Curriculum for the 2015/2016 Schoolyear

165Here is what we are using this year.

Dusty – 9th Grade

Systematic Mathematics Algebra 2 – His last year with Mr. Ziegler! We have been very happy with this video-based program. Dusty’s progress and solid grasp of concepts continually impresses us.

Wilson Hill Academy Honors Composition class – Last year’s online writing class was a rousing success so we selected another one from a new Christian Classical academy.

Center for Lit World Literature class – We have been privileged to hear Adam Andrews speak on literature in the past and were excited to discover he had live classes on the subject. I let Dusty choose which course to take and he chose World Literature.

ACE Biology – When I was researching biology courses I was surprised to find this workbook-based program highly rated by many. It has supplemental videos including lab videos.

World War History – I let Dusty choose what to study in history this year and he chose World War II. I expanded our studies to include World War I. He is using A Short History of WWI, Maybury’s guide to WWI, and Keegan’s Second World War, as well as other supplemental books, films, and field trips.

La Clase Divertida – Dusty did the elementary levels of this Spanish program when he was younger and enjoyed them a lot. Now he is enrolled in the live high school classes. He likes the classes but also says they are challenging.

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? – Along with a book on personal finance, this constitutes an elective on economics.

Dusty will probably being doing Civics as his next elective, which he points out is not really an elective, since I am making him take it. (From here on out though, he will be doing the choosing.) We have a copy of The Land of Fair Play which we will probably use.

For extracurriculars, he is doing one semester of choir and bells. He also joined Civil Air Patrol last winter and will be continuing in that. CAP is an excellent fit for him and he enjoys it immensely. I like that it covers so many areas: discipline, character, leadership, practical skills, physical training, and aviation education.


Duncan – 3rd Grade

Strayer-Upton Arithmetic, first book – This is the first time I have used SU math, but I have had it sitting on my shelf for a few years, waiting for Duncan to be old enough. These books are recommended by Paul Ziegler, of Systematic Mathematics which Dusty uses. Duncan has had a smooth start with it despite having only oral math up until now.

Circle Time with Charlotte Mason skills – Language arts are completely covered by these two components. I described Circle Time in my post on Reading Aloud. The Charlotte Mason skills are copywork, dictation, and narration, pulled from materials we are reading. I will be writing more on CM skills in the future.

The Complete Book of United States History – I use an overview of history each year, along with free reading of other titles of interest. The CBoUSH is a narrative, illustrated history for grades 3-5. Duncan is focusing on history for our first semester, and then will switch to science for the second.

Behold and See Science 3 – This is a nice overview of elementary science and is put out by a Catholic publisher. I had heard it recommended for any student due it it’s narrative style and lovely illustrations. Like history, we will also cover science with a lot of free reading in addition to this text.

La Clase Divertida – We still have this program from when Dusty used it as an elementary student. It is always a favorite with videos, audios, stories, songs, crafts, and easy recipes. Sr. Gamache is a fun teacher.

For the arts, Duncan is also taking recorder (learning along with me!), and doing occasional art projects found through books or Pinterest, as well as Mark Kistler drawing lessons. He also is doing one semester of choir.


Pearl – Kindergarten

Wee Folk Art – This is a lovely little program put together by a homeschooling crafting blogger for her own children, and contains elements of Waldorf and Charlotte Mason teaching. So simple to implement, it is basically a schedule of picture books, crafts, recipes, poems, and field trips, arranged around the seasons. I used it for Duncan, so we have most of the books already. There is now a second edition available for a low price, but the first edition is still free.

The Reading Lesson – Pearl picked this book over 100 Easy Lessons (I own both) for her phonics. She flew through the first quarter of the book, then bogged down. So we put it away until after her birthday in the spring.

Pearl also sits in on Duncan’s Circle Time, and gets to hear all those books as well!