Chasing Cheerios

Showing posts with label homeschool curriculum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homeschool curriculum. Show all posts

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Summer School Curriculum for 2014

We homeschool year round with breaks throughout the year.  However, our summer school curriculum is a little more relaxed and fun than our school year curriculum.  I asked for lots of input from the girls, and I think we are going to have a fantastic and fun summer!


Rightstart Math card games.  We LOVE these card games and will continue to play them throughout the summer.

Life of Fred-  Both girls LOVE the Life of Fred books, and they cheered and jumped up and down when I told them we would do Life of Fred again this summer.


Both girls requested that we do Magic School bus science kits again this summer.  The kits were disappointing to me, but the girls love to get them in the "mail."

Engino -  This is a surprise for the girls, and they are going to LOVE it!  We are going to learn all about and build simple machines this summer.  Elliott (the daddy) is excited about this summer school class!

We'll read Archimedes and the Door of Science.

We also plan to read the Burgess Seashore Book.  We read this book last summer, but didn't finish it.  This summer the girls will keep a science journal as we read each chapter (drawing pictures of the animals and narrating).

daily nature study via kayak rides, nature walks, boat rides, and playing in the lake

Circuits-  The girls love to complete circuits projects.


We will continue with our study of American History via American Girls.

We're reading Our Island Story.

And we're looking forward to starting Robin Hood soon.


We will continue with Elementary Spanish via Discovery Streaming throughout the summer.


I'm hoping to finally start the Meet the Masters program this summer.  We'll also do tons of messy and creative art activities on our beach on an almost daily basis.

English Language Arts

We will continue to read chapter books aloud together, and O will read chapter books independently.  E enjoys reading BOB books and Hooked on Phonics books aloud.

Spelling-  O will continue to complete her Sequential Spelling lessons throughout the summer (probably just one or 2 lessons per week).


O(7) recently started a typing program,and she LOVES it!  She has requested to continue it over the summer.


E(4) has requested a more in depth study of the Carnival of the Animals, and O would like to learn more about Handel.  I'm hoping to find library books about both and to use the materials available for download from the Maestro Classics website.


Both girls are interested in learning more about cooking, so I'm planning to set aside at least one afternoon per week for them to focus on cooking.  I'd love suggestions on a great kids' cookbook!


Both girls (especially O) love to build things with their daddy.  Elliott is planning to order a woodworking with kids book and complete several projects with the girls over the summer.  Again, I'd love suggestions on a great book (with plans) for woodworking with kids.

Logic Games, Brain Games, and Puzzles

I really love logic and brain games, and I think they are so important for building thinking skills in kids.  We will devote one afternoon per week to playing logic games.  This is what we'll be playing...

My plan is to get the girls outside early during the summer, so we can have several hours (4 at least...I hope) to play in the yard and in the lake before it becomes too unbearably hot.  Then we'll do "school" during the hot afternoon hours (probably less than 2 hours per day) before going back outside to play during the late afternoon.  We'll also have Bible School, dance & theater camp, and vacations, so it's going to be a busy and fun summer!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

2nd Grade Curriculum

I've had lots of questions about the curriculum we use over the last few months, and it's much quicker to just write a post for everyone to see rather than answer individually. So, I'm going to briefly tell you about the curriculum we have used for O(7)'s 2nd grade year along with links (when possible).   I hope this will help those of you who are making curriculum decision for the 2014-2015 school year.

English Language Arts

We used First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind (Volumes 1 and 2 combined).  We started this book during O's 1st grade year.  She liked it at first, but didn't like it towards the end.

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Volume 3-  We started Volume 3 in February, and O LOVES it!  She said every lesson is like playing a game.  We have the teacher's edition and workbook.  The lessons are quick, easy, and fun.

Writing with Ease, Volume 2-  O was not enjoying this book by the end.  However she loves Volume 3 which we started in February.

We are reading the Little House on the Prairie chapter books together.  I read 2 pages, O reads 1, and we go back and forth.  She reads very well with these books, and she loves them, but she is intimidated by the length of the books.

O(7) reads books of her choice from the Reading A to Z library.

Both girls record their thoughts in calendar journals weekly.  These journals are calendars that have just enough room to write a sentence or two.  I'd like to write in them daily, but it usually only happens once or twice a week.  The girls tell me one thing about their day, and I record it in the journal for them.

