Monday, August 6, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum for the 2012-13 School Year

I have been homeschooling Sophia and Olivia since Kindergarten. Currently they are in 6th and 4th grades respectively. There are some parts of the curriculum that both the girls do, and other parts that are at each one's grade level.

Below is the plan for the 2012-13 school year. The next step is to do a daily/weekly schedule. I did this last year and when the items was completed, I used a highlighter pen to mark it off. This was very helpful to see what had been accomplished and what still needed to be done for the week.


A to Z - Self-Directed Learning
- The girls picked a topic (or two) that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Each one picked different topics based on their interests. They will read, do an activity, and/or do a project related to the subject they picked. They will do 1 subject per week until they have gone through all of the 26 letters. This is a new activity in 2012-13 and one that both the girls are looking forward to doing.

- Continue using How to Teach Art to Children by Evan-Moor. Do one lesson per week from each of the themes (line, shape, color, value, texture, form, and space).
- Continue using Artistic Pursuits - An Introduction to the Visual Arts by Brenda EllisThere are 26 lessons left, so do one per week.
- Take the pottery/ceramics class through the homeschool co-op (1 hour class 1x per week).

Artist Study (a.k.a. Picture Study)
- Simply Charlotte Mason recommends studying an artist and six of her/his works of art for six weeks (1 piece of art per week). These are the artists we'll focus on this year: Georgia O'Keeffe, Robert Kahn, John James Audubon, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, and Carl Larsson.

Spelling Wisdom by Sonya Shafer (Simply Charlotte Mason). Uses speeches, letters, and quotations of famous people; excerpts from historical documents; descriptions of historical people and events; poetry; Scripture; excerpts from great literature; and selections from old readers and books for young people. Covers 6,000 most frequently-used words. Sophia will do 2 lessons per weeks and Olivia will do 1 lesson per week.

Geography (United States) - Multi-Disciplinary Unit Study
Cantering the Country. In addition to geography, CTC also includes activities in: science, literature, language arts, history/biographies, character, and home economics. Wrap up any loose ends from the 18 states we studied in 2011-2012. Study 17 states in 2012-2013 (1 state per 2-week time period).
- Eat Your Way Through the U.S.A. This is a companion cookbook to Cantering the Country that we used in the 2011-2012 homeschool year. We enjoyed trying 2-3 new recipes for each state we studied.
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book. For each state they study, the girls color in a page that features the state bird and flower. They'll color 17 pictures during the upcoming year.

The rest of the books are used as supplemental resources. They are used only when relevant to the subject being studied:
Geography from A to Z - A Picture Glossary by Jack Knowlton. This is part of the CTC package.
Children's Illustrated Atlas. This also is part of the CTC package.
Use some of the activities and games in Birds, Birds, Birds by the National Wildlife Federation when studying about the state birds.
- Two other resources that I used last year and plan to continue using this year include: Hands-on Earth Science by Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company and Earth Science for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave.
- United States Coloring Book. When the girls visit a state, they can color in the two-page spread. At this point, I don't have any trips scheduled to states they haven't yet visited so it may not be used at this point. Last year, they were able to color in six states after we took a trip to New England.

- Celebrate special holidays and festivals. Use Festivals Together - A Guide to Multi-cultural Celebration by Sue Fitzjohn and Happy Birthday, Grandma Moses - Activities for Special Days Throughout the Year by Clare Bonfanti Braham.

- Read 9 more books that have received The Newbery Award. (These are chapter books that have ranged between 175-250 pages.)
- Finish reading all the books that have received The Caldecott Medal. (These are short children's books that have received the award for the artwork in the book.)
- Design a Reading Quilt - Plus More Than 100 Other Activities to Enhance Your Literature Experiences by Chris Roe. Use in conjunction with The Newbery Award books.
- Do one book report per month. Use in conjunction with one of the books read as part of the Cantering the County curriculum.

Challenging Graph Art by Teacher Created Resources. Use 1x every 2 weeks (18 total). Both the girls enjoy doing these math activities...maybe because they don't feel like math it's more of a fun activity for them.
Season's Griddings - Graphing Activities for Listening and Following Directions by Will C. Howell. Use 1x every 2 weeks (18 total). They like the grid activities too. They see them as "fun" and not "math."
- Ten Days to Multiplication Mastery. Use ten days in September to see if that helps them remember multiplication facts.

