Curriculum Planning 2014-2015

It’s that time again! Can you believe it?! This school year really has flown by. I can’t believe it’s March! In fact, it’s almost April, which means that current  curriculum will be done soon and it’ll be time to start new stuff. Such is the nature of a year round schedule. Our goal for the year is I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E. All together now…independence! The basis for this being that our family is gaining a new little student come June!

24wks

Remember in my last post I said we were leaving Heart of Dakota. Well here’s my mash-up of a replacement. I think I’ve got my mind made up on most things. And again, another one of my goals is to turn our curriculum into a more African centered one.

I’m waffling in the way that I think I want to swing in history, trying to decide what I want to use now and what I’d prefer to save for next year. Currently the plan is to use the Golden Legacy series and create my own curriculum. I love the fact that they’re comic book style books, since Kidd Z is really into that kind of stuff. There’s 16 books in the series, so we’ll be able to spend a good two weeks on each one.

I’m also wavering on math. My brain says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and CLE has really been good for us. Kidd Z has come a long way and really likes the workbook style and speed drills. But then again I am striving for him to gain more independence this year, so I’m really liking the idea of Teaching Textbooks.

Science will be Apologia Astronomy this year and I hope that our recent move to NorCal will give us more opportunities to see the sky (love SoCal, hate the smog). I’d really like to get enough units done by August so that we can get in some meaningful star gazing and a good solid trip to the Observatory during the summer. And because I’m lazy and hate collecting things, I’ll be buying a pre-assembled kit….don’t judge me!

We’re expanding on what we use from CLE this year. We’re branching out and using Social Studies, Bible, Spanish, and Language Arts, all grade 4. I’m kind of excited about it.

For Reading we’ll be picking up Drawn into the Heart of Reading from Heart of Dakota. I’ve always liked the looks of this program, but looking at samples, decided that it wasn’t something I wanted to use until 4th grade because of the work load. I’ve created my own book list, though, and think I’ll be letting Kidd Z decide if he wants paperback books, or if he’d like to use his Kindle instead.

For writing I am again indecisive between a few programs. I like that Igniting Your Writing and Essentials in Writing are more independent, but I like the looks (and cost) of the Scott Foresman handbooks as well. IYW is winning for now, I really love the way it builds on itself and is written directly to the student. It also looks like the most fun, which we’ll need, since Kidd Z isn’t into writing at all.

P.E. will consist of our regular park trips (there is one literally across the street from our new place), neighborhood walks, whatever homeschool park days we may happen upon, youth football in the Fall, and likely basketball in the Spring, though I know the Kidd really wants to try martial arts. He also has the chance to take gymnastics with the Flying W’s since they’re friends of the Funk Master Father. Haven’t heard of the Flying W’s? You’re missing out!!!

We both really enjoy our read aloud time, so I think we’ll take it out of our daytime routine and move it to bedtime. Because of our DITHOR selections I will likely stick with a mix of classics and some books that I just know he’ll enjoy. I’ll update again when I have my booklist.

I think that covers all the “big” stuff. Then we have:

Kidd Z is a drummer at heart, so we’ll be looking for a private drum teacher, he already has his own drum set, which we will banish to the garage. That plus the children’s choir at church will cover music.  Nutrition will be covered again in the kitchen while helping with dinner, as he’s really enjoyed helping me in the kitchen this year. I think we may dabble in computers a bit, as well. He likes “technology” so I think we may try some basic coding with Tynker and typing with Dance Mat. He also has a set of Snap Circuits that he really enjoys that I’d like to expand on. I’d like him to move away from wanting to watch TV and play video games all the time and get into more creative playing.

Finally there’s Art. This is something we have struggled with. FMF is a an excellent artist. Kidd Z didn’t inherit this talent and it frustrates him to no end. We’ve tried to “wing” this subject over the years and it just hasn’t been working. He still hates to draw, which is a skill that always manages to pop up in other subjects. I’m trying curriculum this year with I Can Do All Things. I’m praying this is fun enough for him to enjoy and want to do, as this is my last shot before I turn him over to a local co-op. Cross your fingers!

So…What are you planning?

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