Reading selections from Ambleside Online

Spelling-  O really doesn't like Sequential Spelling lessons, but she has made a lot of progress since starting.   I recently purchased the dvd, so that she can type her answers on the laptop.  Hopefully, she'll like it a little better since she'll be able to do it independently.


O(7) recently started a typing program,and she LOVES it!


Rightstart Math Level C.  We LOVE Rightstart Math!!!!!   O is learning math extremely effortlessly, and we are all having fun with it!

Challenging Word Problems-  O completes several word problems per week from this workbook.


O is learning cursive using Handwriting without Tears.  She is completing this workbook independently, and she is doing a great job.


Story of the World, Volume 2.  Both girls love SOTW.  We usually read one chapter per week and complete the mapwork from the workbook.  The girls occasionally color the pics from the workbook, but we rarely do the extra projects.  I doubt we'll order the workbook for 3rd grade.

American History-  We are studying American History through reading the American Girl books.  After we read the AG books, we read other books from the same time period.  We also complete craft and cooking projects from each time period.  This has been LOTS of fun, and we all love it.  I know that the girls are learning and loving history when I overhear them having conversations with each other about the Revolutionary War and Civil War.

reading selections from Ambleside Online


REAL Science Odyssey-  We are studying Earth Science this year.  I really liked this program last year, but we are going to try something different for 3rd grade.  It's just not flowing for us this year.  The projects are fun, and the kids are learning, but something about the format (and I'm not really even sure what) just doesn't work for me.

We have been studying pond/lake life through reading several books and studying our lake.  We all loved Among the Pond People and Pond.

weekly nature walks and nature journals


O takes weekly online piano lessons that my mom facilitates.

We listen to Maestro Classics daily.  We all LOVE Maestro classics.


Elementary Spanish classes via Discovery Streaming
Professor Pocket cds
Spanish books and other Spanish music cds


I have tons and tons (way too much) of random arts and crafts materials that are available to the girls at all times.  I am amazed on an almost daily basis by their creativity and levels of concentration and independence as they create with these materials (with no outside influence from me).

I have a 3 year subscription for Meet the Masters, but we haven't used this yet...maybe we'll start this summer.

We've studied several specific artists on Fridays with our group, and we read books about specific artist fairly frequently.  We also have several art memory and card games that we play periodically.


We love Song School Latin, but we don't get to it as often as I would like.

Geography and Culture

We are studying Russia, Ukraine, and Poland via our cultural exchange packages.  We also enjoy geomaps, google earth, our talking globe (the girls love dancing to the national anthems), and our wall map.  We love the Children Just Like Me books.

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I'm working on posts describing our upcoming summer school curriculum, O(7)'s upcoming 3rd grade curriculum, and E(4)'s upcoming 5K curriculum.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum for 1st Grade...Help Needed!!!

O(5) will be in 1st grade next year, and it will be our first year of "official" homeschooling!!!  I can't wait, and she is really excited, too (most of the time).  I really want to make our curriculum choices soon because I want to have plenty of time to familiarize myself with the materials and have everything prepared.  I want our first year to go as smoothly as possible!  I'd like to have a Montessori and Charlotte Mason style homeschool.  E(2) will also be homeschooled, but she's easy...I have everything that I used with O when she was 3, and I have John Bowman's Montessori at Home book  (which is an absolute treasure).

I'd LOVE to have input on which curriculums have worked for you and which haven't.  Here are the ones that I've looked at online, but have never actually seen in real life.

For math, I'm interested in Right Start Math and/or Life of Fred. 

For reading/language, I'm interested in Language Lessons for the Very Young.  

We'll continue with World Geography and Cultural Studies through our cultural exchange packages.

I'd like to have a Spanish curriculum, but have no idea what to get.  Right now, we watch Little Pim dvds (which we LOVE), but I'd like to have an actual curriculum.

O wants to learn to read and write in cursive, so I'm thinking of getting Pictures in Cursive.

She would also like to learn more about American History.  She has a good foundation from reading the Little House on the Prairie books and American Girl books.  

I'm not sure what to use for Science, and I'm not sure what else I'll need to teach.  PLEASE offer any advice that you have through comments to this post or emails to me at  THANK YOU!!!