Saturday, July 1, 2017

Curriculum Choices 2017-2018

Hello, friends!

Since I love reading about all things homeschooling, especially curriculum, I thought I'd share our 2017-2018 curriculum choices. I hope to do separate reviews of each of these choices in the future.

We homeschool year-round, and so this week is the beginning of my boys' 5th and 6th grade years. Most subjects we do together and I simply tweak as needed for each boy's strengths, weaknesses, attention span, etc.

Math: We will be finishing Singapore Math Primary 4B, and then working through 5A and 5B. I anticipate my sixth grader also getting through most of 6A. This is one area where the boys are beginning to work separately.

Language Arts: Oh, how I have struggled to find LA that seems effective, efficient, and enjoyable for my boys! I think we may have finally hit on a good combo with:
  • Spelling: After trying All About Spelling and Sequential Spelling, both boys are finally doing well with Apples and Pears. We are in Book B and complete 2-5 lessons per week. I also use this as practice for handwriting and writing conventions.
  • Grammar, Vocabulary, Poetry, and Writing: I really, really struggled with understanding why grammar was important and how to teach it. When I learned it in school and as I used different grammar programs with my boys, it simply seemed to be a set of disconnected rules to memorize. My autistic son was utterly unable to understand the simplest parts of speech. And then.....drumroll, please......we found Michael Clay Thompson. We are doing the complete Town level program, excepting the literature (although I may decide to incorporate that as well.) This is the most effective part of our homeschool curriculum, and I am so glad I found it. 
  • Reading/ Literature: And, well...this is the one language arts area I have not settled on yet. Right now, we are using Sonlight readers as our main reading program, but I may tweak it considerably: swap out books, shorten some, add different questions. My younger son is an outstanding reader and can whiz through most of the readers, while my older son struggles with reading and comprehension. We get some reading instruction done through our vocab and poetry curriculum, but not enough. And I still like the idea of integrating history with reading, and fostering that love of reading. So stay tuned on this one!
Science: Science in the Beginning, by Dr. Jay Wile.

Bible: Apologia's Who is God? with some notebooking journal assignments. My older son may also do the Sonlight Bible readings and memory work, while during the traditional school year younger son works on his badges for Boys' Brigade.

History/ Geography: We are finishing Sonlight's Core D, and should work all the way through Core E, which covers American history. While I love Sonlight, it is expensive and possibly more time-consuming than is doable for us. So I may be tweaking this one as well.

Foreign language: I am still deciding if this is a worthwhile addition to our studies. If we go for it, we will try Memoria Press First Form Latin. The boys may also try the modern language of their choice on Duolingo.

We use the Anki program for all subjects, which is the most effective method I have found for memory work, as well as Xtra Math for math facts.

The boys requested "specials" from their public school days, so we will be doing physical education, music, art, library, and technology classes weekly. I'll use various resources for each of those.

 So there you have it: our current plan for 5th and 6th grades!