Monday, July 14, 2014

Curriculum 2014-2015

I can not believe I just wrote those years in the title! Can it really be that I have been homeschooling for (gasp) seven years? It has been a hard road at times, but I am so thankful for this time with my two little ones. This has been the most amazing road and I wouldn't trade anything about this life I am living right now. Okay, on to my curriculum picks for this year.

Curriculum Picks for 2014-2015

Poem Memorization
We are memorizing our favorites. Nothing special.
I downloaded a list of the most commonly used words (a list of 1200) and we are working through those. They get a few days to study and then a test on the last day of the week.

We are starting this year with a free curriculum from Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. We are beginning with Language Arts Year 4 and skipping the spelling and writing exercises.

I have been using Typing Tutor with the kids for about a year. I created a main account and each kid has their own account that is connected to mine. They kids get on and continue the lesson they have been working on. I only allow them to "save and continue" when they have achieved 98% or better. This is an easy lesson that only takes them about 5-8 minutes. 

If you remember how to write in cursive, all you really need is a copy of the cursive alphabet for each child. I go through one letter at a time, with them mastering as they go. 



 videos from Khan Academy and Youtube.

We are learning to blob and will expand our studies from there. 

Art History
A friend is leading a co-op that is covering all the isms with this book.
Name That Style

She is also covering biographies and history with this one.
Art: Everything you Need to Know About the Greatest Artists and Their Work

These look absolutely fabulous. I am excited for the kids to get started!

Thinking Skills/Logic
We are going to be using a Battleship game and Chess.
Required Reading List, my own list

Projects include: Sewing, Yeast Bread, Cake Decorating, Electricity, Leathercraft, and possibly Sport Fishing.

6th Grader


Student Directed Project
Alex will be working on modding Nerf guns and making movies with his dad.
4th Grader


Student Directed Project
We are using the website called, DIY. It looks super cool. Kids get to pick their own projects and complete them to earn badges. I am hoping this will give Sidney the feeling of scouts. It is subscription based.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ecce Romani 1

We started Latin last year, when someone offered to lead a class. We used Latin for Children, Primer A, as our text. Although the class and teacher were excellent, it moved to fast for my kids. This year we are using Ecce Romani I as our text. Ecce Romani has a story and gives us glimpses into life in Rome. I prefer that much more to the very formal style (imo) of Latin for Children. We are probably going to move through it at a snail's pace, but I really want mastery before we go on.

Before we are even opening the book, I am having the kids study the chapter's vocabulary. When we have memorized that, we will go through the chapter in the book. I am planning on following this same procedure for each chapter.

I have the kids write down five of the words with their definitions and then study them quietly. They study those for a few days, then move on to the next five. Every few days I say a Latin word and they say the definition. Then I will say the definition and they tell me the Latin.

As you can see by the page here, translating starts right off. Once familiar with the vocabulary we should be able to focus on the structure of the sentences. It helps to be strong in English grammar concepts. We are working on the concepts we will need for Latin in our grammar lessons too.

Are your kids learning Latin? If so, what do you use and why do you like it?

By the way, we only study for 15 minutes per lesson. We tried studying Latin for Children for about 3 hours a week and I don't think we got any further than we are getting with just 15 minutes of focused attention. You CAN fit it into your day if you feel up to it!

Happy Homeschooling

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Poem Memorization

Poem memorization is something that I was introduced to while using Susan Wise Bauer's, First Language Lessons. My kids actually loved most of the poems and have since it's introduction, enjoyed reciting poems.
I have found some curriculum online, but never really anything that I felt passionate about buying. Since finishing First Language Lessons, I have pieced together my own set of poems that we tackle together each year.

The way we approach learning them is simple. We practice a poem by reading it through about three times every lesson day until we have it down. Then we move on to the next. Every lesson we repeat all the ones we have learned and then the one we are currently memorizing. After we have about five poems under our belt, we move on to the next five. We come back and repeat EVERY poem we have learned so far about once a month to keep them fresh in our minds.

I'm not sure how many of these poems will stick with the kids as they grown into adults, or if it is really that important to memorize the poems I have selected. I do know that we are having fun with our selections! I will leave you with our current poem:

The Yak
By Hilaire Belloc (1896)

As a friend to the children commend me the Yak.
You will find it exactly the thing:
It will carry and fetch, you can ride on its back, 
Or lead it about with a string.

The Tartar who dwells on the plains of Thibet
(A desolate region of snow)
Has for centuries made it a nursery pet.
And surely the Tartar should know!

Then tell your papa where the Yak can be got, 
And if he is awfully rich
He will buy you the creature - or else he will not.
(I cannot be positive which.)

Happy Homeschooling!