We took a long break this year due to the moving thing. But, we were able to get settled in and actually have a start date in August!
So, here's our curriculum for this year.
Bible-Foundations 1. I wish I had had time last week to write about this because Currclick was offering this free (they still are as of tonight)! All three years! I'm not sure if they still are but if so, get on over there and grab it. Basically, Foundations provides a bare bones foundation to studying the Bible. It outlines weekly lessons that start in Genesis and, by the time you finish Foundations 3, will end in Revelation. Basically, studying the Bible in three years. I really like this because it is just a jumping off point of studying and we can take it as far as we want. There are suggestions for coloring sheets for the younger non-readers, however, these do not correspond with the Scripture reading, so I spend an extra 20 minutes grabbing coloring sheets off of various sites. Not a big deal. This study is also great because everyone is working on the same scripture at the same time. They are also learning the Books of the Bible and doing Bible (Sword) drills. Here are the Currclick links for Foundations 2 and Foundations 3.
Mystery of History Volume III-We're studying Renaissance and Reformation. I love both of these subjects with all my heart. There is so much to learn and seeing it from a Biblical worldview is even better.
Apologia Science Exploring Creation with Astronomy-This is where having and knowing people using the same curriculum helps. Kristina used it last year and since she had it we are doing it this year. We used the Journals last year and I really liked that reinforcement of what we are reading, so we're doing them this year.
Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek-That's right. Greek. We've focused so much on reading, writing, and arithmetic that I decided now was the time to throw in some foreign language. Why Greek? Well, because it's the language of the New Testament. What better way to study God's word than by using the actual language it was written in. Hey Andrew! is very child friendly and Christ centered. Love it! Right now we're learning how to write each of the letters of the Greek alphabet, what their names are and what they say.
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4. Zoe is in Volume 4, Ace is in Volume 3 and Liam started out in Volume 1. This is where my classical education views combine with Charlotte Mason. While this is more classical it is also a very easy approach to grammar and writing and speaking and all that. So far, I love the material and how it's covered and the kids love that it takes less than 20 minutes a day (around twenty minutes for the older ones if needed).
Life of Fred-We're still in the elementary series. We figured out this year that it goes in alphabetical order and increases in difficulty (but it still doesn't mean you have to go in order if you don't want to). Life of Fred is great at taking practical math and teaching it to children. It helps the kids think critically. Case in point, Zoe had a critical thinking problem on one of her chapters and I answered it and she just stared at me and then had to explain how my answer was wrong. My brain was not "thinking" when I answered, but it eventually caught up.
Khan Academy-This *free* program is pretty wonderful. This drives home the drill and directions they need for every day math. And did I mention it's free? The kids are enjoying it because they earn badges for watching videos and getting problems correct. I love it because it's really helping them grasp basic math concepts (for free). If you are a home school parent, you can register a certain way to be the coach and the parent. That's great for checking the kids scores etc. Also, if they are under 13 you can't sign them up for a email account, so you can keep everyone under the same email but with different user names. Make sense? If not, go here to figure it all out. By the way, Khan does not just have math, they have Science (it's not creationist though. Be warned), art history, computer programming as well as other subjects.
We're sticking with Institutes for Excellence in Writing. We've had such amazing success with this program so far. Zoe is doing Fables, Myths and Fairytales and thus far has been a big review of everything she learned last year. Ace is finishing up Student Writing Intensive Level A. I'm using the concepts taught in Primary Arts of Language (PAL) to reinforce Liam's writing skills which are still mostly verbal.
Veritas Press Comprehension Guides-I picked out several books for Zoe and Ace to read this year and have purchased Comprehension Guides from Veritas Press to go with them. When they finish two chapters, we sit down and discuss the chapters and if a project is included either they work on it independently or we work on it together. Liam is doing the same things only with shorter books. Liam is going through the book First Favorites Volume 1 which is basically like the other comprehension guides only with shorter books.
Here's their reading lists:
Zoe: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Hobbit, From the Mixed Up File sof Mrs. Basil E. Frankwerler, Robin Hood, The Dangerous Journey, Mary Poppins, The Twenty One Balloons, and The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 (that last one doesn't have a comprehension guide but I felt it was important enough that she needed to read it)
Ace: Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte's Web, Misty of Chiconteague, Homer Price, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Story of the Treasure Seekers, Black Shops Before Troy and Stuart Little
Liam: Caps for Sale, Blueberries for Sal, Floss, A Chair for Mother, Harry the Dirty Dog, Billy Blaze, Bread and Jam for Francis, Dr. DeSoto, Curious George, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Frog and Toad are Friends, Frog and Toad All Year Long.
Josiah is our only phonics guy and we had such great success with PAL that we're using that again. He's learning reading as well as writing.
**Update**After struggling through PAL Reading for several lessons, I decided to go back to Abeka Phonics until Josiah gets a good grasp on his letter sounds and blends. He's been struggling to get through the lessons in phonics but has been super awesome with his hand writing. So, we're returning to Abeka. Once I see he's picking up on it, we'll go back to PAL.
This is in addition to home school gymnastics, park days, golf clinics (Ace and Josiah) and sewing lessons (not counting church). So, we can check off exercise and socialization!
I'm so excited about this year and the kids have already learned so much in the short amount of time they've been "schooling."