High School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

High School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

Probably the best way to sum up how I feel about this post is- it is getting REAL here folks! This year we are teaching two high schoolers again only this time we have a sophomore and a senior. The best thing about high school outside of the awesome conversations is mentoring these young people into adulthood by helping them to find their niche. Our curriculum choices reflect their interests and goals. Here’s a look at our High School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016.

12th Grade Curriculum

High School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

Ethan is our senior. He’s had quite a challenge as a junior having battled Lyme Disease the entire year. If he had not been ahead of the game, his senior year would look very different. Thankfully, he only needs one and a half credits to graduate. The rest of his courses are based on the colleges he wants to apply to.

  • Calculus– with Life of Fred
  • Physics– with ck-12
  • English V– with Excellence in Literature
  • Arabic– with Rosetta Stone after having taken an introductory course at our co-op and a summer course with a native speaker with iTalki.
  • American Government & Economics – with Notgrass and Uncle Eric
  • Novel Writing– with One Year Adventure Novel and Other Worlds. He has a goal to complete his current novel.
  • College Exam Prep– He’ll be taking the SAT and possibly the ACT this fall.
  • Driver’s Ed– complete his driving hours, take the 5 hour class, and pass the test!

Ethan’s hobby this coming year will be applying and getting accepted to universities. We’d appreciate some scholarship applications being completed as well. College visitations begin in September strategically chosen for the opportunity to see the Virginia Tech Hokies play Purdue at Purdue!

10th Grade Curriculum

High School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

It’s hard to believe Rebecca is already a sophomore! She has two very distinct niches and it will be interesting to see how she works them together as she completes high school.

  • Algebra– complete beginning algebra and work through advanced algebra by year’s end with Life of Fred.
  • Biology– using ck-12 and supplemental lab materials and entomology.
  • Spanish– with Rosetta Stone (we have levels 1-5 of the homeschool edition)
  • English III– with One Year Adventure Novel using the reading list he provides along with essay writing. We need to keep her skills sharp though she’ll be writing fiction this year.
  • Quest for the Ancient World– WinterPromise and she’ll be doing this with her 8th grade brother
  • Art– a credit of art using a variety of materials and online courses
  • Sewing & Design III– An independent study which involves teaching others and breaking new ground in design and construction.

Rebecca teaches two sewing classes right now. She prepares the curriculum and helps the girls learn new skills and complete projects. Rather than working at a sewing camp, she chose to try for more students. This is the perfect working environment for her at this time.

Other High School Posts at Blog, She Wrote

Creating Opportunities for Your Homeschooled Teen

Working with a Bright & Occasionally Very Motivated High Schooler: Tips and Strategies– Do you know any students like this? Helpful strategies for working with this type of student.

Teaching & Mentoring High School Math– How to work with teens and complex math. It’s easier than you think!

Creating Opportunities for Your Homeschooled Teen– How to work to find experiences for your homeschooled high schooler.

High School Help– A gathering of high school posts here at Blog, She Wrote



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Middle School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

Middle School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

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Isaac is our 8th grader this year. Probably the biggest difference for him will be the level of work we expect. 8th grade kicks things up a notch in order to transition to high school level work by the end of the year. Our Middle School Curriculum Choices 2015-2016:

8th Grade Curriculum Choices

Implementing Middle School Curriculum

Isaac will be working on more than those four pieces of curriculum would suggest. Art and music are part of his program along with some project areas. His learning time will consist of the following in addition to the four main subject areas above:

  • RC Plane Flying– He is a member of the local flying club and has three planes he flies and maintains. Two of them he can fly at the park behind our house and the other one is large enough to need an air field. That’s his newest acquisition and he’s quickly becoming an expert.
  • Model Rocketry– Isaac builds his own rockets from kits (some are more ready to fly than others) and launches them.
  • Daily Reading Aloud– Both as the reader and the listener. We read The Lord of the Rings together and take turns reading. Additionally, we read as a family.
  • Speech Practice– He has a history of severe apraxia and we are working on trimming up his R sounds. He gets weekly one on one speech therapy for articulation. I think he’ll be dismissed by summer’s end, but practice will continue. The sounds are there, but they require great effort from him.
  • Reading– Lots of reading is in store. Right now he’s immersed in a 14 book series by Robert Jordan called The Wheel of Time. In fact, his older brother and sister and his dad are all reading the series.

Other Middle School Posts at Blog, She Wrote

How to Engage Your Teens with Books

It’s hard to believe that, although we have one middle schooler this year, we are parenting and homeschooling three teens right now. Here are a few posts on homeschooling middle school.

Teaching Middle & High School Language Arts– Resources and information on how we approach language arts for our secondary students.

