Friday, October 14, 2016

Our 2016-2017 Curriculum Plans and Checklists


Well, I had this whole post ready to go the first week of school, just waiting for a few photos, then blogger ate it. I nearly cried. I had been using the draft post to keep track of all my plans for the year and I didn't have them written down anywhere else... sigh. Lesson learned. Thankfully I had already ordered most of the books we needed for the year so it wasn't too hard to recreate my plans at the last minute. Now let's see if I can "quickly" recreate all the links to share here on the blog! ;)

This year I am home educating all seven of our children. We have two 10th graders, an 8th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader, 1st grader and our youngest is officially Pre-K! This could potentially be our last year with a pre-schooler. Crazy! With our children all arriving 1 1/2 to 2 years apart, I never thought this day would come... It's been over two years since my last miscarriage and I'm starting to think our youngest might just be our last. Seven is a great number and I'm really enjoying this new season in our family!

Five years ago, just before our youngest was born, I knew I needed help and solid deadlines to keep up with my goals for our home school. I enrolled our children in a local home-based charter that started in our hometown that year. The following year I nearly withdrew, but a good friend of mine was hired as an ES and assigned to our family. It was such an incredible blessing having her come to our home once a week and help tutor our children. She resigned at the end of last school year and now the benefits (an excellent tutor, allotment to use towards books, sports, driver's ed, etc) no longer outweighed the drawbacks (so. much. paperwork, incompetent teachers/classes, all the required testing taking up weeks of our school year, inappropriate questions on the tests, etc) and we withdrew all six that were enrolled last year for this new school year! I sent in our state's required "Home School Notification" (got a copy back that has been stamped "Approved") and we are once again exclusively homeschooling! It was such a great feeling.  I've had to be creative in finding ways to pay for this year's school books (basically work more along with selling the books we no longer need), and we will most likely have to cut back on sports, but my husband and I are confident that this was the best decision for our family at this time.

When I was filling out the Home School Notification I had to assign grades once again and we decided to move out rising 7th grader up to 8th grade. She has a late summer birthday and when she was enrolled in the charter we decided to "hold her back" (like we did with our oldest son who also has a summer birthday) just in case she struggled to keep up, but she is definitely going to be ready to start high school next year, so we officially made the switch.  She was excited to start this school year as an 8th grader!

Like I mentioned before, we decided to enroll our high schoolers in Kolbe Academy. They are working towards the Magna Cum Laude Diploma. My youngest two brothers (currently both seniors in college this year with full golf scholarships!) both graduated high school with Kolbe's Magna Cum Laude Diploma. In addition to all the benefits of enrolling, I'm really loving the flexibility that Kolbe offers and that we can continue tailoring our curriculum to our family's preferences and our children's needs.

The one challenge we have had with transferring our high schoolers from the home-based charter school to Kolbe Academy has been with their Foreign Language credits. To graduate with the Magna Cum Laude Diploma they need 3 years of Foreign Language, with at least two years in the same language. The charter allowed them to earn 1 Foreign Language credit for completing First Form Latin. Kolbe requires both First and Second Form for Latin 1 credit... The boys were not fully prepared to move on to an approved Latin 2 course. I gave the boys three options:

Option 1: Complete Second Form Latin over the summer to complete Latin 1 for Kolbe, and then continue on with Third and Forth Form to earn credit for Latin 2, before switching to a second language for their third and final year of required foreign language.

Option 2: Retake Latin 1 using either Henle or Wheelock this year. No additional credit will be earned on your transcript this year, but you'll be well prepared to continue on to Latin 2 as a junior and Latin 3 as a senior.  (Ranger choose this option and we enrolled him in Latin 1 with Lukeion.  He LOVES the class, even though it is bright - soon to be dark! - and early out here on the West Coast.) 

Option 3: Switch Languages. You already have one year of foreign language credit at this point, and you need two more. Choose a second language and complete two years. (This was the option Captain choose. After so many years of Latin from Memoria Press he has completely burned out on studying Latin... He is taking this year off foreign language and will most likely continue with French with either an online course or at the community college next year.) 

He's not the only one taking a break from studying Latin this year. I sold almost all of our Memoria Press Latin materials and all the younger children are also taking a break. Combined with our writing and grammar courses it has been too much the last couple years, and I've missed having that extra time to focus on history and science.  I'm also not convinced that all the time we have spent has been very productive. To quote Lukeion: "There are many programs now available for younger students. In our experience, however, these programs demand a lot of busy work but deliver very little in the way of learning the functional nuts-and-bolts of Classical languages. Students are not generally prepared to master these languages until they have reached the logic stage. You will accomplish much more in a fraction of the time if you wait until your student is 12 to 15 before you start formal instruction in Latin and Greek. Better still, waiting to start these logic based languages may mean your student will enjoy them more." 

