Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

 

Guess what? Our curriculum choices for this year are pretty much the same as last year. After researching, thinking, and praying, we have found things that work with our family and our goals for homeschooling.  Plus sticking with what works is just one of the ways I keep our homeschool simple. Bonus? I think my guys rather appreciate the predictability.  I’m helping them to focus on what they’re learning rather than how they’re learning. And it saves me time in preparation. All that to say, here’s what we’re using this year —

 

Bible: Ambleside Year 2 for scheduled Bible reading, Awana for Bible verse memory work, CC for Bible memory work

Each morning, I read aloud from the Bible. Then we “picture, ponder, pray” our way through the passage. For picture, they draw about the reading in a spiral bound art book. For ponder, we discuss the meaning or implications of the passage. For pray, we pray back to God some part of the passage or pray through an application to our lives from the passage. This is one of my favorite parts of the day, because the time spent this way tells me so much about their hearts and helps to set mine right.

I meet with each of them individually to review their memory verses. Sometimes they review with each other. As a group, we’ll simply recite the Bible memory work for CC.

 

Math: Saxon K, 2, and 4/5

 

I’ve set aside an hour for Math time.  The first fifteen minutes we’ll do calendar time as a group. The older ones have a more detailed calendar time, while I’ll be teaching the youngers how to do it. My 5 year old is beginning with Saxon K this year and his 3 year old little sister will be tagging along for as long as her interest remains. Since she’s been begging for weeks to “do math,” I’d say her interest is at an all-time high right now.

 

For the remainder of the hour, I’ll work with each of my guys individually for fifteen minute increments (or less depending on need) starting with the youngest and finishing with the oldest. I like that with Saxon we work through the A side together and then they complete the B side on their own.  It helps me to see where they need more help.

 

Science: Apologia Anatomy & Physiology, nature studies

 

Because our primary focus for Science during the grammar years is to 1. maximize their curiosity and 2. memorize the basics, we spend more of our Science time with nature studies.  This includes time outside and time in books. We also have Apologia Anatomy this year for additional reading, as needed. I like to have a trusted reference guide on hand for Science to provide additional information when questions arise (due to the major philosophical differences among scientists), but if doing this overloads us, I will drop it quickly. Learning the memory work and exploring really is enough for this age.

 

Fine Arts: CC and Ambleside Year 2

 

I purchased the Acts & Facts Artist cards this year and I’m excited to have this resource right at hand. For my boys relishing in the artwork of the artists for our Ambleside year last year was one of the favorite things we did, so we will continue it this year.

 

Latin: Song School Latin, Book 1

 

We’ve added additional Latin studies in this year, because I was given a solid piece of advice from a CC mom with older children. To better prepare for Essentials and Challenge, start doing more Latin studies at a younger age. I selected Song School Latin for its ease of use. So far, we have not been disappointed! My guys love it!

 

Geography: CC Memory work, continent blobbing

 

Language Arts: First Language Lessons Book 1 & 2, Spelling Workout B & C, Prescripts, 100 Easy Lessons

 

Read-Alouds and Independent Reading: Ambleside Year 2, Cycle 3 Book List

 

You should know that while I’m sticking with, I’m not settling for.  We love each and every curriculum choice we’ve made. But, I do realize these choices won’t last forever. Please share! What curriculum do you love?

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    I’m also using First Language Lessons 1 with my first grader. We’re also going to use Song School Spanish. I’m excited to try this program! I think it’s going to be great! I’m considering using the Song School Latin for when we start Latin. :)

    • Beth Watson says

      I’d love to hear what you think about the Spanish version! I have Spanish in my heritage & would love for my littles to learn the language one day. :)

  2. says

    Loving many of your choices. I too, prefer to do Bible in this way….”picture, ponder, pray” <–I love that! Also doing Awana w/ our kiddos…and Apologia! We'll be doing Zoology 3 then maybe Hum. Anatomy 2nd half if possible. Will have to look into Song School Latin…Latin is one thing that fell by the wayside last year and I wasn't willing to commit this year.
    Don't you love Ambleside's recommendations? They have become a trusted resource for us.
    Blessings for a new year. ~Joanna

    • says

      You would love Song School Latin, Joanna! You don’t even have to worry about committing =) Last year we just did a lesson when we had time for it and the kids have picked up on it amazingly. They love singing the songs and doing the coloring pages. It’s such a fun way to begin Latin =)

      • Beth Watson says

        I’m glad to hear that, Amy! As you know, we’ve only just begun with Song School Latin. In our short time, my littles have really enjoyed it & learned so much! They’ve started to speak it in regular conversations. :) The grandparents enjoy it. haha

        • says

          Haha. Yeah, people always get a kick out if it when they ask my kids what their favorite subject is and they say “Latin!” Our dental hygienist was shocked last year =)

  3. says

    beautiful plan! Love your bible time in the morning! My little one is 3 and I have been considering awana for her in the fall. I went through the program as a child and LOVED it. Thanks for sharing your resources for learning!

