Our 2009 – 2010 Curriculum

As part of the NOT Back to School Blog Hop, here are our curriculum choices for this school year.  This year, as we looked at curriculum, we had to consider the needs of our 2nd grader, Kindergartner, 3 year old Preschooler, and our adorable, but fast moving toddler!


Bible and Devotions (with the oldest 3 kids)

  1. Bible Notebook  – The older two girls read a section and then draw and write about it.  I read aloud to the younger two children and talk briefly about what was read.
  2. Hymns for a Kids Heart: Volume 1 – We hope to learn and sing one new hymn a month.
  3. Leading Little Ones to God

History / Geography

Adventures in My Father’s World from My Father’s World Curriculum is our choice for this school year.  It includes a Bible study of the names of Jesus, science (which we are modifying slightly since we did most of the experiments last year), history of the exploration and founding of the United States, a state by state study,  hands on projects, integrated narration and copywork, read alouds, and music which includes learning to sing patriotic songs as well as to appreciate the music of Tchaikovsky.

Science

  1. Sonlight Discover and Do Level 1 Science (experiments with light, water, and magnets)
  2. Nature Study – I finally have a copy of the Handbook of Nature Study by Ann Comstock and am going to TRY to incorporate a weekly nature walk.

Art

  1. Art Appreciation – We are continuing to use the Come Look With Me series.  This year we plan to use Come Look With Me: Art in Early America and Come Look With Me: Exploring Landscape Art with Children.
  2. How to Teach Art to Children (from Evan Moor)
  3. Draw Write Now – I’ve coordinated some of the lessons in books 2, 3, and 5 with the MFW learnings.  Our K student will only be doing the drawing portions, but her older 2nd grade sister will be expected to do the writing portion as well.

Reading / Language Arts /Math

our 2nd grader…

  1. Readers:  Abeka 2nd grade readers, Sonlight 2nd grade intermediate readers and then the 2A readers when she is ready, free choice reading on her own
  2. Explode the Code books 5 and 6 for phonics
  3. Building Spelling Skills -  I plan to just choose 10 of the words they have listed each week.  She also needs more practice with spelling sight words.
    (Update: We decided to just choose sight words, words from her Explode the Code lessons, and a couple words from her handwriting verse to make 12 spelling words each week instead of using the spelling book.)
  4. A Reason for Handwriting Book T – We plan to use half of this book for 2nd grade and the second half for 3rd.  This series has the child practice writing a few letters and words each day that pertain to a certain Bible verse.  Then, on the last day, the child copies the full verse neatly.
    (Update: In addition, I dictate the Bible verse to her three days a week.  I say the verse once and she has to write the verse correctly without help (spelling, punctuation, etc.).  When finished, she then checks her work against the original and makes any necessary corrections.)
  5. Grammar: Daily Language Review and Grammar and Punctuation (both from Evan Moor)
  6. Write On Target for Grades 1&2
    (Update:  We have used this sporadically and not each week.)
  7. Horizons Math (completing Level 1 and heading into 2)
  8. Flashcards
  9. Hands on Math games from Right Start

our Kindergartner…

  1. Readers: Abeka 1st grade readers, Sonlight readers (She is reading the first grade already and even the 2R and 2I levels on her own, so I will probably just let her pick each day what she wants to read to me.), free choice reading on own
  2. Explode the Code books 1-3 for phonics
  3. Hands on sight word spelling
  4. A Reason for Handwriting Book A
    (Update: In addition, just as I do for our 2nd grader, I dictate the Bible verse to her three days a week.  I say the verse once and she has to write the verse correctly without help (spelling, punctuation, etc.).  When finished, she then checks her work against the original and makes any necessary corrections.)
  5. Can You Find Me? (k-1)
  6. Horizons Math Level K (continuing from last year)
  7. Hands on Math games from Right Start

our preschooler…

  1. Bible and Rhyme for 3’s (not the full curriculum)
  2. Playdough mats, learning puzzles, hands on games and manipulatives
  3. Can You Find Me? (preschool)
  4. potty training  =)

our toddler…

  1. play, play, play =)
  2. books with mommy and siblings

Lifeskills and Extracurricular Activities

  1. The Quiet Art Series Lessons in Responsibility for Girls Level 1 for ages 6-8 (from Pearables)
    (Update:  We found this book to be just ‘okay’ during our use of it first semester.  Second semester, we plan to have a greater emphasis on sewing skills.  The plan is to work on beginner’s crosstitch, use out potholder looms, and then move into using the following two books…My First Sewing Book (Level 1) and My First Embroidery Book (Level 2) both by Winky Cherry.)
  2. Playing the Recorder – Our 2nd grader is using My First Hymnal and is doing it at home with Daddy.
  3. Gymnastics (oldest two girls)
    (Update: Second semester, we are switching to ballet!)
  4. AWANA – We have two Sparks and a Cubbie now!
  5. Some homeschool outings/ field trips with other families in our church.

