Classically Homeschooling’s 2015-2016 Curriculum Choices
2015-2016 curriculum choices
It’s time to post my curriculum plans for the 2015-2016 school year! To be perfectly honest, it’s not very different from last year. We move on and do more of the same.
This year the kids are in preschool, kindergarten, 7th, 10th, and 12th grades. My oldest just graduated high school and is headed off to college.
Tapestry of Grace
Tapestry of Grace forms the heart of my homeschool. Not only does it provide history and literature assignments and discussions, but it provides writing, geography, fine art, and church history.
How awesome is that!
Tapestry is divided into 4 levels: The lower grammar level for children just learning to read (K-3rd). Upper grammar is for 3rd-6th grade, dialectic for 6th – 9th grades, and rhetoric for 9th – 12th grades. The reason for the overlap is children don’t develop at the same rate.
This year we’re doing moving forward through Rome and into Year 2: Fall of Rome through 1800. It’s a crazy, roller-coaster of a year!
Since I’m not in the mood for a roller-coaster year and want more sanity, rest, and scholé, I’m making a few small changes to Tapestry of Grace.
- The 1st unit of TOG Year 2 touches on the major works of the middle ages. I’m going to pick 1-3 of my favorites for us to read and study rather than jumping from work to work.
- We’ll spend unit 2 or unit 3 concentrating on Shakespeare.
- We’ll outline and write papers ala TWTM rather than completing the accountability and thinking questions. Outlining is an excellent study skill for all kids to master.
- I’ll pick an activity to complete each unit rather than trying to complete an activity every week and skipping them all.
Language Arts (Grammar, Phonics, Penmanship)
Rod & Staff English is my choice for grammar studies. We start in the 2nd grade and work through the texts one by one. My 7th grader sits down with me daily for a short lesson.
My kindergartener is doing a combination of Saxon Phonics and Phonics Pathways. She loves worksheets, and I love Phonics Pathways. Saxon Phonics has a touch of handwriting.
My preschooler is learning his letter sounds. I’m stalled out trying to decide if I want to start him in Saxon Phonics K, concentrate on Phonics Pathways, or just use fun worksheets.
What can I say, we use Saxon Math. Each child is at their appropriate level of Saxon Math except my youngest two.
I’ve always found Saxon Math K to be perfect for preschool, so that’s what my preschool son is doing. However the jump from Saxon Math K to Saxon Math 1 is frustrating for me.
So I place my kindergarten daughter in Liberty Math K this year. It’s perfect. Lots of the workbook pages she loves and at the perfect level for her.
My older children use Apologia Science by Dr. Wiles and love his books. There’s no hidden bias. He’s upfront about what he believes and why.
We’re old Earth rather than young Earth, which is problematic at times. However junior and senior high are excellent times to expose children to differing points of view. We discuss the differences, I explain what we believe and why, and the teens enjoy the debate.
I also firmly believe for science to progress, people need to approach it with an attitude of questioning, even questioning firmly held concepts. If the concepts are true, they’ll hold up to the questions. If not, we’ll discover the Earth is not the center of the universe. The planets and earth circle the sun.
After reading The Well-Trained Mind last month and chatting with my husband, I decided not to attempt science with my youngest two children.
We’re Henle Latin 1 this year. Latin’s been sporadic the last few years, so we’re starting over again. I have the Mother of Divine Grace’s plan to complete Henle Latin 1 in one year. It’s challenging, but I have a child diligently working through it.
I also picked up Memoria Press’s guide to Henle Latin that covers year 1 in 3 years. This year we’re only working through the first 2 units. My 7th-grade son and I are studying it together. The pace is perfect for me!
If all goes well, we’ll be reading Caesar by the 10th grade.
The high school kids are studying German with their Dad. I’m more than happy to leave the subject entirely in the hands of my husband.
What are your curriculum plans for the 2015-2016 school year?
I have a 3rd grader, a 5th grader and a 8th grader this year. We are using Answers in Genesis America from the Beginning for everyone’s history. Science is nature study and a co-op class about animals for the younger 2 and Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Physical Science. Math is Teaching Textbooks(math 3, math 5, Pre Algebra). English is pieced together by me for the younger two and includes read alouds, spelling, writing and independent reading. My oldest is using Excellence in Literature English 1. Additionally there is Bible but I have not made plans beyond daily readings and discussions yet. The oldest is taking Intro to Spanish at our co-op. All 3 are very creative and are constantly making art, The younger 2 will take a Saturday art class at the community center and the oldest is a member of the church’s Knitting Club. For PE, the youngest will be playing rec soccer in the fall and spring and swim lessons in he winter, the middle child will be playing swimming in the summer and dancing(tap and Irish Step Dance) during the school year. The oldest will bee running at home and a the local indoor track to prepare for her first 5 mile race next spring(she has already run several 5K’s).
You have a great year lined up, Mary! Thanks for sharing with me. 🙂
This is what we are using: https://adventureswithhomeschool.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/sixth-grade/
It’s amazing how quickly the kids grow up, isn’t it! We’ve never used Susan Wise Bauer’s writing program, although I’ve heard great things about it. It wasn’t out when my oldest kids were going through, and I never thought to change for my 4th child. He uses a combination of the writing exercises from Rod & Staff, Tapestry of Grace, or both.
Thanks for sharing your line-up, Justin. I love to see what everyone else is doing. 🙂
Looks like some great choices! I hope you enjoy using it all this year!
What is TWTM?
Look at Duolingo.com for German. My husband is fluent but, this is a great way to organize learning. Very similar to Rosetta Stone but free. Another resource is Lowenzahn on Youtube. This is a German kids show with lots of repetition so you can understand while getting a flow of the language.
TWTM is the book: The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I’ve tried Duolingo myself for French and had quite a bit of fun. I’ll mention the site and Lowenzahn to my husband (he teaches German). Those are great ideas. Thank you, Kristin! 🙂
This looks like a good line up. I keep looking at R&D English and wondering. That’s the one place where I find too many options. Oh and we use Saxon too!
Creative* R&S – autocorrect is not my friend.
I love R&S English! The best part, in my opinion, are the daily oral review questions. Completing those drills grammar concepts into my kids. 🙂
These sound like great ideas. We’re inclined toward the classical method for homeschool, and I’ve been loving my TWTM. I’m just getting ready to head into the preschool stage, but it’s so helpful to see what folks ahead of me are doing to put the ideas in TWTM into practice.
Thanks, Amy! Have fun in the preschool stage. It’s a great stage. The kids are enthusiastic, everything is new, and there’s so much to explore! 🙂
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