K4 Curriculum (2013-2014)
K4.5 and Tot School (Spring 2014)
K5 and PreK3 (Fall 2014)
PreK3 Curriculum and Tot School (2014-2015)
K5 Curriculum (2014-2015)
K5/1st Grade Curriculum and Tot School (Looking Back at 2014-2015)
1st/2nd Grade Curriculum (2015-2016)
Hmm… so it would seem that I have missed a post or two of updating you on our curriculum choices. Life must have gotten carried away, plus we’ve had a bit of a virus filled year. Although, right now things are looking up!
You might recall when AppleBlossom was five-years-old I wanted to do a Kindergarten (K5) year. We went for two First Grade curriculums hoping they would span two years. However, she completed the entirety of Seton Home Study School First Grade Curriculum AND Memoria Press First Grade Classical Core Curriculum. So when age six came around, we just picked up with Memoria Press Second Grade Classical Core Curriculum. However, then Veritas Press Scholars Academy received their accreditation!! So we enrolled and have been working steadily the last year (age six) in VPSA Second Grade with bits of Memoria Press Second Grade Classical Core Curriculum thrown in!
Also, now if you remember I have a second potential student. While AppleBlossom started schoolish stuff when she was about 18 months old. . . The Princess has shown limited interest with her butterfly attention span until recently. Thus, this past year has been a mixture of Tot School and limited Preschool work.
I’ve been so determined to call this year a moderated first grade that I have only recently truly given up on that idea. AppleBlossom is just an accelerated learner, she just is. When I try to slow her down she does not do as well and she is definitely my daughter in that stand point! (In college, during semesters when I took 21+ hours I would get all As, but in a semester when I tried to be normal with 15-17 hours I got my only Bs and one C! I do better with a decent amount of work on my plate, and apparently so does she. . . )
Bible & Religion
As for Bible, we really have put everything else by the wayside. We have done a bit of Grapevine Studies to enhance our lessons as well as some of a Homeschool in the Woods Old Testament Activity Pak (which we bought to go along with it and love!!). Yet our main curriculum here is the Veritas Press Online Self-Paced Bible Program: Genesis through Joshua. We purchased ours during a spring 50% sale during an expo/conference. It is crazy expensive for our budget, but amazing. Maybe I’ll review a course one day. . . Next year, we will be studying Judges through Kings.
Religion: We started the year doing Who is God? from the Apologia (affiliate) – What We Believe (review) series, but this has fallen to the side a bit. But I’m eager to start it back and the girls really enjoy it as well. We definitely will continue with this series at our own pace.
History: Right along with our Bible, we are also doing a second VPSA program. Our history for this year is the Veritas Press Online Self-Paced History Program: Old Testament Ancient Egypt. We are augmenting this experience with a Homeschool in the Woolds Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt (which has sparked an obsession with all things HSITHW and prompted our previously mentioned purchases!)
We have really loved integrating the history reading suggestions from Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula’s Wayfarers Ancients lesson plans including Story of the World: Ancient Times Vol. 1 and several fiction and non-fiction readers and read alouds. As well as reading from Mystery of History: Creation to the Resurrection Vol. 1 and our most recent addition From Adam to Us as another read aloud. Just a sidenote here: With our first glances of this Notgrass World History textbook I could not be more in awe. It is full-color and gorgeous. We are loving pouring over these books. (While intended for grades five through eight, we are enjoying reading the main text and supplemental poems/stories.) We are not using it as a full curriculum, but it appears that it would be lovely to do so. It adds great detail and imagery to our current study of the Old Testament and Ancient Egypt.
Next year, we will be studying New Testament, Greece, & Rome.
- Pages of History: Secrets of the Ancients Vol. 1 (chapter book)
- Archaeologists Dig for Clues (picture book)
- Wild and Woolly Mammoths (picture book)
- The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle (picture book)
- Seeker of Knowledge (picture book)
- The Dragon and the Garden (picture book)
- In the Time of Noah (picture book)
- The Egyptian Cinderella (picture book)
- The Great Pyramid (picture book)
- Mummies Made in Egypt (picture book)
- The Egyptian News (picture book)
- Gilgamesh the King (picture book)
- Tutankhamen’s Gift (picture book)
- Tutankhamun by Demi (picture book)
- Egyptian Gods and Goddesses (early reader)
- Tut’s Mummy Lost & Found (early reader)
- Tales of Ancient Egypt (chapter book)
- Old Testament Activity Pack
- Project Passport: Ancient Egypt
- History Through the Ages Record of Time Timeline Figures
- Journey Through the Bible (Reference)
- Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook (Reference)
- Kingfisher History Encyclopedia 3rd Ed. (Reference)
- Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World (Reference)
- Unwrapping the Pharaohs (review) (Reference)
- Unveiling the Kings (Reference)
We still plan to read:
- The Revenge of Ishtar (picture book)
- The Last Quest of Gilgamesh (picture book)
- The Golden Goblet (chapter book)
- Tirzah (chapter book)
- The Cat of Bubastes (chapter book)
- God King (chapter book)
- Mystery of the Egyptian Scroll (chapter book)
- Egyptian Diary (chapter book)
Literature: This year we started with the Memoria Press Second Grade Literature choices using their Comprehension Guides and Teacher’s Manual. (Review to come.) Then, we continued on with the VPSA 2nd Grade Literature choices and Comprehension Guides. Our list includes:
- The Boxcar Children
- Animal Folk Tales of America
- Beatrix Potter stories
- Owls in the Family*
- Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook
- Courage of Sarah Noble
- Baby Island*
- The Railway Children*
- Encyclopedia Brown
- Little House in the Big Woods
- Little House on the Prairie
- Prairie School by Avi
- The Velveteen Rabbit*
- A Child’s Garden of Verse*
*marks the books we have not had AppleBlossom read quite yet. They’re on the to do list! She has also gone a bit Magic Tree House series crazy and has read most all of those books multiple times. She is also reading the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard and the Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan. So far we read The Red Pyramid and now we have started Throne of Fire. While the Riordan series started out as an add-on to history as a read aloud, she’s enjoyed it so much that she has read far beyond me in her free time!