- Continue with the children's choir that meets 1x per week from mid-September through early-May. Perform 1-2 times per month.

Nature Appreciation/Journaling
Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. Use the book as well as the Outdoor Hour Challenges.
- Do one entry in the nature journal per week based on a hike, bird watching, or other outdoor activity.

Physical Education
- Equine vaulting - 1x per week (1 1/2 hour session).
- Playing outside on the swings (almost daily during good weather).
- Taking care of the horses (walking to and from the barn; walking outside; cleaning out the barn and area behind the barn).
- Riding bikes and going on walks with the dogs at least 3x per week.
- Go to a public playground 1x per week during nice weather.
- Goal is to get in 30-60 minutes of physical activity each day. Mark off on a chart when this is done.
- Use Homeschool Family Fitness by Bruce Whitney, Ph.D. for ideas to augment the physical activity we already do on a daily basis.
Miss Mary Mack and Other Children's Street Rhymes by Joanna Cole has some fun ball-bouncing rhymes. Some could be used for jumping rope as well.

Poet and Poetry Study
- Simply Charlotte Mason recommends studying a poet and her/his poems for six weeks. This year, we'll focus on the following poets: Robert Browning, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Carl Sandburg,  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and William Wordsworth.

Sonlight's Level E Program - The girls will be learning about electricity, magnetism, light, color, microscopes, astronomy and space, inventions, chemistry, modern technology, and mechanical technology in early American life. There are nine books that are used with the science program.
    Also, there's a Discover & Do 4 DVD that features 90 experiments that center on the characteristics and uses of electricity and magnetism. We'll pick and choose which experiments we want to do.
- Whenever the girls have a question or are interested in learning more about the human body, use The Ultimate Human Body DVD.

Service Projects
- Complete 12 in 12 (during 2012). Here's more information about what we are doing each month.
- Establish the library in Lesotho, Africa, through the African Library Project. Collect the rest of the books (only a couple hundred left!) and raise $500+ to ship the books.
- Begin and do five months of a year-long volunteer/donation project during 2013 to be determined as we get closer to the end of the calendar year and decide how we want to focus our efforts during the upcoming year.

Spiritual Growth
- Use the "Spiritual Fitness Scorecard" to mark the activities that were done during the week (e.g., worship, prayer, study, service, fellowship).

Participate in the holiday theater performance.

- Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. It's a computer program that both the girls will use. It reinforces good finger position, increases speed incrementally, and doesn’t use twaddle for typing practice (2x per week).

- Character First series. Continue doing one character trait per U.S. state studied. Cantering the Country has identified a value/character trait for each state in the United States.
The Values Book by Pam Schiller. There are 16 basic values with activities, questions, and books that bring to life each value. Focus on one value for two weeks (will cover 34 weeks of homeschooling - almost a full school year).
The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop. Read the book and do the activities (1x per week).

Use Story Starters - Series #1.  These are 15 prompts with 5 different themes that encourage a child to use her imagination to finish the story. These could be audio-taped and then typed so the stories can be remembered.

- Read parts of each book from grades 1-6 in the What Your __ Grader Needs to Know series by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Only do the parts that the girls haven't heard or studied yet. (Only go up to grade 4 for Olivia.)


Do projects and activities in a variety of subjects. During 2011-2012, Sophia did 27 projects for the 4-H County Fair. She still needs to determine which project areas she wants to explore this year.

- Easy Grammar: Grade 5. There are 317 pages in the student workbook. At the beginning of the year, start with 2 pages per day 5x a week. If Sophia misses a day or only does one page per day, she still would complete the book by the end of the homeschool year.

Greek Mythology
- Greek Mythology for Teens by Zachary Hamby. This book relates classical mythology to modern culture, history, art, and literature of today. (1 chapter per month - includes a play to read aloud and activities)
- Book of Greek Myths by D'Aulaires. We've read some of the myths already, but we'll re-read them for a complete study. (5 pages per week)
- Greek Myths by Olivia Coolidge. Read the myths as they correspond to the ones in D'Aulaires and/or Greek Mythology for Teens.

