What Books We Will Use

Oh, how I love books! Doesn't every homeschoolin' momma love books? Books about science, history, art, music, and even books about math and language, these are books we all enjoy.

Today, I'm sharing the books we'll be diving into this school year. What follows are the main books. There will be other books added along the way. 'Cause why stop with only one listing of books?

As Christians who love our Lord, we study the Bible as a family. We read through a book in the Bible together and discuss the passage together. We also use various devotions from time to time. We aren't perfect and we certainly don't read together every day like we would like, but we make an effort.

In addition to regular family studies of our faith and the Bible, we try to teach and learn all our subjects from a Biblical worldview. Though we don't always use a Christian text per se, we present materials from a Biblical perspective. For age specific Bible and Christian studies we will delve into the following texts this year:

We tend to be stringent about our children learning how to communicate correctly. We want them to speak properly and write well. Therefore, we don't always pick the easiest curriculum. For grammar, we start in first grade with First Language Lessons, Level 1, by Jessie Wise and then switch in second grade to Rod and Staff. The children progress through the levels until the final book.

Even though the Rod and Staff grammar texts include writing assignments and strategies, we supplement with Writing with Ease, Writing with Skill, and IEW materials.

Reading & Literature
Another high priority for us is learning how to read and comprehend. Our youngest is currently working through Explode the Code workbooks. He is partway through Book 3. He will also continue learning phonics with the guidance of Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington.

For reading, we prefer actual books. However, we do use readers from the Christian Life Readers series, which are published by Keepers of the Faith and the original McGuffey's Readers (not the revised versions).

Narration, whether orally or written, is my absolute, hands down, favorite way to develop comprehension. We do switch off from time to time and use a literature guide for variety, but this isn't the norm.

Finding good books can be a challenge, especially when you have a voracious reader, a struggling reader, and everything in between. For titles I search sites (Veritas Press and Sonlight have lots of good recommendations), read articles and blogs, and ask for recommendations from friends and family. Most of the time the books we use relate to our history studies.

This year, our oldest (ninth grade) will work through Teaching the Classics with the Worldview Supplement and Windows to the World. Both are published by IEW. {We'll be following the syllabus provided by IEW. It schedules both resources throughout an entire school year.}

Vocabulary & Spelling
My favorite vocabulary curriculum is Word Roots. Our fifth and seventh graders are working their way through the series. Since our ninth grader completed the series last year, we chose to start him on Vocabulary from Classical Roots. I am not sure if it is going to be the best fit, but we will try it this year. (The other vocabulary curriculum I was considering is Caesar's English)

For the most part we are all over the place with mathematics. Honestly, I wish there was one curriculum I could use from basic to advanced and all the children learn well from it. Would it hurt if they liked it as well? Sigh. Here's our math curriculum:

Our history lessons have always been a group endeavor. Now that we have a high schooler, he will do lessons on his own, under my guidance. The three younger children will return to the beginning and start the history sequence all over again. Personally, I am quite excited, but I'm a history junkie.

Last cycle, we spent four years going through The Story of the World. We used the books as spines and read them. When we found a topic we wanted to study more, we simply set the book down and picked up other resources. For the most part, we finished one volume a year. I highly recommend the books for the vast coverage of world history.

However, I did not want our girls to go through the same texts again. The plan is to use Ancient Civilizations and the Bible, by Diana Waring. Her series uses three main texts to cover Creation to modern times. We will use the first one this year. The text is divided into nine units and seems to use a Heart of Wisdom approach to teaching. I am looking forward to trying it out this year.

Cultural Geography, published by BJU is our spine book for ninth grade, but it is really just a starting reference point. We'll be adding lots of biographies and books about missionaries to it. Truly, we hope to impart a heart for missions and the people of the world onto our children, and I have no problem admitting that we'll use this required high school course (by our umbrellas school) as a way to achieve our own personal goals. {Yep, already told our principal our intention on this one! Gotta love the homeschool tenacity, eh?}

We'll outsource science in a co-op setting again this year.

I will be teaching the K-2nd grade class. Due to a larger number of registered families, the class needed to be split. I use to have the K-3rd grade class. Now, I will teach only to second grade. Ironically, I will have more students than last year. Since I'll be teaching our first grader, we'll use supplements during the week. At class, we will study three main units using the following books as spines: Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures, God's Design for Heaven and Earth: Our Planet Earth, and God's Design for the Physical World: Machines and Motions.

The fifth grade class, formerly the fourth and fifth grade class, will focus on topics like energy, motion, and machines. The teacher uses Answers in Genesis curriculum as spines.

Seventh and ninth graders, who each have their own classes, will use Apologia texts: General Science (7th) and Biology (9th).

Honestly, I am big into the arts. I think learning to appreciate the arts and on some level do, is vital to education. Therefore, we always have some art, music, or poetry in our lessons. When possible, I like to coordinate the aesthetics with their history lessons. Sometimes it is possible, but not always. This year we'll use:

Foreign Languages
Our fifth grader will continue her Latin studies by progressing through the Latin for Children series. Meanwhile, our ninth grader will start studying the French language using Rosetta Stone.

Our fifth, seventh and ninth graders will learn logic and critical thinking using the following books:
Fifth Grader ~ Mind Benders, published by Critical Thinking
Seventh Grader ~ The Art of Argument, published by Classical Academic Press
Ninth Grade ~ The Argument Builder and Discovery of Deduction, published by Classical Academic Press.

Yeah, I know this seems like an ambitious load. Some of the courses are independently completed by our children, requiring just my supervision and guidance. Other courses are teacher intensive. Some are simply a mix. So come December I might be crying 'uncle.' As a further disclaimer: If I disappear from the blogging world from time to time this school year simply refer to this listing of curriculum for understanding.

In reality folks, this is nothing different from any other school year. Later this month I'll share how we accomplish what seems like a lot in one year. Spoiler Alert: We don't do everything everyday all year long.

It's curriculum week at iHomeschool Network. Click here to check out many other homeschool plans.

1 comment:

  1. You have a great line up. What a fun year ahead.
    Blessings, Dawn


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