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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum

I have had next year all planned out since early May.  This part is fun for me!  Here we go...

History, Geography, Science, Literature, Art, Music:  
We'll be using Year 2 this year (the books aren't out yet so Year 1 is pictured).  We loved this last year.  I love how this curriculum is written, it's so easy to adapt to my children or to our day.  The kids learned a lot and as soon as Year 1 was finished they were begging me to start Year 2.  We're excited to try the redesigned workbooks and the new online version.  I love that I can teach all the kids from one curriculum (that saves SO much money!) and that my 2 year old participates regularly.  I had to start printing "academic concepts and coloring", her words, for each lesson so she had something to do too, and she was memorizing our flash cards!  The Literature portion adds to the Language Arts curriculum that we use.

6th grade
Math:  Saxon 7/6.  She started this a couple months before last year ended so we'll keep on going.
Spelling:  Words Their Way.  We decided we do not like Spelling Power, unless the child has a strong background in another spelling program or a good understanding of spelling rules before starting it.  My older two were used to WTW from their charter school, so I studied how to implement it and we've been trying hard to use the public school version at home.  We don't like the workbook format of the homeschool version, but this format leaves a lot of room for creativity.
Penmanship:  Zaner Bloser 6.  Hopefully the last year she'll need to practice penmanship!
Grammar:  Growing With Grammar 6.  We like how this is laid out and it has been working well for us.
Writing:  Writing With Skill 1.  We dropped Winning With Writing this year in favor of Peace Hill Press writing curriculum.  We sped this child through Writing With Skill 3 and 4 the last half of 5th grade, and feel this will be just right for her.   I'm still trying to figure out how we'll work in The Creative Writer 1.  She loves writing and I hope this will give her a good set of skills as she develops her talent.
Logic:  Mind Benders 4 and 5.  She really likes these.

4th grade

Math:  Saxon 5/4.  He started this about a month before last year ended, so we'll keep working!  I really love Saxon.  This boy has a hard time doing the lessons on his own though, so we need to figure out a way to have me spend more time with him on math.
Spelling:  Words Their Way.  Same reasons as above. A public school teacher put all the word sorts into lists on Spelling City, so they can practice with that website.  Hooray!
Penmanship:  Zaner Bloser 4, and Joy of Handwriting Manuscript.  He needs some practice with both cursive and manuscript so we do both.
Grammar:  Growing With Grammar 4
Writing:  Writing With Ease 3
Logic:  Mind Benders 3 and 4.  He finally decided to try Mind Benders 3 and loves it, so he'll be doing this regularly now.

1st grade

Math:  Saxon 1.  She's almost halfway through this book already, so we'll be starting 2 in a few months.  Last week she came to me and said "I know what 12 + 12 is" and proceeded to describe how she found the answer.  I was amazed, we've never done math problems like that but we have learned indirectly how to count tens and ones.  She took it a step further and did this on her own.
SpellingAll About Spelling 1.  We started this last year, then I decided to hold off until 1st grade.  She did wonderful with it (and still begs to do it), but she was progressing quickly.  I wanted her to be far ahead with reading before we do more spelling.
Penmanship:  Zaner Bloser 1, to practice penmanship, and Fundanoodle Cursive.  She wanted to learn cursive last year so we did Joy of Handwriting Cursive and it went so well.  We're going to go back and put more emphasis on letter formation in manuscript using Fundanoodle products (see more below).
ReadingAll About Reading 2.  She absolutely loves this curriculum.  We started with The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading last year and that turned into a chore.  She hated it, there wasn't enough reinforcement to what she was learning, and it really was boring.  I don't regret switching to AAR at all.  We'll be starting 3 sometime in the winter if she keeps moving this fast!
Writing:  Writing With Ease 1. 


I was having a hard time deciding what to do this year.  E (1st grade) knows cursive but the Zaner Bloser beginning cursive was above her level of reading.  I kept searching for just the right curriculum but didn't really like anything.  One day I came across Fundanoodle on 2 or 3 different websites.  I thought I better check it out and discovered it was just what I needed.  Some of the words are still a little above her reading level, but it is going to be a much better workbook for her.

For reviewing manuscript, and as N starts to learn letters, we will use the I Can Build sets.  I was surprised when these came.  The magnet boards are large and the letter building magnets are durable.  I was expecting something like strip magnets or business cards, but no, these are thick!  They require some finger muscles to get them off the board, perfect for strengthening hands and fingers!  We already practice forming letters on a chalkboard, so these will be one more way to do that.

The Muscle Mover cards are a huge hit.  I like that Fundanoodle has put an effort into getting kids to move and strengthen different muscles used in writing.  We're saving the workbooks from the I Can Build sets for N to use in a couple of years.  I am thrilled with these products!


No traditional preschool here, but she will be 3 by the time school starts again and she needs more to do during school time.  I plan on pulling out all the Letter of the Week things I used for E and giving some to N during school time, when she wants to do something with us.  She's already doing well identifying some letters and numbers so I'll continue to go with the flow.  She'll continue playing with manipulatives and other items the big kids use, and she's getting an I Can Pound set just for her.

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