Saturday, September 10, 2016

Current Curriculum - September 2016

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Previous post from last July here.

This post coincides with iHomeschool Network's Annual Blog Hop. This week (which I'm late on!) is Curriculum Week. Check next week for School Room Week.

We school year round and don't really follow grades. Brianna started Nov 15, 2010 coming from 3rd grade in public school and will go until whenever of whatever year. Olivia started "Preschool" on Feb 6, 2012. Joshua started "Preschool" on Sept 6, 2016. We don't follow specific grades but Brianna is anywhere from Gr. 6-10, Olivia is anywhere from Gr. 1-3, Joshua is preschool/Kindy. 

So, since we don't have set grades or set school years, I figure every 6 mths-ish I'll post what we are currently working on. We use a mishmash of traditional homeschool curriculum, workbooks bought at teacher supply stores, stuff made up completely in my head and most subjects are supplemented by printed worksheets from various sites and of course, library books. In a nut shell, we're eclectic homeschoolers.


He's juuuust starting out so is mostly using left overs from Olivia as we see what he like/works well for him. Some of the more common printables that we're grabbing are from 1+1+1=1, Our Little Monkeys, Homeschool Creations, Confessions of a Homeschooler and Teachers Pay Teachers.

He's still working on speech with his speech therapist. At the time of this writing, he is approx 1 year "behind" in his speech for the typical 3 yr 3 mth old child. This is WAY better than his completely non verbal-ness from a few months ago, so we'll take it! We still make use of sign language. He still uses it for words he doesn't know and we'll use it when we are trying to figure out his gibberish.

Once he has a better grasp on constant language we'll start ABCMouse with him. Olivia really liked it and he loved watching her when she did her lessons so is already familiar with it.



We're playing around in Brave Writer's "Jot it Down" program which focuses on dictation for Olivia's age group. We do dictations for Brave Writer's Friday Freewrite and to write her Brownie Journal (basically, what she did at Brownies on a given day).

We're almost done 1+1+1=1's You Can Read program. Olivia picked up a lot of the more "sight" words with that. We feel that phonetic learning is highly important over memorizing sight words so we're spending a lot of effort on letter sounds, blending sounds and sounding out short words. We have oodles of early readers that we share in reading and Olivia is reading more and more of the words in each book. 

In the spring started Reading Eggs, an online program like ABC Mouse, but instead of learning sounds, she's now using it to read. She loves it and asks to work on it even on the weekends.


Olivia is almost done Early Math on Khan Academy. Her main curriculum is Math Mammoth, in which she just started the Gr. 2 level. It worked well for her for Gr. 1, so I hope it continues to!

With our ReadingEggs subscription came a subscription to MathSeeds which is meant for 3-8 year olds. MathSeeds starts out really young (Olivia was being made to identify numbers), but she doesn't seem to care. I'm not sure (since she didn't care) if there is a test out area to start at a higher level.

Extra Curricular:

Olivia just finished her 2nd year of soccer. She has grown so much in it since last year. Last year she would pick grass and stare off into space. This year she actively took part in drills, actually went after the ball on the field and even scored 2 goals!

Olivia joined Brownies this year. I was a Brownie as a girl, so was super excited for her to start. For some reason, she's picking up on Brianna's "I can't sleep away" and is nervous about the possibility of camps. She's slept at a friend's house several times with no issue, so I don't think it'll be a problem, but she sure thinks it will be!



We really like Math Mammoth. It's almost self-teaching once a kid can read. It breaks the new concepts down into step by step instructions. However, she's been struggling so much with math that we're trying something new altogether. We've started Time4Learning. She responds really well to "computer school work" so I'm hoping this helps with her math. We're also slowly working our way through Khan Academy. Brianna really likes the videos explaining new concepts. 

Brianna struggles a lot with math so she's "behind", only doing Gr. 6. But that's the beauty of homeschooling. She can be working on Gr. 10/11 science while being years behind in math. Math is something that we spend a lot of time trying out different things for.


We're semi-using Brave Writer's "Writer's Jungle" (bits and pieces, at least) Brianna especially enjoys their Poetry Teatimes. For spelling, as always, we don't do a lot of focus on spelling because of Brianna's Dysgraphia. Her spelling HAS improved on it's own through the use of texting, social media and using spell check on her typed work. We'll be doing NaNoWriMo for the 3rd time. The first year, she struggled to hit 12,000 words. Last year she did an impressive 20,000 and wasn't even done her story! We use CNN's Student News for daily writing (we watch the clip and she picks one topic to write a summary about).


Brianna is almost done her first year of Rosetta Stone. My grandma bought the kids the full 5 year lesson set, so she'll be good through high school. Duolingo has an app for her phone for extra, on-the-go practice. One of our neighbours tests Brianna's French periodically.


Brianna wants to learn guitar and we have a child's guitar and a great book - The Complete Guitar Manual, hopefully we can get around to that. She also wants to get back into playing the flute (which is currently under repairs). Hopefully she can be encouraged to put in a stronger, more frequent effort this time.

She has expressed interest in learning about some Shakespeare, so we'll  learn about him and read/watch some plays. 

She wants to do some basic art lessons to improve her drawing, so I'm looking into some good lessons for that. She also wants to learn to sew. She took a crochet class in the winter and will hopefully look to improve further in that.

Phys Ed/Health: 

Brianna normally runs with the Cornwall MultiSport Club. This year I had back to back surgeries, one being major abdominal surgery, so her coach was out of commission for the summer. Brianna is very much not self-motivating, but we hope to get her back into basic training now that I'm almost 100%. She is still walking/running/biking 10k for Terry Fox this year. She does youth yoga classes a couple times a month and yoga videos at home. Because she is overly flexible, she loves it and it greatly improves her balance and fidgeting.


We took part in our town's first Pride parade this year, so there will be a lot of diversity learning going on in the near future. 

Life Skills: 

Brianna babysits and does random jobs for neighbours. Because of the sudden influx of money, she's learning about comparing prices and smart spending. She's looking forward to being able to get a "real" job in a couple years. She's also becoming more responsible for getting her schoolwork and chores done with less interference from us. 

Extra Curriculars:
Like Olivia, Brianna is signed up for Girl Guides this year. For her age group, she will be in PathFinders. As she has anxieties about sleeping away from home, she is super nervous about camps, but we will be trying to get her to sleepover more in the coming months at various friends' so she can try to get used to it. She also joined a Teen Tuesday program through the library where she gets to hang out with kids her age and do various activities. 

Both Girls:


We're are going to start doing Country Studies again. The kids really enjoyed them. We read about the countries, find them on maps, watch videos about them and make a bunch of food from that country. I made both Brianna and Olivia's country reports on Microsoft Word because I couldn't find anything I liked that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg. If I can figure out how to share them here, I will. We'll be reading through History of the World and Geography of the World as our his/geo base outside of the Country Studies. 


We're currently finishing up on our Biology course. After that, we'll be taking a break from a set topic while I can put together a Weather unit. Since we live in Canada and winter is coming, it works lol Both girls went to science camp over the summer and had a blast. 


I want to work on art some more. Brianna loves it but is fairly terrible lol So she wants to learn little ways to make her art better. Olivia on the other hand, has this idea that her drawings aren't good enough. No telling her otherwise changes her mind :( So for both girls, we'll be doing some basic art lessons, using a variety of mediums and styles.

I made a post here about our reading plans for the year, with book titles and links.

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