Monday, July 27, 2015

Homeschooling Together: Family Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

Even though my children are each a few years apart in age and grade level, I still like for us to do some of our homeschooling together.  They obviously have individual needs for some subjects, but there are still so many subjects we can do as a family.  It simplifies things for me, and brings us together more.  The beauty of homeschooling.

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CORE - Unit Studies
I will primarily be using Five in a Row for our Science, Social Studies and Language Arts, as well as applied Mathematics and Art.  Nothing beats a living book.  I have tentatively planned out Five in a Row for the year, but I know that outline is subject to change.  I'll adjust it for each child and their specific needs, but it's so much fun, so diverse, so rich . . . and I'm looking forward to another fabulous year using this curriculum.  The unit studies will be for the boys, though Eleanor is welcome to join in whenever she wants.

I want to do some chronological world history, so I will be using the audio version of Story of the World.  I contemplated doing the full curriculum, but I don't want it to detract from the richness of FIAR at home.  Chronological history programs doesn't always touch on so many of the other areas of "social studies" that are important.  We spend a lot of time in the car during the school year going to classes and co-op and such, so we are always looking for new audio books.  I felt like the audio book would be a good fit for our current needs, and should they want more, I can always get additional readings or the activity guide.

I will be keeping Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers on our shelf for easy access this year.  It can easily compliment FIAR with more fun ideas, or it can be used independently for a hands-on science unit.  (Read my review.)

Nature Study
We do a lot of informal nature study all year long, and I try to tie it into our unit studies whenever possible.  I would like to do more nature journaling, but we just haven't found our way there yet.


I am in love with Maestro Classics (after being introduced through a review) and have been slowly adding to our collection.  I intend to own them all.  They serve a wide age range, and they are entertaining and educational.  I'm creating a composer study around my latest purchase (Swan Lake-Tchaikovsky) and if that goes well I'll continue to do composer studies around their titles.


ARTistic Pursuits
We have all three Elementary K-3 Books from previous reviews.  We are working through them slowly.  Very slowly.  I'm not as consistent as I would like to be with art instruction, but I'm hoping to create a schedule (shocker, I know!) to make sure these "extras" aren't treated as extras, and get the time they deserve.  Eleanor doesn't usually do the lessons, but she uses the same materials, or inexpensive versions of them anyway, at the table with us for exposure.

ARTistic Pursuits Review

Art for Kids Hub
I don't have to schedule Art for Kids.  The boys pull up this website frequently on their own when they want to spend time drawing.  It is a FANTASTIC resource, and I love that they can do it indepdently.

Foreign Languages
Since the kids will be doing Spanish and Sign Language at co-op, I want to supplement at home.  We've always dabbled in Spanish, but I hope to stick with it this year.

American Sign Language
We will start with Signing Time for a fun introduction, particularly for the Preschooler and 1st grader.  By the time my 3rd grader takes the class, we will hopefully have found something more appropriate for him.

I'll be reviewing Middlebury Interactive Languages Spanish for 3rd-5th graders with Elliott, and I might have just begged fort his review so he could work through it during the same semester he's taking Spanish at co-op.

SALSA Spanish is a completely FREE online program for kids through third grade, which is my age range.  I'll be using it during the second semester and focusing on Emory when he's taking Spanish at co-op.  We'll definitely use the videos, and I'd like to use some of the PDF activities as well.

I'm not sure what we'll get into in terms of sports this year, but they'll be in AWANA again, as well as co-op.  Our co-op is hoping to offer weekly clubs as well, but our participation will depend on what is offered.  This is a tentative schedule, and the boys will actually switch classes second semester, so there will definitely be a wide range of exposure!
Eleanor - Preschool
Emory - Sign Language, Geography, Music/Dance, and PE
Elliott - Art, Science, PE and Spanish

So now you know what we'll be doing as a family.  You can also check out our 3rd Grade and 1st Grade Curriculum Choices and our Preschool Plans.


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  1. We use/used almost all of those resources! :-)

    1. Awesome! I love when I can connect with other homeschooling families who have similar styles!