Monday, July 12, 2010

Curriculum for 2010-2011

I love planning each new school year.  I love the smell and feel of new books even though I buy as many as possible "gently used!"  Due to many circumstances, this is the first year of homeschooling that I haven't been able to attend a Curriculum Fair.  And to be totally truthful, I just pulled together the Literature for both grade levels this weekend!

Matthew and Melissa - 11th graders:

Modern Chemistry (Hilger Higher Learning)

American Literature using real books and book studies.   Some of the books will be: The Scarlet Letter, Billy Budd, Adventures of Huck Finn, Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Old Man and the Sea.  We will also be completing Intro to Poetry by Progeny Press.  We will continue with Vocabulary from Classical Roots D-E.

Grammar    A Beka 11th grade Grammar V for use with their Handbook for Grammar and Composition.  This will be a refresher course for them.  After 2 months of trying to make the A Beka program work, we finally put it aside.  We will be reviewing grammar through their writing and a computer-based program Grammarlogues.  Since they have a very firm foundation in grammar already, I'm not overly stressed!  Next year they will be (most likely) dual enrolling at a local college and will be taking College Freshman Grammar and Composition.  (Updated 11/8/10)

Saxon Advanced Math - Saxon (Matthew) 

Saxon Algebra II - My daughter would prefer continuing with Teaching Textbooks, but we already own the Saxon Algebra II curriculum.  Anyone have a Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 we can borrow?  PRAISE Report... a good friend had Teaching Textbook's Algebra 2 for sale, so I was able to buy it and stay in our budget!  Thanks Theresa!

ACT Prep course (Hilger Higher Learning) and take test in the fall.  This includes English, Reading, Math and some Science.  ACT Prep course was completed on October 23 and the ACT test taken on October 25.  Now, we are awaiting scores.

SAT Prep course and take test in the spring.  We will be completing this prep course at home and take the SAT in May.

Art History with Christian World View.  This class is more than art, more than history and more than worldview. We will study cultures and the art they produced and discuss how it is relevant to us today. Materials are based on college art texts and we will read Francis Scheaffer's How Shall We Then Live as well as C.S. Lewis's God in the Dock. Two field trips are planned and there will be a research paper project.

US History  We will be using the newly revised US History - Heritage of Freedom  for 11th graders from A Beka.  I know they will receive comprehensive information with this program.  This newly revised edition goes through the inauguration of President Obama.  After purchasing the A Beka program, we found that it didn't work well for independent learners.  It is written and set-up to be taught in a classroom with the teacher "teaching" something!  We are entering some new curriculum territory now.  I am putting together our own US History curriculum now called "US History through our Country's Presidents."  It is more work for me, but the students are learning a lot of our great history.  They are looking up some simple facts, quotes from the presidents, and researching US History through the years as they learn about the presidents.  I will let you know how it goes!  (updated 11/8/10)
Physical Education   We will be logging the hours we work out this year.  Also, the whole family is working through the Boy Scout's Personal Fitness Badge which includes a 12-week fitness program.  Hoping to accumulate enough for one full high school credit.

Total Health   If we have the time, I would like Matthew and Melissa to complete their health curriculum for high school.  I have purchased the program through My Father's World along with their lesson plans.  The students will also read I Kissed Dating Goodbye for this course.

Varsity Sports:  Melissa tried out for and became a starter for our homeschool Varsity Soccer team.  She chose to continue with soccer through the winter and is now playing for a select soccer team.
Theater:  Matthew continues to audition and receive parts at both the Colonnade theater and now, at the Choo Choo Centenial Theater.

Michael - 9th grader:

Writing program: The Write Foundation.  This program teaches organization skills along with writing skills.  I'm excited to see how well it works.  I was even able to speak with the author of the program for about an hour.  She was able to give me insight into the program and answered my many questions.  How cool is that!

Introduction to Literature.  We will be reading books and doing a couple book studies.  He will also be joining his siblings and completing an Intro to Poetry unit by Progeny Press.

Grammar.  A Beka 9th Grade Grammar and Composition III.  We will not be utilizing the composition part since we will be knee-deep in The Write Foundation writing program.  We will continue with Spelling Power and Vocabulary from Classical Roots.