Through English Lessons Through Literature, another that has gotten pushed to the side as we’ve gotten so busy with the VPSA lesson plans, here we are reading the following:
- Just So Stories
- Five Children and It*
- The Jungle Book*
- The Orange Fairy Book*
- Five Little Peppers and How They Grew*
There are other choices on the ELTL 1 list that overlap with our other choices. We are also reading slowly through the Memoria Press Second Grade Enrichment list including literature read alouds, science and social studies picture books and more.
Grammar & Writing: This year we are really stepping it up with grammar and starting writing for the first time. We are continuing cursive, although now we have ventured into Classically Cursive from VPSA. However, we do still adore New American Cursive from Memoria Press.
Through the requirement of VPSA Diploma program we are using Shurley English 2 with Institute of Excellence in Writing: Teaching Writing with Structure & Style thrown in. We had permission to omit IEW this year and wait until third grade due to her young age, and we are just now really getting into it nearing the end of the year and using the theme-based IEW Bible Heroes. I’m debating whether the IEW Ancient History theme-based materials might be a good idea for us yet this year and into next.
As to my preference, we are loving to continue right along with Logic of English Essentials 2nd Edition. I received this one for a single review opportunity from the TOS Crew and have fallen in love. I already knew we enjoyed the LOE Foundations program, but the new full-color 2nd edition of Essentials is just incredible! In this we are doing Reading, Spelling, Phonics, Fluency, Grammar, Vocabulary and more!!
Spelling: As I mentioned we are getting a good bit of spelling in our use of LOE Essentials 2nd Edition, however, we are required to use IEW Phonetic Zoo for VPSA Diploma. We are enjoying both just fine. I do not have the CDs for Phonetic Zoo, so I cannot comment there, but using the lists works just well after our LOE lessons. I have found that the spelling lessons in Essentials are very much like what we were experiencing in Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula’s Reading Lessons Through Literature, which we also enjoyed but put to the side once we got our hands on Essentials. (RLTL is an amazing and affordable program for teaching spelling!)
I still love Alpha Omega Publications Horizons Spelling & Vocabulary 2, but it is not the one that tops our list currently and does not get reached for much these days. It is an awesome product still though.
This year started with Math Mammoth and had no enthusiasm. We then continued on with Rod & Staff Working Arithmetic 2 on AppleBlossom’s insistence. We are still keeping up with IXL, other online maths have fallen in the disinterested pile. We have purchased a second year to IXL after our one-year review and we have added the Language Arts portion. I am planning to add the Science and Social Studies next time we renew. It is a decent price if purchased through the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op.
Through the requirements of VPSA Diploma we are using Saxon Math 3 and honestly hating every minute of it. I do love and recommend the Saxon Math programs from 5/4 and above, but not 1-3, they’re horridenously annoying.
Geography: We started the year with Evan Moor’s Beginning Geography and while that was fine, it wasn’t fascinating. AppleBlossom did enjoy it for a while though. Then we took off with Veritas Press’ Legends and Leagues South, specifically studying Africa. We are adding in some geographical themed literature choices as recommended from Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula’s Wayfarers Medieval lesson plans studying Africa. Next year, I will return to Wayfarers Ancients geography reading list featuring Asia as we will be studying Legends and Leagues East!
Latin: While latin was not a requirement this year, we’ve picked up with Classical Academic Press Song School Latin 1 and will continue with Song School Latin 2 into the summer months. We’ve played around with Memoria Press’ Prima Latina a bit, but Song School Latin is the program we all crave.
Save 20% on your next order through Classical Academic Press with my code CM20!
Art, Music, Poetry, & Other
With the inclusion of Memoria Press Second Grade Enrichment Guide we are getting bits of social studies and history as I mentioned previously, but specifically reading from Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans. I have plans in the near months to start reading more, doing a unit study perhaps, or early American History resources. Just to spend a little time with the basics. Though we will keep our main history time focused on Egypt.
Art: While we are getting lots of great Art Appreciation from the MP Enrichment Guide, I am in love with Veritas Press’ NEW Art History curriculum (review coming)! We are going to take this slowly, with the intent of focusing on the art as it comes along in our history studies. Thus, this year with OTAE, there are only three art cards and we are not yet to a test in the curriculum. It will pick up more in the next year with NTGR material.
Music: All three of us girls are taking private violin lessons this year. On days of violin, I’m focusing on AppleBlossom with some music flash cards and details. She has only just started in a music theory book. We are in no rush for this topic, as it is just for love of the idea. Hopefully, the girls will want to stick with it. We also are getting a vast music appreciation with MP Enrichment.
Science: Hmm… Science is a topic that again has fallen by the wayside. If other things are not getting done, then we do not reach for science. We have gotten bits of science with topics along with MP Enrichment, but that is not a lot. VPSA Diploma doesn’t require science in the elementary grades. But we WANT science. We are reading Apologia’s Exploring Creation in Astronomy 1st Edition, although I’m eager to get my hands on the 2nd edition newly released! We are also doing the Junior Notebooking Journal as we go along. We are only a few chapters in.
Otherwise in science we have spent a bit of time reading in Jay L. Wile’s Science in the Beginning and I plan to continue into the next of his series as well. We have already shelved, Science in the Ancient World and Science in the Scientific Revolution. I am not however very much into experiements. Thus, when the girls are a bit older to take a little more charge themselves, I see these as being read quite more often.