It’s barely March, but I am already planning for the 2021-2022 school year. I love planning and organizing just about as much as I love school.
As I have stated before, I pick and choose my curriculum, pulling from a variety of sources and books versus using an all in one program. In general, I don’t like the rigidness of textbooks ( I do make exceptions) and find this method works best for my kids.
So what are we using?
For math this year, we used (for the first time) Singapore Math and will use it for next year as well. The curriculum is challenging, allowing for mastery and a deeper understanding of math concepts. If you are working on fractions, that’s ALL you do. There is no spiral review (continual practice of other math skills), which can be problematic, but we supplement. We use other math resources during morning work as well as project based learning units, which allow the kids to hone all of their math skills.
Our reading curriculum is very diverse. We will continue our novel studies as well as use Scholastic Magazines. Soren will work from Storyworks 3 and Super Science. Elsa (now that she is entering middle school) graduates to SCOPE and Science World.
I also subscribe to Epic Books for both Elsa and Soren. As stated on their website, “Epic has grown into an award-winning subscription service, which gives millions of families and classrooms instant, unlimited access to thousands of books, videos and quizzes from leading publishers to help kids everywhere read, learn and grow.” I love Epic because it’s like having an entire library in our home. Did you just do an activity on plants? Hop onto Epic and find an array of books to enrich the lesson. Or, if you’re Soren, read every hockey book on the site…over and over and over again 🙂
For writing, I like to use materials from Teachers Pay Teachers. From perfecting writing skills to creating essays, grammar and vocabulary, the choices are endless. Here are a few of my favorite teacher-authors. Not only do I utilize their curriculum for writing, but I also use their resources for math, morning work and a variety of reading activities as well as science and technology.
Oh, and of course The Extra School Mom (shameless plug). Give me a follow and check out one of my novel studies.
Like all of the subjects, I use the Common Core standards as a guideline for what I will teach. For example, in 6th grade, students learn about ancient civilizations. Do I HAVE to teach this to Elsa ? No, but I will. I don’t let the standards control our education, but I do find them helpful. Again, I use LOTS of TPT resources which involve US history, geography, famous and notable Americans as well as learning about other cultures and the basics of economics.
For the first time, I am trying an all in one Social Studies curriculum for Elsa, and using Oak Meadow. Oak Meadow “provides flexible, progressive homeschooling curriculum for students in K-12. Our student-centered, nature-based approach allows families to set their own natural rhythm of learning and encourages creativity, critical thinking, and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects.”
Sounds like a good fit! It also incorporates writing as well as literature. Two books we will read as part of the curriculum include The Rainbow People by Lawrence Yep and D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths.
Here are some other great books to use in your Social Studies curriculum:
The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong
The Interactive History Adventure series by Capstone.
Also, check out author, and children’s historian, Russell Freedman’s books.
Jim Murphy also writes great historical books for kids. We especially like An American Plague which Elsa will read after she finishes the book Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson.
In addition to our Scholastic Magazines, Super Science and Science World, we also get Kiwi crates and use MEL Science. A new company I just discovered is Mystery Science. For now, we are using the free lessons, but I may buy a membership in the fall.
The DK Smithsonian book Stem Lab is one Soren enjoys as well. I find the experiments and projects doable, often times utilizing supplies you already have around the house.
Also, like most kids, Soren loves the National Geographic book series.
I find art can be incorperated into all subjects. This year my kids were lucky enough to attend a weekly art class at a local art studio, which I hope to continue next year as well. With all that is going on in the world and many parents turning to home education, it’s nice to see local businesses offering day time classes for homeschoolers. My dream would be able to find daytime woodworking, coding and French classes for the kids…to be continued.
Need help planning your school year? Are you wondering what curriculum to use? Send me an email! I am happy to help.
Until then, enjoy the rest of your 2020-2021 school year. It’s almost summer, right????