Monday, August 6, 2012

{Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week

Although all the local schools started back 1-2 weeks ago, we're still on summer break. But we are buying school supplies and books and starting to get in that frame of mind. So here's what we'll be doing in 2012-13 with two kids, one in high school and one in middle school.

 First Laurel, who will turn 15 just a week after beginning 10th grade.

Here is what's on Laurel's agenda. She's taking everything through our support group's enrichment class (co-op, tutorial, whatever you want to call it) program:
  •  American Literature: I’ll be teaching this course, and I create my own course materials drawing on various resources. My three favorites are: Glencoe Literature Library, Shmoop, and Signet Classics Teachers’ Guides.  We’ll be reading: The Scarlet Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ethan Frome, My Antonia, The Great Gatsby, A Raisin in the Sun, The Crucible, and To Kill a Mockingbird plus short stories and poetry,. We'll also see at least one play together (A Raisin in the Sun), watch movie versions of novels, and of course do lots of writing. We'll also be using Grammar Girl's Ultimate Writing Guide for Students. You can see my review of it on The Homeschool Classroom.
  • U.S. History and U.S. Government will both be teacher-created courses, not relying on one particular textbook.
  • Geometry will meet twice weekly. I can't actually remember the text they are using.
  • Ecology:  My husband, a biology professor, will be teaching this class for our co-op using Elements of Ecology by Thomas Smith and Robert Smith. Besides the weekly class, they’ll be doing lots of field work in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Can you imagine a more memorable science class?
  • ACT Prep: I am team-teaching this with two other moms. Students will be using The Real ACT Prep Guide.
  • She'll also be doing drama and dance, plus continuing in American Heritage Girls.

Duncan is 11.5 and will be in 6th/7th grade this upcoming year. He kind of moves up mid-year.

We'll be doing a thorough study of World War II this year as our main focus. I'll be using two studies as a guideline:
World War II: The War That Changed the World unit study
World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

We'll read lots and lots of novels, watch movies, take field trips, and, of course, rely heavily on my Dad, who is a World War II veteran. One of Duncan's best friends is also going to be doing the WWII study. We'll do some things together and some things separately, depending on our weekly schedules.

Our World War II study will include reading, writing, and history, but we’ll continue on with our regular math (finishing Teaching Textbooks pre-algebra and then algebra starting in December) and grammar (Easy Grammar). I am excited to begin a new classical science program, Elemental Science, which  “focuses on the science being studied instead of a person’s religious viewpoint.” Duncan will be doing Biology for the Logic Stage. See my review of Biology for the Logic Stage here to find out why we love it so much!

Duncan will also have a solid day of enrichment classes. He'll be taking:
  • Boot Camp: this is a PE-type course.
  • Drama
  • Literature Circle: Monsters and Mayhem. My friend Diane and I are co-teaching this. We'll be reading: Beowulf: A Retelling, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Since this is for middle school, these are all adapted versions of the novels.
  • Hands-on Pre-algebra
  • Knot Tying (great for my Boy Scout!)
  • Lego Club

He'll also be doing flags (creative worship) and another drama class at a performing arts co-op, fencing, and Boy Scouts. Phew!

Another great find for both kids this year is Complete Curriculum. Have you seen this site? It is absolutely amazing! For only $4.95 for a whole year, you can download complete years in language arts, math, science, and social studies. I am going to be using the language arts program in part for Duncan. This stuff is fantastic!

And I think that's it! I am actually really excited about this upcoming year. We've had a full summer, so I feel ready to get back to it all. How about you?

You can link up your curriculum post at the {Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop on iHomeschool Network. Next week, we'll be touring school rooms. Guess I'd better get busy fixing up mine!


  1. Good stuff! My daughter Sarah is 12.5 and, as we've just left public school last year, we're using this year to hit some "catch-up" stuff that I realized she's been missing from her earlier years.

    So, like Duncan, by the end of the year, I expect her to be the equivalent of midway through seventh grade!

    (Though, here in PA, she's just "a plain old seventh-grader", because our paperwork requirements are ridiculous!)

    Can't wait to see how they like their year!

  2. Thanks for the links! There were a few in there I've never seen before; I'll have to go exploring.

  3. You have some really interesting ideas that I will have to explore further!

  4. Sounds like a great year! Love the science class. I wish I could take it!

  5. What wonderful idea. You all are going to have a great year.
    Blessings, Dawn


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