Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Classroom and Curriculum


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We will be starting our 2017-2018 on Monday, August 14!  Where did the summer go?


I am grateful we have a room in our home that is designated as the "classroom", but when we first started homeschooling in 2005, we used our dining room table in our previous home and didn't have a room just for school. (And really a "homeschool room" is not a necessity to have a successful and thriving homeschool experience.) In reality school work is done all over the house and even outside.  We just have all our school "stuff" stored in one room.

Not much has changed through the years with how our room looks and how I organize our homeschool books. If interested, take a little tour of the room and an explanation of our book baskets and foam boards where our curriculum is stored and stays organized .  I must say I struggle finding the "perfect" system for many things, but our book baskets have worked for us for several years now so that's one thing I'm not changing (yet).  Maybe it will inspire you and be helpful!



In year's past I have spent most of my summers discussing, contemplating, discerning, feeling sometimes a bit overwhelmed about curriculum decisions and praying about our upcoming homeschool year.  This summer I didn't spend as much time researching and looking at curriculum options because I have soooo much stored in boxes from the past 12 years of homeschooling.  So I spent time looking through my storage boxes. :)

I don't buy a "box curriculum", but rather I pick and choose from several different companies of what I think will work best for each of my children's learning styles and needs.  That's one of the beauties of homeschooling..being able to meet each child's needs with curriculum choices that I hope will help them thrive and become successful, but most importantly will help them grow closer to our Lord and His Church.

If interested, here are posts from previous years of what I selected for each child:

2010-2011 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 5th, 3rd, 1st grade and a 3 year old) 

2011-2012 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 6th, 4th, 2nd grade and a 3 1/2 year old)

2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 7th, 5th, 3rd grade and a 4 year old) 

2013-2014 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 8th, 6th, 4th, and Kindergarten grade and I just had Baby #5)

2014-2015 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 9th, 7th, 5th, 1st grade and a 1 year old)

2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 10th, 8th, 6th, 2nd grade and a 2 year old) 

2016-2017 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 11th, 9th, 7th, 3rd grade and a 3 year old)


In this post I will just list the curriculum for each of my children with their ages, but I'm still tweaking things. I'm still working out all the scheduling details, but it may look similar to our daily routine from 2015 with some changes, of course.)

*I use baskets and foam board dividers with subject headings to organize each child's books as explained HERE.

*I use one basket for all the Teacher Manuals for the various subjects and the foam boards are used to divide each child's Teacher Manuals so that I can quickly grab them when checking over work.

 * Family Morning Time
After breakfast, we will continue to do things as a family on our living room couch before we head upstairs to start our other school work.  Here is an outline of Family Morning Time:

- Couch Catechism
- watch CNN Student News (free, daily, online 10 min. news briefs that my children look forward to watching each day, Mon.-Fri.  I know CNN is not a favorite news source for many families (including mine), but I really do like how CNN Student News shows are geared toward middle school/high school aged kids.  Note: you can always preview the shows before showing your children.)  
- Couch Conversations (if you have heard of "Morning Baskets" this is what "Couch Conversations" time is just with a different name that I made up.) :)   Here are some of the books I plan to use with our Couch Conversations.
The Harp & Laurel Wreath (learn poetry together)
The Story of the Orchestra

Now onto the curriculum for each child...

Daughter, Grade 12 (Senior Year!!!!!!)

Religion/Theology
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
*  Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* Following Christ into the World by Anne Carroll (Seton)


Math:
* My daughter will be taking a Math course at our local Community College in the Fall and Spring with their dual enrollment program.  So her math class will count as both high school and college credit.  Juniors and Seniors in public/private/homeschool may apply and test into this program.  This will be a big change for my daughter and for me!  But, it's exciting too!


English

* My daughter will also take an English course in the Fall and Spring at our local Community College

  History:   
* My daughter enjoys history and reads various books through the year on different historical topics

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Piano
* Cross-Country with homeschool league
* volunteer at local library
* sing in girls' choir and play bells at church
* member of church youth group and youth board 

* baby-sitter for a mom at our parish

* My daughter just got her first job at a local grocery store near our home!!!!! (This will count as a Life Skills/Time Management/Economics/Accounting course ;) ) 

Son, Grade 10



Religion/Theology
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
*
Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* The History of the Church with workbook (Didache Series)


Math:
* Teaching Textbooks, Geometry


Literature:
* World Literature (Seton)

Writing/Cursive 
* IEW US History-Based Writing Lessons (With 13 year old sister. We didn't finish the book last year so I'm just carrying it over to this year)
* Continue with daily cursive practice using Seton's Better Handwriting for Young Catholics 2011 workbook edition

 History: 
* Christ the King Lord of History text with workbook
* Continue putting in dates and timeline figures in their "Record of Time": Timeline Notebook Binder (from Homeschool in the Woods) as they read about world history.

