Curriculum Picks



Sebastian

This year I am hoping to do much less worksheet-related homeschool and do more project-based learning. Sebastian has been having a hard time feeling positive about school so I am hoping putting him in charge of projects will help his attitude.

Language Arts 
Reading
We are using Kolbe's Elementary Literature guide with read alouds this year. Sebastian reads so much on his own that I am not making this a big deal in school. I want to use this as a way to have conversations, do unit studies, and have fun.  The books we will be reading include: The Lion, The Witch, and the WardrobeA Wrinkle in TimeThe Great BrainThe Donkey's GiftThe HobbitSt. Dominic, and Misty of Chincoteague.

Writing
I have been using the Institute for Excellence in Writing for a few years and we love it. Since I bout the Teaching with Structure and Style DVDs for me, and I have used their curriculum for a number of years, I feel confident in teaching Sebastian the IEW system while utilizing the science and history texts we will be using in class. I think it will be simpler this way and streamline the process of school. We are also going to be making a Family Newsletter/Newspaper and the kids will be in charge of it. We are hoping to do about 4-5 send outs in the year.

Grammar
IEW's Fix-It Grammar, book 2: Robin Hood

Spelling
IEW's Phonetic Zoo, level A

Religion
Faith & Life 5
My Path to Heaven
Baltimore Catechism No. 1

Science
Catholic Heritage Curriculum's Behold and See 5

Math
Math-U-See. Finish up Epsilon (fractions) in the first quarter and move onto Zeta (decimals) for the remainder of the year.

Social Studies
From See to Shining Sea- reading together, adding in living books, and doing projects!
Map Skills E

Specials
Phys Ed
karate classes twice a week

Art
American Paintings, art appreciation from The National Art Museum
Art Hub for Kids on YouTube

Music
music appreciation by listening to various composers that correspond to history and literature

Kaelyn

Kaelyn is so easy to teach. She loves school time and rarely ever gives me a hard time. I could do just about anything with her and she would be happy.

Language Arts 
Reading
Bigger Stories for Little Folks
Devotional Stories
Devotional Stories 2
She will be a part of our read alouds and will participate in activities and

Writing
I am working on IEW with Kaelyn as well, but not the full program. We are also going to be making a Family Newsletter/Newspaper and the kids will be in charge of it. We are hoping to do about 4-5 send outs in the year.

Grammar
Language of God A
Plaid Phonics B

Spelling
All About Spelling B

Religion
Faith and Life 2
Baltimore Catechism No. 0
Confession lapbook
First Communion lapbook
various projects throughout the year

Science
Behold and See 2
Harcourt Science Grade 2

Math
We are finishing up Alpha and will begin Beta in September.

Social Studies
Catholic Heritage Curriculum's Explore the Continents
Map Skills B

Specials
Phys Ed
karate classes once a week
dance class once a week

Art
American Paintings, art appreciation from The National Art Museum
Art Hub for Kids on YouTube

Music
music appreciation by listening to various composers that correspond to history and literature
voice, violin, and piano lessons

Miles' Preschool 

I am a HUGE proponent of letting children play. Miles is 3 1/2 and although I do not want to do "school" with him, I want to spend one-on-one time with him. Three times a week I want to read a book to him (the same book for the whole week) and play a game, do a craft, make a snack, or something else that ties into the book that is fun for us. This is my way of helping him with his speech delay and get him some time with me that he needs. It isn't school but a structured play because if I don't schedule it in, I won't do it.

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 Previous Years




curriculum

We officially started out 2016-2017 school year with a field trip in July, but we started the book work on August 1st.  While Sebastian is in fourth grade this year, Kaelyn has graduated to first grade. I have changed my mind since Sebastian was in first grade so there are changes in what I am doing with Kaelyn. Now that Sebastian is older he can do more independent work and I am trying to find an appropriate balance for him as he starts his journey as an older elementary student. Seriously, where has the time gone?

Together

Every school day we start the same way. We pray together, read about the Saint of the Day, recite the Pledge of Allegience, and then do our memory work. Our memory work includes Poetry Memorization from IEW as well as Classically Catholic Memory which includes Latin, religion, math, science, history, geography, timeline, and great words. This year we will be working on Gamma Year at our co-op so our focus will be on Early Modern Times, Chemistry and Physics, Geometric Formulas, and North America. There are 18 weeks total and we meet as a co-op every other week to introduce the memorization and then we spend the next two weeks at home putting it to memory.