UPDATE: I was able to rename the Latin class Ranger took at home last year to "Intro to Latin" and now he'll be able to earn Latin 1 credit this year after all for the online class he is currently taking! Kolbe Academy has been so great to work with this year.

Anyway, enough about all the changes... Here's the list of books we are using this school year:

Captain and Ranger :: 10th Grade 

Theology: 
Understanding the Scriptures: A Complete Course On Bible Study
Understanding the Scriptures Student Workbook (Ranger)
Understanding the Scriptures - My Catholic Faith Delivered (Captain)
Preparation for Confirmation According to the Baltimore Catechism (with Dad)


Additional Resources:
Ignatius Catholic Bible (compact)
The Ignatius Bible: Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition (leather bound)
Catholic Bible Indexing Tabs

Love this bible and ended up ordering a 2nd copy for our other high schooler.

English 10: 
Student Writing Intensive Continuation Course: Level C (Year 1 of 2)
Fix It! Grammar: Little Mermaid (Book 4) with Teacher's Manual
Phonetic Zoo, Level C (continue)


Literature - Introduction to Literary Analysis:
Teaching the Classics DVD Seminar and Workbook


History - World History II:
A Light to the Nations, Part II: Development of Christian Civilization and Teacher's Manual
with Kolbe Academy's Course Plans & Tests (with high school options)
Additional Literature, Audio Books, and DVDs. 

Mathematics: 
Saxon Algebra 2 with Mastering Algebra John Saxon's Way: Algebra 2 DVD Set
Saxon Algebra 2 Solutions Manual and Homeschool Testing Book
1 hour (shared with other students) of tutoring at weekly co-op 



Science: 
Prentice Hall Chemistry
with Kolbe Academy's Course Plans & Tests and Answer Key
with weekly science lab at co-op

Foreign Language: 
Lukeion Latin I (online class - Ranger only)


Fine Arts:
Meet the Masters: Track D
(Maybe Track E too, but I'm not going to commit to that at this time. One Track might be all we are able to finish this year.) 

Physical Education:
High School Hockey
High School Golf

Additional Non-Academic Credit and/or Activities:
FIRST LEGO League Robotics (Mentors)
Drivers Education (at community college next summer - Ranger only)
Train to serve at a Pontifical High Mass next summer



Twinkle Toes :: 8th Grade

Religion:
Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2 (continue with Dad)
Living For Holiness (Living My Religion Series, Book 8)
Additional Reading Assignments/Saint Stories

Mathematics:
Saxon Math 8/7 with Pre-Algebra with Mastering Algebra John Saxon's Way: Math 87 DVD set
Solutions Manual and Saxon 8/7 Tests and Worksheets
1/2 hour of tutoring each week as needed


Language Arts:
Student Writing Intensive Continuation Course: Level C (Year 1 of 2)
Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts (Book 3) with Teacher's Manual
Phonetic Zoo, Level C
Better Handwriting for Young Catholics
Additional Literature for Independent Reading



History & Geography:
From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America
U.S. Elections Unit Study from Homeschool in the Woods
Maps Charts and Graphs Level G: The World (first semester)
Maps, Charts, Graphs: United States, Past and Present, Level H (second semester)
Additional Literature for Independent Reading, various Audio Books, and Family Read-Alouds along with additional projects/lap books and activities. 



Science:
Physical Science: Concepts In Action; With Earth and Space Science (Prentice Hall)
with Kolbe Academy's Course Plans & Tests and Answer Key
Nature and Observations Notebook (continue weekly nature study)

Health:
Teenagers & Nutrition
Yourself and Your House Wonderful


Fine Arts:
Meet the Masters: Track D

Physical Education:
Middle School Golf

Computer/Technology:
FIRST LEGO League Robotics
Typing



Chiquita :: 6th Grade

Religion:
Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2 (with Dad)
Living In God's Church (Living My Religion Series) Book 6
Additional Reading Assignments/Saint Stories

Mathematics:

Language Arts:
Following Narnia Volume 1: The Lion's Song
Chronicles of Narnia:
The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Horse and His Boy
Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts (Book 3) with Teacher's Manual
Phonetic Zoo, Level A/B
Better Handwriting for Young Catholics


History & Geography:
From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America
U.S. Elections Unit Study from Homeschool in the Woods
Maps Charts and Graphs Level F: Eastern Hemisphere
Additional Literature for Independent Reading, various Audio Books, and Family Read-Alouds along with additional projects/lap books and activities. 

