Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our Curriculum 2010-11

I have to be honest.  I originally named this...
"the post in which my non-homeschooling friends glaze over"
but opted to get straight to the point. ;)

This year, I'm eating my words. {I know.  You're shocked, right?  Ha!} I've always said that I wasn't in favor of curriculum hopping, as it leaves us vulnerable to learning gaps.  Guess what?  I'm learning to embrace the gaps.  {Embrace the gaps, HMama.  Embrace the gaps.}  Of course, I thought there should be no learning gaps, because I experienced N-O-N-E in my public-schooled education {she says, tongue-in-cheek}.

So, what changed this train of thought? 

I think I just heard my veteran HSing friends *gasp*  {she's. just. now. reading. the. homeschool. bible?}  I wish I had a better explanation for not reading this book sooner... other than, it seemed like an overwhelming book when we were just starting our journey of home educating 5 years ago.  A packaged curriculum was my security blanket for making sure I was crossing all of my t's and dotting all of my i's.

The light-bulb is glowing a bit brighter now.  ;) 

Having said that, there really is no 'right way' to do this.  The structure and learning style of every family and child is different.  We all do what is best for our families at the time, right? 

I want our girls to enjoy this learning journey {this season of life comes but once}, so this year, I'm diving in the deep end with both feet {actually, it probably looks more like a graceful belly flop.  just sayin'}.  We are leaning toward a more classical approach.  Less talk of tests, and more on actual 'learning', with a side of fun.

I'm feeling giddy, but overwhelmed.  We have already eased into some of our subjects and I'm trying to figure out how to balance the rest of life with this.  I'm predicting that you may want to give a 2 week notice before stopping by our home, as housework will not be on the top of our list.

You will find us here...

History and Geography:  Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, Activity Book, The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, National Geographic World Atlas, Globe, wall map, and A Timeline for All Time

(I also caved and bought the book on CD.  I told Gracie that my throat hurt from reading aloud so much.  She replied in the sweetest lil' 8 year old voice, "You could write everything down, and if you get upset, you could use exclamation points."  Too cute, yes?)

Gracie wanted to name him Walter, but eventually... Nator swayed her sister's vote to 'Elvis Pelvis'.  Creative, yes? ;)

{Upon completion, we'll ease right into the next one, Zoology I, unless the girls change their mind.  ;)

 Writing:  Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)
Gracie says that Mr. Andrew talks funny, but I can honestly say that starting this program has encouraged excitement in writing, instead of tears.  I finally feel like we have the proper 'tools'.  Yay!  We plan to weave our writing throughout all of our subjects.

Grammer:  Growing with Grammar  (Gracie: 3rd, Nator: 4th-5th), we also have Fix-It (IEW)

Spelling: Sequential Spelling

Literature: Teaching the Classics {a host of library trips in our future!}

Latin: Getting Started with Latin, English from the Roots Up Flashcards

Math: Teaching Textbooks  (Gracie: 3-4th, Nator: 6th)

Art: Studying various artists using library resources, How to Teach Art to Children, Art is Fundamental, and our occasional canvas. ;)

 Nator:  Piano lessons, Theater class, ballet pre-pointe, and tap classes.
Gracie:  Guitar or violin lessons (she hasn't decided yet), Theater class, ballet pre-pointe, jazz, tap and hip-hop classes. 
We will be working on cursive handwriting and cooking with Mama, too.  Prayers are appreciated. ;)

Not Back to School Blog Hop


Have you heard of the Heart of the Matter online conference, Aug. 9-13th?  Great speakers are lined up.  I'm especially looking forward to Susan Wise Bauer and Jeannie Fulbright!  It costs $19.99, and includes lots-a-goodies.  For more info, visit their website.

I'll be there, hopefully in my pj's! :)


  1. What a great Line Up! I cracked up over the "Elvis" name! Too Cute and extremely creative! Hope you have a great school year!
    Have fun with the "Classical" approach! ;)

    PS. I came over from the "hop".

  2. It sounds like you have a wonderful school year ahead of you! I still haven't read "The Well Trained Mind"... but maybe I should- someday.
    I like "Elivis Pelvis too!:)

    I found you through the Blog hop!
    Have a great day!

  3. I just want to say.. welcome to the big times Girl! I love when HS moms leave "boxed" curriculum... it makes ME giddy! NO really... I love the classical approach. I spent a bunch of hard earned money to GO SEE THE lady herself.. I call Susan Wise Bauer the Wise Woman! she was even more amazing in person!

    I never worry about gaps because I am teaching them TO learn... you can ALWAYS find out information if you know how! :)

    I love your line up! Looks great! WE are doing Anatomy also along with Sonia Guzman, Margaret Jones, Becky Eck and my sister... we are going to get together and do some stuff together, in fact I am having a WELCOME TO ANATOMY party on WEd the 18th if yall want to come by! We would love to have you! 10:30 -1:30 bring a healthy snack to share and I am doing the rest! Let me know!

  4. What a list!! We're gonna attempt cooking this year also. Maybe I should take lessons first. :)

  5. i'm looking into IEW as well. did you get the teacher's guide as well or just the student?

  6. When I first started homeschooling I bought a straight curriculum. As the years progressed I learned to relax a bit and went with what was best for each child. I change things up a bit each year, but I guess that's the fun of it! :)

  7. The Well Trained Mind is quite fierce. LOL! We're using Growing With Grammar this year as well. I think it's gonna work out nicely. Have a great year!

  8. ah...the well trained mind. yep. bought it, took one look at it. and set it on the shelf due to being overwhelmed!

    then entered a classical christian part time school...yippee...lily will start kinder, ahem, "explorers", there this fall.

    still need to read the book though.

    sounds like a wonderfully fun and well balanced plan.

    i've heard tons of good stuff on that science program!


  9. My daughter would love the human torso from edu science - great blog. I am now your newest follower!


  10. That looks incredibly daunting and overwhelming! You go Girl! I'm just starting out with K this year, so we'll see. Praying God's best for your school year.

  11. I'm not a homeschooling mama, but I am a supervising teaching so this makes me a little giddy, too! Looks like some really great selections! I'd love to browse through them...and smell them! New books smell like learning!

  12. I know where you were coming from. I have always stuck to my BJU curriculum and we love it- but slowly I am adding and subtracting things. Somethings have not worked, so then we try other things. We have added Apologia this year and I am excited about that.

  13. ha ha ha ... love the Elvis Pelvis!!! =) very clever! I home school one... the other is doing fantastic in public school with amazing friends... so I just can't pull her ... yet! anyway... I am mostly using Evan Moore materials... he's my new BFF!! =) We are starting with the body this year too - but I have not dug out my materials yet... not til September!! =)


I always enjoy reading what you have to say... It makes my day! ;)

{If you have a question, I will do my best to respond here, on your site, or via email.}