Fourth Grade

English

*Spelling

All About Spelling: Sebastian breezed through level one as a review in the last couple weeks of school last year. We are going to review book two and move on to book three this year. I assume we will get through both of those books this year because he is older. If he finishes them and we still have decent time at the end of the year, we will get into IEW's Phonetic Zoo.

*Reading

We will be following Catholic Heritage Curriculum's reading program which includes Rare Catholic Stories and The Father Brown Reader plus study guides. Sebastian loves to read so I expect him to read a ton of books from the library for fun. He normally picks up non-fiction books, but he has a healthy appetite for all kinds of books.

*Writing

IEW's writing curriculum has been working wonders for us so we are continuing along the path. This year Sebastian picked out Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales as his writing book. I will be working on his independence with writing this year so that he can do more of it on his own.

*Grammar

Although I love Catholic Heritage Curriculum, I felt it lacking in the grammar department. This year I am having Sebastian work on IEW's Fix It! Grammar The Nose Tree. I think he will like it because it is short and sweet each day.

Arithmetic

We have been a Math-U-See family for the past five years so it is no surprise we will continue to finish up Delta (division) and begin Epsilon (fractions) this year.

Science/Health and Physiology

We are continuing the Behold and See series from Catholic Heritage Curriculum for science this year. This year we are focusing on human anatomy and health so I am also supplementing with a human anatomy coloring book.

Geography/Civics/History of the United States and Pennsylvania

This year I am looking forward to work through Our United States of America: Catholic Social Studies this year. Included in the history book is geography, U.S. map study, and an extensive nine-week state study. Because this book includes so much we are only supplementing Map Skills D once a week.

Physical Education

I don't have a set curriculum for physical education. Sebastian will be taking ballet, jazz, and tap classes 2 1/2 hours a week. They also play outside almost every day and are very active.

Music

I am restarting piano lessons this year. We use the Faber Piano Adventures books because I can easily teach the kids myself. There will also be a music class at co-op.

Art

We are continuing to do Art With a Purpose: ArtPac 4 this year. I like it because he can do it on his own without my help. There is also an art class at co-op.

Religion

Although I plan on singing the kids up for religion class at our church, I still am teaching them at home. It is the most important class and I am happy to "double up" on it at home even if they are getting religious ed on Sundays. We are working in Faith & Life 4: Jesus Our Guide.

First Grade

English

*Spelling

All About Spelling: Kaelyn began level 1 last year and is picking up about halfway through the level for first grade. I expect her to finish level one this year but I am unsure whether or not we will start level two.

*Reading

We are using two different curriculums concurrently to teach reading. We are using IEW's Primary Arts of Language: Reading as well as Little Stories for Little Folks. They work nicely together and it gives her extra practice to do both. If I had to choose to do just one I would stick with IEW's PAL program because it is amazing, but I like adding in a little Catholic reading with the Little Stories as well. It has nice virtues embedded in the cute stories.

*Writing

We are using two programs here as well. IEW's Primary Arts of Language: Writing will start this year off with copy work but then move into composition, which is an important step for kids before we begin a more formal writing curriculum with IEW. Parallel with the Little Stories is CHC's handwriting book. It is a handwriting, phonics, and reading book that coincides with the story for the week.

Arithmetic

Kaelyn finished Math-U-See's Primer last year and is eager to start work on the Alpha book. She is ready to start mastering addition facts!

Science/Health and Physiology

Kaelyn is SO excited to start a "real" science book this year and we will be doing Behold and See 1: On the Farm. It is a fun worktext that takes the kids on a year-long journey exploring the seasons on the farm. There willbe plenty of experiments and she is sure to learn how science and religion go hand in hand.

Geography

We will be working in Maps, Charts, and Graphs A this year to have an introduction to geography. It is minimal and only done once a week, so this is more of a supplementary than a full curriculum but I don't much is needed for first grade.

Physical Education

I don't have a set curriculum for physical education. Kaelyn will be taking ballet and tap classes 1 1/2 hours a week. They also play outside almost every day and are very active.

Music

I am restarting piano lessons this year. We use the Faber Piano Adventures books because I can easily teach the kids myself. There will also be a music class at co-op. Kaelyn will also begin some voice lessons in September or October because she is an extrovert and needs some more time outside of the house doing things she loves with other people.

