Homeschool Curriculum for 2014/2015

This year is going to be a lot like last year in terms of the curriculum we are planning on using. I guess that’s a good thing! I’ve found stuff I like and that Tonchi (Hopefully Koa this year) do well with. So even though I see other new stuff that looks cool and grabs my attention, I’m just going to stick with what worked last year and suited our needs!

As we started last week I’m realizing that what I had planned for Koa may actually be too easy. He is 5 years old and should be in Kindergarten, but he actually knows a lot more than I gave him credit for! However… he isn’t a “sit at the table and do school work” kinda kid, so if this stuff is easy for him, fine! If we don’t get to it, no sweat, and if he does all of it in the next few weeks, then we will get ahead and it will build his confidence.

I didn’t do much for Kindergarten for Tonchi 2 years ago, but Koa was telling everyone he was starting school this year, so I though I’d better have something planned for him since he seemed so excited about the idea! Now it seems simple for him, but that builds my confidence too!

So on to what we are using.

[amazon_link id=”1608260070″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Math-U-See Beta Instruction Pack[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”1608260070″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Math-U-See[/amazon_link]: This is the third year we are using this. Koa is in [amazon_link id=”1608260658″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Primer[/amazon_link] and Tonchi is in[amazon_link id=”1608260097″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] Beta[/amazon_link]. I love the amount of repetative work and review and how the concepts of math are taught. Even last year, in first grade, Tonchi was able to multiply and divide even though he didn’t know that’s what he was doing. I credit his ability to the concepts he has leared and how it can be applied to higher math. I also think it’s great for boys since it has blocks that loosly resemble legos and any manipulative is a plus in their book!

[amazon_link id=”1932012737″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day (Young Explorer Series) (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries))[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”1932012737″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Apologia Science Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day[/amazon_link]: I love the Christian world view of this book. I particularly like how it’s infused with Christian views and stances, but isn’t preachy or forced. The book flows nicely. Even though these books are marketed for elementary, I think it’s above both boys and would be better for 3rd grade, especially with all of the deeper concepts and vocabulary. However, the boys are really into it and they LOVE the activitiy guide that goes with it. So we are gonna keep going!

This year we are getting together twice a month with friends to have a science lab that goes with this book and allows us to do some of the experiments with friends. I’m excited about this! It will help me to be more proactive in planning hands-on experiments that usually I’m, honestly, too lazy to put together. I know the boys are gonna love that too!

[amazon_link id=”1933339098″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance (Second Revised Edition)  (Vol. 2)  (Story of the World)[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”1933339098″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Story of the World: Ancient Civilizations:[/amazon_link] We started this last year and made it to the 30th chapter of 42, so we are finishing this book and starting the Middle Ages book. The chapters are easy to read and are written like the telling of a story. All of us like sitting down to read it together. There is also an activity guide that goes with this that we heavily use. It has good review questions, supplemental reading ideas, activities and map work. This past summer I found the books on CD for a decent price and the boys have been listening to them non-stop! I’m so glad! I’m sure it will help re-inforce all of the information!

[amazon_link id=”0838814611″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Explode the Code Book 2[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”0838814611″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Explode the Code:[/amazon_link] I was planning on using books 2 and 3 with Tonchi, but they are both too easy for him, so we can cross that off the list. Book 1 was challenging for him last year, so I’m not quite sure what hapened this summer, but I think he has been reading a lot more on his own than I gave him credit for! I started Koa on the three books A, B and C prior to Explode the Code Book 1. I purchased them as a set and plan on completing them this year. He breazed through the first 4 pages on the first day of school. I know it’s easy for him, but he has no letter recognition, so this will help with that as well as learning letter sounds.

[amazon_link id=”B000Z0JLAU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]KIND AND BRAVE[/amazon_link]Reading: Obviously I wasn’t completely aware of Tonchi’s reading abilities. I had a few of the 1st grade readers from A Beka, [amazon_link id=”B0006RR2SU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Open Windows[/amazon_link] and[amazon_link id=”B0006RR4FG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] Kind and Brave[/amazon_link] that I was planning on having T do some reading outloud and then answer the comprehension questions. He reads them quickly and knows all the answers. I have reading pages from these books planned out through the year, but we may scrap it if it’s too easy and we may go ahead and start the 2nd grade readers instead. I really like the lessons they learn and the communication between kids in the stories. I think there is much more to learn and discuss than just the reading skills themselves! If Koa is interested in reading or learning to read this year we may start using [amazon_link id=”0941995003″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Alpha-Phonics[/amazon_link] and some easy readers from [amazon_link id=”B0012H8U9S” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Hooked on Phonics[/amazon_link]. That’s ONLY if he seems ready and wants to do it. I’m NOT fighting this issue… he will read when he is ready!!!

[amazon_link id=”1933339268″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Complete Writer: Level 1 Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer)[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”1933339268″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Handwriting/Writing[/amazon_link]: For T he is using [amazon_link id=”1933339268″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Write with Ease[/amazon_link] by Susan Wise Bauer and I really like it so far. It has some naration, listening comprehension, copy work, and grammer. I love that all of it goes together so seamlessly and we arne’t memberizing lists of words or grammer rules. We talk about grammer norms and then copy examples of it. I’m REALLY liking it. Helps with handwriting too! For K we are doing the preschool [amazon_link id=”B0042SR46Y” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Handwriting with out Tears[/amazon_link], which I had purchased for him last year, but he wasn’t interested. I found the wood pieces to make the letters at a curriculum sale this summer for $5 which is a steel! I knew he would LOVE them since it’s like a puzzle. And, pat on the back, I was right! I think this will really help him with his letters this year and learning how to write them!

[amazon_link id=”1887371869″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Basic Structures Book 1 Spanish Set -- Book and 3 CDs (A Reader for The Learnables Book 1)[/amazon_link]Spanish: I really, really, really want the Rosetta Stone Homeschool levels 1-5 for Spanish, but I also don’t want to spend over $500 for it! I’ve found it on sale at different place, but $250 – $300 is still a lot of money! Then someone gave me [amazon_link id=”1887371869″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Learnables for Spanish[/amazon_link]. It’s a computer program for teaching spanish (which is what I wanted. Since the kids don’t get much screen time I figure it would be a treat to learn Spanish!). It was probably written in the early 90s and is very basic programing and not very interesting… but the kids LOVE it and they are learning vocabulary pretty quickly! The set I received also comes with a CD and book for next year as well. So we will stick with it for now and see how the year goes!

[amazon_link id=”B00191QW1U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Draw Write Now Boxed Set[/amazon_link]Art: I’m a math and science gal, so art is a tough one for me. We haven’t done much in the past and I really need to start doing more. I purchased the [amazon_link id=”B00191QW1U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Draw. Write.Now series[/amazon_link] last year for a discounted price for the whole set for $50 and we’ve hardly used them. These books teach how to draw simple objects and then encourage writing a sentance or two about the picture that was drawn. They are very kid friendly and the boys enjoy them. I just need to encourage them to use them more!

So there you have it! These are the books we have planned for this year and so far so good!
What do you have planned?


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