Curriculum Choices 2015-2016


I know I’m pretty late in posting this, but I wanted to make sure what I chose was actually going to stick. Plus, I figure this is when other people start realizing what they chose isn’t working and are looking for Plan B. The subjects listed are what we are required to teach in our state. (Bible is the obvious exception and that is required by our oversight organization.)


  • We are listening through the Bible is approximate chronological order based on a reading plan from  I’m varying the translations as we go. Have you ever listened to the Message’s paraphrase of Proverbs? You should.
  • As we listen, I am introducing our passages with information from the Catholic Study Bible. No matter the denomination your identify with or don’t, the study guide at the beginning of this Bible is second to none.
  • This year’s memory work also includes a scripture each week.


  • Our classical learning community, Bridges, has a built in language arts time which is super helpful this year.
  • Ty (beginning reader): He’s memorizing his English grammar memory work, getting an activity to reinforce it at community, doing modified lessons from Primary Language Lessons (mostly copywork), and reading (to himself and out loud and listening to read alouds) a lot.
  • Mia (advanced reader): Claritas Press has a language arts curriculum that is complements their memory work and is comparable to CC’s Essentials. We are also using IEW’s Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales book in community for the writing portion of our language arts time. She spends time reading every day and listens to stories in the car. Our book lists are shelved at Goodreads this year.
  • Both kids are doing Spelling this way with lists appropriate to their levels. We introduce the lists in community which is also super helpful.
  • PJ (diacletic stage): We have a reading contract inspired by The Reader’s Odyssey. For writing he opted to write a beginner’s Minecraft manual. We’re also working through First Year Henle Latin together.


  • For the main curriculum we use Math Mammoth (MM) which is based on the Singapore methodology but written for homeschoolers.  Periodically, you can score a deal through Homeschool Buyers Co-op to buy 6 levels in pdf form.  Another large family, budget-friendly curriculum.  We us a math manipulative that I really like to reinforce number sense.  It’s the Learning Resources Desktop Abacus.  You can read about how cool it is here.
    If your child struggles with math concepts, I recommend holding off math until he can read fluently or check out the Right Start Math curriculum. It’s pricey and teacher-intensive but totally worth it if you can make it happen.
  • The one thing MM lacks is drilling so everyday the kids sign in to Xtra Math and do a set of drills.  I love this because it’s FREE and tailors itself to the student.
  • The kids will also have plenty of math memory work.
  • PJ: He completed all the levels of MM and transitioned to the set of Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 0-2 books. To supplement he does about 20 minutes of Khan Academy a week. For logic, I’m facilitating a discussion between him and a friend that is guided by the The Fallacy Detective.


  • Besides memory work, Mia and Ty will get 14 science projects loosely coordinated to the memory work at Bridges. I also include related books in our weekly book list.
  • PJ: Patrick is teaching him to code plus there are science lessons woven into his math curriculum (win for Life of Fred).

Social Studies

  • We start every morning (that we do school) by watching CNN Student News.
  • Mia and Ty have history memory work that follows The Story of the World. There is also Geography memory work.
  • PJ (dialectic): He is doing Mapping the World with Art and dialectic discussions on current events with a friend. Currently, they are (with me helping) writing a policy for the NFL on whether or not to imposed further consequences when players find themselves in trouble legally.


  • Mia and Ty get 14 art lessons at Bridges.
  • PJ’s art is covered in geography. #twobirdswithonestone.


  • Mia and Ty get a music lesson each week at Bridges, and this year’s memory work includes a portion of a hymn each week.
  • PJ plays in a band organized by the music school where he took drum lessons.


Physical Education

  • We’re still doing Tae Kwon Do as a family. In addition each kid has a physical activity of some sort at some time during the year (soccer, dance, gymnastics, etc.).


  • We’re involved in a social co-op that does field trips and special small group activities. For example, Mia’s getting home-ec and additional art, and PJ has a Middle School study hall. We also have various field trips and service projects planned.

What’s working (or not) for your family this year?

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