I previously shared on the blog what we are doing for 8th grade this year, but decided to just combine all the other children into one post for the sake of time.
I’m quickly realizing what a busy year we have, when you choose anything outside of a normal textbook approach it definitely requires more of mom. I just love living books so much, and want my children to experience as many books as they can while they are still in school.
Israel – Sixth Grade Curriculum
For Sixth grade I have Israel in Heart of Dakota, in the Resurrection to Reformation Guide. I can’t say he absolutely loves it, because there is more writing involved in the guide than he realized. But overall he loves the books he is reading, he just hates assigned writing of any kind. Even though he loves to write his own stories and wants to write little books all the time.
In that guide we are using books like Peril and Peace, The Story of the Middle Ages, Monks and Mystics, Famous Men of the Middle Ages, Mystery of History Volume 3, and more!
Israel has gone through two Apologia science books a school year for the past several years. We tend to do science almost every day, so we get through a science book in a semester. I can’t keep that schedule up if I’m reading it aloud to everyone, but when they get old enough to read it for themselves they like doing science.
This year he is going through the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology book, and so far he loves it! He made a human cell out of jello and lots of candy, what child wouldn’t like that? 🙂
He is using Teaching Textbooks grade 6th for math. Israel is not fond of math, but so far Teaching Textbooks has been the best fit for him.
We are using The Good and The Beautiful for our language arts program this year. I’m in love so far. I had the lofty goal to double up, and have my older children use Rod and Staff and The Good and The Beautiful, but I knew my boys hated Rod and Staff grammar. The older children and I do grammar together and so far it’s working out great!
Israel is also using the IEW Medieval writing program that Heart of Dakota calls for.
Heart of Dakota has some great history books assigned for literature. Some that he will read are Forbidden Gates (he is currently reading this and loves it!!), Mystery of the Silver Coin, Illustrated book of Knights, Morning Star of the Reformation, Ink on His Finger, Leonardo DaVinci, Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation, Good Queen Bess, The Legend of Squanto audio, and more!
He is using the book Hidden Treasures in Philippians and going through the book of Philippians for the year. He is also memorizing verses as he goes, which I love!
Other books are Boyhood and Beyond, and tackling the topic of becoming a man and the changes in his body. Should this be the time that I throw out that we are just now getting into all the details with our 13 year old son? We are going to talk to them together this year, and use the book From Boy to Men, What is God’s Design for My Body? and also using the book The Talk, 7 Lessons To Introduce Your Child To Biblical Sexuality. We have had this book for a year or two and I think it will be really good to use.
We are using The Good and The Beautiful Handwriting. It’s simple and sweet.
We will continue using the Character Badges program to focus on building good habits such as kindness, respectfulness, diligence, tidiness, etc. Israel loves using this program that Sean created!
Israel is taking piano lessons this year. He is not as musically inclined as some of my other children, but I want him to have some basic skills in piano, which he seems to like.
Carrianna – 4th Grade Curriculum
Carrianna is using the Heart of Dakota Preparing Hearts For His Glory Guide. This is the one guide that I did with the boys, and she did listen in on that but it was years ago. I’m giving myself a lot of grace with her guide. There are several things that say to do together, but I’m just having her read the book and then we talk about it…or not. It just depends on the day!
She will be using A Child’s History of the World (such a controversial book, but we skip the first few chapters and then we really like this book!), Grandpa’s Box, Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption, Life in The Great Ice Age, and Hero Tales, Volume one.
I’m having her read the Apologia Flying Creatures of the First Day, and read it out loud to Olivia who is in 2nd grade, and Deborah who is in Kindergarten. I normally don’t worry about science at all in Kindergarten, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt for her to sit and listen. Carrianna is the only one using the Notebook that goes with the book, and she adores it!
We used Horizons for the first two years and then switched to Teaching Textbooks. Sometimes I wish I would have kept her in Horizons, but she really wanted to do Teaching Textbooks since her older brothers were. At least it’s one less thing I have to worry about and grade.
As I shared above, we are using The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts. Carrianna adores grammar, writing, vocabulary, really anything to do with words and writing. It still shocks me when she gets excited to do vocabulary because I’ve listened to the boys groan about vocabulary for years now. So funny how different each child is!