History/Geography/World Religions/Social Studies 
- Sonlight's Core F. This curriculum focuses on the Eastern Hemisphere including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the South Pacific. About 70 countries will be covered. This is a multi-disciplinary study about a part of the world that is of particular interest to us since Sophia and Olivia were adopted from China. The highlight for us will be reading the 48 books that are included with this curriculum. Some are books that I read aloud, and others are ones that Sophia reads on her own.
- Eat Your Way Around the World by Jamie Aramini. Has recipes from many of the countries we will be studying this year. We'll use this book as well as other recipes that I have clipped over the years that are from the countries in the Core F curriculum.
- Geography through Art - International Art Projects for Kids by Sharon Jeffus and Jamie Aramini. Has ideas for art projects for several of the countries we'll be learning about as part of Sonlight's Core F.
- Continue using The Usborne Art Treasury by Rosie Dickins. Do the 5 projects that are from countries that are in the Eastern Hemisphere. 
- The Silk Road - Explore the World's Most Famous Trade Routes by Kathy Ceceri. This is an interactive book with many hands-on activities for Sophia to do (and Olivia if she is interested). Supplement with field trips that tie into the topics presented.

Home Economics
- Take the Joy of Cooking class at the homeschool co-op (1x per week for 1 1/2 hours).

- Use the journal pages from Grace is Overrated. These look like a fun way for Sophia to record her last year of elementary school...before she goes into junior high. (Where does the time go?) (2 pages per week starting in the 4th week for 25 weeks)

Map Skills
- Map Skills - Grade 5 by Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company. Forgot to do this book last year, so will do this during the first semester of this year. (2 pages per week for 22 weeks)

- Rod and Staff - Mathematics Level 6. 5x per week.
- Artistic Geometry as Taught in Grade 6 in Waldorf Schools by John C. Miles/Promethean Press. This book features geometric designs made by a compass and colored pencils. There are 23 lessons. Start in the fall and go until the lessons end.

- Piano lessons 1x per week plus two performances during the year.
- Harp lessons 1x per week plus at least three performances during the year.

A Reason for Handwriting - Level E. Sophia has 4 lessons from this book that she used last year. I opted not to get Level F since she has another handwriting book she'll use (see below) and wants to learn Spencerian Penmanship.
- Handwriting - Writing in Cursive. Sophia enjoys handwriting, so this is another book she can do on her own. The passages she writes relate to American history, animals, and nature - so all are topics in which she has an interest. There are 68 pages left in this book (she started the book late in the year last year and completed 12 pages).
- Spencerian Penmanship. This is the beautiful handwriting that was used for more than a century. Sophia has been wanting to learn this for a couple years now.

- Part of the Sonlight - Core F curriculum includes books that Sophia reads to herself.
- Complete Word Study - Level D. She's on lesson 48 and there are 88 lessons - so 40 left. This works out to be about 1x per week.

- Continue reading and coloring Gray's Anatomy - A Fact-Filled Coloring Book. This is not the anatomy book that is used in college. This is a shorter, more child-friendly book with 60 illustrations to color and key parts named. Sophia has already done 21 illustrations, so there are 39 left - about one per week.

Sensory Processing Disorder/Sensory Integration Dysfunction Therapy
- Use Brain Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft. Writing (30 minutes per day 4x a week).
- Use the sensory gym and warm-water pool at Courage Center as needed.

- A Reason for Spelling - Level C. This is a new curriculum that has multiple ways to learn how to spell. This is a 5x a week program with different activities each day including: literature connection with discussion; shape boxes; fun ways to spell for various ways of learning (e.g., visual, auditory, tactile); hide and seek; other word forms; language arts activity; dictation; proofreading; thought of the week; and preview and post tests. Children keep a progress chart, journal, and personal dictionary.
* Before beginning the year, make sure that all words from Level B were learned over the summer. If not, they need to be learned during the first two months of the 2012-13 school year.

- Wordly Wise 3000 - Book 5. There are 20 lessons and 5 reviews (25 weeks).
- English from the Roots Up (Volume 1) - focus on learning 100 Greek and Latin root words. 
- Rummy Roots - English Vocabulary Building Games.

- Continue using Jump In: A Workbook for Reluctant and Eager Writers. Do 2x per week.
- Continue using Giant Write Every Day - Daily Writing Prompts. This isn't as challenging as Jump In for Sophia. However, it is something she used in 4th grade and was okay with (she enjoys reading more than writing). Last year, she used Jump In. It wasn't her favorite subject, yet she was making progress with her writing. She asked if she could use Giant Write Every Day again this year. Do 2x per week.
Use the standards-based writing prompts that have different themes (e.g., sea life, earth science, inventions, U.S. presidents). There are 8 prompts per theme - or 32 total prompts. Do 1x per week for 32 weeks.


