Our Home School Plan

Several friends have asked me recently what exactly we are going to use for material in this home schooling adventure we are embarking upon. And while I joked in my previous entry about pretending to be prepared for our year, the truth is that I have been researching like a mad woman since April.

For the past five months I have eaten, slept and breathed home school curriculum, pored over catalogs, read countless reviews, asked every home schooler I know about their personal curriculum choices, compared and contrasted this and that program, and have really, really loved the entire process.  Those of you who know me well are aware that I live to research – it is glorious fun to me. Surely someday I will figure out how to market this ability to obsess on something so singularly, but for now hopefully my family will enjoy the benefits of my having peeked down every curriculum rabbit hole I could possibly find in an effort to put together the best plan (that I could create) for our particular family’s schooling needs this year.

I will ask my hunk of a webmaster to post fancy links and permanent pics of our various choices over to the right so that anyone who might be interested can see info about our curriculum choices long after this particular post is gone from this front page. And while it sounds rather arrogant to presume folks might be even the littlest bit interested in such granular information, well, the fact is, I have answered this question several times already, so surely there are more people out there who maybe will benefit from being able to access that.

That said, here’s the rundown of our current choices in no particular order. It should be stated up front that much, but not all, of what we are using was guided by suggestions and curriculum structure outlined in Susan Wise Bauer’s (for those of you who are wondering, no – I don’t think she’s related to Jack at all) text, The Well-Trained Mind. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about Classical Education.

Bible: The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos

Math: Singapore Math

Grammar: Rod and Staff, 4th and 2nd grades; Language Lessons for Little Ones, Volume 3 by Queen Homeschool, K

Spelling: Modern Curriculum Press’ Spelling Workout

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise, 4th and 2nd grades

History: beginning the year with a short study of Texas History from various sources including State History from a Christian Perspective ; spending the majority of the year completing Year 4 of our Classical History Cycle “1850 to Modern Times via Biblioplan. Biblioplan is a literature-based history program which allows you to tailor your material to the ages you are teaching, and provides a huge list of “living” books at all levels to choose from. Our “spine” will be Joy Hakim’s History of Us, Volumes 6-10.

Latin: Mars Hill’s Latin Primer, 4th grade

Composition: Susan Wise Bauer’s Writing With Ease

Science: outsourced via the Heard Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

Poetry: Dickinson, 4th grade; Milne, 2nd grade; Stevenson, K

Art: outsourced via a local Co-op: Drawing I, 4th and 2nd grade; Young Children’s Art, K (I won’t provide links here, but email me for more information if you are local, and interested.)

Handwriting: Universal Publishing’s Manuscript Enrichment and Manuscript/Cursive, 2nd grade; Universal Publishing’s My Letter Book, K

Copywork: Copywork for Girls, 4th grade; Copywork for Little Boys, 2nd grade

Phonics/Reading for Nicolas: finish up 100 Lessons, begin Explode the Code, Reading Pathways, and ongoing memorization of all his phonograms to hopefully provide him a secure foundation for lifelong reading.

Literature: this is a vast subject so I will only skim the surface. and admittedly, I have not selected books for the entire year yet. Abigail (4th grader) and Jonathan (2nd grader) will study the same texts for the practical reasons of both time, and because Jonathan’s reading level and comprehension are almost equal to hers anyway. We will start with Five Children and It, follow that with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and also enjoy Dickens’ A Christmas Carol before Christmas.

Nicolas, while welcome to listen to these above selections read aloud, will enjoy literature on a much younger level, and I am choosing to concentrate on Hans Christian Anderson, Kipling, and Aesop with him.

I have not included every last piece of material we will use this year, but if anyone has more questions I will gladly answer those. Truly, we are all so excited about this year at home. The older two children have worked hard on summer math since beginning of July, and Nicolas has progressed amazingly in his reading level/awareness in that time as well.  Aside from their scholastic improvements, we have already had countless opportunities to learn about how to better live together and love each other.

Though we have currently begun about half of what is listed above, the plan is to be at “full school” by Tuesday following Labor Day.  I’ll keep you posted about how it goes.

7 Comments

  1. COD
    Aug 22, 2008

    Two years from now you’ll write a post wondering why you spent so much time worrying about curriculum because the kids did most of their learning in the backyard, on the beach, or in the basement with Legos :)

  2. Angie
    Aug 23, 2008

    Wow. Just looking at that curriculum list makes me eager with giddiness to do something like this myself and, AT THE SAME TIME, completely overwhelmed and sweaty.

    Well, if anyone is capable of this list, it’s Horne Elementary. :) Go ((insert mascot name here))!! I look forward to hearing all about the progress!

  3. Mark
    Aug 25, 2008

    That is a really impressive list!

  4. Kara
    Sep 3, 2008

    I used Wordly Wise when I was little! Hooray for homeschooling! Hope y’all are having fun.

  5. Molly Tripp
    Sep 8, 2008

    Yey, Tricia-I didn’t know you were to start homeschooling!!

    And it is also fun to find another kindred “researcher”! :-) It took me over twenty minutes to comment as I had to look up all your links in the adjacent blogs. Seriously, I love to plumb the depths of things I’m looking into.

    Our oldest Cayley is now 11, so we’ve had five-plus years w/home education. My first few years could be described as curriculum-focused and doing as many activites as our budget allowed. The last few years have been a new focus on choosing things, not if we have the money, but if we have the time, wanting to, as homeschoolers, actually be home and focus on discipling ohildren in the Lord. We have esteemed a classical education since the late 90s, and it is a thrill and potential depressor to pore through the Veritas Press catalogue’s superior (and pricey) materials. Our oldest studied Latin from 2nd-5th grade. We’ve moved recently and will have to restart somewhere else. But my heart embraces the more laid-back but self-motivated Robinson Curriculum and Thomas Jefferson Education method (both like classical, as your research may have found, in that there’s an emphasis on reading great literture and history by which one becomes educated in a way largely lost to government education.)

    Homeschooling chat is always an hours-long discussion w/me, so I’ll close. ;-)

    God’s grace and blessing on your getting established,
    Molly

  6. Molly Tripp
    Sep 8, 2008

    oops=literature. (I are a homeskooler ;-))

  7. Shannon
    Jan 27, 2009

    Hi Tricia. My husband Giovanni works with your husband. We’ve been thinking (and thinking and thinking and PRAYING) about homeschooling our two girls next year. I’ve been combing through curriculum choices, and my hubby sent a link to this very helpful page. Thank you for posting this…information directly from hs-ing parents is so valuable. I hope your choices are working well for your family.

    I like the curriculum offered by Sonlight, but I’m conflicted with wanting to stay on the classical route (my girls go to Coram Deo now). My thought is to use Sonlight’s core curriculum and add classical components (Latin and logic for now). Do you enjoy Latin Primer? Sorry for the long post, and thank you again!