Sunday, July 31, 2011

First Week! and 2011-12 Curriculum

Not Back to School Blog Hop Hip Homeschool Hop Button
The day has almost arrived and there is a buzz of excitement in the air as we prepare for our first official day of home education of both children tomorrow . . . Kindergarten and First Grade, hoo-ray!

Thankfully, I got the organization bug recently so I have been plowing through my school room, getting rid of old papers and other treasures that no one treasures or even remembers anymore. We need more shelves, baby! I re-vamped the room in May and truly cannot believe how trashed and overstuffed it has gotten over the summer months. This is what it looked like before we started "living" in it.

It is pretty much the same now, furniture-wise, but I have added several organizational elements which I will show you later.

The subjects we will cover this year are reading, language arts, math, science, geography, history, Latin, Spanish, fine arts, typing, computer skills and health.

I'm a total control freak and didn't want to buy a cookie-cutter curriculum, so I have put one together myself, with the guidance of the Classical Conversations focus for this year (cycle 3). The following is a list of books we will use for first grade. The kindergarten curriculum is the same, minus First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. Charlie is ready for Saxon 1, so we are going to skip Saxon K for him. His math skills are beyond Miriam's at this point and I don't want to stifle him. His language arts book is Language and Thinking for Young Children by Ruth Beechick.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann (Simon and Schuster)
Bob Books series, Collections 1-3 by Bobby Lynn Maslen (Scholastic)
Language Arts:
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise (Peace Hill Press)
Horizons Penmanship One Manuscript by Mary Ellen Quint (Alpha Omega Publications)
Spelling Workout A by Phillip K. Trocki (Modern Curriculum Press)
Saxon Math 1 by Nancy Larson (Saxon Publishers)
My Body Book by Patricia Carratello (Teacher Created Resources)
Lyrical Life Science Volume 3 – The Human Body by Dorry Eldon (Lyrical Learning)
Janice Van Cleave’s 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre and Incredible Experiments by Janice VanCleave (Jossey-Bass)
A Child’s Geography Volume 1 by Ann Voscamp (Bramley Books)
The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
The Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
The Story of the World Activity Book 3: Early Modern Times, edited by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
The Story of the World Activity Book 4: The Modern Age, edited by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
Foreign Language:
Song School Latin by Amy Rehn (Classical Academic Press)
Instant Immersion Spanish Level 1 software (Topics Entertainment)
Fine Arts:
Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes (Tarcher/Penguin)
Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga (Bright Ring Publishing)
Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! by Robert Levine (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)
BBC Schools Dance Mat Typing
Various age-appropriate computer games
Bible: Bible Study Fellowship, I Can Read God's Word by Phil A. Smouse, Devotions for the Children's Hour by Kenneth N. Taylor, Children's Illustrated Bible and Awana

Additionally, we are using the Classical Conversations Foundations program, along with the Classical Conversations Foundations Curriculum Guide for Grades K4-6, Third Edition by Leigh A. Bortins (Classical Conversations, Inc.), to enhance our home school lessons. Subjects include Math, Science, English Grammar, History, Geography, Latin, Bible and Fine Arts.

We will do Reading, Math, Penmanship, Bible and our Classical Conversations memory work every day and will use a loop schedule for the other subjects, planning to hit each additional subject one to two times a week. Here is the little contraption I made so we won't forget which subject to study next:

We are really looking forward to a lot of learning and fun this year! And I use the word year literally. We will have a year-round schedule, with four weeks on, one week off, plus extra weeks off for the big holiday seasons. Oh, and don't tell anyone, but Glenn already has us playing hooky one day this week to go to an amusement park . . . we'll make up the day on Saturday. You've gotta love the flexibility!

Okay then, here we go . . .


  1. Great planning! Love your little loop schedule, too! Very creative :)

  2. Thank you for joining in on the ^not back to school bloghop! I love seeing everyone's curriculum before school starts up for most. Take care and Happy Homeschooling.