Homeschooling Middle & High School Fine Arts– Music and art in middle school

Homeschooling Middle & High School Math– We are Life of Fred users especially for upper level math. Learn about our strategy for teaching math in middle school.

Literary Adventures– Book fun for middle school or any age. Find a fun book which challenges your middle schooler and get started!

The Snake Project– This was our daughter’s 8th grade science two years ago and it was a fabulous example of what happens when you let a project develop and challenge a student.



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Elementary Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

Elementary Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Joshua is our last elementary student and he’s a 5th grader, so this is our last year teaching elementary school. Wow- will our homeschool look different next year considering we have a senior this year as well! We’ve made some fun selections for our Elementary Curriculum Choices 2015-2016.

5th Grade Curriculum Choices

  • MathLife of Fred Fractions and Decimals & Percents. Along with games, practice, and math adventures using Math on the Level.
  • BiologyChristian Kids Explore Biology from Bright Ideas Press along with other resources based on my professional background. CKE will keep me moving forward!
  • Social StudiesAround New York in 80 Days. I’m pretty excited about this one. It’ll be fun to do local and state history and take some field trips.
  • Language Arts– with The Writer’s Jungle. Lots of fun writing is in store for Joshua and I think this is just his speed. I also have tons of resources for writing to use if he needs a boost or a change up.
  • Latin– with Prima Latina. He’s so interested in learning Latin names especially in science. The spark for learning Latin was lit by The Penderwicks. Mr. Penderwick is always speaking Latin.
  • Unit Studies– literature or topically based with BYFIAR, scientists, Lion Preparatory Academy, and the Prairie Primer.
  • FIRST LEGO League– This will be his second year on our FLL team. He loves to program the robot for missions.

Elementary Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

Implementing Our Elementary Curriculum

I wouldn’t want anyone to start panicking over this robust plan! Joshua and I read together aloud every day and I know he will enjoy doing unit studies along the way. We’ve been very successful working together. He’s a unique learner with some strong gifted characteristics. Some general thoughts on his formal and informal learning experiences:

  • He’s an intense learner– I’m certain we won’t do all of these things at once, but a few at a time for a length of time or until he runs out the learning on a particular topic.
  • Bible Time– While the next two older kids are working on ancient studies, he will be listening in to the Bible readings from the Archeological Bible.
  • Read Aloud Time– Those of you who have younger and older students probably run into the fact that you haven’t read books to your youngest that you read to your older kids! Joshua and I are going back to read together the things our older kids enjoyed with us before he has memory of hearing the stories.
  • Local History– NY State history and geography is on the docket this year and our older kids will enjoy revisiting some of it.
  • Writing– Lots of dictation and free writing are on tap.
  • Unit Studies– We may not do these one after the other, but I expect a few each quarter will do the trick based on his interest.
  • Audio Books– Joshua listens to stories as he falls to sleep. His mind is always working on a problem and this has been a successful way to get him to relax.
  • Project Based Learning– One of the ways Joshua is intense is with his work. He loves to solve problems, engineer, and program. He reads whole manuals on programming languages and is tenacious enough to figure things out on his own. He will spend many hours at work and this is actually one of his biggest gifted behaviors. He does not like his work to be interrupted! Part of his curriculum is the time, space, and materials to accomplish his work goals.
  • Mindstorms EV3– He has his own EV3 kit and Dan gives him programming challenges. He also likes to use his Arduino shield to program the brick with software other than the EV3 code. Right now he’s using Lejos to program the EV3 using Java which runs off an SD card. EV3 runs a stripped down version of Linux and he enjoys customizing the programming use a different language.
  • Entomology– Joshua is preparing to turn in his second year collection to the 4-H Fair. He will continue to collect and pin insects this next year.

Related Posts at Blog, She Wrote

How to Teach Science through the Lives of Scientists

Here are a few posts relating to elementary instruction or planning.

How to Teach Science through the Lives of Scientists– Our kids have always loved learning about people who do extraordinary things and our youngest especially enjoys learning about scientists. This has been a great fit for him and we’ll continue to approach biographies in this way.

Math Planning– How I put together math plans based on concepts my kids need to accomplish before Algebra.

Beyond Five in a Row– This page has all things Beyond on it including ways to plan, how to use the curriculum, and sample work from the books we’ve studies.

How to Keep up with Your Accelerated Reader– Do you have a child who read well above grade level? How do you keep up with pre-reading?

Ultimate Guide to Establishing a Reading Culture in Your Home– All of our kids are readers and this has always been a priority in our home. Though our kids all came to read fluently at different times and enjoy some different tastes in reading material, our home is still a haven for reading. It’s well worth the time to build this in during the elementary years.


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