Woohoo! I started getting my first boxes of the curriculum I ordered for this year and I am so very excited!! Here’s the rundown of what we are doing this year for 5th and 8th grade (I have two boys).
We will be using the second book in the “What We Believe” series from Apologia, titled “Who
Am I?” Last year we did the first book, “Who is God?”, and we really liked it. It incorporates bible teaching and worldview in an interesting, and easy to understand, way. This year, I got to order the notebooks that come with the program and they are beautiful! The book consists of 8 lessons that take about two days per week, over a three week time period, so my children will be doing that, along with an individual bible study.
This year we will be doing a combo human anatomy/forensics study (my 8th grader is really into forensics…I think it could be a possible future career for him). We will be using a combination of Apologia’s Elementary Human Anatomy book (with the notebooks) and Sonlight Science F (which I got used for a great deal) and then some forensics books I got from amazon, as well as books from the library, with labs I found at Home Science Tools! This is probably the thing we are most excited about! I plan to add some “mystery” read-alouds in, and my older son is reading The Hound of the Baskervilles in literature this year as well! I’ve also ordered some additional Human Body books for my older son to give him some additional content!
We will be doing American History part 2, with a hybrid of Winter Promise, Guesthollow, and Time Travelers resources, as well as many books from the library and a few lapbooks from Hands of a Child. I’ve wanted to use Winter Promise for a really long time, because I enjoy literature based history, but I wanted more hands-on than Sonlight. It’s just that programs like that are soooo expensive. This year, I ordered the guidebook and exclusives from Winter Promise, and I plan to use the library for the rest of the books. Guesthollow has a very similar program, which they offer for FREE on their website, and for those times I can’t find books for WP, I will supplement with that. We used the Time Traveler’s CD’s from Homeschool in the Woods last year for the first part of American History, and we loved them, so I am excited to add the Civil War and Industrial Revolution to our studies this year! I also order the WWI And WWII lapbooks from Hands of a Child. I saw them at a conference, and liked how they looked. My husband is a HUGE war history buff, so I think we’ll be doing those with him! 🙂 Of course, we’ll be adding DVD’s and things in as well. I know this sounds like a lot, but I plan to use Winter Promise as my base, then pick and choose what I want to add in from the other stuff!
Bible: For individual bible study, both of my boys will be using materials from Positive Action For Christ. I saw their materials at my homeschool conference this year, and I was impressed! My 5th grade son will be using the 4th grade book, but that was because I liked the topics that were covered, and since I homeschool, I can do that! 🙂
Literature: This year I chose to go with Mosdos Press for both of my boys for their lit studies. For the past few years, I used CLE, and I really like it. However, I was an English teacher for a long time, and one of my concerns was how there wasn’t a lot of exposure to drama, science-fiction, and fantasy genres in the CLE books. I understand why they don’t have it, but right now, we are considering our boys college-bound, and I think it’s important that they have some structured exposure to all genres of literature. Mosdos is a great series, with positive stories, and excellent instruction in the elements of literature! As a bonus: the books are in color, which I think my boys will like! I ordered these from Rainbow Resource. both boys will also be reading various novels that I picked out and make up my own stuff for!
Math: I will be using CLE Math 5 with my son this year. I just feel it is a very complete program with systematic instruction that is very easy for me to follow!
English: My boys will be using Ace Paces English this year. I wanted something easy to use for grammar, which I think is an important subject, but definitely not our favorite! I think this workbook format will be the most painless way to do it! For writing, my boys will be using Winning with Writing, a new program I found that is inexpensive and looks really good. I received it this past week, and I think it will be very effective (and I love the price) 🙂 I love Building Spelling Skills for spelling, it’s a simple and straight-forward program. Both of my boys are going a year behind in spelling this year (4th grade and 7th grade) because that is an area we really want to work on! Finally, for vocabulary (which, as a reading teacher I think is VERY important) I chose Vocabulary Connections. We used Wordly Wise last year, but my kids just didn’t connect with it. I thought this looked good
and we’d give it a try!
Handwriiting: This is an area that needs major work! We focused mostly on reading last year (with great results) but handwriting is a MAJOR struggle!! I was torn between this program and Handwriting Without Tears, but after looking at both at my homeschool conference this year, I decided to go with A Reason for Handwriting. Hopefully, we will complete both book T and Book C this year!
For most subjects, my older son will use the 8th grade version of the same texts my younger son is using, with a few exceptions:
Bible: My older son will be using Wise Up (also from Positive Action for Christ). This is a study of Proverbs, which my husband and I think will benefit him at this time.
Math: I have to be honest, upper-level math is not my strong suit, I am definitely more of a reader!! I needed a math that was easy to teach, and also came with DVD support. I heard about Lial’s from the Well Trained Mind forum. It is published by Pearson Education, and after viewing a preview online, I thought it looked great. I was able to get this, along with the DVT’s that come with it, and I am looking forward to using it this year!
My older son will also be using Mavis Beacon Typing this year (ordered off of amazon.com) so he can stop hunting and pecking when he is working on the computer!!
Logic: In addition to the Perplexors logic puzzles, my older son will use The Thinking Toolbox this year for logic. He used The Fallacy Detective last year, and really enjoyed it. I was surprised how much of it sunk in! (Seriously, we’ll be watching commercials, and he’ll point out the fallacies as we watch!!)
Foreign language: Both boys will also be using Alpha Omegas SOS Spanish this year as well. The youngest will use the elementary level, and the oldest will use the secondary level. I wanted something easy and fun to introduce them to Spanish, and I thought this looked good!
So that’s everything for this year (aside from the stuff I get to sample with the TOS Crew). I really wanted to do the One-Year Adventure Novel with my older son this year, but I just couldn’t fit it into the budget. It’s on the backburner for now, but he really loves writing, so hopefully, I’ll get to do it next year!
Now I have to figure out a schedule. I am toying with the idea of block scheduling, at least for history and science, but I want to wait until I have all my materials first. So, I will post about that once I get it figured out!