Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Not" Back to School Blog Hop: Curriculum 2011-2012

Not Back to School Blog Hop

We've used Saxon Math for a while's what works in this house.  I'll supplement this year with Life of Fred: Fractions and Decimals and Percents.  Just because my daughter and son think it's really funny. 

Language Arts:

Our Language Arts is a hodge-podge of materials.  We have grammar, spelling and handwriting everyday.   Most ones I've picked up at thrift stores throughout the year.  We really enjoy A Reason for Handwriting. 

Assignment Books:

Every week the kids get an assignment sheet with a list of all their "independent"  work.  Most of this can be done on their own but some of it needs guidance.  It cuts out the "I'm done...what do I do next?"  They pick the order in which they complete their daily assignments. 


I'm incorporating a poetry study this year.  So 4 times a week, we do various poetry activities.  I pick one poet to focus on per month--this month it's Robert Frost.  Below are the poems, they picked to memorize with illustrations.  I found that idea at SmallWorldatHome.  Some other ideas include:  poetry lapbook, writing favorite poems in journal, poetry collages (also from Smallworld)  and internet activities. 


Social Studies: 

I'm using a lot of different resources this year for S.S.  We've divided our week into 4 subjects of S.S.-geography, TN history, government and Map Skills for Today workbook.  I'm also continuing my unit weeks this year-- where we take a break from all our regular work for an intensive study.  We'll be doing units on Feudal Japan, Renaissance, etc.  I find all these units at Lesson Pathways--I absolutely love this site. 

Lots of readers,  supplemented with various websites I've found for reading comprehension work. 


This is the first time I've bought anything for science in a while.  So for the first semester, we are using God's Design for Science.  I let the kids pick their top 3 choices for what we'd study.  Two of their three were the same so...The World of Animals and Properties of Ecosystems, it is.  The second semester, as much as I hate to say it,  will be spent making sure we cover the subject areas my daughter will tested on in April.  I want her to be prepared,  so we'll be reviewing the 7-8 various Science standards for the State of Tennessee.  I don't mind too much about doing that because I like covering a wide variety of subjects and it will only further her scientific knowledge.  (That's looking on the bright side!)


Music and Art:

This year I've decided to add music and art appreciation to our list of subjects.  These things are really important to us and our heritage.  My children come from a family of artists and musicians, some world famous. I'm a music teacher by profession, as well.  So why was this part always getting left out?   I've decided to change that this year.  We are memorizing a hymn a month--we sing it over lunch each day.  We have a monthly artist and composer to study as well.  I've always enjoyed components of Charlotte Mason so we are doing picture studies for the first time. AmblesideOnline is a great resource.  4 times a week we'll have art and music- 2 times for each.  I basically pick an artist or composer and then find various activities in our books or lessons online that I think will fit well into our study. 


Last year, we had a curriculum for Bible but this year I just didn't see anything I was all together thrilled about.  So, we are getting back to the basics...reading or listening to Scripture passages about men and women of the Bible.  Then talking about the Scripture.  I found a great website:  Bible Gateway that has different reading plans available as well as audio selections.  The kids also have a Scripture passage to memorize every couple of weeks depending upon the length of passage. 

This is my husband's area this year.  He is taking us through a French curriculum called Mission Monde.  I'm learning right along with the kids. I took two years of Spanish in high school, so this is new territory for me. 
Well, that's our curriculum for the year.  For more blog posts on curriculum, check out Heart of the Matter-"Not" Back to School Blog Hop.


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