Art

We are starting Art With a Purpose: ArtPac 1 this year. I hope to teach some independence with her this year as I believe she could do most of this on her own. There is also an art class at co-op.

Religion

Although I plan on signing the kids up for religion class at our church, I still am teaching them at home. It is the most important class and I am happy to "double up" on it at home even if they are getting religious ed on Sundays. We are working in Faith & Life 1: Our Heavenly Father.

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Third Grade

  • English
    • Spelling: My Catholic Speller B (CHC)
    • Reading: Vintage Tales (CHC)
    • Writing: All Things Fun and Fascinating (IEW)
    • Handwriting: Catholic Heritage Handwriting 3- learning cursive! (CHC)
  • Arithmetic
    • Math-U-See -finishing up Gamma (multiplication) and then moving into Delta (division)
  • Science
    • Behold & See 3 (CHC)
  • Geography
    • Tour a Country (CHC)
    • Map Skills C (CHC)
  • Health and Physiology
    • Behold & See 3 (CHC)
  • Physical Education
    • Ballet Class
    • Playing outside
  • Music
    • My own curricula
  • Art
    • Masterpieces: Liturgical (CHC)
    • Art Pac 3 (CHC)
  • Latin
    • Little Latin Readers A (CHC)
  • Religion
    • Faith & Life: Our Life with Jesus

Kindergarten

  • English
    • Reading
      • Little Folks Letter Practice (CHC)
      • Little Stories for Little Folks (CHC)
      • PAL Reading (IEW)
    • Writing
      • Catholic Heritage Handwriting K (CHC)
      • PAL Writing (IEW)
  • Math
    • Little Folks Number Practice (CHC)
    • Math-U-See Primer
  • Religion
    • God's Love Story (CHC)
    • Who Am I? (CHC)
  • Art
    • Art Masterpieces: Liturgical
    • Crafts throughout the year
  • Music
    • My own curricula
  • Physical Education
    • Ballet class
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Second Grade

  • Connecting With History- Volume I- Ancient History
    • Bible Timeline for Kids
    • New Catholic Picture Bible
    • Usborne Time Travelers
    • Founders of Freedom
    • Ancient World (Usborne internet-linked)
    • Classical Kids
    • Old Testament Days
    • Famous Figures of Ancient Times
    • Map Trek (for geography)
    • Many books to read (independent and read alouds)
    • We are using the Institute for the Excellence in Writing's approach for the writing assignments and notebooking
  • Classically Catholic Memory- Alpha Year
    • Ancient World History
    • Animal life
    • Skip Counting and Geometric Formulas
    • Asia and Australia Geography
    • Great Words
  • Math-U-See
    • Finishing Beta this fall and starting Gamma in December (ish)
  • Easy Grammar
    •  This is simple, short, and gets the point across. There are no fights when we do a lesson from this.
  • Spelling-You-See
    • Wild Tales (level C)
    • We had been using All About Spelling, but Sebastian was not retaining the rules and started crying during spelling. We are giving this a try for the year. You can expect a review at some point.
  • Harcourt Science 
    • We haven't found a homeschool science curriculum we like. For now we buy these used public school texts online for about $4 each and read through them. Sebastian loves science so I am still looking for the right books for him.
  • Signing Time
    • The kids started watching "Signing Time with Alex and Leah" on Netflix, so we have added ASL as part of school. We use it in memory work and it is a fun treat.
  • Prima Latina
    •  I thought adding Latin would be a fun way to learn about our grammar, help with science words, and just be a nice break during the day. Sebastian is so sophisticated learning Latin in 2nd grade!
  • Music
    • I am the music teacher at our co-op, and this year we are learning recorders!
  • Home Art Studio
    •  This is the easiest way to do art at home with the kids. They can do it together and we have a lot of fun following along with the DVDs.
  • Faith and Life Series
    • Along with our Catholic Bible, a Saint a Day read along book, and many rosaries, we have our religion covered very well in home school. We also memorize Bible verses as a part of our character training.
Just some of the books we are using this year.