Okay, that sure looks like a LOT all written out!  We began mid July and trying to fit everything in each week has been a challenge.   I think I’ve concluded that the curriculum we have chosen is appropriate, but the implementation of it needs to be adjusted (For example, how many days a week we try to do grammar or how the readers are scheduled may be changed a bit to make it more manageable.)  So, we may be tweaking here and there as our school year gets into full swing =)

Hop on over to see what other homeschoolers are planning for their children or share what you have decided!  I hope to participate in the other weeks of the Not Back to School Blog Hop.  Next week, it’s a school room hop!  Take a peek at where we ‘school’.

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Comments

  1. We love Sonlight and ETC! Have a great year!

  2. We are using Horizons math this year. I am going to google that Hymns for Kids. I think it would be great to add to my line up. THanks for sharing!!

  3. I thought ‘Can You Find Me?’ was pretty tough. My preK/Ker was only able to do some of them. My 7 yo sat down with the book one afternoon though and did the whole thing for fun. Stinker!

    Thanks for participating in the NBTS Blog Hop!

  4. I’m seeing a lot of people in this Blog Hop using Leading Little Ones to God this year. Such a great book. I used it years ago with my older two kids, and plan to use it next year or the year after with my younger ones.

    I’m also having implementing problems with fitting everything every day in for everybody. That is one of the reasons why we start school so early. It allows us to take our time and find our groove

    Thank you for sharing on the Blog Hop.

  5. Love Sonlight! I’ll going to look into some of your list!

  6. I’m curious how old your toddler is. We have an almost three year old. I think we’ll do about half of your HC 3’s Bible and Rhyme this year, if she doesn’t get placed in the developmental speech and language preschool. In the mean time, I plan to get started while we wait on knowing. She turns three in October, so she wouldn’t begin preschool until then, if she does.

    Thanks for a great resource, and for sharing your journey through your blog!

  7. Michelle (Joyful Heart) says:

    Annette,

    My toddler is just 18 months old and playing is her ‘school’ =) My preschool guy, who is doing the Bible and Rhyme this year, is starting the curriculum at the age of 3 1/2 years. Hope this helps!

  8. When you list it like that it doesn’t look like too much. I hope you are finding your groove. I am still in the planning stages of everything and I am getting ready to do the copying.

  9. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for posting your choices. I just found Leading Little Ones to God at my library after you posted it. I love finding new books from other’s posts.

    Have you been to this website http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/
    She posts lessons from The HandBook of Nature Study.

    We are starting your Joyful Hearts 4’s program right now. I was wondering as we do the letter tracing sheets, should I try and teach my child to hold the pencil correctly. I’ve heard some people say that you shouldn’t force writing and pencil holding too early, and I’ve heard others say that children not corrected will develop bad habits. What do you think?

    You do a wonderful service posting your preschool programs on the web. I tell my friends with preschoolers about your site. It’s been a huge blessing to my family : )

  10. Michelle (Joyful Heart) says:

    Amy,
    Thanks for the reminder about the Handbook of Nature Study website. I have visited there and it is one of the reasons my interest was peeked in trying to do a weekly nature walk with the kids.
    As for writing…I did have my two girls, while at the preK level, try to hold their pencils correctly while tracing the letter. I didn’t force them to hold it correclty, but did show them the proper way and made gentle reminders as needed. I guess that I am of the camp that thinks you need to show children the right way and develop good habits early as opposed to reteaching and retraining later. Hope this helps some!

  11. Hi Michelle! I first found your hubbard cupboard website 4 years ago when I started homeschooling k. It is so neat to now see you are homeschooling as well. I’ve loved your resources. We just finished doing MFW Adventures this past year. We also used the SL DVD to go with their science. It was great to have for the experiments. We use the SL readers as well. I wondered how you go about using them and teaching reading. We’ve been using their comprehension questions and now I have my child narrate back what she read, but I feel like we’re missing something. Would love to hear what you suggest. Also, where can you find Write on Target? Thanks so much,
    Mindy

  12. Mindy,
    We sometimes use the comprehension questions that Sonlight suggests or I ask her questions ‘off the cuff’ to make sure she is understanding what she is reading. However, that has been about it so far! We have just started narration this school year with the MFW history readings. Adding narration to her Sonlight readings would be beneficial as well. I wish that I could be of more help to you!

    As for Write on Target, I bought a copy at our local homeschool convention. However, I did locate the company online at https://www.eapublishing.com/ontarget.asp
    We just purchased the student workbook. I did notice that they have a Read on Target as well. I have not looked at it though.

  13. Thank you so much for answering my questions! Have a wonderful school year with your children.

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