Posts Tagged ‘Curriculum’

Our curriculum plans and link to more

August 6th, 2012

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.

Six Flags Home School Day

July 18th, 2012
From their website:
Six Flags hosts the 17th annual Home School Day event on August 27. Enjoy a fun filled day at the park with your family and friends. A special all-you-can-eat Home School Day picnic is also available in our private picnic grove. Contact for additional information.

Make Six Flags Great America your outdoor learning lab. We offer teachers and students curriculum guides to make the day an educational experience. Learn More about our Educational Tools.

More details from a mailing I received:
When: Monday, August 27, 2012, 10-6 are the regular park hours. 6-8 is exclusive ride time for those that purchase the Home School Day ticket, good on certain rides. Hurricane Harbor is closed by this point in the season.
Where: Six Flags Great America
1 Great America Parkway
Gurnee, IL 60031
Located on I-94 at Route 132 (Grand Ave.)
Cost: Kids 2 and under are free.
Everyone else — $28 each with promocode HOMESCHOOL
Also, if you are coordinating for your group you can earn one free ticket per 20 purchased.
Parking — $20
Picnic Grove Meal — $11.50 each (available from 4-5pm
Processing Fee — $10
Tickets must be ordered in advance
If you have questions or need more info  call: 847-249-1952 or email

Used curriculum sale

July 9th, 2012

Book sale coming!

If you think you missed them all, think again, one of the best in the area takes place in July, this year on the 28th.

The Johnsburg Library’s Homeschool Resource Center is once again hosting their book sale and open house.

Book sale

May 16th, 2012

Scholastic - Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life

While you will find lots of used curriculum sales in the area this time of year, you might also enjoy adding some new books to your shelves. The Scholastic Warehouse Sale is in full swing, but will be wrapping up soon. Depending on where you are your nearest one is closing the 17th or the 24th, so time is running out.

These sales offer you some great deals on those books that traditionally schooled kids get through those little book flyers that go home on a regular basis from the classroom teacher. In these warehouse sales you get to walk the aisles of their store room and find some great deals. If you are going, be sure to register online and print a coupon before heading out. They have lots of great deals to tuck away for birthday or Christmas gifts, or to simply breathe some new life into your homeschool bookshelf.

Check out all the details at the Scholastic website.

Product review: Spanish for You!

May 14th, 2012


I can’t tell you how many foreign language products I have used temporarily over the years. A workbook here, an old cassette tape there, a full program, an online resource. I’ve tried a lot! Some highly recommended, some just cheap alternatives.

The reason I have tried so many is because I really want to learn Spanish and teach my kids to speak Spanish, but I can’t do it on my own. Foreign language is not a skill you can pick up casually. I need to have a curriculum to help me in this area. So, when Debbie Annett approached me about her brand new curriculum, still in the works at the time, I could not resist.

She comes with years of experience in Spanish and teaching in the homeschool community in particular. She has created her curriculum with homeschoolers specifically in mind. I find this a huge benefit as you are not trying to tailor a program geared toward a traditional classroom or the business traveler (the two main targets of language programs, it seems). She made this for you to use at home with your children, or possibly in a co-op setting.

Product: Spanish for You!

Details: (excerpts from their site) Spanish for You! is a flexible, unique self-study curriculum for grades 3 through 8 that establishes the foundations for learning Spanish with just a short lesson each day. The set includes the Spanish for You! Estaciones Book (teaching the seasons — another set teaching fiestas should be out summer of 2012), 24-27 Week Lesson Guides for grades 3-8 (PDF), Self-Checking Worksheets for grades 3-8 (PDF), and Audio Download of entire book (MP3 format)

Cost: $65 for the whole set

Some of what we liked:
- The diversity of target ages. This is an all in one curriculum that someone with minimal Spanish knowledge could pick up and use with all of their school age kids. Even though the target range starts with 3rd grade, my 1st and 2nd graders were right in there picking up basic vocabulary as well. (I think 3rd grade is a good starting place, I just generally include all of my kids when teaching if possible).
- Abundance of materials. Worksheets, audio files, teacher’s guide, lesson plans, activity ideas, visuals, pronunciation guides, etc. This program is well fleshed out with lots of built in resources. The lessons include pictures in the book, audio files to hear the vocabulary properly pronounced, worksheets for individuals to do on their own, activities to do together, and ideas for review and further teaching.
- Lots of built in review. Without becoming redundant, the lessons review, reteach, and repeat the words the kids need to learn. They do not get bored since it is always presented in a new way and language study is such an interactive discipline that everyone stays involved and learning. The lessons are also on the shorter side so they won’t take up a lot of your day, but they will get the job done efficiently.
- The audio is at a great pace for learning. It is not rushed through. The words are clear and  easy to understand. I do like my kids to hear a more conversational (fast!) pace as they get more comfortable, but for beginners this is a non-intimidating step into the language. Anyone can learn these words with Mrs. Annett’s gentle teaching.
- Adaptable and reasonable time commitment. This program is a gentle introduction to Spanish for younger kids, and a more focused beginners’ course for older kids. While foreign language is better done frequently throughout each day (the lesson plans are mapped out for use 4 days each week), you could easily condense the lessons to 2 times each week, and then try to pepper it in throughout the day as well. You will find you are both quickly learning a new language.

