Finalizing 2014-15 school plans

Well it’s almost that time of year. Time to get organize all the homeschool stuff for this upcoming year. I’ve made a few changes from my initial plan. Mostly those are curriculum changes instead of major subject swaps.

I bought the Apologia General Science used for $15 for my son. After looking it over, we decided it just wasn’t what we needed after all. A tenant had left behind a Life Science book from Holt Science & Technology. He liked the format, but like the Apologia general science, it would have been mostly review of stuff he already knows. However, I looked online and they have 2 other books in the series: Physical Science and Earth Science. Since we did geology and astronomy last year, that just left physical science still to cover to have a good science base going into high school sciences, so I’m ordering the physical science books. It’s a bit expensive ($132), but unlike Apologia, it is fundable with out state allotment.

The other change is Karen’s social studies. I didn’t really like what Christian Light has for 4th or 5th grade. I looked on Rainbow Resource and found several world history workbooks and narrowed it down to my top 3 choices then let Karen pick which seemed most interesting to her. She decided on 2, which is ok since one is a bit light to use by itself.

I asked at our school district what they do for Alaska studies and they told me about a website which is a complete curriculum. So I’m going to have him go through that in addition to the Judy Fergesson books I already picked out.

So here’s the revised plan for how this year will go:

RICHARD 8TH GRADE

Language Arts– LA800: CLE $40,

Writing– Rockets Radar & Robotics: Institute for Excellence in Writing $29

Literature- (All Veritas Press Guidebooks $12) Call of the Wild & White Fang, Fahrenheit 451, Around the World in 80 Days

Math– Math 800: CLE $52

Reading– Reading 800: CLE $27

Bible– Bible 800: CLE $70

Science-Holt Science & Technology: Physical Science homeschool pkg & CD: Rainbow Resource $132

Social Studies– AK state study online (www.akhistorycourse.org), Judy Fergusson books

Spanish

KAREN 5TH GRADE

Language Arts– LA500: CLE $50

Math– Math 500: CLE $52

Reading– Reading 500: CLE $27

Literature– (All Veritas Press Guidebooks $12) Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Secret Garden, Where Red Fern Grows

Bible– Bible 500: CLE $26

Social Studies– 2 world geography workbooks from Rainbow Resource $12 & $16

Writing– Student Writing Intensive A & Continuation Course A: Institute for Excellence in Writing

Science- Real Science 4 Kids: middle school physics, chemistry, biology $65/subject Rainbow Resource

Spanish

Summer update and back to the books

Sorry for the long absence here. We have been busy this spring and early summer. In May, we went to Florida for a week vacation. Everyone had a great time at Epcot, Disney World, and Sea World. Pluto snuck up behind Richard while we were sitting on a bench taking a break. It was so funny! I took some pictures before he (Pluto) went to the group picture area where the line was about half an hour (!) for a picture. A stilt-walker teased Karen with a silk ribbon during a parade. We went to Cape Canavaral Space Port but missed the shuttle launch by 2 days. đŸ˜¦ We also spent a day at the beach and got the obligatory tourist sun burn.

Then a week with everyone back in Fairbanks before I took the kids and drove down the Alaska highway to visit their grandparents in Washington state. 2 weeks of driving (1 week each way) for 1 week visit, but it was better than not going and still cheaper than flying. We bought a new tent and camped out all but 2 nights along the way. We saw lots of wildlife including mountain sheep and little lambs, moose and calves, bison and calves, caribou, deer (one walked right through our camp just 10 feet from the tent!), elk, a coyote carrying its meal of ground squirrel, ground squirrels, a wolf, and a mama black bear with 2 little cubs. We also swam in hot springs and visited some museums.

While in Spokane, we went to Cat Tails wildlife park and Richard hand fed a lion! That’s right, he fed a lion. The cats are behind a tall chain link fence. There is a small plexiglass cage thing with a small hole in it facing the fence you stand in. The trainer puts chunks of raw meat on a plastic skewer and you push it through the hole for the lion to take. I did one piece. You can really tell how powerful they are. This was a big male lion. We were told it is the one that roars at the start of MGM movies. Whenever the train whistles or an emergency vehicle goes past with the siren on, he roars so that must have been how he was trained.

Now 10 days with everyone here. Tomorrow I leave with the kids again. This time to Wasilla and Kodiak for about week.

As a result, we haven’t yet finished the school year. There’s still about a month or so left. I squeezed in 3 days of school this week, but will start again in earnest when we get back from Kodiak. The good news is that the books for this upcoming school year arrived while we were traveling. After finishing up this year’s school, Richard will move up to 5th grade and Karen will start 2nd.

I haven’t decided yet if I want to use the Christian Light Education math or Math-U-See for her. She seems to do better with more traditional style textbooks like CLE.

Here’s what they will be studying:

KAREN 2ND GRADE:

MATH: Math-U-See Beta or CLE math 200

READING: CLE reading 200- phonics, comprehension

LANGUAGE ARTS: CLE LA 200- grammar, punctuation, handwriting, spelling

BIBLE: CLE Bible 200- Old Testament

SCIENCE: Alaskan biology coloring book, CLE science 200 (birds)

RICHARD 5TH GRADE:

MATH: Math-U-See Gamma (fractions)

READING: CLE reading 500- context clues, figures of speech, poetry, inferences

LANGUAGE ARTS: CLE LA 500 – advanced sentence diagrams, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement

BIBLE: CLE Bible 500-Old Testament & maps

WRITING: Institute for Writing Excellence level A

SCIENCE: Alaskan biology written by my old college prof Ron Smith