Sunday, August 14, 2011

Homeschool Plans at Our House

Last year we decided to experiment with a different homeschool approach than I've ever used before. I very much like systematic textbook learning. I'm comfortable teaching with textbooks, but we found ourselves in a position that we could not just purchase whatever my little heart desired. This led me to do some searching the internet and picking my out-of-the-box friends' brains : )

Last year we experimented mostly with Ambleside Online. It was kinda scary stepping out of my comfort zone, but I was pleasantly pleased with the things we learned and the improvements I saw. For one, my children have always been horrible at spelling no matter the program we chose. For a few years we just quit doing it. Last year, using the Charlotte Mason influenced AO, my children's spelling improved greatly. We also got to try some science and history curriculum suggested by Timberdoodle. We absolutely loved it. It made me realize how boring the textbooks and workbooks I had been using in the past were.

So, with that said, we're choosing to do most of the same things again this year. It is extremely cost effective and enjoyable for us all.

I decided to share with you what I plan on doing this year. I'm doing ninth, sixth, fifth, and second grades. I bought planners for each child and have their daily assignments written in each planner. We work in three twelve week terms. Each day the student is to do their assignments and then highlight them. I have time slots assigned for computer work and studies done as a group, such as Hebrew, elementary history and science, etc. I highly recommend Managers of Their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell. It has been such a life saver for me for the last nine years. I keep a weekday schedule going, but do not schedule every aspect of our day, only those things that help a family of ten to run smoother and more efficiently throughout the day.

So, here it is by grade:
Ninth Grade
Bible- The weekly Parsha as assigned here, and the Classbook to go along with it.
They will also read the Restoration of Torah commentary for the week.
Memorize at least a 20 verse passage of Scripture, 2 Tehillim (Psalms), and 2 hymns

History- The Story of the Constitution , a freebie given to me by a friend : ), Books on the Salem Witch Trials, read verbatim court cases from the trials, read "Founding Father- Rediscovering George Washington", watch "Liberty! The American Revolution" (a documentary found on Netflix), "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation", and watch "John Adams" an HBO series.

Geography- Books on the Lewis and Clark expedition and follow their trail on a US map, "Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins also following along with a map, and play US geography games here.

Citizenship- Charlotte Mason's "Ourselves"

Composition and Current Events-   Re-write 2 new stories a week.

Literature- "The Count of Monte Cristo", "Pride and Predjudice", and ?

Science- We plan on doing Biology, but I cannot afford what I'd like to get right now. We're still praying that Father YHVH provides : ) We have Biology 101that we got from Timberdoodle, but it will not be worth a whole credit. 

Typing- Ten Thumbs

Art- How Great Thou Art

Foreign Language-  Pimslours Hebrew

Music- Memorize 2 hymns, 3 Hebrew songs, and 3 patriotic songs

Health- Shonda Parker's "Mommy Diagnostics"

Life Skills- Small Engine Repair, Cooking and Canning, Making herbal salves and tinctures, and drivers ed
Money Management- "Using Your Money Wisely" by Burkett

Additional Free Reading:
Northanger Abbey
A Tale of Two Cities
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Rob Roy
Horatio Hornblower series

Sixth Grade
Daily: Copywork from current reading, math (Teaching Textbooks 6), oral narration of readings, literature, and Bible
Weekly: art, typing, written narration, dictation, history, science, geography, nature study, Hebrew 3x a week, and poetry

Bible: Same as ninth minus the commentary, 1 Psalm and 1 hymn per term

History- "Mystery of History" (borrowed from a friend)

Geography- Read "The True Story of David Livingstone, Explorer" following along on a map and Shepherd Software's geography games

Nature Study- Keep a journal of nature and read herb books

and read " Relativity" by Clarice Swisher

Foreign Language- Pimsluer's Hebrew and memorize 3 songs in Hebrew

Typing- Ten Thumbs

Poetry- Study Robert Frost,Carl Sandburg, and Longfellow. Memorize 1 poem from each poet

Literature- "Animal Farm", and choose two other books from free reading list

Free Reading List:
Where the Red Fern Grows
Letters From Rifka
Snow Treasure 
Miracles on Maple Hill
Number the Stars
Rob Roy
Jack and Jill

Fifth Grade

Daily: Copywork from current reading, math (Teaching Textbooks 5), oral narration of readings, literature, and Bible
Weekly: art, typing, written narration, dictation, history, science, geography, nature study, Hebrew 3x a week, and poetry

Bible: Same as ninth minus the commentary, 1 Psalm and 1 hymn per term

History- "Mystery of History" (borrowed from a friend)

Geography- Shepherd Software's geography games

Science- Anatomy and Physiology   and read biographies on "Isaac Newton", "Alexander Graham Bell", and "George Washington Carver".

Math- Teaching Textbooks 5 (borrowed from a friend)

Foreign Language- same as other grades
Poetry- Memorize one poem each term. Term 1 Rudyard Kipling, Term 2 Longfellow, Term3 Whittier

Literature- Read "Kim", "Captains Courageous", & "The Prince and the Pauper"

Typing- We're using a program called Ten Thumbs, but there are multiple free ones you can find on the Internet for free

Free Reading- same as sixth grade list

Second Grade

Bible- Read through Mathew and answer the Classbook questions orally. Memorize 10 verses each term plus one hymn
Copywork- Three days a week he will copy part of his verse memorization using Print Handwriting Worksheets. 
Two days a week he'll spend 20-30 minutes copying one of his reading books.

History- Mystery of History and read "Joan of Arc" ~ Diane Stanley

Geography- Shepherd Software geography games and read "Tree in the Trail" and "Seabird" by Holling C. Holling

Science- Apologia's Anatomy and Physiology
For Language and Math he is using Time4Learning. Time 4 Learning has been an excellent and inexpensive way to homeschool on those years I've been overwhelmed. It uses my children's love for computer learning to teach the subjects Pre-school through 8th grade. I used it a couple years ago for two of my children when I had just had my seventh baby. We also used it last year just for math since my children are very visual and Time4Learning fits their learning style to a tee. It is $20 a month for the first student and $15 a month for each additional student. They offer all of your core subjects for this one price. I highly recommend it.

Literature- "Heidi" and The Little House on the Prairie books

This homeschool year, (thanks to endless valuable Internet resources, giving friends, and our own collection over the years) we'll be homeschooling pretty cheaply, but very richly. 

My prayer is that we will, "Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth." 2 Timothy 2:15, and that we will become more like Messiah Yeshua this year. 

May you be blessed this school year with the shalom that surpasses all understanding that can only be found in Yeshua ha Moshiach!








  1. "Homeschooling cheaply, but richly"-- I love it! Blessings on your year!