Some considerations for potential buyers
- While the curriculum is for multiple grades, it teaches the grades differently. So, beyond the first few days, you would likely go through the material more quickly and to greater depth and mastery with older kids, so you wouldn’t actually teach the class the same way to a 3rd grader and an 8th grader. Just take that into consideration when determining how much time is needed to teach each lesson. Review could still be done together, and kids of different ages could study together, but the teaching times would most likely be separate, or at least branch off after starting together.
- Some of the audio, especially early on, seems to be a little light on the Spanish accent. I think especially of “calendario” and “martes” among others in the first lesson. Later lessons do not have this issue, but as students get used to pronouncing these foreign words, they might notice that some sounded a little American at first. This actually seems like another way to gently transition kids into the Spanish language.  You might want to be aware of it, and even point it out, but also be sure to encourage a stronger accent along with the audios as you and your students gain confidence in your new found language.
This curriculum is very user friendly and can be used by someone comfortable with Spanish or someone who really needs a solid Spanish teacher to rely on. You can do this! As a poster in my high school classroom said, “Stamp out foreign languages — learn one!” This program will start you on the road to doing just that.

Disclaimer: This product was given to me in exchange for my personal,  honest review.

Used Curriculum Sale

May 14th, 2012
christian homeschool advocacy, resources, inspiration & support

CHARIS (formerly Kane County Christian Homeschoolers) is having their annual used curriculum sale this week.

I have been to their sale in the past and it is usually pretty well attended and has a decent variety of materials available for purchase. If you’re a used curriculum sale addict like me, you won’t miss it. :)

What: The Used Curriculum Sale

When: Friday, May 18 from 9-11:00 am

Where: Sugar Grove Community Center. 141 S. Main St. Sugar Grove.

Used Curriculum Sale in Elk Grove

April 22nd, 2012

Another book sale coming up this week:

The big event of the year!!! Our annual used (and some new) curriculum sale!

Tuesday, April 24
Elk Grove Village Library (google for directions)

We have a full house planned.
This promises to be one of our largest curriculum sales in years. Lots to choose
from!! Bring cash in SMALL denominations to make purchases. Doors open at
7:00pm. Admission is free!

Beacon is a Christian support group for parents who home educate their children.
Our membership is open to any home schooling family for support. Our vision is
to help homeschool families achieve their vision. What we offer is a DREAM -
Discussion, Resources, Education, Activities, Mentoring.

Used Homeschool Curriculum sale

February 22nd, 2012

One of my favorite times of year — Homeschool book sale time!

This is one of the more popular ones coming in May. If you want to sell be sure to get there early to set up and get the best spots.

When: Saturday May 5, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Where: Christian Liberty Academy
502 West Euclid Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60004


Come, join us! Bring your own used books to sell and buy new or used books
for the next school year. This event offers a wide variety of books at
bargain prices. Plus Christian Liberty Press will be selling new books at
25% off. There will be books by other publishers available for purchase,
but will not be discounted.

There will be a limited number of tables available on a first come first
served basis. However, you are welcome to bring your own table. Registering
will not guarantee you will get a table. It is simply to guarantee that you
will get another invitation next year and for us to know how many are

Please feel free to share this event with your friends.

The doors will be opened at 7:00 a.m. for set up.

***Just a note: the email I got said 7:00, the site it links to says 7:30, so not sure which is correct. If anyone knows, please feel free to comment or email me.*** ~Thank you!

Pass it around and come ready to shop!

InHome Conference coming soon

February 21st, 2012

If you are looking for a Chicago area homeschool convention, this is the first of many to come this year. Find more information and registration info on their website:

Online registration is now open for the 2012 InHome Conference!

You are invited to participate in a truly unique experience that embraces the non-sectarian homeschooling community. The 15th InHome Conference is scheduled for March 15th to 17th, 2012, at the luxurious Pheasant Run Resort and Spa in St. Charles, Illinois.

Whether you’ve been homeschooling for years or are just starting out, you do not want to miss this event! This year’s InHome Conference features new workshops, along with popular ones from the past, for all ages. Children will love the wide variety of interests that will be explored from theatre to nature to LEGOs (and much more). Teens will enjoy reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Adults will appreciate the learning seminars, the sharing of information, and the support as they engage with other like-minded homeschooling parents.

This year, Ac•Rock will bring a rockin’ opening to the conference. Performing everyone’s favorite classic rock hits, this a cappella quartet sings the doo-wop standards audiences expect and more recent rock hits you might not expect to be performed by an a cappella group. Their shows are an engaging mix of tightly-crafted music and freewheeling humor that appeals to audiences of all ages.

And don’t miss out on all the other “extras”. From the opening night Meet & Greet to dancing the night away with both a family and teen dance to watching the kids strut their stuff in the talent shows, there is fun to be had by everyone.

Don’t delay, log in and go to the registration link today to sign up for the best homeschooling conference in the Midwest!

Remember to bookmark InHome Conference | Illinois Non-Sectarian Homeschooling Options for a Meaningful Education at as a favorite so you may check in periodically for the latest news. Also, join our Yahoo Group and find us on Facebook.

Don’t forget to make your hotel reservations at content

Veritas Press free gift card

February 1st, 2012

Veritas Press makes some absolutely amazing stuff and here is an opportunity to get it at a discount.

Every person that signs up with them (email only required), will receive a $5 gift card to use toward their curriculum purchase. Then, share the link they give you with your friends and you will get an additional $5 for each person that signs up through your link. So, this is a way to help us both out! Pleas sign up using the link below and we will both be on our way to some $$ off our next Veritas Press purchase.

Thank you, and enjoy!

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