Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2011-2012 or English, Science, and Math oh my!

It's that time of the year again.   Time for homeschoolers to get all their ducks in a row for the coming school year.   Time to file, time to plan, time to organize, time to sleep-in--oh, one of these things doesn't belong!

This school year I am down to two students in my homeschool.  E is leaving our school to join A-M at Foothill Technology High.  All though we will miss E, we are also excited about the bit of freedom this will allow us and the new adventure this brings to his life. 

And so without further ado--our curriculum choices for the year! 

Rod and Staff English Level 6
Rod and Staff English Level 7
Sentence Composing for Elementary School
Grammar for Middle School: A Sentence Composing Approach
Write Source 8
Sequential Spelling

 E-R really wants to finish her beloved Rod and Staff English series before starting high school, and since level 6 has so much review I think combining both levels 6 and 7 this year is doable. Also, level 7 is where the writing instruction moves more toward logic stage skills which we need at this stage.   Adding to the writing skills in Rod and Staff, we will finish up Sentence Composing for Elementary School and move into Grammar for Middle School:  A Sentence-Composing Approach by by Don and Jenny Killgallon.  Write Source will continue to help us incorprate writing across all of our curriculum, and Sequential Spelling will cover those all-important spelling skills.  

Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop
Thames and Kosmos Wind Powered Kit
Thames and Kosmos HdryoPowered Kit

Thames and Kosmos alternative energy kits will form the base of our science this year.  In addition to the kits, we will utiliize Usborne and Kingfisher Science Encyclopedias, library books, and various websources.   Our first kit,  Solar Eneregy, requires lots of sunshine.  We're keeping our fingers crossed here in this fog-encased community that the sun will make it's usual appearance in October.   As we use the kits and work out the kinks in my lesson plans, I'll post the lesson plans, so check back for those.    Feel free to check-out and use my lesson plans for the Thames and Kosmos physics kit here and here.

Singapore Math Standards Edition Level 6
Key to Algebra : Books 1-4
Key to Percentages

Singapore Math Standards Edition Level  6 along with Key to Algebra: Books 1-4 will prepare E-R and I-E for algebra next year.   We also have Life of Fred: Biology floating around to throw in for a change now and than.   I'm also drooling over the Murderous Maths Books.  I haven't tried these out, nor even seen them in person, but I hope to get my hands on one to see if it would add a bit of fun while shoring up some math concepts.


I have all of the books and the guide for Beautiful Feet Horse  Study.   I'm not sure if it will hold E-R and I-E's interest like it did for A-M at this age.   So, I also purchased Blackbird and Company literature guides for Eight Cousins, I am David, and Treasure Island.   And the all important Figurative Language workbook is making another appearance.   It prepared E for Windows to the World.   E-R and I-E started it last year, but it became clear quite early in the year that they were not quite ready for it, so we set it aside until this year.

Nature Studies:
Handbook of Nature Study
My Nature Journal
Handbook of Nature Study Blog

This year we are adding formal nature studies to our school for the first time.   My two gals love to draw and muck around outside, so I think adding nature studies to our week will add a level of enjoyment we've been missing.  I downloaded for free the Handbook of Nature and will use lots of the terrific ideas from the Handbook of Nature Study Blog.

Atelier Art 7
Meet the Masters

After drooling over Atelier Art at a homeschool convention, I came home determined to finish Calvert Art so we could move on to Atelier Art.    Calvert is a super-solid program which I have always wished had more levels to it.    I think Atelier Art is comparable to Calvert instruction with many more levels available. Meet the Masters is a fun program I purchased and downloaded on a whim last school year.  We did several of the projects, and I'm sure it will help us beat some of the school blues that pop up from time to time in even the best of homeschools.

Memory Work:

As always, memory work will fill an important spot in our homeschool day.   I haven't even started planning it out though!   I do plan on featuring Memory Mondays again throughout this coming school year and invite all to join in.   I think I will make it a bit more formal with a linky to make it easy for all to hop around and glean ideas from other's work.

Building Thinking Skills: Verbal

We have used Building Thinking Skills workbooks for several years now and will work through the end of the series, but I would like to add something a bit more formal at this stage.   I'm looking at the Blast Off with Logic series.   


Last, but certainly not least!
Story of the Renaissance
Native America on the Eve of Discovery
History Portfolios: Renaissance
History Portfolios:  Modern History
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Marco Polo Jackdaw
China a Cultural Heritage Jackdaw
Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines
Almanac of World History
The World of Columbus and Sons

are some of the books I'm using to put together our studies this year.   As my current project,  the books are spread all across my living room, and I'm beginning to wonder what in the world I bit off!   But I'm sure it will work out in the end!

I would love to see what you are using in your homeschool or answer questions about what I'm using this year or what worked for us in past years

And be sure to check out what curriculum other homeschoolers are using this year at

Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. Wow- I am impressed with E-R taking on two R and S levels! Level 7 kicked our hineys! :)

    Here's our 2011-201 line up:

  2. Yes, I do remember level 7 kicking butt last time I did it with A-M, but I think level 6 is really a review of level 5 which we could have skipped last year. I'm off to see your list.

  3. I am still working on mine, LOL! The sleeping in is kicking my hiney. Oh wait I don't ever get to sleep in, LOL! I pick through all the free stuff online I have, then all the books I bought and ones we didn't complete last year, to make a full years curriculum just the way I want it. It takes me quite some time.

  4. I love reading other people's history book picks! Looks like you've got plans for a great year.

  5. Your plans look great. I'm sure it's good to have it all planned out. I can't seem to make decisions this year so I'm hoping to get ours together soon.

  6. I love to see what everyone else is using. There are too many great choices for home schooling!

    ~ Ellen

  7. I am not to that level yet, but even to me now, this sound full and productive! I am here by way of the HOTM Curriculum Hop! Have a great year!

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  9. I love reading what everyone is doing! I hope you have a great year!


  10. I have never tried Rod and Staff, but have thought about it.

    Thanks for linking up with me. It has been so fun!

    I am now following you.

    You can find me at:



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