    • Beth Watson says

      We’re big Awana fans here too, Jessica! I’m writing up a post now on how we use Awana in our homeschool.

  4. says

    We, too, have loved school song Latin.We are using Apologia science, a combo of Saxon and Singapore math. I did IEW Bible Heroes last year with my oldest (she was 8) in preparation for Essentials this year. We LOVED it! I felt like it really showed us how to do key word outlines, how to dress up our writing, how to make it more vibrant, in addition to teaching some parts of speech and vocabulary. I fit in FLL 3 where I could with her. In fact we didn’t finish it but are trying to knock the rest of it out before Essentials starts b/c it does have a lot of diagramming sentences. We are also using IEW’s Phonetic Zoo for spelling for her and All About Spelling/Spell to Write and Read with my 6 year old. Our Bible is Our 24 Family Ways-color, copy and character trait. We LOVE this book! Our CC campus is actually implementing the character traits into our morning meeting time/having the tutors touch on them in class. My 3 and 1 year old are along for the ride :)
    Thanks for sharing all you are doing and so many great helps, etc…It is so appreciated!
    Blessings on your year!
    Autumn

  5. says

    hello there! i am a mother of two – an almost 3 year-old boy and almost 1 year-old daughter. i am considering starting my son on classical conversations curriculum when he turns four, possibly sooner. the closest CC group to us is 3.5 hours away and that is something that we just cannot do every week. is there a way that we can go about doing a CC homeschool curriculum without attending a CC group every week? also, how do we go about getting started with a CC curriculum? thanks!

    • Beth Watson says

      Hi! You certainly can. While CC (and I) encourages joining community for lots of good reasons, it’s certainly not possible for everyone. Aside from starting your own community closer (which you could do!), you can do your own “Foundations” type class at home. You can order the Foundations guide at classicalconversations.com That is the curriculum for three years worth. I’d get the audio cds also, because they help so much in learning the memory work. And essentially you’d work weekly to learn the memory work at home as a family. There’s so much more to a classical education though then just the memory work, so I’d encourage you to do some reading on it to see how you can round that out at home. For your young ones, I’d consider Five in A Row or another reading heavy curriculum. Check out the tab at the top of my blog, Classical Conversations and in the drop down box – What is CC? That should help answer some questions. Also, under the Books tab on the right, drop down box – CC at Home Book Club, you can find some of my favorite classical education resources for you as a mom. Does this help? If you have more questions, please let me know! :)

  6. says

    Hi Beth,

    Thank you for this. A true God-send. I have always wanted to homeschool but have never had the chance because I have had to work full time outside the home. We now have a unique opportunity to move as a family overseas to Qatar where my husband is working on an extended contract. With this move, I will finally be able to be a SAHM and homeschool. I have friends here in Louisiana who do Classical Conversations and love it. I would love to try it but I know it is unlikely to have an expat community in Qatar doing it so I will have to do it from home.

    Being new to homeschooling as well as CC, I have tons of questions. :) I would love to touch base with you offline as questions arise. In the meantime, can you start me off by suggesting how I can budget for purchasing CC curriculum for a to-be 10 year old 4th grader? I am honestly lost when looking at the CC bookstore website. I probably need to order soon, as we plan to move by the end of the summer. Also a friend mentioned that I will probably need to add a separate math curriculum. If so, do you suggest a specific one?
    E
    Thanks in advance,
    Haelie

    • Beth Watson says

      Wow, Haelie! What an exciting adventure for y’all!! In my humble opinion, the most important purchases from the CC website are the Foundations guide (has all the info) and the audio CDs. We love the music for remembering the memory work. For math, we’ve used Saxon for years and love it. We’re continuing with it for next year too. Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have other questions. You can email me at bethwatson115 {at} gmail {dot} com. :)

  7. says

    I had never heard of picture, ponder, pray, and now I can’t wait to implement it! I love how practical your blog is. Thank you for your work!

    • Beth Watson says

      Thanks, April! I read it in a study I used once and it’s such a great way to approach the Bible that we use it all the time. :)

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