Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Homeschool Curriculum 2013-2014 - First and Third Grade

I thought I would share what curriculum we are using for the kids this year in homeschooling.  Perhaps this is more for my own records.  But I enjoy seeing what others do, so maybe one person will benefit from this.

This will be our first year homeschooling, so I'm anticipating learning lots of things as we go.  Especially whether this curriculum works for us.  Maybe I'll review it at the end of the year too.  I'm still talking to other homeschool families and looking at their curriculum, so if we continue homeschooling, there may be changes in the future.  But I think this will work for us this year.

Scooter is going into third grade and Chewy is going into first grade.  They are eight and six-years-old.  The dog is just along for the ride.  I'm sure he'll be one happy dog now that the kids will be home during the school day.


Let's start with Scooter:

Math - Teaching Textbooks 3, 4 days a week.  XtraMath as needed for practice (free).
Spelling - K12Reader Third Grade, 4-5 days a week.
Language Arts (Vocabulary & Grammar) - K12Reader worksheets, Curriculum Corner Worksheets, English For Everyone worksheets, and Mommy selected items. 90 lessons.  2-3 days a week.
Language Arts (Reading & Writing) - K12Reader worksheets, Curriculum Corner Worksheets, English For Everyone worksheets, worksheets from a Treasures books, and Mommy selected items. 90 lessons.  2-3 days a week.
Writing - Writing lessons with Language Arts (see above).  Journals.  Letter Writing. Prompts.  And bunches of other things as needed.  Every Single Day.
HandwritingA Reason For Handwriting B & C, 4-5 days a week
US Geography - Confessions of a Homeschooler's US Geography (we won't be doing the history part), 4-5 days a week.
Art - Mommy directed and related to other curriculum, holidays, or family events.  1 day a week.
Artist study - Confessions of a Homeschooler's Famous Artists (I'm doing an abbreviated version for half a year), 1 day a week.
Composer study - Confessions of a Homeschooler's Famous Composers (I'm doing an abbreviated version for a half of a year, after the artist study), 1 day a week.
Science - My own curriculum.  I'm trying to write up an introductory science curriculum with 34 lessons.  It will have 1 introductory lesson, 11 life science lessons, 11 earth/astronomy lessons, and 11 physical lessons that cover simple and easy things for kids.  We'll do some science reading, light activities, and worksheets about 2-4 days a week and then one lab/hands-on lesson once a week.  This curriculum is taking me forever to prepare, but it's fun. 
Music - We'll see where we can fit some basic piano or guitar playing in.  Daddy might be in charge of guitar!
PE - We're an active family, so this won't be difficult.  The kids will bike while I run.  We'll take family bike rides and hikes.  The kids and I will get out for kickball, baseball, trampoline jumping, basketball, and other activities in the yard.  We'll have trips to the pool and skiing/snowboarding in the winter.
Spanish - The kids want to learn spanish, but we're not doing any curriculum this year.  I don't want to get in over my head.  We'll just do some basic vocabulary as we go along throughout the year. 


And here's Chewy: (She's my challenge since she's already learned so much from her brother.  We're finding first grade work is too easy, so I have a bunch of second grade work for her also.  It should be easy enough to teach Chewy and Scooter at the same time since her reading level is very close to his.)

Math - Horizons 1 & 2, 4 days a week. 
Spelling - K12Reader First and Second Grade, 4-5 days a week.
Language Arts (Vocabulary & Grammar) - K12Reader worksheets, Curriculum Corner Worksheets, English For Everyone worksheets, and Mommy selected items. 90 lessons.  2-3 days a week.
Language Arts (Reading & Writing) - K12Reader worksheets, Curriculum Corner Worksheets, English For Everyone worksheets, worksheets from a Treasures book, and Mommy selected items. 90 lessons.  2-3 days a week.
Writing - Writing lessons with Language Arts (see above).  Journals.  Letter Writing. Prompts.  And bunches of other things as needed.  Every Single Day.
Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting A, 4-5 days a week
US Geography - Confessions of a Homeschooler's US Geography (we won't be doing the history part), 4-5 days a week.
Art - Mommy directed and related to other curriculum, holidays, or family events.  1 day a week.
Artist study - Confessions of a Homeschooler's Famous Artists (I'm doing an abbreviated version for half a year), 1 day a week.
Composer study - Confessions of a Homeschooler's Famous Composers (I'm doing an abbreviated version for a half of a year, after the artist study), 1 day a week.
Science - My own curriculum.  I'm trying to write up an introductory science curriculum with 34 lessons.  It will have1 introductory lesson, 11 life science lessons, 11 earth/astronomy lessons, and 11 physical lessons that cover simple and easy things for kids.  We'll do some science reading, light activities, and worksheets about 2-4 days a week and then one lab/hands-on lesson once a week.  This curriculum is taking me forever to prepare, but it's fun. I may post my science curriculum for others to use, once we try it out.  Anyone interested?
Music - We'll see where we can fit some basic piano or guitar playing in.  Daddy might be in charge of guitar!
PE - We're an active family, so this won't be difficult.  The kids will bike while I run.  We'll take family bike rides and hikes.  The kids and I will get out for kickball, baseball, trampoline jumping, basketball, and other activities in the yard.  We'll have trips to the pool and skiing/snowboarding in the winter.
Spanish - The kids want to learn spanish, but we're not doing any curriculum this year.  I don't want to get in over my head.  We'll just do some basic vocabulary as we go along throughout the year.

