OUR CURRICULUM 2015-2016
…with that said, here’s our list of curriculum for the school year 2015-2016:
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This will be our 8th year of homeschooling. Over these years there are a few things that have helped me streamline my curriculum choosing.
- I like built curriculum, not boxed. Nothing at all against boxed curriculum–I think its great! I really do. I’m just too much of a rebel to listen to a preprinted lesson planner. Personal preference–it’s just my style to create my own.
- We need hands-on history. We’ve tried some history curriculum that is more literature driven, but we always do better with a great mix of books and hands-on activity.
- We need to change it up a bit every year–but not too much. There’s a few tried and true pieces of curriculum that just work best for us. If it’s not broken, why fix it?
- Less is more. I have tried to just pile it on many times. My enthusiasm exceeds my rationality and we end up with piles of stuff we’ll never use. I’ve learned to restrain myself.
A few months ago, I was freaking out a little bit about 8th grade. I started doubting my abilities as a homeschool mom and second guessing all the choices I’ve made in the past years. Thoughts of completely changing the way we did school started spinning in my brain. I had forgotten that what we were doing actually was working though. Two things happened to help me get my head on straight.
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1. I called my friend Cindy West. She is amazing at homeschool coaching and encouraging mamas along the way. She helped me to see our successes in the past and evaluate what Noah and I both needed to do for the coming year(s). She helped me formulate the plan for curriculum this coming year and I am so excited about it.
2. We took our state tests for the year and my kids killed it. I’m not saying this to brag or put myself on a homeschool pedestal. I’m just saying that seeing good numbers in black and white can sometimes give us that encouragement we need. The test was really hard and I was fully prepared to get pretty low scores back in the mail. Our school year last year was very crazy–we lived in three different states in a nine month period for gosh sakes–so I wasn’t expecting anything overly awesome. But all three of them did so well. I’m talking college levels for Noah–he did a great job. I am not saying we should put all of our esteem in state tests at all, but at this point in time, it really helped with my confidence.
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(click the photos for more info on each piece of curriculum.)
Update: I have made a few changes to this post since I originally posted. I found some things on our shelves that I decided to use and I finalized some decisions.
Math and Logic
History is currently undecided…will update when that happens 😉
We’re going to be using a lot of these NaturExplorer studies for science this year. We’ll throw in some other unit studies along the way as well.
More curriculum lists can be found here:
Hi! To be honest, we didn’t use it for long. It wasn’t a good fit for us 🙂
Hey! Love your blog. It has been very encouraging to me in my homeschool journey.
My daughter is entering 2nd grade. I am finishing up purchasing curriculum (curricula?) for our school year. How was Rod & Staff’s “Preparing to Build”?
I have mine, too!!! We're using Compass Classroom's The Grammar of Poetry; Hewitt's Homeschooling British Literature, Medieval Lit semester one, and Shakespeare's Tragedies and Sonnets for the second: Art History (I've developed my own curriculum with Short Lessons and Activities in Art History by Phillis Barker as the "guide"), French II (French Essentials, books 5 – 8) and Shelley will take private art lessons with a professional artist (second year). We're done with all math and science requirements. Woo Hoo!!!
My goodness, is it already Not Back to School Blog Hop time? I thought that was usually in August! We are set on our choices & will be ordering this week. Love seeing everyone's curriculum choices – I'm a total curriculum nerd!
Your plans look great. I too, got a bit freaked out about middle school. It seems to be here so quickly. The end of year tests were encouraging.