Our curriculum plans and link to more

Not Back to School Blog Hop

The new year!
We have a couple weeks yet before we begin. August 22 is our official start date at this point, but at least we know where we are headed.

I made myself a master list like the following but just with the generic subjects listed and then a box for each day of the week. Then I won’t forget what they should be doing each day. And, I can use it to record their grades for each assignment in each subject which will make record keeping so much easier.

In the past I would pull out their individual notebooks and pull their grades off the top of each graded assignment. Now, I will just record it all onto my master sheet throughout the week and just have one paper of info to put into the computer on the weekend. That will make my weekend job a 15 minute one rather than an hour long one.

Lots of the same. We know what works for us and what we love, but some new stuff, too. Of course, since we don’t really follow the regular school calendar, many of these books and subjects they are already in the midst of.

I am streamlining a bit this year and doing history all together. Obviously their homework and their interaction with the material will be quite different over the 8 year age span, but we will all be in the same time period and it will tie into our Bible time as well. Science for all 2-8th will be the same as well. My 8th grader already finished Physical science and General Science so she gets to have fun with us this year as she isn’t really ready for high school science yet.

I am mixing up grammar this year. We love Rod & Staff, but it gets a little repetitive year after year. So, I am going to switch every other year and pepper in Shurley and Easy Grammar. We gave both of these an introductory run during our summer school and they seem to fill the need well.

High School continues to stretch us, but mostly in a good way. This year we will tackle Spanish and Advanced Mathematics (including pre-calc) together.

Nathan — 2nd grade
First Language Lessons (mostly oral)
Saxon Math 3 (already half way through)
Handwriting without tears — big focus!! Trying to improve his pencil grip and penmanship this year
All About Spelling level 3 (almost done)
Truth quest History (Beginnings — ties into Bible)
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE — baseball, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Brooke – 3rd grade
Rod & Staff English 3 (half way through)
Saxon Math 5/4 (half way through)
All About Spelling level 3 (almost done)
Truth quest History
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
A Reason for Handwriting T (half way through)
PE — soccer, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Faith – 6th grade
Easy Grammar Level 1
Saxon Math 8/7 (half way through)
All About Spelling level 4
Truth quest History
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE — soccer, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Paige – 8th grade
Shurley English 7
Algebra 1 (half way through)
Puppetry (Co-op)
IEW Level B (Co-op, I’m teaching)
All About Spelling level 4
Truth quest History
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE — soccer, gym and swim
Blake – 10th grade
Apologia Chemistry (Co-op)
PE — baseball, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Spanish 1
Advance Mathematics (Saxon)
IEW Level C (Co-op, I’m teaching)
Truth quest History
Full days, but wonderfully full. I look forward to another year of exploring life and our amazing world with my kids. In between it all we continue to enjoy the antics of a two year old who breathes new life into everything. Thankful to God for another opportunity to live life in the midst of my family each day.

TOS Crew Review — Positive Action for Christ

A few years back I made a conscious decision to incorporate a Bible time into our school day. With many reasons for homeschooling my kids, one of them is to give them a solid grounding in their Christian faith and a clear understanding of how it should impact their daily living. Having this as a priority in our day has really made a difference, and it also keeps me on the lookout for ideas to keep this time fresh.

We received a 6th grade curriculum from Positive Action for Christ which included both a teacher’s manual and a student workbook. These became our Bible time for the last month and we have enjoyed many aspects of these materials.

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Product: Positive Action for Christ

Details: A Bible study curriculum that includes a teacher guide and student workbook to direct a time of study in God’s Word.

Price: Teacher’s Manual — $33.95; Student book — $12.95 (or $10.95 each if buying 5 or more)

What we loved . . .

  • Progressive. The great advantage to purchasing a Bible curriculum is that it will have a flow to it. They have taken the time to lay out the material and make sure that topics are covered and build on each other and that the material is age appropriate. Winning the Race is designed for 6th graders that have been in the program before, but we had no trouble picking up where it was. If your child has a familiarity with key Bible stories and doctrines he should have no trouble jumping in at whatever grade level he is at. There was one reference to “as we learned last year,” but it was something all of my kids were familiar with as well.
  • A great beginning. These curriculum books came about as one Sunday School teacher shared what he had created and it simply caught on. People knew a good thing when they saw it, and nearly 40 years have gone by since those early days of what became Positive Action for Christ.
  • Doctrinally sound. It is of course important to me that the Bible curriculum that we use lines up with our doctrinal beliefs. You can take a look at this company’s history and doctrinal statement to see if they match up with yours as well.
  • Engaging. Even though many of my kids do not enjoy actually writing in workbooks, they do enjoy having something in their hands to look at while I teach or read. They took turns with the student book that we had and followed along as we discussed various Scripture references and character qualities.
  • Adaptable. Although we received the book for 6th grade I found it easily adaptable to a wider age range. My 1, 4, and 6 grader definitely gleaned some good information from our time together. It was of course a little young for my 8th grader, but still workable and still prompted some good conversations.
  • Variety. Not just a typical Bible lesson, these units brought up character traits, key verses, life principles, vocabulary, and other activities and teaching strategies.

Some considerations . . .

  • Maybe a little too broad. As each lesson covers memory verses, vocabulary, character, key verses, Bible characters, doctrine, application, and Bible study it was sometimes hard to see how some of the different components fit together. Sometimes I felt like I was stretching a bit to find the link between the key verse and the main Scripture passage. The week did end up being tied together, but not always as naturally as I was hoping, and the memory verses still seemed unrelated, although we did enjoy memorizing part of the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Not really enough material for 5 days.  Although it is marketed as a daily Bible lesson for 35 weeks, 3-5 days a week, we did not really find enough to keep us busy each day of the week and we ended up going through the lessons in about 3 days and then just moving on to the next one. This might work well if this is a subject that you only teach a few days a week, or if you have other plans for when you finish the book.
  • More variety in songs would have been nice. I really appreciate that they chose to include hymns in their study. However, when we study a hymn we like to sing it each day that we study it and they only have a new song every 4 weeks. We got a little tired of the same song and moved on much sooner than that.

Positive Action for Christ has put together a quality product with a lot of thought and information. They would probably work well for a student that loves workbooks and discussion. If you are looking for a

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge through Positive Action for Christ as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.