Pre-school

Kaelyn is not ready for formal school yet, but she does like to "do school." I oblige her by having her learn a letter a week (or so, sometimes it goes longer).  We read books, do crafts, and have fun in a non-formal and non-stress way. I am making it up as a go, but these are the resources I am using:
  • Books from the library!
    • We listen to tons of audio books in the car, and it is a great way to build vocabulary
  • Handwriting without Tears
  • Pinterest
    • Seriously- this is the best way to find preschool crafts EVER.
  • Catholic Icing 
    • It is a great resource to bring the faith into our crafty time.
    • I use her Catholic ABC's program as well as additional crafts she blogs about.
  • Signing Time
    • The kids started watching "Signing Time with Alex and Leah" on Netflix, so we have added ASL as part of school. We use it in memory work and it is a fun treat.
  • Home Art Studio
    •  This is the easiest way to do art at home with the kids. They can do it together and we have a lot of fun following along with the DVDs.
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First Grade Curriculum for Sebastian (2013-2014)

Language Arts:

  • Primary Arts of Language: Reading and Writing (IEW)
    • We did about half of this curriculum last year, so I hope to finish it this year. His goal is to read a Magic Treehouse chapter book by himself by the end of this school year, and finishing this curriculum should get him there easily.
    • I should also say I LOVE LOVE LOVE this program and would recommend it to everyone. I am so glad we bought this last year. It is awesome.
  •  Magic Tree House Books 
    • Sebastian is eating up this book series. For now they are read aloud books, but he wants to be able to read them by himself, and I am hoping he gets there by the end of this school year.
    • The great thing about this, is that we can continue to do read aloud books when we take our baby break in February. Reading is one of the easiest things I can do

  • All About Spelling
    • We will be finishing up level one this year, and begin level two at some point. I think I am learning as much as he is using this program. Why was I never told these rules? Life would have been so much easier...
Math:
  • Math-U-See
    • We are finishing up Alpha for the first part of the year (mostly review on things he already knows, but I want to make sure he has it mastered) and we should get into Beta sometime in October.
History/Geography/Art:

  • The Story of the World (Volume I) by Susan Wise Bauer
    • This is a gem I found at the homeschool convention I went to in May. There are so many projects to do!  This is easily a history/geography AND art curriculum in one because of all the craft projects we will be doing. I don't even know if we will get halfway through this book in a year.
Science:

  • REAL Science Odyssey Life Science
    • This is another gem I found at the homeschool convention. There is one day of easy reading and then usually two science labs. There are also plenty of ideas for writing a science journal for each different season. Sebastian is going to love this.
Religion:
  • Faith and Life: Our Heavenly Father

    • This came highly recommended by many Catholic families as the best religious program out there. I want something structured since we are working for sacraments. This will also easily be used for the other children down the line with minimal extra purchases.
Music:
  • Viola lessons
    • We are continuing viola lessons. I am not sure how much he wants to do it some days, but for now it is a good way to get music in.
  • Choir 
    • In September Sebastian will be joining the children's choir at church. This is get him in a group setting and learning how to work with kids his age (and older)
Phys Ed:

  •  Family Time Fitness
    • I won this curriculum in a drawing online, and I haven't read much of it, but I think this will be a good way to get the family involved (and maybe in better shape) together. The lessons look easy enough to follow and that is good since I have no athletic ability, and even less now that I am pregnant.
Other:
  • We are continuing to go to our homeschool co-op. They will be doing some fun things with them this year, and it is nice to give him a "day off" of doing the normal school things. He also gets to hang out with his friends, which is always fun to do.

 Pre-School Curriculum for Kaelyn (2013-2014)

I bit the bullet this year, and I am glad I did. I decided to purchase Ready Made Preschool for Kaelyn this year. I thought it would be good since I hardly have
time to do fun things with her. I didn't know I would be pregnant!  This is going to be fantastic. Everything is cut up and ready to go for us. All I have to do is get the book from the library. I think I can handle that. ;) I look forward to giving Kaelyn some school time with her big brother.


Kindergarten Curriculum for Sebastian (2012-2013)

Language Arts: Five in a Row (book 1)-summer
Primary Arts of Language Reading and Writing -start in September
All About Spelling Level 1- start in September

Math: Math-U-See, Alpha

 Religion: Bible, St. Joseph Picture Books, prayer books, etc.

Science: We Dare You! 730 Easy Science Experiments

Other: What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know

Pre-school Curriculum for Sebastian (2011-2012)

Language Arts:
  • Hooked on Phonics
  • FunFonix.com
  • starfall.com 
  • Bob books
Math
  • Math-U-See Primer
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