Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Curriculum Plans for 2012-2013

My Man-child, usually very serious, letting loose.
2012-2013 Curriculum Choices for KingMan

Okay, I'll admit it.  This is one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling -- getting ready for the new year.  It's almost like the nesting phase right before you give birth.  I love all of the back to school sales, the used curriculum e-mails flying all over listservs, and especially the homeschool conferences.  Now that all of that has settled down a bit, I was able to meditate on our plans.  Here are our curriculum choices  for the 2012-2013 year.
Education Life Skills
This year I am implementing something new.  All assignments will go into KingMan's personal student planner.  I was first introduced to Success By Design student planners two years ago at the HEAV homeschool conference.  This year KingMan will learn the importance of meeting deadlines.  If deadlines are not met, then video games will not be played.

We have been fans of Singapore Math for a long time and we are just as committed for the long haul.  It is our overall core curriculum, but when some topics need a little more intense drill, we will use the Key to Series as a supplement.  To show how math applies to the real world and just to keep it plain fun, we will throw in some Life of Fred to drive math home.  As for geometry, this has been a subject where we struggle a bit.  I discovered Right Start Geometry at a homeschool conference while shopping for my younger son.  KingMan loves that it uses art and construction skills through the use of the drawing board, T-square, triangles, compass and goniometer to explore geometry.  We devote a lot of time to math in our homeschool and variety keeps it fresh.

Rod and Staff is one of the best grammar programs I've ever seen and it works.  How do I know? KingMan says that grammar is one of his favorite subjects.  He's probably one of the few boys in the world who loves grammar.  I attribute it to the quality of the program.

IEW, in my opinion, is the best writing program out there. After meeting and attending workshops by Andrew Pudewa, the instructor of this program, I'm more convinced than ever this was a solid choice that we will utilize through high school.  This year we are also using the Technology-Based Writing Guide from IEW.

Hip Hop Poetry.  We simply love this.  There's no better way to get a boy interested in poetry than through the medium of rap music.

I discovered this purely by accident and absolutely love it.  While CNN Student News for kids is comprehensive, Flocabulary Week in Rap is so much more hip, and the kids actually remember the news stories!  I will be featuring reviews from all areas of the Flocabulary Educational Hip-Hop website this year, so stay tuned.

We are finishing up Classical Africa this summer.  In the fall, KingMan will learn world history through the the unique lens of Africa.  The class, The World and Africa, will also use a text by the same name The World and Africa, written by W.E.B.DuBois.  For the geography portion of the class, we will use Mapping the World From Heart.  I will supplement with Flocabulary Ancient History Songs and Videos and Glencoe World History.  Both boys are also students of Mass Emphasis Children's History Theatre, which combines the study of the history of the African diaspora with theatre arts.  History is a continuum in our homeschool.  There is no endpoint.  I hope to cultivate a life-long desire to examine and study history.  So we are not worried about covering certain topics in a prescribed amount of time.

In additional to a Homeschool Chemistry Co-op, we will finish up our Noeo Homeschool Science Chemistry II and either start Chemistry III or Physics III with Noeo Homeschool Science.

Music and Art
I'm so proud of KingMan! He is now a Rising Star at Levine School of Music as he embarks upon his 5th year of  piano lessons.  He was also promoted to the Farafina Kan Youth Ensemble this year as he continues to develop as an outstanding djembe player.  Art classes through ArtReach will continue.  It's a phenomenal program that has transformed the way he sees himself and pulled out talents he didn't know he had.

KingMan Loves Vocabulary Cartoons and we will continue using  Vocabulary from Classic Roots as our our core.  We plan to use both interchangeably.

Critical Thinking
We are still working our way through Building Thinking Skills Book 2.  We are also adding The Art of Argument, An Introduction of Fallacies in preparation for the day I find a solid speech and debate team.

Reseach/Primary Resources
This year KingMan will write a research paper using a primary source curriculum packet from Jackdaw Publications.  KingMan will choose the topic based on what we are currently studying.

Physical Education
KingMan plays basketball and baseball for the Boys and Girls Club, as well as Travel Soccer for the Capitol Futbol Club. For daily conditioning for us both, we will add early morning swimming at a local recreation center.

LionHeart, ever the creative one, fashions a garbage bag into an outfit.

2012-2013 Curriculum Choices for LionHeart

My two boys couldn't be more different.  It's like someone played a trick on me.  LionHeart's response whenever I open a workbook or present a lesson is "I already know how to do this," or a loud and resounding, "No!"  LionHeart's resistance tests my skills as a mother and a teacher.  But, I don't take it personal.  I've just got to bring my A-game in terms of creativity.  So here goes!

I will be using a combination of methods so that LionHeart doesn't get bored.  I will lay the foundation with Brilliant Minds Montessori Math and hone the skills with Singapore Math and Professor B Mathematics.

We use a combination of Montessori Handwriting lessons and Handwriting Without Tears.

Hooked on Phonics is still in rotation in our home after 7 years. In addition to Montessori Reading Lessons,  I'll also be using Explode the Code, another tried and true method in our home.  Most important of all will be our regular visits to the library and our daily reading time.  According to The Read-Aloud Handbook, reading with my child is the best way to build literacy.

At this age I will not be using any curriculum at all.  Instead, we'll be participating in the Seedlings Program at the US Botanical Gardens in the Fall.  In the Spring, we'll participate with The Little Genius Science and Math program, a culturally-infused program that teaches African American boys the importance of science.

Social Studies
Our city is our classroom.  We visit museums, attend festivals, explore exotic restaurants and utilize one of our best home resources, The Peters Projection Map.  This map accurately depicts the arial size of Africa and South America in relation to Europe.

LionHeart participates in Mass Emphasis Children's History Theatre.  He's learning that history and art can be a symbiotic expression.  The library will be a great resource too!

Music and Art
LionHeart will continue violin and African drum studies.  He will also be taking up Steel Drum lessons at the Boys and Girls Club.  LionHeart has been really big into drawing lately so we may explore drawing classes at a local arts center.

Physical Education
Every homeschooler should explore their local Boys and Girls Club.  It's the idea place for supervised "socialization," the skill that the grandparents worry about so much.  More importantly, it's one stop shopping in terms of sports.  LionHeart played soccer, baseball and basketball - all with the same great coach.


  1. How long have you homeschooled

  2. Greetings! I have been homeschooling for about 9 years ... since my oldest was about 3 years old.