Our Resources (August 2014)

This was the “partly planned, and partly already using” state of materials at the onset of this blog.  Chuckle away…

For both of them:

Social Studies:  We will be reading “What Do You Believe?” by DK Publishing, “One World, Many Religions” by Mary Pope Osborne, and “In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World” by Virginia Hamilton.  Hopefully, this will give us a good foundation on various religions; and BigGuy will have a handle on how various belief sets affect various cultures.  In fact, I think after reading these last four books, we might go through the Worldview curriculum’s Exercise 3 again with new knowledge of other religions.

Character Education: “Character Building Day by Day” is working really well so far.


August 2014 – Girly – entering Kindergarten

Language Arts:  For overall Language Arts, we’re using “Language Lessons for Little Ones – Volume 3” by Queen Homeschool Publishing.  We used the prior level last year and didn’t finish it, but it got lost in the move.  Until we start using that, we’re working on phonics…
She’s watching LeapFrog’s “Talking Words Factory” and “Word Caper” to learn some of the basic reading skills.
We’re also using BrainPopJr although minimally.
Then we’re working through Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers and some other basic phonetic books found at the library–but they’re hard to come by at her basic reading level. “Now I’m Reading!: Animal Antics – volume 1: Level 1” has been really awesome (and available from the library.

Math:  Okay… I’ve stopped laughing.  No, really, I’m going to try to do Singapore Math level 1A (standards edition)  Math-U-See Primer didn’t work for her.   I don’t know that Singapore will be any better, but she blew through the Singapore Earlybird Kindergarten and Hands On Standards is equally too low level for her.

Science:  We’re using “A Nature Walk with Aunt Bessie” also by Queen Homeschool Publishing.  But clearly, she wants more “experiments”.  So I’m investigating the countless other resources sitting in my home library at the moment.

History:  Whatever she can actually glean from our  Tapestry of Grace curricula would be great.  I don’t expect it to be much.

Fine Arts:  She has Young Maestros and an Arts & Crafts class at a coop this fall.  Plus whatever she gleans from the  Tapestry of Grace curricula.

Physical Education: She’s already signed up for soccer, but we are looking for gymnastics and ballet like last year.  Tough to find.  :/  I’d love for her to take swim lessons.  She might agree this year.

August 2014 – BigGuy – rising 5th grader (meaning “he’d be entering 5th grade this year”)

Math: Math-U-See (Epsilon) because of my inability to let go of fractions
Calculus Without Tears per his request
Math Reasoning by Critical Thinking Company just to help him along with various subjects.

Science:  Virtual Homeschool Group Biology using Apologia’s “Exploring Creation with Biology”  (we are not Christian, but our understanding is that Apologia science is more usable by secular homeschoolers at the high school level and this is a high school level course)
BigGuy is also signed up for a upper level Physics class through a local co-op (okay, an hour drive away) that should start in mid-September.  By then, we’ll know how biology is going.  So far, not so difficult for him.

Language Arts:  Word Roots by Critical Thinking Company for vocabulary.
“Creative Writing with Legos” class at a co-op that is FARRRR
Writing through the Tapestry of Grace curriculum (although we are not Christian, we are Bible-based and believe in following Jesus’ example of how to live.  We also feel strongly about teaching our kids about the history of how the churches came to be; and can skip the Bible thread of teaching if we want to.  So we find this curriculum easy enough for a secular family to follow although some of the teacher notes–especially in the beginning–can be off-putting for non-Christians)

Social Studies/History:  We started with Brimwood Press‘ “A Young Historian’s Introduction to Worldview
Since BigGuy’s Comparative Religions class was canceled, we will attempt our own version using “World Religions” by Gabriel Arquilevich and trying to put something together on our own.
What Counts as History?” from Tolerance.org’s Classroom Resources page
It will be our first year using Tapestry of Grace and we’re starting with Year 1 of the classical 4-year cycle.  We will use this as our history spine.

Fine Arts:  BigGuy is singing with a boys choir this year–which includes vocal instruction.  He is also taking a drama class, and flute lessons (by his choice).

Physical Education:  BigGuy gets a big #fail here.  We really have nothing.  He’s not our athlete by any means so this isn’t entirely shocking.

Technology: Mod Design I by Youth Digital to learn Java programming by way of making Minecraft mods.  So far, so good.
We’re also using Avko’s Individualized Typing to learn touch-typing.


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