Curricula

If there was an appropriate warning label here, it would say something like
Caution: Evolving Unschoolers
Our homeschool style has changed from year to year, as we learn and grow together, as I figure out how my children learn best and as we move farther and farther away from the traditions and deeply entrenched culture of public school.
Below is what we plan to do this year, although it has already changed from when I wrote it last week. I’ll be back later in the year to update it as to what we actually did.  Also, there are affiliate links below, which go to products on Amazon. If you click on them and make a purchase, I receive a small commission, which helps me to contribute to my family’s income. Thank you.

Our Fourth Homeschooling Year: July, 2013 to Spring, 2014

9 and 7 year olds together:
Language Arts: Brave Writer, including Tea Time Poetry Tuesdays,Jot It Down and more.
Artist Study monthly.
Geographical and cultural unit studies on Africa, India and more. As we finish one topic, I ask the kids to tell me what places they’d like to learn more about and I plan from there. Here’s an example of the one we did on Australia last year.

Firefly, age 9

Math: Life of Fred , books 5 and up; Khan Academy online.
Spelling:  Sequential Spelling Level 1 . To see how we use Sequential Spelling, you can watch our YouTube video about it.
Science: A fun, kid-directed mish-mash of…

History: Kid directed via living books, Netflix and field trips. This will be our first year with no formal history learning. Firefly is very history-curious and steadily reads, seeks out information and wants to learn about anything history. I’m going to just facilitate this when needed and try to stay out of his way.

Whole Person/Character Learning: Using a variety of books and resources to help Firefly manage feelings, get along with others, and continue to address his sensory issues.

Cursive: Continue practicing cursive via mom-made worksheets.

Other Activities: We will be out and about more than ever this year, focusing on increasing and deepening friendships and exploring Lego Club, 4H, Yoga, and lots of time to hang out with friends. Firefly would also like for me to add that he will be playing Minecraft a lot with his friends.

The Bee, age 7

Math: Spectrum Math, Grade 1, used as a guide for mom to create hands-on math activities, not used as a traditional workbook.

History: Continue with American Girl Historical Book Club. This year we will be exploring Kit  and Rebecca.

Reading: reading aloud to and with Mom.

Art/Creativity:  The Bee draws and creates constantly. She illustrates about a book a day, often dictating the text for me to write. This is not something we, her parents, facilitate. It’s just what she does and who she is. Our job it to provide a supportive atmosphere for this wonderful creativity. We buy a lot of paper and markers and we make sure there is a lot of time in our daily rhythm for her to sit for hours drawing.

Handwriting:  Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book – Grade 1 as a guide, we incorporate this into various other topics we are learning about and sensory experiences.

Therapy:  The Bee has a number of daily and weekly interventions to address SPD, dyspraxia, low tone, etc. Home Occupational Therapy activities, nutrition interventions, sensory gym, therapeutic horseback riding, and more.

Other Activities:  Ballet class, Daisy Scouts, 4H Cloverbuds.

Love Bug, age 4.5

Home Preschool includes:

  • Answering and exploring his many questions about animals, space, how things work, and so on. We are following all the rabbit trails via books, googling stuff, field trips, videos and more.
  • We did Letter of the Week (focusing on the sound each letter makes, and how to write it) for about two months but he is resisting it now, so we are taking a break.
  • Calendar (days of the week, months of the year, seasons, etc.).
  • Counting to 100, making patterns, money math, etc.
  • Preschool Unit Studies nearly weekly on dinosaurs, fire safety, farm animals, the rainforest (those are topics I’m strewing for him, then if there are topics he gravitates towards, I’ll create unit studies for those as well).
  • Science Club with a same-age peer to do weekly experiments.
  • Any and all things he wants to participate in with his older siblings, such as Tea Time Poetry Tuesday, Artist Studies and Geographical Unit Studies.
  • Other activities include swimming lessons and 4H Cloverbuds.

Many of our curricula choices are influenced by the fact that Firefly and The Bee are Right Brained Learners. You can read more about that at the following blogs: The Right Side of Normal and Throwing Marshmallows.

Past Curricula

Our Third Homeschooling Year: August, 2012 to Spring, 2013

8 and 6 year olds together:
Language Arts:  Brave Writer and read-alouds daily.
Science: R.E.A.L. Science Earth and Space

Firefly, age 8
Math: Time4Learning and Life of Fred Elementary Set # 1 : Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs.
History:   Early American History
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears, Cursive
Extracurricular Activities: Lego Club, Piano Lessons

The Queen Bee, age 6
Math:  Hands-On Math.
History with American Girl history books and accompanying activities.
Extra Curricular Activities: dance, Daisy Scouts, sports class.

Love Bug, age 3.5
To see all the learning goals that Love Bug will be working on this year for preschool, click here.
He will also participate in a Preschool Book Club once a week, to include some Before Five in a Row selections.


Our Second Homeschooling Year: August, 2011 to Spring, 2012
Firefly, age 7

–Math: Singapore 1A review and 1B (Standards Edition).
–Language Arts:  Growing with Grammar,  Explode the Code 3,  tons of read alouds (completed the Harry Potter series).
–Music-Piano Lessons.
–Extra Curriculars- Lego Club, Basketball, Ice Skating Lessons.

The Queen Bee, age 5
–Math:  Counting to 100, simple addition with manipulatives, writing numbers, making calendars, etc.
–Reading:  Reading Eggs website, Bob Books, tons of read-alouds,  our own Learning with Literature books and activities.
–Extras:  Starfall, PBS Kids websites. Dance class and ice skating lessons.

Together
–History:  The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child; Volume 1: Ancient Times and the accompanying  Activity Book , as well as lots of other supplemental books, crafts, websites, museum exhibits and more.
–Science- Continuing with R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey-Life  (co-op class), lots of Astronomy learning, and  Janice VanCleave’s 200 Gooey, Slippery, Slimy, Weird and Fun Experiments, which includes activities for biology, astronomy, earth science, chemistry and physics.

Love Bug, age 2.5
Colors, shapes, letters, numbers. Play, play, play.

Our First Homeschooling Year, Fall 2010 to Spring 2011
Firefly, age 6
–RightStart Math, Level B.
–Progressive Phonics , Beginner and Intermediate Level.
–Handwriting Without Tears (Kindergarden review, followed by First Grade), copywork for more practice.

Five in a Row (Five in a Row): Volume 1, one or two books per month.
–Lots of read-a-louds.
–Weekly art class.
–Nature Journaling class at our local Nature Sanctuary
–Our own Science/History unit on Pre-history, Dinosaurs and Evolution.
–Brain Pop Jr., various topics.
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey, Life Program and  Science in the Kitchen (Usborne Science Activities).
The Queen Bee, age 4
The Queen Bee attended a wonderful home-based preschool in our neighborhood until December, 2010. After the winter break, she joined us at home full time.
Five in a Row (Five in a Row): Volume 1
–Starfall and PBS Kids.
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey-Life and Science in the Kitchen (Usborne Science Activities).
–Lots of read-alouds, counting, maps, fun printables, art and craft projects.
–Gymnastics, art and nature journaling classes.
Love Bug, toddler
Love Bug mastered
–Climbing, Level 1
–Destruction, Level 2