vast improvements in their writing skills.

They will all be doing something different for grammar this year. My oldest will be trying out Analytical Grammar. Everyone I talk to who has used it, loves it. It is heavy on diagramming but I do believe that helps one visual parts of speech. Optional DVDs can be purchased for the teaching aspect of it, so I am planning to use those to make this a more independent course for my son. My middle son will be using Hake's Grammar and Writing. This is a trial to see if it's going to work. I found it used for a great price. If it doesn't work, we'll be switching to the Analytical Grammar Junior most likely or making the regular AG work. As for my youngest, we'll be sticking to Easy Grammar for now. I have the older books and for his age (nine), I think it will be a nice, easy, gentle approach for him. We'll be finishing up Easy Grammar 2/3.

Both of the older boys will be using Sequential Spelling for, well, spelling. For my youngest though, I'll be using an old styled textbook I bought at a used book sale last year.

All the boys will also be learning Spanish this year. I will be using PoweGlide for the two younger boys. I'm not sure what my oldest will be using yet. I'm leaning towards Switched on Schoolhouse simply because it's a full year course and it's all done on the computer. I, obviously, haven't ordered his curriculum yet so I'm still doing research.

Science is going to be a bit of a mish-mash this year. Our base will be the Apologia Elementary Human Anatomy and Physiology book. Yes, even my teenager will be using this as the base. We'll be supplementing with a DVD program for  my oldest called The Body of Evidence put out by Answers in Genesis. I am also hoping to get together with a friend bi-monthly to do labs together. Obviously, I'll be making this work for all of my boys. I have some fun hands-on activities as well.

I have a membership to Schoolhouse Teachers and both of my older boys are very excited about the new Computer Science course. It started this month, but we'll probably work on it a month behind since our start date isn't until September 9th.

My oldest son turns 17 this month. I'm planning out a self-designed courtship/morality study. We'll be using various books to read and discuss. This is still a work in progress, but I'll be spending the end of August finalizing those plans.

History is the last bit I need to figure out. I'm toying with using Story of the World with extra reading for my oldest to bring it up to a high school level.

I am also planning on adding in a weekly (I hope!) art course this year. This summer we had the pleasure of attending a three-day art course by Barry Stebbing. I purchased his God and the History of Art. I'll be using it for all three boys.

I have a few other electives I still need to figure out. I'll be working the last week or so in August to get our schedule ready for the new year. I love the start of the new year. It always feels so exciting and full of possibilities! That never lasts though....

Head over to the iHomeschool Network to check out what others are sharing about their curriculum choices.

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