- Take the Fundamental of Art class at the homeschool co-op.

Five in a Row
- Five in a Row - Volume 2. Use in conjunction with the Five in a Row Cookbook. Have 12 stories left to go. Activities fall under social studies, language arts, art, applied math, science, and home economics (cooking). The cookbook has 2-3 recipes per book to make. These recipes become the family dinner for the night.
- Five in a Row - Volume 3. There are 15 stories in this series. The type of activities are the same as for Volume 2.
- Beyond Five in a Row. Start this series if the 27 stories and activities are done from Volumes 2 and 3.

Do projects and activities in a variety of subjects. During 2011-2012, Olivia did 17 projects for the 4-H County Fair. She still needs to determine which project areas she wants to explore this year.

- English for the Thoughtful Child - Volume 1. This is a book I found through Simply Charlotte Mason. It is a nice introduction to grammar, and very child-friendly. It was originally written in 1900 by Mary Hyde and revised and edited by Cynthia Shearer. There are 62 lessons, so this will be used 2x per week for 31 weeks.

History/Geography/World Religions/Social Studies 
Sonlight's Core F. Olivia listens to the read-aloud books that are part of this curriculum. She also may be interested in doing the art projects. The food that Sophia makes as part of the curriculum will be eaten by the entire family. So, Olivia will get a culinary introduction to the Eastern Hemisphere as well.

- Finish Literature Pockets - Aesop's Fables by Evan-Moor. Olivia only has 1 or two fables left and she's done with this study.

Map Skills
- Map Skills - Grade 3 by Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company. Forgot to do this book last year, so will do this during the first semester of this year.

Rod and Staff - Mathematics Level 4. 5x per week.
- Time, Money & Fractions by School Zone.
- Touch Math by Dianne Craft. Helps children who are struggling with basic math facts. Touch Math is a touching/counting pattern that has been carefully researched and is designed to provide immediate success for learners.
- Right Brain Multiplication Cards by Dianne Craft. These cards come with pictures underneath the numbers in the equation. It helps right-brain learners memorize the multiplication table in a way that works for them.
- Receive 80 minutes of math instruction/help through Special Education.

Piano lessons 1x per week plus two performances during the year.

- A Reason for Handwriting - Transition. This book transition from printing to cursive.

- Explore the Code. Complete books 4, 5, and 6. With 12 lessons per book, that's 1x per week.
- Receive 80 minutes of reading instruction/help through Special Education.
- Use sound/phonics cards that have pictures behind the letters (e.g., apple/a; cow/ou + ow).
- Implement some of the ideas from Reading Ideas Ready to Use! by Barbara Gruber.

Sensory Processing Disorder/Sensory Integration Dysfunction Therapy
- Use Brain Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft. Reading (45 minutes per day 4x a week), Writing (30 minutes per day 4x a week), and Math (not a formal "program" - just use strategies to teach).
- Use the sensory gym and warm-water pool at Courage Center as needed.

Speech Therapy
- Receive 60 minutes of guidance through Speech Therapy at the local elementary school.

- A Reason for Spelling - Level B. (See the description under Sophia's section for what this curriculum includes.)
* Before beginning the year, make sure that all words from Level A were learned over the summer. If not, they need to be learned during the first two months of the 2012-13 school year.

- Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day by Marc Tyler Nobleman. The introduction to this book says that back in 1945, children in elementary school had a vocabulary of 10,000 words. Today, that number has dwindled to 2,500 words. This is a child-friendly way to introduce 180 words that were gathered from newspapers and magazines.

- Just Write - Creativity in Craft and Writing by Alexandra S. Bigelow. Do 1x per week.

Not Back to School Blog Hop


Jeanine Byers said...

We did Five in a Row, too!! And I love the plan for art. I might do that, too.

Dawn said...

Cantering the country looks very interesting. Have you been using it for awhile? Have a great year.
Blessings, Dawn

Garden Tenders/Kim said...

I love your plan for studying the artists over a period of time. You sound so organized!

What Remains Now said...

I want to be one of your students! Sounds like a wonderful plan.

Domestically Seasoned said...

Wow you sound so Organized.