It’s time for the 9th Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! Are you ready for the new homeschool year? We are, almost.
The mere idea of teaching multiple subjects to four different grades is exhausting. So a few years ago, I opted to combine subjects and curriculum when possible. We adjust the workload and expectations depending on the girl’s ability and interest, and not on their grade level.
Right from the start, the girls are involved in the curriculum choice process. This helps take a little of the pressure off me, and helps them become more accountable for their own education.
Before overwhelming you with our middle & high school curriculum choices, you should know that our homeschool style is a combination between the Classical Education Method and the Charlotte Mason Philosophy. Therefore our curriculum choices will reflect a bit of both. We call it Classical Charlotte Mason. You can read more about it here.
Something else you ought to know, is that we’re huge fans of history, science and the arts. Therefore you’ll see a larger selection of resources in those areas.
Here is some of the middle and high school curriculum we’re using this year:
Artist, Composer, Nature and Poetry Study
For years, we’ve followed the artist, composer, nature and poetry study schedules from Ambleside Online, however this year, our focus on American history will drive most of our learning.
Artist & Composer Study
Check out this post, with our favorite free and paid art and music resources.
Essays, Poetry & Short Stories
We’ll use these to complement our history and literature focus for the year. These are part of our morning readings, which are done as a group.
We love books. At least most of us do, so deciding what to read each year is probably the most difficult task. This year, our American history focus made the selection much easier.
The middle school reading list includes:
The high school reading list includes:
We will also read Amos Fortune Free Man, Fahrenheit 451, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and The Jungle as a group.
Check out this post, for more language arts resources.
Vocabulary & SAT Prep
I picked up a set of Marie’s Words at a homeschool convention last year. These were designed and illustrated by a brother and sister team, to help with SAT readiness. We’ve used these on an off since, however since my 11th grader will be taking the SAT’s soon they will be a permanent addition to our curriculum selection.
Electives & Foreign Language
Apologetics are an important part of our homeschool, I’ve been intentional about teaching my girls the importance of defending their faith in Christ, as well as the authority of the Bible. This year, we’ll be using Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side by Natasha Crain. The book touches on 40 of the most common challenges kids face when explaining their faith.
There are several free and paid resources for teaching apologetics to children. You can see a list of my top 10 go-to kid-friendly resources here.
We added logic to our curriculum selection last semester. I was surprised and pleased when my high schoolers actually looked forward to the daily discussions and excercises. According to Classical Education, the second stage of development, is the logic/dialectic stage. In which children grow in understanding, by asking questions, analyzing and debating
History Revealed World Empires, World Missions and World Wars – This is the only curriculum series we’ve used since the beginning. This series alone, instilled a love for history and learning in general that drives how and what we learn every year. Since this volume covers much more than American history, which is our focus this year, we will use it as a guide, and continue right where we left off next year.
The Concise History of the American Republic, will be our major resource this year. The artist, composer and nature studies mentioned before; as well as literature, poetry, short stories and essays will complement our overall understanding of American history.
If you’re looking for additional American history resources, check out this post.
The girls will continue with the Life of Fred series. My 6th grader will start with Pre-Algebra 0, my 7th grader will finish Pre-Algebra 1 and continue with Pre-Algebra 2. My 9th grader is moving on to Advanced Algebra and my 11th grader will finish up Geometry.
We’ve really enjoyed the silliness of Life of Fred, even I’ve managed to learn a few things!
Science is another favorite around here, and Apologia resources are to blame. This year, we will continue using their Exploring Creation series.
The middle schoolers will jump in to Exploring Creation with General Science, and the high schoolers will continue with Exploring Creation with Biology (9th Grade) & Exploring Creation with Chemistry (11th Grade).
We will continue to follow the Ambleside Online Shakespeare Rotation Schedule. The selections for the 2017-2018 term are Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice. You can access a large variety of Shakespeare’s works online on No Fear Shakespeare.
What’s on your list this year?