During the summer before we begin back to school, I have to go through our stored curriculum collection to see what I might reuse, and what I need. This year, I have a senior and an 8th grader so I though I’d share our 2016-17 Curriculum Choices.

Curriculum Choices from Scratch

I didn’t have any curriculum at all stored for a 12th grader. My oldest child who is now in college, attended a charter school for the last two years of highschool. The last grade I had in storage was 10th grade so I knew this year, we’d be buying new curriculum. For my 8th grader, I used a combination of some things we had, and some new purchases. I felt like my curriculum choices needed some revamping as well.
Neither of my kids enjoy field trips any longer now that they are older. We do attend once in a while if it is a local historical field trip or fun day out. Mostly, we do family day trips and outings. We’ve taken the occasional extracurricular class when our budget allows. My 8th grader enjoyed a photography class taught by one of our homeschool moms.

Here’s are our 2016-17 Curriculum Choices

12th Grader Curriculum Choices

                  -Don QuixoteMetamorphosis,The Ramayana, A Doll’s House.
                  -I also bought the teacher’s manual to go along with it. We’ve used OM for years at the highschool level. The lower grades didn’t work well for my kids but the highschool choices are thorough and comprehensive.
  • Math-Math U See/Precalculus. We’ve been using Math U See for years. It works great for our family and I like that there are both instructional videos and an instruction manual and answer keys.

We bought both the hardcover and workbook. What I don’t like about this is that the answer key/instruction manual is in the front of the workbook. It creates a lot of flipping back and forth when correcting the work. Teacher’s instruction manuals and answer keys would be more helpful if provided in a separate book.

  • Science-We are not covering science this year as she has enough credits in science courses and labwork.
  • Foreign Language- We will continue to useDuolingo. My 12th grader hopes to study linguistics while in the Marines, and will be studying several languages this year.
  • Electives-Foundations in Personal Finance/Dave Ramsay. We purchased the homeschool edition. This is common core aligned however, in the homeschool edition, it’s not overly CCSS heavy.  While this curriculum does have occasional scripture references, these are easily skipped over for secular homeschooling families. The package comes with the teacher’s DVD, student DVD’s and workbook.
  • Art-art class provided by our local homeschool cooperative program.
  • Teen Group-My daughter still enjoys her twice monthly teen group meetings.
  • Volunteer Time/Work-My 12th grader cares for an elderly family friend once a week. She helps with house chores and light cooking.
  • Health/Physical Education- Mandatory Physical Training-Yep. So my daughter has enlisted in the Marines on delayed entry. Part of her physical fitness is mandatory training every Saturday with the Marines. She has a daily workout routine as well. Soccer-Soccer with the local highschool team.

8th Grader Curriculum Choices

I moved my 8th grader up a full grade this year. That’s right-we skipped 7th grade. I did not label the 7th grade textbooks and thought they were 6th grade. So my kid did a full grade ahead last year without much difficulty. No sense repeating a grade just because 7 comes after 6.
  • Math- Math U See PreAlgebra.  We purchased the Workbook, Teacher manual and instructional DVD’s. My 8th grader started this book halfway through last year and we will continue and move on to the next when he completes this.
  • Science-Science Explorer Series/Pearson Publishing. These books are older and honestly we only use them as a guide to explore other topics. Most of our science is found on netflix, youtube and other venues. My son learns science best by hands on activities. This summer he bought a used ride on mower with a blown engine. He stripped down the entire engine, rebuilt it and got it running. He also edits videos for a local business on software that I didn’t teach him anything about. Science-I think we’re good.
  • History-America-History of Our Nation. Again we use this more as a guide as it’s very public school oriented. Kids can actually learn american history in just 2 short years, but in public school they get 9 or more years of american history. In our home we stress modern politics, voting, civics and being engaged with the world. 200 year old history, while important, doesn’t really suit our needs. If my kids can look up the war of 1812 on the internet, then they are still able to learn about it without 9 years of repeated study. I’d much rather they be engaged in today’s world. We do spend some time on history-just not to the degree that public school does.
  •  Language Arts-Elements of Language/Holt. We’ve used several of these books for years and they are comprehensive enough for our needs. I take a slower approach to writing with all my kids. Formal writing and research papers don’t begin until 6th grade. While we may dabble and do some prewriting to get them ready for research papers, my own experience has been that kids aren’t ready to begin until 6th grade or so. This year we will also be reading short stories and some chosen books from the Good Reads List. 
  • Foreign Language- My 8th grader will continue to use Duolingo. It’s a free online program and the units are self paced and fun.
  • Health and Physical Education-We don’t have a formal curriculum for health, as most of what I feel is important is covered in science. Both of my kids are very physically active with bike riding, hiking and running and participate regularly in 5K’s.
  • Electives-My 8th grader is participating in our local homeschool cooperative program creating Nevelson Box Art.
That’s it! It’s a full year with family, friends and learning.
What are you using this year?

Happy Homeschooling!

Bev

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