Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum Choices

I know it’s early to be announcing curriculum choices for the fall.  However, I always purchase our curriculum when our tax return comes back, which is now.  Not to mention, I can’t sway you if I wait until you’ve already bought things.   Just kidding, there are no affiliate links in this post, I promise!


Language Arts: 
We’re venturing into uncharted territory this year.  In the past we’ve mostly done all of our language arts together, we’re now moving into separate grade levels using Learning Language Arts Through Literature from Common Sense Press.

Lindsey will be working at her own grade level for a change, using the Orange Book (4th grade). Olivia will be working through the Tan Book. (6th grade).

What appeals to me the most about this curriculum is that it incorporates grammar, vocabulary, writing and literature and ties it together instead of having it all compartmentalized.  I also like the idea of the book studies and units that allow creative writing, research and journaling.

In addition, Lindsey will be working through Penmanship Mastery I from Abeka to enhance her cursive writing.

I’ll also be working on reading lists for each girl, based on their interests, and to coincide with our history and science.

This is a change in curriculum for us as well.  We’ve used Math Mammoth this past year and a half, and while I love the idea of work texts, I see that it’s just not working for either girl like I thought it would. 

This year I’m switching to Horizons Math, which is far more teacher intensive, but also more manipulative based.  Lindsey will be working through Math 4, and Olivia will be in Math 6.


I was fortunate enough to find all of the manipulatives I needed, brand new, for a fraction of the cost by shopping at our local book fair.   I bought everything I need for both girls (and a few duplicates) for less than $40 compared to over $150 in the books. 

This year we’re jumping headlong into science with Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics.
  This will be our first time using Apologia at home, although both girls have been involved through co-op this year.


I went ahead and purchased both girls a copy of the corresponding notebooking journal.  In addition, we’ll be using the Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics Lapbook from Currclick.  I just hope we don’t blow the house up with some experiment gone awry.

This past year I created six unit studies, each six weeks in length to cover Early American History.  This year, I’ll be doing the same, but covering history from just after the Civil War through current day. 

Unit 1 – The Wild West
Unit 2 – The Industrial Revolution
Unit 3- World War I (using this work book)
Unit 4 – World War II (using this work book)
Unit 3- Smaller Wars (Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War)
Unit 6 – Civil Rights to Modern Day

I’ve had Discovering Great Artists in my stack of things to do for several years.  I intend to make this the year we DO the art work.  Lindsey has really enjoyed her Meet the Masters class at co-op, so I hope to continue fostering that love of art, not to mention using up some of the art supplies we’ve amassed over the last few years.


Awana:   The current plan is for both girls to return to Awana this year.  Our local Awana only goes through 6th grade, so this will be the last year Olivia can attend.  Lindsey will have this year plus two more to complete.  There is now a homeschool Awana program that I may continue with once they age out of the local program.

Ballet:  Olivia will be moving to pre-pointe this year.  This means a 3 day a week ballet schedule for her.   Lindsey, although 2 years younger is also being moved into a 3 day a week program for advanced younger dancers.   Thankfully, it looks like it will be the same three days a week, just at separate times.

Piano:  Lindsey will continue with private piano lessons.  Olivia will continue to work through her DVD based piano curriculum.  I’m not sure when we’ll switch Lindsey to the DVD’s yet.

Upwards Basketball and Cheerleading:  Come January Lindsey will be back on the basketball court and Olivia will be working on her cheerleading skills.  This is of course subject to change depending on whether or not the ballet schedule is too demanding or has overlapping times.

Our Schedule:

Ok, so this is where the rubber meets the road.  How do I make all these things come together to make a nice cohesive schedule?  Well, hopefully like this:

We will continue with our six weeks on, one week off schedule.

Math and language arts will be completed Monday –Friday.

Monday and Wednesday will be science days.

Tuesday and Thursday will be history days.

Friday will be arts and humanities.  Ok, maybe that’s a stretch.  But I want to set aside a specific time for art, poetry and pretty things.  I’m thinking mid-day Friday should work nicely. 

That is the plan for now.  We’ll see how it morphs between now and the fall, and again once the new academic year begins.   If you’d like to see what our summer plans are, you can read about it in my post Summer Schedule – How We Roll.

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  1. I think you'll really like the Apologia Chemistry and Physics. We are loving it, even though we added it just last month kind of as a fun, "why not" sort of thing.

  2. We often start buying our curriculum once taxes are done too. I've heard good things about LLATL - I look forward to hearing what you think of it!

  3. We buy the bulk of our curriculum with tax refund money, too. It looks like a great plan! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Looks like some wonderful choices!

    Blessings on your year ahead!


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