Our Curriculum

We’re following a combination of Classical and Charlotte Mason educational methods. I pick and choose from many sources in order to find the best fit for my students in each subject, which makes our homeschool quite eclectic. I’m very adamant about the “Three R’s”; our math is traditional, and at least two years of intensive phonics is a must (this served Gray very well, and we’re in the throes of phonics now with Des). Gray has a passion for science and nature, as well as history, so those are our most enjoyed subjects. Des is just now starting to participate in our science lessons, and once I have him reading and spelling well, he’ll join in on history lessons.

Gray’s Curriculum (5th Grade):

Math: Abeka Arithmetic 5. He’s used Abeka since grade 1, and boy is it solid and traditional.
Grammar: Easy Grammar 5. We’ll use this for both grade 5 and grade 6. It’s a very simple yet thorough, one-page-per day grammar program.
Writing: Writing Strands 2. This is new for us. He’s spent the past 3 years using Writing With Ease.
I also give him a dictation exercise once a week, chosen by me from one of our books (lately it’s been from the Lord of the Rings trilogy).
I require him to journal every day.
I have him do our weekly memory verse for his daily cursive handwriting practice. I’m not using a handwriting curriculum for him anymore.
I’ve never had to use a spelling curriculum for Gray. He’s an excellent and naturally gifted speller (he scored college level/99.9th percentile on his most recent standardized test), and the beauty of homeschooling is that we don’t have to waste time on something he obviously doesn’t need.
Reading: We have a nice collection of chapter books thanks to my mad thrift store skillz. ;-) He reads one at a time, 30 minutes (required- he can read longer if he wishes) per day, and then writes a book report when he finishes.
History: Mystery of History. This is our 4th year and we’re on Volume 3, currently studying the 16th century. There’s nothing I don’t love about this amazing, Christian-worldview history curriculum.
Science: Apologia Botany. This is our 2nd year using Apologia science, and we all enjoy it.
Bible: Who is God? by Apologia. We haven’t started this yet, but are just about to do so. We’ve been doing our annual Journey to the Cross Lenten/Easter study, and before that, we were doing an in-depth study of Proverbs.

Des’ Curriculum (1st Grade):

Math: Abeka Arithmetic 1. This is his 2nd year using Abeka for math. We just finished up the Kindergarten curriculum.
Phonics: Abeka Phonics 1. Again, his 2nd year. Phonics-based spelling is included in this.
Reading: Abeka Grade 1 Readers for his lesson-based read-alouds, and I also have him read me some of his “I Can Read” books and other similar, lower-level reading books. He’s just learned to read, so that’s where we are now.
Handwriting: Abeka K handwriting.

Des joins us for science (right now, it’s Apologia Botany), for Bible lessons (see Gray’s curriculum listing), and for any art or holiday projects, but for now I’m focusing hard on giving him an intensive, solid foundation in math, phonics, and reading. I did this with Gray through 1st grade, and found it to work quite well.

1 Comment »

  1. This sounds a lot like our home school. We are just rounding out our first year. I took Madison out of public school kindergarten last year to home school instead. You put into words how I feel but have not been able to solidfy. I appreciate a traditional style curriculum, focusing on the three Rs and I now find myself ready to hunker down on an official science and history curriculum. 1. because she loves those subjects and doing projects and 2. because I feel we have a handle on our math and English subjects which are most important to me. I am really glad that I read this post tonight. I think I’ve felt a bit lost lately but this helped me to see a little more clearly.

    I could literally write a post on this in your comments form but I wont. :)

    Comment by Stephanie | 12.3.2012 | 8:15 pm


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