Science:
Focus on Middle School Astronomy with Laboratory Workbook, Quizzes, and Teacher's Manual
Nature's Beautiful Order with Student Guide and Teacher's Key
Nature and Observations Notebook (continue weekly nature study)



Spanish:
Spanish for You!
(at weekly co-op)

Fine Arts:
Meet the Masters: Track D

Physical Education:
Middle School Golf

Computer/Technology:
FIRST LEGO League Robotics
Typing

First LEGO Robotics Meeting and Introduction, just before the school year started. 


Snuggles :: 4th Grade 

Religion:
Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 1 (with Dad)
Living For God (Living My Religion Series) Book 4
Supplemental Religion Books and Saint Stories from Our Monthly Book Baskets

Mathematics:
Saxon 5/4 with Saxon Teacher 5/4 CDs
Solutions Manual and Saxon 5/4 Tests and Worksheets

Logic:
Logic Countdown
Logic Safari Book 2

Language Arts:
Student Writing Intensive, Level A
Phonetic Zoo, Level A
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1) and Teacher's Manual
Handwriting for Young Catholics

 

History & Geography:
Maps Charts and Graphs Level D: States & Regions
State-by-State Study
From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America
U.S. Elections Unit Study from Homeschool in the Woods
Additional Literature for Independent Reading, various Audio Books, and Family Read-Alouds along with additional projects/lap books and activities. 

Science:
Focus on Middle School Astronomy with Laboratory Workbook, Quizzes, and Teacher's Manual
Weekly Nature Study

Art: 
Meet the Masters: Track D

Physical Education:
In-House Hockey League (Nov-Mar -- still undecided due to cost and time commitment)



Rose :: 1st Grade

Religion:
St. Joseph First Communion Catechism (with Dad)
Saint Stories from Our Monthly Book Baskets
Additional Supplemental Religion & First Sacraments Books
(the following pictures show some of the catechism resources we use in our home) 

My Path to Heaven: A Young Person's Guide to the Faith
Chat's With God's Little OnesTheir Hearts Are His GardenManner's in God's HouseMy First Communion CatechismThe Little Children's Prayer BookTrue Stories for First Communicants
My Confession For Little CatholicsLeading The Little Ones to MaryJesus and I 
My Confession BookMy Jesus and IIllustrated CatechismCatholic Nursery Rhymes

Mathematics:
Saxon Math 1

Language Arts:
Primary Arts of Language: Writing and Reading
All About Spelling
Handwriting 1 for Young Catholics
Supplemental Readers and Additional Literature



History & Geography:
Maps, Charts and Graphs Level A: The Places Around Me
Early American History (lots of picture books) 
Presidential Election Unit Study (maybe)

    Science:
    Focus on Elementary Astronomy with Laboratory Workbook and Teacher's Manual
    Miracle of Life Coloring & Activity Book


    Art: 
    Meet the Masters: Track D
    various Arts & Crafts projects throughout the year


    Bud :: Pre-Kindergarten 

    Catholic Children's Treasure Box Books
    Little Saints Pre-School (various themes as we can fit them in)
    Primary Arts of Language: Writing and Reading (he's ready so we are starting now)
    All About Spelling Level 1 (once it's added to our P.A.L. lessons)
    Miracle of Life Coloring & Activity Book
    Early American History (lots of picture books)
    Misc Workbooks for Practice & Fun: Do It CarefullyEverywhere We Go (he loves workbooks)
    Math Manipulative & Worksheets



    Some Additional Family Resources:

    A Year With The Saints: A Virtue for Every Month of the Year
    My Catholic Faith
    Treasure and Tradition

    Natural Science Through the Seasons: 100 Teaching Units
    The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling


    "A goal without a plan is just a wish."

    Choosing our curriculum and setting goals for the year is just the first step...  The next step is to create a plan for achieving our goals in a timely manner, especially for the older children who will need to complete their courses in order to earn credit on their high school transcripts. I've created weekly checklists for each grade and have included the links to my documents above. I'm still working on fine tuning my own routine and schedule, which has been much harder to pin down since my work schedule varies from week to week, but I'm getting there even if it's very slowly. So far our school year is off to a great start! 


    SaveSave