Open House: 2015/16 Homeschool Curricula Choices

I confess that I sometimes enjoy stalking reading about other homeschool families and their curricula and schedules and routines as we begin a new homeschool year. I suppose it can lead to the not so great practice of comparing myself to others and either feeling pride or discouragement. But, in a positive way, it can also give me the reassuring feeling that there really are other families out there making this homeschooling thing work. And my homeschool might not look just like your homeschool or even the homeschool of a local friend, but we’re all homeschooling. It’s a sense of camaraderie.

Sharing our homeschool curricula, schoolroom pictures, and daily routine

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Because I like to read about other homeschools, I like to share about ours as well. This week I’m writing three Open House posts. I’m going to share our curriculum, pictures of our spaces where school happens, and a look at a typical- if there is a such thing- day. You can find links to all three posts here by the end of the week.

I’d also love to have you link up your Open House posts. You can link up one or more- like I’m doing. I’ll leave the linky up all week. I’d love to have a peek at what you’re doing. And I like sharing what other homeschoolers are doing as well.

Today I’m sharing our curricula choices for the year. We’re fairly eclectic, so I have lots of pieced together curriculum. Kathryne and Charles- my two high school students- have their own curricula. Ashlyne and Rachel still school mostly together, so they have the same curriculum.

A look at our homeschool curricula choices for this year

Kathryne- age 16; grade 11

*Kathryne’s schedule looks pretty loaded- and in some ways it is- but most of her electives are 1/2 credit so she’s only doing them one semester.

Bible/Literature/History- My Father’s World: U.S. History to 1877
     My Father’s World is a literature based curriculum that gives a high school credit in Bible (which we count as an elective), history, and literature. This year Kathryne is using the BJU American history textbook as a history spine. She’s also doing a few Bible studies and reading some classic American literature and biographies of prominent, historical Americans.
Math– CTC Math
Science- Apologia Chemistry and Apologia Marine Biology- Yes, the crazy child is taking two Apologia sciences. We had already decided on Chemistry when she saw the Marine Biology offered through a local high school co-op. Because she wants to be a science major, she jumped at the chance to do the additional science.
Foreign Language- French from Mango Languages
ElectiveEconomics for Everybody from Compass Classroom (1/2 credit)
Elective- ASL from Schoolhouse Teachers (1/2 credit)
Elective- Social Justice from Schoolhouse Teachers (1/2 credit)
Elective- Shakespeare- This is actually a course I’m putting together for her because she wanted a Shakespeare elective. It’s based off of the book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig
Additional Activities- praise and worship dance with the arts academy at our church. She’s also looking for a job (woohoo!).

Charles- age 14; grade 9

* While Kathryne loves and thrives in a literature based curriculum- which is what would be my first choice- Charles does not. Choosing his curricula involved backing off of what I love and taking into consideration what he needs. He thrives on a more textbook based approach. And the mastery learning approach of the Lifepacs from Alpha Omega really seems to fit him well.

Bible/History/LiteratureNotgrass Exploring World History
     Notgrass has a textbook but also incorporates literature that ties in with the lessons and time periods. He’s reading through some classics as well as reading through world history.
Math- Alpha Omega Lifepac for Algebra 1
Science- Alpha Omega Lifepac for Biology
Writing- IEW Student Writing Intensive and Fix-It Grammar Robin Hood
Elective- Photography from Schoolhouse Teachers
Additional Activities– He plans to help our church sports league as a volunteer. He’s also looking for a job (another woohoo!).

Ashlyne (grade 6; age 11) and Rachel (grade 5; age 10)

*I’m still doing most of the schoolwork with Ashlyne and Rachel. I love this time because I know it will end all too soon. I love reading aloud to them!

Bible/History/Literature- Notgrass America the Beautiful
     As with the older level Notgrass, the girls have a main textbook, but they also have real literature that goes along with it.
Bible (additional)Grapevine Studies– I didn’t really think that the Bible lessons in Notgrass for America the Beautiful had much depth, so in addition the girls are using various studies from Grapevine. We’re beginning with Ruth and Moses and the Exodus. I’m not sure what I’ll pick next, but those take us into the second quarter. I’d like to do the Birth of Jesus near Christmas.
Additional Literature Units– Although literature is covered through reading great books, there isn’t really a study of literature. I’m planning on bringing in a variety of studies. For the first quarter, we’re reading the biography of C.S. Lewis from YWAM and using an accompanying unit study. After that, I’ll pick another classic and find a lapbook or study to correspond. (If I get really creative, I’ll make my own.)
Spelling- Spelling You See
Writing– IEW- I didn’t purchase the student sets for them. I’ve got the premium version of the teacher training, so I’m using what I’ve learned along with the enormous amounts of material from the premium subscription to teach them with this style.
Math- CTC Math
Art- ARTistic Pursuits Elementary Book 2
Vocabulary PracticeWord Up from Compass Classroom
Music- Meet the Great Composers I’m supplementing this book with Youtube videos of the composers and their music.
Additional Activities- Ashlyne is continuing with gymnastics, although she’s not competing this year. She really wanted a drop in hours so that she could pursue other things. She and Rachel are both doing praise and worship dance at our church.

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