  3. I. LOVE. That. Doo-hickie!!! The schedule wheel -- that is AWESOME!!! Have a great year - I know you will!! I popped over here from HOTM's NOT Back to School Blog Hop and it's so exciting to me to see other moms list their aspirations for their homeschool! I do hope you'll head over to see what's going on at our homeschool!
    Thank you for sharing!

  4. We're using First Language Lessons, too. I love, love, love that it saves me so much prep work. Your learning space looks fantastic. Hope you have a blessed year!

  5. I love the flexible schedule of homseschooling. We're doing a more balanced schedule too. Not so much time off during the summer. Our breaks will be spread out more through the year.

  6. My kids are in the same grades! Isn't it nice to be able to teach the same curriculum? Sounds like you have a fun filled "year" ahead of you! And I totally agree about the year round thing...that's our plan too. It just makes sense.

  7. So excited for you as you start this journey! You've got some great resources- we love Story of the World, and Janice Van Cleave's science books are awesome!
    Just visiting your blog from the hop! Blessings to you as you start the new school year!

  8. oh what a fun spinner !! Great idea - keeps things fun.

  9. What a cool schedule wheel. We don't stay in order like that, but I do something similar for chores.

  10. A lot of our materials are the same:) We have loved Story of the World and the Body book... all the organs that you get to place!!

    I did just add the orchestra book to my Amazon wishlist:) I really need to add in more art and music appreciation... thankfully the Story of the World activity books give me an idea of the artists/musicians of the time period we are studying;)

  11. Hooray for the first year of homeschool! Looks like you'll have a lot of fun and the loop schedule is a great way to get things in.

  12. Great line up. My little guy loved the Bob Books. We are continuing with First Language Lessons this year and I love it. Also, we are trying Song School Latin this year too along with the Latin Monkey Match Game. Have a great school year.

    Stopping by from HOTM.

  13. Thanks for the encouragement everyone! We are so blessed to be able to homeschool. I hope you all have a great year as well!

  14. VERY neat! You sound so much like me. I put my own curriculum together also. I'm looking into First Languagre Lessons for our first grader this year. Hope your year is blessed!

  15. wow, that is a nice schoolroom! hope you and your family have a great year. i look forward to visiting your blog again often.

  16. What great plans.

  17. We started school today, too! I hope yours was a great first day!

  18. We took this summer off, but I am finding that the kids are restless and the house is getting even more chaotic because of the lack of schedule, so am considering homeschooling year round starting in September. I hope you have a great year! You sound very organized and your schoolroom looks great!

  19. I'm the exact same kind of control freak! I have to pull everything together myself. Love your block schedule wheel. Enjoy your school year.

  20. Look like a great plan! I love Story of the World.


  21. Just curious if you use the CDs or flashcards with the CC Foundations. I just was introduced to CC and thought it looked amazing for the memory work.

    April @ kuenzifamily at tds dot net

  22. What a great line up! LOVE your LOOP! I've been looking for an go through our daily extras like those you have listed! Thank you for that GREAT idea!


  23. I love the loop! We are using alot of the MCP stuff as well. Good luck!

  24. We use Janice Van Cleave's science books and BOB books, too -- we love them!

    Good luck!
    And I love the name Miriam -- it's my mother's name!

  25. Hi! I love the little subject loop thing also! Great idea! I also love your table top with the different placemats on it! I am stopping by from the NB2S Blog Hop!

  26. My favorite thing about homeschooling is flexibility! Use it to your advantage and everything will work beautifully!

  27. Hello! I'm stopping by from the Heart of the Matter "not" back to school curriculum blog hop. Looks like you have some great stuff planned!

  28. Hi - Hoppin' by from the NBTS linkup! Love your schoolroom - it is so cheerful, and full of interesting things, LOL. And your spinner idea is fantastic! Have a blessed schoolyear!

  29. What a great room you have! We are doing CC Cycle 3 this year as well, and Saxon math 1. Are you involved with a co-op too?
    Have a blessed year.