This year we are educating a sophomore, a 7th grader, a 6th grader, and a 2nd grader. Our general curriculum guidelines are to read lots of whole books, narrate what we read, be consistent with math and writing, and let the kids branch out with their secondary subjects. Specifically:
We will use Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, as our history spine. It’s most appropriate for the younger three kids. My oldest has been through it before, but he loves joining us for our history/reading time, so he will listen in and read more on his own.
We use Singapore for elementary and middle school math.
All the kids are studying piano at their own pace.
We spend time each week memorizing poetry and reading good books together. This year we have read The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, and The Penderwicks in Spring (all by Jeanne Birdsall) and are rereading Swallows and Amazons (Ransome). For Advent, we are reading through our collection of Advent and Christmas books.
I am committed to taking field trips (to the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Botanic Gardens) throughout the year.
- History independent reading selections will include: The Babylonian Laws (Hammurabi), Job, Exodus, Egypt: A Short History (Jankowski), The Peloponnesian War (Thucydides), The Iliad (Homer), Medea (Euripides), Oedipus Rex and Antigone (Sophocles), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare), Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea (Cahill), Isabella, The Warrior Queen (Downey- I know this is out of synch time-wise, but he wanted it), Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic (Holland), The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 1 (Gibbon), Carthage Must Be Destroyed (Miles), Symposium (Plato), and selections from Ethics (Aristotle).
- English: We will work on writing short, timed essays on prompts about the above works and one longer biography of an historical figure of his choice. Also, he plans to do NaNoWriMo. He’s also taking a creative writing course and a literature course at our once-a-week school.
- Latin: He will finish Henle Latin, Year 1, and begin Henle Year 2. He will again take the National Latin Exam. For a break, he will work on reading Harrius Potter et philosophi lapis.
- Spanish: He will alternate reading/translating Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal and a collection of short stories in Spanish. He’ll also use Mi Vida Loca, a BBC Spanish video supplement for high school students.
- AP Calculus. He is doing this online through the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers.
- AP Biology: I am teaching this at home using lesson plans posted at the College Board site.
- History and Literature: His independent reading includes a lot of shorter biographies of historical figures. Pharaohs and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (Asselin), Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself (Andronik), The Tomb Robber and King Tut (Gauch), Gods and Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology (Harris and O’Connor), Tirzah (Travis), D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths (the D’Aulaires), The Wanderings of Odysseus (Sutcliffe), Lives from Plutarch’s (McFarland), Job, Exodus, God King (Williamson), Herodotus and the Road to History (Bendick), Archimedes (Bendick), and Galen (Bendick), Ten Kings and the Worlds They Ruled (Meltzer), Roman Myths and Legends (Masters), D’Aulaires Book of Norse Myths, the Percy Jackson series (Riordon).
- Math: He’s continuing Singapore’s NEM 1 curriculum, which is a blend of algebra and geometry. I’ve been supplementing as needed with Khan Academy.
- Writing: I give him a daily writing assignment. His most recent assignment was to write a one-act play in which Herodotus, Galen and Archimedes meet in a bar. (It was hilarious.) Normally, he writes a paragraph in response to a prompt. He will also do a longer biography of an historical figure.
- Physics: he is working independently through the Khan Academy site physics resources and Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide (Kuhn).
- Spanish: he’s taking this through the once a week school.
- Programming: This is the subject in which I am least equipped to help him. He still enjoys using scratch. He has worked his way through the Microsoft Office Suite and has just started a course on Java from the once-a-week school.
- International Towne: He’s doing this through school.
- History and Literature: see above for the 7th grade selections. Most of them work for both kids.
- Math: she’s in Singapore 6B right now.
- Writing: She has the Institute for Excellence in Writing course from school, but I will still ask her to write an historical biography in the spring.
- Spanish: she uses Duolingo.
- French: She just added this in with Duolingo.
- Young Ameritowne: through school.
- Science: We’re still browsing through all sorts of basic science for her, working on our skills of observation and description. She likes the Biology Coloring Book and others in that series.
- History: she reads along with our spines but doesn’t do any added history reading.
- Reading: We are enjoying Arnold Lobel’s books (Mouse Soup, Mouse Tales, Frog and Toad, Owl at Home, Grasshopper on the Road) and the Little Bear series (Minarik). On her own she is determined to read chapter books, but when she reads to me every day, I’m still using the more basic books to establish mastery. We are also reading her lots of other books, including Beatrix Potter, E.B. White, and Roald Dahl.
- Writing: Copywork, letter writing, writing stories… anything to get her writing more fluently. We also use Explode the Code.
- Math: Singapore 1B and 2A.
- Science: Her science is almost all nature study.
- Spanish: we try to use Spanish phrases and vocabulary around the house, and we have some favorite picture books we read in Spanish.
- Lots of art and cartwheels and cooking and dancing…
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