August 14, 2017

2nd and 6th Grade Curriculum Choices for 2017-2018 School Year (5 Days of Back to School Blog Hop)

Curriculum Choices for 2nd and 6th Grade
Welcome to the first day of our 2017 5 Days of Back to School Blog Hop! Today's topic is all about CURRICULUM! I can hardly believe I am saying this, but this year I will have a second grader and a...gulp...MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT! How did that happen? Sigh. These boys of mine. Just won't slow down! As I share our choices this year, I will make notes about why I picked each selection to briefly give you a clue as to why it works for us--or maybe why we are going to see if it will work. The main thing about my curriculum choices is that I reserve the right to THROW THEM OUT if at any time they no longer work for us. Don't forget that when you are making your OWN choices. These are a plan, but if the plan doesn't work, throw it out and try something else!

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Second Grade Curriculum

One of the things that we are doing this year, is recognizing that my youngest son loves school and wants to do MORE of it. What does this mean? It means that it will look like he's going to be slammed with schoolwork, but it really isn't more than a normal amount. I am just going to be able to offer him a lot of things to pick from. I also am going to be incorporating more free exploration time for him too through the use of our daily morning basket. Recognizing that literature is a family love, our year has far more book related items, particularly our new history course. I am excited for the things we have planned and hope that it works for us this year!

★Veritas Bible (online subscription)
God's Names study
While we will be continuing our subscription to, I am going to be starting my youngest in the God's Names study I did with my oldest. I am using the book God's Names and have created a weekly study for each of the names that is taught. THIS year I'm going to write it down so that I will be able to share it with others who desire to use the same book.

Language Arts
All About Spelling Level 2 and 3
This program has been amazing for my youngest. He excels in spelling and enjoys his spelling quizzes. I see us knocking out Level 2 and Level 3 this year.

★Free Reading
★Book reports
★Reading response journal
I found this somewhere online. I can't remember where. But it allows your child to pick items from a list to note for their daily reading. Sometimes it's answering questions, sometimes drawing pictures. They have to pick a different one each day. It gets recorded in a composition notebook.

Pentime 3 (focused attention on cursive)
Love Pentime series for handwriting! 

Eclectic Foundations B
English On A Roll
This year our grammar will be a combination of two products we have reviewed this year. I have linked to each review so you can learn more about them. I like the simple method that each uses for teaching grammar and having the English on a Roll as a hands-on resource will help me expand the lessons from Eclectic Foundations even more.

Progeny Press: Bears on Hemlock Mountain (review product)
Poetry Memorization from Institute for Excellence in Writing
★Poetry Unit from Lightning Lit 2
★Book selections from the Early American History course
Literature this year is a hodge podge. We are currently working on a review from Progeny Press that is a literature unit. I imagine we will finish it before we start school, but I listed it anyways. I plan on going back to the Poetry course from IEW which we all loved. I also am going to use the poetry units from the Lightning Lit 2 course we reviewed earlier. I decided against using the whole curriculum itself--but I love the poetry units so I will be taking those out and using them as stand alone units. Our history course this year is also a literature based one, so the bulk of our literature will be piggybacking on that.

★Using in conjunction with the social studies/literature curriculum for writing assignments

Social Studies
Early American History: A Literature Approach for Primary Grades from Beautiful Feet
This is the big newbie for the year. I have always loved the idea of using literature to teach history, and I have looked on Beautiful Feet publishing for a couple years. My youngest truly relates best when he's at my side while we read, so I really think this year's history course is going to be our most favorite thing to do. The book list is fantastic. We should be able to use this course as our jump off point for other subjects. I'm pretty confident I will be able to incorporate history, geography, literature, and writing into this curriculum! It is also a 1 or 2 year curriculum depending on how you use it, so there is no pressure to finish it all this year either.

This year we will be doing a unit on the symbols of our nation as well as a review of the community helpers

Singapore Math 2B/3A
Life of Fred (Read my review of Life of Fred math series)
★Daily Math Practice
K5 Math
This is my youngest's most favorite subject, so don't freak out because I have us doing more than one thing. I am not joking when he asks to do more math every day. So this year I am locked and loaded!

Apologia-Chemistry and Physics
★Science Kits
We have a couple lessons of Astronomy to complete before we start our new book. The boys picked Chemistry/Physics for this year's science. My youngest will be working through the coordinating Junior Notebook.

Character Traits Studies
We are going to go back to using the FANTASTIC character studies course from Christian Homeschool Hub this year. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone desiring to give their children in depth teaching on character.
I really want to teach my youngest some music and I think I'm going to brave teaching him how to play the...recorder! LOL. Yes, the dreaded recorder. I have two of them and was given a couple books, so it's the perfect time and he's way more music minded than his brother. So we will see how it goes!