Science: 
* Physical Science or Chemistry (with a homeschool co-op group, still working on the details) 

Foreign Language:
* Spanish course with Rocket Spanish 


Map Skills:

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Piano
* Soccer team with homeschool league in the Fall
* altar server at our parish
* member of church youth group 

*mountain bike team in the Spring

 Daughter, Grade 8

Religion:
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* Read various Saint books and apologetic books (ie: Saint Kateri: Lily of the Mohawks, The First Christians, Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons? )

Math:
* Teaching Textbooks, Pre-Algebra


Literature:
* Various Literature suggestions in All Ye Lands-World Cultures and Geography

Writing/Cursive 
* IEW US History-Based Writing Lessons (With 15 year old brother. We didn't finish the book last year so I'm just carrying it over to this year)
* Continue with daily cursive practice using Seton's Better Handwriting for Young Catholics 2011 workbook edition

History: 
* All Ye Lands-World Cultures and Geography text with workbook
Continue putting in dates and timeline figures in their "Record of Time": Timeline Notebook Binder (from Homeschool in the Woods) as they read about world history.

Science: 
* Finish Nutrition Science Complete Set from last year and Reignite Glow with Physical and Spiritual Health (my daughter has an interest in Nutrition Science and Health so we chose curriculum to match her interests)

Foreign Language:
* American Sign Language (ASL) course (still researching which curriculum to use)

Map Skills:
Maps, Charts, Graphs

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Travel Soccer team with local league

* member of church youth g
roup 

Daughter, Grade 4
Religion:
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* Jesus Our Guide (Faith & Life 4)

Math:
* Rod & Staff 4


Reading:
* Pathway Readers

Writing/Cursive  
* Draw Then Write

 
* Continue with daily cursive practice using Pictures in Cursive Book B

History:
* Read aloud A Child's History of the World
* Continent Study Bags that I bought from a friend
Continue putting in dates and timeline figures in their "Record of Time": Timeline Notebook Binder (from Homeschool in the Woods) as they read about world history.

Science: 
* a friend of mine who used to teach school gave me a whole bag full of The Magic School Bus Science Club science kits on various topics so we are going to try to do these kits again throughout the year .

Foreign Language:

Map Skills:
Maps, Charts, Graphs

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Gymnastics classes
*
sing in girls' choir at church

Daughter, Age 4
* My Little Patron Catholic Preschool Printables from SaongJai
* Letter of the week activities
* Various workbooks
* Read-alouds
* She will be going to the Good Shepherd Montessori program at our church one day a week for a few hours.
* I'm in the process of planning activities for her to do independently and with her older siblings as I work with my children on a rotating schedule. I've been looking through these books for ideas:
Catholic ABC's from Catholic Icing
The Preschooler's Busy Book
A Year of Fun Just for Three's 

I am currently sketching out our schedule with the curriculum I have chosen.  I've been busy jotting down notes and schedules as rough drafts trying to figure out what will work best for our family.  But, even when the best plans are made and laid out, it doesn't always go as "planned."  So we will see how it all goes.  

On the first day of  this 2017-2018 homeshool year, we will continue with our new homeschool year traditions that includes morning Mass, a Sacred Heart cross cake, draw on their "We've had a T-riffic summer paper T-shirts", measure everyone's height and fill out All About Me sheets.  So I'll be doing a post about these traditions that we do this week!

May you have a blessed 2017-2018 school year whether you are called to homeschool or not!








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3 comments:

Martianne said...

May your year be fruitful!

Billie Jo said...

Tracy,
I want for this post every year!
You were one of the amazing women who truly inspired me to begin homeschooling.
And I am grateful.
I lingered over this post with my morning coffee, and took mental notes!
It gives me comfort knowing that while I feel around here as if I am the only one mothering and schooling like this, I know others are doing the same!
Prayers and love for a fruitful, fun, blessed school year!

Chris said...

Amazing post, Tracy! I can't believe how organized you are --- I;m so excited for you for this upcoming year! ANd the kids are growing up so quickly!!

xoxo
Good luck. God bless!

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