Wednesday, August 19, 2015

HomeSchool Curriculum 2015-2016 Third & Fifth Grade

Now that we're well on our way into our second week of homeschooling, I should probably get up our curriculum choices.

Our first year we did a mishmash of things.
Our second year we did Our Father's World as the core, with some of our own things thrown in.
Our third year, this year, we're back to a mishmash of our own things.

While we liked Our Father's World, it isn't for the teacher in me.  I changed a lot of stuff, didn't use a lot of the suggested stuff, and that can add up in expenses fast.  I like to plan.  I like to try different things and be able to change things.  I really like to plan.  I've got this whole year already pretty  much laid out, but with enough flexibility that I can change things as needed.

The girl is in third grade and the boy is in fifth grade.  For the most part, I have it pretty easy, because they work on the same things.  The only area that they differ in is in math.

So here's our line up for this year:

Bible: Case for Christ for Kids 90-Day Devotional by Lee Strobel and the 4 Gospels.  We alternate between reading a devotional and a chapter of the gospels (which works out to 90 days!).

Journal: The kids each picked out a journal to write in.  We do this 3-4 times a week.  Making cards for family is included in journal time.  If I let the kids pick what to do for journal, they pick "squiggle stories."  I draw some squiggles on their paper and they create a drawing out of it.  Then they write about their drawing.

Handwriting:  Handwriting Without Tears.  So far, so good.  We're trying to improve the boy's handwriting, he can't even read his own handwriting!  The girl just likes to do handwriting.

Spelling:  We're doing what we've used the past 2 years.  The free program from K12Reader. The kids do their list on the first day, I make them a spelling game with sentences or definitions on the second day, their do the reading comprehension on the third day, and the fourth day is a practice test.  If they pass the practice test, they don't need to do another one.  If they don't pass the practice, they get a second chance on the fifth day.  The boy is on the fifth grade level and the girl is nearing the fourth grade level.

English:  Both kids are using Bob Jones 5.  We did Bob Jones 4 last year and loved it.  It's short and sweet and teaches the kids a lot!  I've even learned things.  I like how it alternates grammar with writing.

Read-Aloud:  I read aloud to the kids everyday.  We have a vast list of things this year.  Book of Greek Myths, The CandyMakers, Children's Homer, Where the Red Fern Grows, A Wrinkle in Time, Artemis Fowl, The Frog Princess, and Wonder.

Reading:  The kids also read everyday.  They love to read.  We even had to get a new bookcase to accommodate all the new books.  I love books too! The kids have assigned reading and then if they have free time between subjects, they can free read.  They also read every time we are in the car!  The assigned reading for this year includes:  The One and Only Ivan, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lightning Thief, Number the Stars, Fudge-a-Mania, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, A Helen Keller Biography, Ramona Forever, and 11 Birthdays.

Science:  I wrote and currently am continuing to write a science book for the kids.  I have it in PDF format and the kids read it off of our tablet.  The book covers everything they wanted to learn about life science for 30 weeks.  It has 4 lessons a week and alternates between a reading lesson and a hands on lesson.  It's going to fun!  They love it already!  It keeps me busy!  I have my schedule planned out to keep up on writing it and proofreading it.  The last 6 weeks of school will be spent on the scientific method and having the kids develop their own science experiment.

History:  We're doing Mystery of History Volume 1, Creation to the Resurrection.  We're also adding in some other history books and activities.  I really like how Mystery of History relates biblical stories, people, and places to other things in history.  While we believe in the Bible, we have a hard time agreeing with creation scientists' views on the earth and the age of the earth and what is written in the beginning of the Mystery of History book.  It doesn't say in the Bible how old the earth is.  God's days may be different than human days, so while the beginning of Mystery of History says that the earth is only 6,000 years old....we discussed that with the kids.  They think God's days are different than our days, so the timeline could be different than basing the history of the earth on genealogy. We believe God created the earth and everything in it, but he did it in His way and in His time and I'm sure I will be signing up for God's history of the Earth when I go to heaven.  Whether the earth is millions of years old or 6,000 years doesn't matter...God created it all.  Someday I'll be able to hear all about it from Him.  So to sum it up....we crossed out a few dates in the book since only God knows.  Otherwise, we're hoping for a fun year of history.

Math:  We're continuing with Horizons Math for the third year.  The boy is on Horizons 5 and the girl is halfway through Horizons 3 and will start 4 midway through this year or so, depending on how much math she decides to do a day.

Nanoblocks:  You might have noticed our love of Nanoblocks.  I watch for them to go on sale at Amazon.  We did quite a few last year when we did World Geography.  We had landmarks that matched up to the country we were studying.  This year we have a few that coordinate with what we are studying.  Plus some animals and a few extras thrown in. 

Extras:  PE...we do exercise a lot, with fun things thrown in.  The boy has guitar lessons while the girl has figure skating lessons once a week.  The boy is doing Mindstorms (he saved to help purchase it) and the girl chose an art book to learn some art from.  Though the girl likes to help with Mindstorms, while the boy has no interest in art!

That's it for this year!  I hope the good start to it continues for the rest of the year.  The kids seem to be enjoying what we're doing.  I'm staying busy, but enjoying my children and learning more about them! 

What are you doing this year?

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