Sixth Grade Curriculum

The biggest challenge with me planning my 6th grade curriculum, was just making sure I had included more independent work. That is my major goal for this year. I want my oldest son to learn to take responsibility for completing his assignments each day. I have purchased him a planner (which I will share on Day 3) and I am hoping that it will help him achieve this. He is a reluctant learner, so I really had to pick things that I knew would match his interests, yet still have him work at the level I need him to be at this year. He himself picked one new thing for the year--foreign language!

★Veritas Bible (online subscription)
Alone with God Bible Study-Acts
Picking the bible related items is the easiest. Both boys love so we will continue it throughout school. I am also having my oldest continue in his Alone with God Bible Study workbook for the book of Acts. We reviewed it this year and both found it very well done.

Language Arts
Phonetic Zoo A/B
We are going to finish reviewing level A before we move forward with level B. This is the only spelling program that works for him. I am hoping for more retention this year. I appreciate that we can go to the next level without having to purchase more curriculum!

Student Writing Intensive A by Institute for Excellence in Writing
We will continue using this product. It was great to use last year, and he actually wrote a three page paper because of it! So I totally plan on working forward in the curriculum. I enjoy being the "helper" and not the teacher on this subject. Yay for DVD's! You can read the full review I did on this product for more information.

★Free reading
★Book reports
★Reading Response Journal
As I said earlier, this is a great way to take the normal books that he reads every day, and add an element of comprehension. I started it last year, but just didn't stay on top of it. This year, I'm determined to have him record in it all year long!

Fix It Grammar Book 2
We will be getting back to this book. We took a break from it to complete two Sentence Diagramming books, but I really want to go back to this program. It is top notch and he does really do well in it. You can read my full review on Fix it Grammar Book 1 for more information about how it works.

★Pentime 4 (cursive)
I won't lie. He strongly dislikes handwriting. But I find that it is worth pushing through the pain (LOL), because his writing is pretty atrocious. LOL

★Literature selections from the America the Beautiful course
Poetry Memorization from IEW
As I mentioned earlier, we are returning to poetry memorization this year. The boys do extremely well in it and studies have shown that learning passages for memory seriously assists long term memory skills. The literature books we are reading this year will be from the America the Beautiful history curriculum. There are 6 classic literature books in the curriculum that are read to go along with what is covered in the history. The curriculum offers comprehension questions and quizzes, making it a nice addition if you use it.

Social Studies
America the Beautiful by Notgrass
Daily Geography 6
We will be continuing to work through this history curriculum, but this year it is a core, so we will be moving it to 4 days a week and attempting to complete a lesson every 2 days. When done this way, it is easily a history, geography, and literature course. It is meant to be a one year course, but it's a FULLLLLLL course. I started last year, so we hope with our bulked up usage we can finish it this year.Additional geography will be just a simple daily short lesson from a consumable workbook. You can read my full review of the America the Beautiful curriculum for more information.

CTC Math (grade 5-6)
★Life of Fred (Fractions and Decimals)
Math is his least favorite subject. So I am hoping that we can mix these two together. I am going to help him with Fred as he got off track last year with it and gave it up. I'm hoping to get him with it again. As for CTC, he just does very well with online math. I am hoping to finish a few of the 5th grade math lessons and then shift to the 6th grade math course.

As I said before, we are going to finish up Astronomy and then will dive into the new book. I have the coordinating notebook for him to use. The boys voted together on the Chemistry/Physics selection, so we will see how they like it.

Extra Studies
*Foreign Language
Song School Spanish
This one was a surprise. I let my oldest add in any curriculum he wanted to our routine, and he requested the Spanish version of the Song School Latin we did a couple years ago. I am planning on doing it for him, but I imagine his little brother will be sitting in on the lessons as well. I hope it works. This will be the FOURTH Spanish course we have tried...LOL

*Character Traits Studies

And that's it! Now there is going to be some fluctuation in what we study as different review products come through our door, but it is easy to sub them in as I need to. The funny thing is that 80% of what we are doing this year came across my desk at one point or another because of being on the amazing Homeschool Review Crew! I am so grateful for that opportunity to find great products!

As I said earlier, this list is just a "best case scenario" plan! As with all the other years, I rarely finish with the same list I start with. That's just how it goes.

Join me tomorrow as we visit SCHOOL SUPPLIES for Day 2 of the 5 Days of Back to School Blog hop with the Homeschool Review Crew! Please make sure you visit some of the other bloggers participating this week. There are some AWESOME resources being shared--and I'm pretty sure there are even some freebies! Here are some blogs to get you started!

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