You'll notice I only have a few purchased curriculums.  We spent the big bucks for math curriculum.  Scooter is not so fond of learning math from me, so the investment into Teaching Textbooks will probably be worth it.  We can also use it with Chewy, we'll just purchase another consumable book when the time comes.  We looked into a lot of math curriculums and let the kids choose what they wanted.  Scooter was so excited trying out the Teaching Textbooks examples online and was thrilled to be doing math.  He likes that he's not timed on anything.  I like that he likes it!  The program teaches you on a CD.  Scooter can work the math problems on the computer or in the workbook.  He can enter his answers and see if he got them correct.  If he's wrong, he can try again.  And the program will also show you how to get the correct answer if you get it wrong.  Chewy chose Horizons Math, she likes more of a workbook style with mommy as the teacher.  She likes that these books are brightly colored and engaging.


We also purchased the Reason for Handwriting books.  And yes, I'm teaching Scooter, and eventually Chewy, cursive.  It's a lost art.  I realized I needed to teach cursive when Scooter couldn't read our 88-year-old neighbor's grocery list "because it's in cursive."  (We do her shopping every week.)  The links below are for the books at Amazon.  But I found the best deal at Rainbow Resource Center.



I purchased some things from Confessions of a Homeschooler when she had a 40% off sale.  I also got a few things she offered for free (the planner and the artist series).  I'm more than happy to support a homeschooling mama.  Plus, my kiddos are thrilled about doing her series of US Geography, I often find them peering through their RoadTrip binder of the States.  With being new to homeschooling, I didn't want to jump in and purchase a bunch of expensive things I wouldn't use or the kids wouldn't enjoy.  If we're still homeschooling next year, we may purchase more/different things as we have time to explore what others use and what works for us.

Confessions of a Homeschooler



I have spent hours preparing the Language Arts and Grammar series (usually after the kids and Biker Boy go to bed).  Not to mention that we had to get a new printer so I could print out all the papers!  I killed our old one.  But the new one has held up with over 750 print-outs.  Crazy to think I've printed that much, but I've gone through one pack of 750 papers!  I think another year I may invest in a Language Arts curriculum.  But the teacher in me has had a fun time planning this out.  We're doing an Eric Carle unit from The Curriculum Corner, with a few of my own additions.  I found a Board Book creation set at Target on clearance and got that to use for the Eric Carle unit and to expand into some art time. We're having a small Greek myth unit.  We're also doing a direction unit with recipes!  We'll of course have a non-fiction and fiction unit.  We're doing a poem unit.  We're also doing a big fairy tale unit.  I'm excited for that one, but I didn't put it until the end of the year. I think I've already relearned reading and writing stuff as I'm preparing this curriculum!



Now I've got to finish my science curriculum (I'm a licensed 5-12 science teacher).  I've explored the science standards for our state (and I can't say that they get covered much in the elementary schools) and I've explored the standards for the nation.  I've decided that an overview of 3 disciplines of science in one year will be more science than my kids have gotten so far in school.  It's just hard for the public school teachers to find time for science when they have so many other requirements to meet.  I want my kids to be excited about science and see how it is a part of our life every single day, so I'm going to try to do mostly hands-on lessons with things that relate to their life.  There are plenty of science ideas online and in books, so I don't have to totally create from scratch. I did look at lots of preplanned science curriculum for purchase.  But none of them really stuck out at me.  Plus I don't want to spend a fortune on science when I already have a bunch of my own materials.




Third grade is when they start state wide testing of students in our state.  Scooter is excited that he doesn't have to participate in that.  He has developed anxiety about being timed in academic things.  We'll see if we can fix that.  I did find a practice standards test on our state education website for third graders, so I may have Scooter try that.  But he won't be time and I'll try my best to make testing learning fun for him so he can get over his anxiousness.

Well, that was a long-winded post.  With too many Amazon links, sorry. (I'm an Amazon affiliate, those links are at no cost to you and a few times they provide me with pennies to keep this website up.  Thank you!)  But you get a little idea of what we're going to attempt this year.  ATTEMPT being the operative word.  But we're all looking forward to this next school year.  I know there will be a learning curve for us and that it won't always be easy.  But overall, I think it's going to be fun!  Hopefully.  At least most of the time.  They'll be lots of prayers. 

Anyone else...homeschooling resources?  Curriculum you love?  Websites you use?  Places to purchase from?

Whew...I think I need to go back to bed now.  This is going to be one fun and exciting year! You can see my post about why we're homeschooling here.

Update as of 8/7/13: I'm linking this to the iHomeschool Network Curriculum Week.  Hop on over and see what other homeschoolers are using for their curriculum.  I'm going to have to find some time late at night to explore what others are using.


2 comments:

  1. Congrats on your first year!! Looks like a fun one. Isn't it fun to be able to choose whatever you'd like without the school board dictating? (I used to be a PS teacher too.) Have a wonderful year!!

    Popping in from the blog hop.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hope you enjoy your first year of homeschooling. We are using Teaching Textbooks too and my daughter loves it and my younger son can't wait until he is old enough to use it.

    Found you from the blog hop.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. Comments will be moderated eventually. Computer use only occurs when kiddos are asleep or otherwise occupied. Thanks for your patience.

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