2014 Curriculum at Michelle’s House

Recently Karen told you what’s going on at her house with her reduced curriculum (which sounds like mine on full bore, dontcha know) and now I’m going to tell you what happening at my house.  I’ll start with the youngest and move to the oldest taking you on a tour of our 2014-2015 homeschool curriculum.

our homeschool curriculum

Harrison is six this year and a first grader.  He is learning to read, still getting number sense, and ready to join in full throttle with our Layers of Learning subjects.  We’re using Explode the Code Book 1 and if he finishes that we’ll move on to Book 2.  He is on Saxon 2 since we did the 1st grade book during Kindergarten.  He will be assigned easy readers this year,  which we will repeat several times, move on,  then later come back and read again for more practice.  He also has a daily journal, where he can write whatever he likes daily.  In case of writer’s block, I have a daily writing prompt, sometimes in the form of a picture, sometimes a  how-to-draw lesson and sometimes verbal inspiration.  He will do the journal on days he does not have another specific writing assignment, like a book report or a fact report.  This is the first year Harrison will  do spelling.  We’re using an ancient spelling book from 1928 called Fundamentals of Spelling.  This book recommends beginning spelling halfway through the first grade year so that’s what we’re going to do.  Finally, we’re using Layers of Learning for studying history,  science, geography, and the arts.  We’ll do one subject per day,  Friday is for doing extra in one of these subjects.  Harrison will access his Evernote each day to see his checklist of things to complete.  {more about Evernote and how we use it for our homeschool later this week.}

first grade curriculum

Garrett is eight years old and in third grade this year.  He is continuing on with Explode the Code, Book 4 and he should get through Book 5 this year as well.  He will be assigned chapter books to read through the year and he’ll be writing book reports on some of them.  For the rest of his writing he’ll be doing a journal like Harrison and using writing prompts in the same way.  He is also using the 1928 Fundamentals of Spelling book.  For math he is doing Saxon 54.  And for  the rest of the subjects, history, geography,  science, and the arts we’ll be using Layers of Learning.  Garrett too will check his Evernote daily to  see what work he needs to complete.  He will be doing an online grammar program and each day his Evernote will link directly to his assignment, along with videos he is to watch for Layers of Learning.

Third grade

Isaac is ten and in fifth grade this year.  He will be reading assigned chapter books for reading and writing book reports and fact reports.  The rest of his writing will be rounded out with daily journals.  He is doing Saxon Math 76 this year and Sequential Spelling along with Steps to Good Grammar.  He is also starting Latin.  We’re trying a new Latin program that we’ve never tried before .  It’s called “Getting Started With Latin”.  I hope it will be a bit easier (since they have a non-Latin speaking Mom) and I also hope it will be more independent learning friendly.  To go along with the book we’re also using videos from Headventure.   For history, geography, science, and the arts Isaac is doing Layers of Learning.  In past years we’ve done most of LoL as a group,  but this year I’m having the kids work more independently, partly to teach them to work independently and partly because I have six students, all on different levels and I was going bonkers trying to teach all their different lessons at the same time.   Isaac too has Evernote to keep him on task and link to the Internet resources he will need this year.


CJ is twelve and in seventh grade this year.    He is going to be assigned fiction and non-fiction books to read all year and write reports on some of them.  He will also be writing fact reports and beginning to learn the form of the five paragraph essay.  And we have the daily journal assignment for when no other writing assignment is scheduled.  He and Isaac and Tim are using Steps to Good Grammar.  CJ is using Sequential Spelling with Isaac and Tim as well, all  three of them on the same list each day.  CJ is doing Getting Started With Latin and also Mind Benders as the precursor to logic for the eighth grade year.  He is also studying out of Saxon Algebra 1/2.  The of course he has a daily subject-of-the-day with LoL.  He too has Evernote as a daily planner.

seventh grade

Tim is fifteen, soon to be sixteen and a sophomore in high school.  He is using Steps to Good Grammar,  classic literature,  Saxon Algebra II, Sequential Spelling, German (we’ve used Powerglide in the past, which we liked, but he is doing a completely online course this year for free), and LoL for history, geography,  science, and art.  His writing will be lots of perfecting of the five paragraph essay, some book reports, and journal entries, which are essentially creative writing, and for which I provide writing prompts.  Tim, like his brothers, is using Evernote as a daily task check off list and way for me to link to online lessons from Khan Academy, Mr. Anderson, and other sources.

tenth grade

Nathan is seventeen and a senior this year.  He is doing half homeschool, half  college, and half working his rear end off to earn money to get himself stated in life.  I know,  that’s a lot of halfs.  Gone are your days of leisure, dear Nathan.  His homeschool half will be doing Saxon Algebra II, SAT test prep until Nov when he takes the test, and a life skills class, which involves reading articles from this site daily until he’s read the whole darn site.  I feel like this is my last moment to cram in all that stuff he needs to know to have a happy and successful life  before he leaves my tutelage.  It’s a bit stressful for me, but I think not for him.

So that’s what we’re doing this year.  Happy homeschooling to you.

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