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After trying various homeschool curriculum and philosophies (traditional, classical, Charlotte Mason, un-schooling, etc.), we realized that like many other families our style didn’t really fit into any one single box. Our learning style has evolved over time, and we’ve finally come up with our own “philosophy”. We consider ourselves interest-led-classical-charlotte-mason-homeschoolers. Maybe we should come up with an acronym for that one.
What this means to us, is that the girls are very involved in choosing curriculum, field-trips, and any other learning activities. We borrow ideas from different styles, and come up with customized educational plans.
Our curriculum choices for this year, are very similar to last year. For the most part, we stuck to publishers we know and love. Also we enjoy learning as a family, so we use the one-room-schoolhouse-approach on some subjects. Here are our choices for our 2016-2017 school year:
5th Grade Curriculum
After nearly 3 years of Teaching Textbooks, the we decided to give Life of Fred a try as a supplement. We fell in love with the stories immediately, and before we knew it Fred was a regular topic of conversation at the dinner table. Fred’s life was a much better fit for our homeschool, so we switched completely last semester. This year Olivia will be starting with Life of Fred Fractions and Decimals & Percents. Because the Fred books are so much fun to read, it’s very likely she’ll go way beyond that.
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, by Roger Lancelyn Green
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Story of My Life, by Hellen Keller
Because of her love for all swimming things, last year Olivia chose to learn about sea creatures. We had such a great time with the lessons and projects on Apologia’s Swimming Creatures, that she decided to explore flying creatures next. This year we will be using Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.
Olivia will also be exploring sound, video and graphics editing with Quicktime and Garage Band as she works on her YouTube channel.
6th Grade Curriculum
Though the girls started this curriculum at the same time last year, Rose got just a bit further ahead than her sister. This year she’ll start with Life of Fred Decimals & Percents and Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics. Since she is a big fan of Fred and his silly stories, I’m sure she’ll get further ahead.
Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
The Von Trapp Family Singers, by Maria Von Trapp
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss
This is one of those subjects where the one-room-schoolhouse-approach would work very well, however based on the varying interests of my girls, they’ve each decided on different ‘specialties’. Rose will be learning about land animals with Apologia’s Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day.
Rose will continue exploring new recipes, and crafts for YouTube.
8th Grade Curriculum
The switch to Life of Fred was complete when the most skeptical of my girls gave it her approval. After flying through previous levels for the sole purpose of finding out everything there was to know about Fred, Amaya will start her year with Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology and Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics. This girl loves math, so there’s no telling how far she’ll get this year.
Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens
Emma, by Jane Austen
Freckles, by Gene Stratton Porter
Lorna Doone, by R. D. Blackmore
After a year full of simple experiments with Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Chemistry, Amaya is ready for a bigger challenge. This girl also loves science and she will be using Apologia’s Eploring Creation with Physical Science this year.
Amaya will be learning Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Premier Pro on the Adobe Creative Cloud.
10th Grade Curriculum
I had planned on adding government to Kayla’s schedule in the 11th grade, but instead we decided to take full advantage of the Hamilton Musical momentum, and we will tackle government now. I used the The Story of The Constitution with my two oldest and really enjoyed how thorough it was, and the pace of the curriculum. We will stick with what we know!
Math has always been a struggle for my two oldest girls, and Fred’s approach has made understanding algebra a possibility. We are extremely grateful. This year Kayla will continue with Life of Fred Advanced Algebra.
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
We are a science loving family, and I must say that Exploring Creation With Biology was a lot of fun last year. We are looking forward to more challenging experiments this year. Kayla will be using Apologia Exploring Creation With Chemistry 2nd Edition.
Kayla will continue to learn the piano, and develop her voice.
We tend to take a more classical approach to writing, so for the 2nd year in a row we will follow Memoria Press’ Classical composition based on the progymnasmata, a classical method of teaching writing.
5th & 6th Grade
8th and 10th Grade
This will be our 4th year doing the History Revealed series. This is the only curriculum that has survived our entire journey, and I’ve come to absolutely love history through this series. It begins with creation and it touches on every major biblical and historical event. All four of my girls enjoys nearly every activity, which range from reading, cooking, art appreciation and performing skits. The suggested timeline per unit is 4 weeks, but we like to take our time exploring each section, and we typically complete one unit in 6 week. This year we’ll be picking up at the end of Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries, and will finish up the year with World Empires, World Missions and World Wars.
We tried learning Spanish in our homeschool for a couple of years, however since it’s a language the kids often hear relatives speak, they we’re very interested. After looking at different possibilities we decided to learn Latin because of the multiple advantages it offers. We’ve loved Memoria Press curriculum for some time, and tried First Form Latin last year. We will be finishing up our first year of Latin in the next couple of months, and will move on to Second Form Latin next.
Literature (Read Alouds)
Henry V, by William Shakespeare
The Winters Tale, by William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare
8th and 10th Grade Only
As part of our classical studies, we will introduce Logic in our homeschool. We will start wit Memoria Press’ Traditional Logic Book I, and will continue on to Traditional Logic Book II as time allows.
A Customized and Well Rounded Education
One great advantage of homeschooling is that we have the opportunity to customize every aspect of our kids education. I love that I can teach according to what my girls are interested in, and that we have the time an ability to explore art, music, cooking, sports and technology. Because we worked as a team, we feel this will be our best year yet. We are exited to get school started a week from today!
What are some of your curriculum choices for this year?