Monday, August 6, 2012

Our 2012 - 2013 Homeschool Curriculum (3rd Grader, 2nd Grader, and 2 Preschoolers!)

I love planning. I think part of the reason homeschooling appealed to me so much (in addition to the obvious reasons!) was that I get to do a whole lot of planning and list-making. Most of our books are here, and we are just about ready to go: two weeks until school starts! Here's what we're using this year:

For the Older Kids (3rd and 2nd Grade)

I can't believe I have a third grader. When did that happen?

Yes, curriculum. Here's what we're using. For the most part, Pooks and Sauce do the same things for history, science, French, grammar, and math. Spelling, reading, and writing are all subjects they do at their own pace.

Language Arts:

Grammar: First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind 2

Spelling: Spelling Workout B (Sauce) and C (Pooks) {I fully expect to have to buy the next level of each for both girls at some point during the school year. They enjoy spelling and absorb it very quickly.}

Writing: Writing Strands 2 and 3

Reading: I've said before that we generally follow the Classical education model outlined in The Well-Trained Mind. However, reading is one of the areas in which we deviate from a strictly Classical approach. I may mix in some readings that tie into our history study, but for the most part, I've come up with a reading list for each of my older girls based on quality children's literature. Pooks' reading list is mostly comprised of novels, such as Trumpet of the Swan, Black Beauty, Through the Looking Glass, etc.

{Tip: Look in the dollar section at Target -- seriously. They have a decent selection of Junior Classics for Young Readers in right now, and though they are abridged editions of classic novels, I think they're a great way to familiarize my girls with these well-loved books. In a year or two, we'll read the full edition of each, and I think it will be interesting to compare the abridged and unabridged editions as a lesson all its own.}

Sauce is starting out with some quality picture books (Frog and Toad are Friends, Swamp Angel, Strega Nona, etc., and then transitioning into some of those Junior Classics once she's ready.)


The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times -- This is our first year using Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World series, and I'm looking forward to it. Many of the topics in Bauer's book will be supplemented by books from the library as well.


Elemental Science: Earth Science and Astronomy for the Grammar Stage


Math is something that I want them to become fully comfortable with, so it doesn't become as stressful as it was for me throughout school. I am letting them work through it at their own pace, and at this point, we're using a combination of workbooks and Khan Academy, as well as games and activities to reinforce math concepts (I found several good ideas in the book Family Math that we will be using this year -- definitely worth a look if you want to work more math into your day-to-day life!).

Dorling Kindersley's Math Made Easy 2nd and 3rd Grade
Khan Academy Math


Muzzy French


Art: we're doing regular picture study, and the kids will be learning to create with chalk pastels this year, with help from their dad (I decided to have them work in chalk pastels after reading the tutorials over on HodgePodge.)

Music Appreciation: We'll be listening to a different composer each week.

Nature Study: Sometimes, this will be worked into our formal science study, but in general I want to make nature study something we do more regularly.

For the Preschoolers:

I'm making each Little a binder full of practice sheets in page protectors (I'll pull together a list of what I'm including) to be their quiet work, since they want to "do school" now, too. They can work in the binders while I'm busy with the older girls. The bulk of our activity will be reading, reading, reading! We'll also be playing games, doing experiments from Mudpies to Magnets, and covering the main topics in What Your Preschooler Needs to Know. At this age, I really believe that they should be engaged in free, creative play.

So, that's the plan! I am ready to go, and the kids are excited to start school as well.

I'm linking up to the NOT Back to School blog hop over at iHomeschool Network!