We are starting our 6th year of homeschooling this fall with 5th grade, 4th grade and 1st grade. I can’t believe it, in so many ways I am still learning as I go. With a few years under my belt and exposure to a variety of programs and methods, this year I will be planning our year from scratch and pulling different curriculum resources for each subject. I have learned a lot from the programs we have previously used, and I have also learned as a student of my children how they learn and how I teach best. So here we go with our our assortment of books this year. We will still be reading lots of books together, so that part won’t change.
We divide our our school in to 2 parts; those that can easily span the age range and those skill based subjects which are more independent. Today I’m sharing about our together subjects which we call “Couchtime” or “Morning Time”. We do these subjects first before separating for independent work. I am all about simplifying and teaching everyone together as much as I can, because it is a huge time saving to me.
See what we have used in Previous Years:
This year we will be using Story of the World Volume 2 Middle Ages. If we were following the same program as last year we would continue to use the same history books for a second year, which was not to my liking. I was finding it dull and it wasn’t capturing their attention. Story of the World has some great resources in addition to the read aloud book which we will be using. We will use their Audio recordings just like we did last year, it takes the pressure off me to say all the historical names just right.
For my younger kids, I am looking forward to using the coloring pages found in the Student Pages to help everyone focus while they listen and give them a visual. By the way, the activity book also includes the student pages. (I didn’t know that when I was first looking) For my oldest I found a Lapbook online she will be doing as we go along. She asked for more worksheets and fill in the blank. If she wants to switch to the coloring sheets it will work as both are assigned by chapter so we can mix and match.
We will be using Science in the Scientific Revolution from Berean Builders for our science curriculum. It will be a new program for us to try. I looked at it last year when it was offered with our online co-op. I like that it is a chronological science so we will read about it as things were discovered and build on the ideas. Historically it matches well with our Middle Ages History, so I’m excited to make connections across subjects. The publisher has free notebooking pages available on their website. I’m planning to use them during the year and even count them for language arts for some of the kids.
Previously we have discussed Geography as it has come up in our other studies. This year we will be making it a focus and intentionally studying it together. We will be using a variety of resources with Expedition Earth from Confessions of a Homeschooler providing our outline. This program ties together many resources we happen to already own as well as incorporate both country studies and physical geography.
We are going to to do two fun things this year for art. We will be using a second resource from Confessions of a Homeschooler as well as a fun Living book of chronological picture studies. It’s a subject I have not taken time to plan a formal curriculum for before. This year we will be having some fun with art as part of our Morning Time and also do a few Artist Studies with some friends
We will be reading Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories as part of our Morning Time rotation. It was suggested by another homeschool blog, and I was highly impressed after checking it out from our local library. It’s chronological book of art pieces and stories that might have happened during their creation. My goal this year is to expose them to a variety of works of art and give context to the different pieces. So much art was developed during the middle ages it will be a great exploration with our other subjects.
We will also be using Worlds Greatest Artists also from Confessions of a Homeschooler to guide some fun unit studies we are planning with another family. She is a hands on mom and I would rather just read about it, so we’re a perfect mix for an art class. We will read together about the artists, imitate their methods and make a lapbook along the way. We are planning to meet together when our regular homeschool co-op isn’t in session, so it won’t feel like adding one more thing but just taking the place of the usual thing.
We will be using the Sonlight catalog as our guide to pick great literature to read together. While we changed our History curriculum, we will be using their suggestions for Poetry and Read Alouds. This year we will read Aesop’s Fables and Poetry from Robert Louis Stevenson in morning time. Dad will continue to read through the Core C suggested Read Alouds for bedtime stories. I underestimated my kids’ appreciation for poetry until we tried it because it was part of the curriculum and now they love it!
I hesitate to even share our Bible plans. I’ve always felt that Bible is not a school subject to be taught, it’s a faith that I want them to see. I want them to get it as part of our life. We will be continuing to read Leading Little Ones to God, which we started as part of last year’s curriculum and didn’t finish. While we don’t include Bible reading in our school routine I do appreciate the theology that is taught in this book and helping guide discussions at a deeper level on who God is and what he desires from us as his followers.
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more specifically what each child will be doing for their independent studies. Some of it matches their grade level some of it doesn’t. That’s what you get with Out-of-the-Box kids!