Apologia Physical Science

Around the World in 180 Days.  This is a student-led curriculum which covers all 7 continents.  The students are guided in their research.  They learn vocabulary, geography and history of the continent, the culture and people, plants and animals, religion and current events.  I'm learning alongside Michael!

Algebra 1     Saxon Algebra I or Teaching Textbook Algebra I   Why two choices you ask?  We own both of these programs.  Remember, my daughter refused to use Saxon math!  And the WINNER is.... Saxon Algebra 1!

Physical Education   We will be logging the hours we work out this year. Also, the whole family is working through the Boy Scout's Personal Fitness Badge which includes a 12-week fitness program. Hoping to accumulate enough for one full high school credit.

Electives       Undecided for now.

Add a link to your blog highlighting the curriculum you will be using this year.  A link back here is nice but not required.  If you don't have a blog, leave a comment.  I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else is using!


  1. My two are taking the Government and Economics classes at Hilger for their social studies credit this year, but for the following year, William Bennett has an American History curriculum that I am seriously considering. You can check it out at Let me know what you think.

  2. Hey Ellen!! I LOVE seeing what everyone is using! I will update my blog and link back here later today. I would love to get more info from you about the art class they are taking. You have a beautiful family!! Have a super day!

  3. I don't blame your daughter for hating Saxon, I find it to be weak in the upper grades. I have heard really good things about Teaching Textbooks. Lial's is supposed to be really good, it is lauded for it's clear explanations and you can usually get it really cheap on Amazon used.
    We are using BJU and it's getting the job done but it hasn't been great with the dvds.

  4. Sounds like a great plan of study for all three. I am going to check out the health link,looking ahead for the following year. Thanks!

  5. Looks great! I've never heard of that Chemistry. Will have to check it out.

  6. Thank you for sharing!! My son will be using a SAT prep-book also, but not really pushing it since he is a 7th grader, but through a local school he will be taking a pre-SAT in October. Happy Homeschooling this year!

  7. My daughter doesn't like Saxon either, didn't like a lot of programs we have tried, so we're gonna do Life of Fred and see how it goes. We use good literature as well, and I think it makes a huge difference in how well the kids do on the ACT/SAT tests. I love the Classical Roots as well. Looks like a good line-up. Blessings

  8. High school is next door to us, and since 1 to 2 Fine Arts credits seem to be the standard requirement I am really interested in your Art History with Christian World View class. Are you writing it, or are you using something? If you are writing it and would like to sell your lesson plans (for a reasonable price) at the end of the year (so that I get the benefits of any tweaking you do throughout the year) I would be interested.

    Thank you for sharing on the NOT Back-to-School blog hop.

  9. Robin.. the Art History is offered by a local teacher in Chattanooga that will meet at a local church. She has condensed two college art history textbooks and made it into a high school credit. I'm interested in how she sets it up too!

  10. Lizzie... what is Lial's math?

  11. Hi! Found you on the back to school hop. So interesting to read a totally different end of the spectrum (mine are 1st and 2nd grade this year). Have a great year!

  12. We're still a few years from high school, but I'm always interested to hear how families are homeschooling for high school. I wish I could have done what your kids are doing this year, instead of public school! ;)

    Have a great year!

  13. Your Art History class sounds fab. Where might I find the material for this class? I think I'd like to study this myself. :) Thanks for taking the time to share!

  14. I'm visiting from the blog hop, and really enjoying seeing everybody's choices. It looks like you have a great year ahead of you.

  15. It's nice to see someone else with plans for upper grades. (Mine are 7th & 12th this year.) When I read all those blogs with 1st & 2nd graders, it makes me want to forget about counting credits & do some egg carton crafts!

    Janet W

  16. Janet W.... I agree! The lower grades were a lot more fun and "hands-on." It seems the desire to have well-educated students and all the credits accounted for does take some of the fun out of it.

  17. Great job! You know plenty without attending a curriculum fair!
    Following you from Heart of the Matter. Check out our BACK TO SCHOOL CHECK-UP!
    Tiffany @ HGF


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