Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum

In just a few weeks I'll be Starting Year 12, this year with a 5th grader (age 10 1/2) and a freshman (nearly 14) in high school. Our older son (18) will be returning to Nashville for his sophomore year in college. Click on the link to my article on The Homeschool Classroom to see how we begin a new year.

My daughter will be starting high school, so for the first time, my younger two will be doing completely separate studies. You can read all about what she'll be doing at High School, Take Two on Simple Homeschool. I have two changes since I wrote the post back in May. The question everyone asks is: So what will she be doing for science if we aren't big fans of Apologia? Sheepishly, I must admit that she'll be doing Apologia's Physical Science through our co-op. It just didn't work out for my husband to teach a science class this year, so, yeah... The second change is that she'll be taking a class on Excel and Powerpoint through our co-op. I think this is the class she's most excited about taking! For everything else and more about starting high school, please visit the link to my Simple Homeschool article!

And so for the first time ever, I'll be doing a Sonlight Core with just one child. I'm excited to get to do Sonlight Core 5 (now called Core F) with Duncan. This study of the Eastern Hemisphere was my absolute favorite Sonlight Core. I can hardly wait to read our way through the continents again with Ghengis Khan, Commodore Perry, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and so many more memorable characters, real and fictional!

Sonlight will be the foundation—literature and history— for Duncan, and we'll round out our days with a variety of other resources.
* Math: Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra
* Grammar: Easy Grammar 6
* Spelling: Spelling Power
* Critical Thinking: Mind Benders
* Reading: Besides doing Sonlight readers, he'll be taking my literature circle at co-op. The theme is "Extraordinary Adventures," and we'll be reading Battle for the Castle, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Indian in the Cupboard.
* Handwriting: He'll continue in whatever book we didn't finish last year.
* Writing: First semester, we'll just do writing as it comes along. Second semester, he'll be taking my creative writing class at our co-op.
* Science: He'll be taking two science courses at our co-op. One is called Mission to Mars, and it will culminate in a trip to the Challenger Mission Center in Chattanooga. The other is a chemistry-based one. I may also do botany at home with him.
* Performing Arts: Shakespeare class at one co-op and flags (creative worship) and drama at a performing arts co-op.

Besides the academics above, the kids are both extremely active in scouting programs: American Heritage Girls for Laurel and Cub Scouts for Duncan. We do tons of badge work that adds another whole dimension to learning, and the kids both learn great leadership and teamwork skills.

We still have a few weeks before we start, but I'm getting excited!

Linked up with the Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter. Blog hoppers, leave a comment so I check out what coming up for your year!
Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. Jay Wiles apologia curriculum is excellent. It is very Biblically and Scientifically based. Jay is a great guy though we totally disagree on what a Calorie is. Unlike Jay I can say with confidence that, like the book written in 1961 Calories Don't Count, that they DON't count, or rather it is the type of calorie. A calorie of Fat does NOT act like a calorie from Carbs. It acts differently on the insulin creation in the body no matter what Jay thinks. Now, I know what he is saying, in Physics a Calorie has a specific definition and blah, blah, blah. However, it does NOT work the same biochemically in the body if from Fat vs. Carb. Other than that Jay is probably the most solid curriculum one can buy, IMNSHO. Oh, and I don't think the calorie stuff enters into the curriculum though I haven't comprehensively checked. Oh, I think I also had a gripe with Jay over Gary North. North is perhaps the most brilliant writer theologically speaking in the last and on into this century. Unfortunately, Jay and many others allow their mistaken eschatological views to interfere with good theology.

  2. We love Sonlight's history and literature, too. Many of your choices match ours.

  3. Oh, and another thing. I think the Excel would be an excellent course. However, if Laurel Rose desires to take a presentation course I would strongly steer AWAY from Powerpoint and toward the FREE and better prezi. Go to and you can always do it for FREE. Not only is it free but better. PPT was originally established to provide a way to present a Powerful Point NOT to do a slide show like the majority of professors where one merely parrots one's notes. Prezi, I've found, forces a person to think about his powerful points in presentation and allows for much more interesting presentations. PPT defeats itself by providing Templates that in fact work against powerful point making.

  4. sounds like a good year you have planned out.

  5. You have some great choices. I hope you have a wonderful year.

  6. LOVE The Phantom Tollbooth. In another year, have him read HAROUN AND THE SEA OF STORIES, which will remind both of you of Tollbooth but kick it up a notch.

  7. Sounds like you have a great year planned! I'm always interested to hear how others homeschool high school. We're not there yet, but it's just around the corner!

    Extraordinary Adventures and Mission to Mars sound like lots of fun!

    Have a wonderful year of homeschooling!

  8. Wow, you've been at this a while. I'll remember that if I need some advice! This is only my 2nd year as a homeschool mom.

  9. Looks like a well planned year is coming up. Core 5 was my oldest daughter's favorite core. Enjoy your year.

  10. Looks like you'll have a fun year, thanks for sharing. BTW, love the Smokies, it's one of the most beautiful places in the world!


I love comments! Thanks for taking the time to leave one. I have comment moderation on, so your comment will take a little bit to appear.