Almost as soon as we finished our school year at the end of June, I began planning for the next. Over the last two years, I’ve tried a few different things with the girls. I’ve had a chance to see what works and what doesn’t. I think we have found some great curriculum choices and I’m really excited for our third year of homeschooling. So here’s my 2016-2017 curriculum plans.
My Curriculum Plans: RC History
I heard about RC History just over a year ago and started their Connecting with History program last year. This program studies world history from a Catholic perspective, from ancient times to modern. It is meant to be a multi-grade program, so it’s divided into four time periods with four grade levels. Currently, we are doing the Beginner Level (roughly grades K-3).
Last year, for grades 1-2, we covered Ancient Times (creation through to Roman times). This year, for grades 2-3, we’ll be studying Early Medieval Times (Jesus’ birth through to the Norman invasion, or about 1-1066 AD).
Most of our books for this year are about saints. I think it’s awesome we’re studying history through the lives of the saints! Their stories will really bring alive the time periods for the girls, and the history will let them put the saints in context.
This was, hands-down, the girls’ favourite subject last year. We read a lot of fun books together and did a few crafts. I began starting our school day with history, because when I said, “Let’s read some books,” they came running. As a history buff, I enjoyed it just as much as they did.
My Curriculum Plans: Saxon Math
I used Saxon Math as a homeschool student, so choosing it for the girls was easy. This year, Sunshine starts Grade 3 and Lily has a bit of Grade 1 to finish off before moving onto Grade 2 (affiliate links).
As a homeschool mom, I find this program easy to use. I generally glance at the lesson just before doing it with the girls. Most of the math lessons are hands-on, using manipulatives like coins, blocks, geoboards, etc. The program is also circular, so that a concept is introduced, and then returned to multiple times throughout the year.
My Curriculum Plans: Catholic Heritage
Behold & See Science
This year, I’m returning to the Catholic Heritage Curriculum I used with Sunshine in Grade 1. I do science with Sunshine and Lily together. The Behold & See science program is based on the story of two kids, Josh and Hanna, who live on a farm. Through their lives, kids learn about the world around them.
Behold & See is an easy-to-use textbook I’ll probably read to the girls, although they are both reading well enough that they could each read on their own. I’ll see how the year goes before making that decision. The girls enjoy the stories and pictures in the book, which makes science feel friendly and accessible.
Language of God, Spelling, and Handwriting
Sunshine asked me for the past year to learn how to write cursive, so I decided to get her a handwriting book this year. (She’s already started using it, actually.) This might be something that isn’t taught in schools anymore, but I still believe it’s valuable. Since Sunshine is doing handwriting, I also got a writing book for Lily to practice her printing.
As a writer, I believe firmly in the value of language and the importance of grammar. So I’m excited about the Language of God program, which teaches these writing skills to the girls. Lily is already showing signs of inheriting my love of writing. Sunshine needs a bit more encouragement, but as my dad always said, writing skills are essential no matter what career you pursue.
Finally, spelling. Lily often writes little notes and will guess at the spelling of various words. She’s often right, too, or very close. Sunshine prefers to ask me how to spell everything. Thus I thought that a concrete, organized spelling program this year would benefit both of them.
What programs or curriculum are you excited about this year? If you’ve shared your curriculum plans online, feel free to leave a link to it in the comments!
This contains affiliate links if you want to find the books on Amazon.