Besides all the free reading that she does, Heart of Dakota has some great books assigned. Some of the books she will read are The True Story of Noah’s Ark, Tizrah, Classic Treasury of Aesop’s Fables, Triumph for Flavius, Fountain of Life, Raiders of the Sea, Door in the wall, The Wonderful Winter, The Family under the Bridge, and Twenty and Ten.
Bible Time – This is written in the guide, so she doesn’t have a specific book she is working through.
Carrianna is also using the Character Badges charts, and will continue that this year.
Carrianna takes violin and piano lessons. She is in Suzuki book 3 in violin, and I look forward to seeing how she does this year!
Olivia – 2nd Grade Curriculum
I keep things more simple for 2nd grade. We still focus more heavily on learning math and reading, but I do start to add some other subjects in if I can.
I had planned to use a Heart of Dakota guide with her, but right now I’m not starting it. We are having long days trying to fit everything in, so I’m keeping it simple and using The Good and The Beautiful history curriculum. We are doing history twice a week, and I’m reading it to all the girls together. So far I really like it.
As shared above, Carrianna is reading Flying Creatures of The First Day to Olivia. I don’t have Olivia using a notebook in 2nd grade, so she just listens. She also has a Nature Journal (along with all the older children) that we will use each Friday.
She is using the Horizons 2nd grade book. I really like using Horizons for the younger grades. Math is not Olivia’s favorite subject, but she does fine with it.
I’m not big on doing grammar in the younger years, but at some point this year we will add in The Good and The Beautiful and see how it goes.
For reading we are in the middle of All About Reading Level 1. Taking a break over the summer was the best thing, because now that we are back at it she is doing better. I still prefer All About Reading for how easy it is teach (everything the teacher is supposed to say is written in the book) and so far it’s helped my children be really good readers. I’m hoping Olivia really takes off here soon.
She is using The Good and The Beautiful Handwriting. Looking back I wish I would have just purchased the PDF version of this, as it’s simple black and white photos and would have printed off easily to use with the younger children when they get old enough. Just passing this along for other large families.
Deborah – Kindergarten
I’ve written a blog post on how to keep a balanced approach to the Pre-School and Kindergarten years. I try to keep it simple, but Deborah has really wanted to feel like she is doing school with the bigger children, so I’ve put together some workbooks that she likes.
For reading practice, we are still just learning sounds, and are using the Pre-K level in The Good and The Beautiful. It’s pretty easy and I can see us getting through it in a few months, and we will move on to either the next level, or something else to keep getting the letter sounds learned.
I also grabbed a Kindergarten Essentials book for her to work through. It’s busy work to me, but she loves it.
She knows her numbers but needs more help in writing them, so I got her the Rod and Staff Counting with Numbers book for writing help. It’s already really helping, so we will use that book and then start Horizon’s Kindergarten math book.
We are using The Good and The Beautiful Level 1 book.
Deborah uses Character Badges and loves earning her coins with the program!
And that’s it! She joins us for morning devotions before school starts. Don’t ask me what my plan is for that because I don’t have a good plan right now. Sometimes we just read through the Proverbs of the day. I purchased the family Bible Study from Heidi St. John but it’s still packed up, so I haven’t started it yet.
Sophia – Two Year Old Play Time
I have never said my two year old was in preschool before, and I’m not going to start now but Sophia is definitely doing some early preschool type learning. She is quite different then our other children were at two! Sean heard her walking around the house counting from 1-12 correctly to herself!
She likes to sit and use counting bears and match up the bears to the correct color cup. She does a great job with that! She also loves to build with duplo blocks, and use the Lauri stacking pegs. She also likes number manipulatives, play dough, and watching Preschool Prep videos. I’m going to start some ABC flash cards with her to see how she does. I would love to start the Preschool Heart of Dakota guide with her, but I’m not sure I can fit it in my day!
And that’s about it! This is one of the longest posts I’ve written in awhile, so hopefully you made it all the way through. 🙂
I would love to know what curriculum you are using this year! Drop me a comment and let me know!