I knew that we needed a change in our curriculum this year. I previously wrote about how switching to Tapestry of Grace was working out well for our family, and for a year or so it was. Then all the lesson planning that was required each week really started becoming a burden, and I also had to tweak so many book suggestions. We are not a classical education family, and Tapestry of Grace is more of a classical style.
We also have used Notgrass History, which has been a blessing for the busy years when I just couldn’t be as involved as I would like. Mosiah read through all of the elementary/middle school books, and I wasn’t ready to move him on to high school level. I really wanted to give him a year of literature and spending a lot of time reading.
I finally decided we needed a change, and I found myself thinking about Heart of Dakota. The homeschooling mom who was tutoring Mosiah in math last year had been using it for years with her children, so I was able to chat with her about it which helped.
We had previously used Heart of Dakota and I loved the memories we had with it. I had gone through the Preparing guide with my children and loved reading the history to them. Then it became overwhelming to keep up, and I decided to set it aside until my children were a little older and could read all the books for themselves.
Mosiah is in 8th grade this year (where has the time gone?!), so we are going to be using the Mission to Modern Marvels guide. This goes through some of his favorite time periods in history, so he is pretty excited about the books he gets to read!
We are both pretty thrilled with the books he gets to read through this year! I don’t have every single book shown in the picture, but it gives you an idea.
History – For history he will be reading through parts of Story of the World, Volume 4, All American History Volume 2, Hero Tales, volume 2 and 3 (a must for anyone to read!), Great Events in American History, Book of Great American Speeches for Young People, and Great Events in American History.
He also will be doing a study of the Presidents this year, along with making a notebooking journal.
Bible Time – He is working through Faith at Work, which is a study of Romans, Galations and James. I’m thankful for how this walks him through step by step in his personal quiet time with God, and even gives instruction in prayer time. Sometimes it’s nice to have freedom in this area, but he is at the age where I think this will be very beneficial. He also will use the Apologia Who Am I? book, and Hymns for Kid’s Heart (so sweet!).
Science – I’ve changed things around several times on this child, but one thing that I’ve been very consistent with is having him use Apologia science every year. He loves science and has really enjoyed using Apologia. This year he is in the Exploring Creation with Physical science book for middle school and he can’t wait to dive in! Weather has always been his particular interest, so I think he will really enjoy this year.
I’m also having him read through the science books with Heart of Dakota, but not do any of the assignments for the sake of time.
Economics – He is reading Whatever Happened to Penny Candy and Common Business Sense for Kids, and doing assignments with those books. The stocks interest him (he loves looking at them each day on my phone), so I’m thinking he will really enjoy this.
Math – Teaching Textbooks is what we will be continuing, as so far it’s been the best fit for him. I anticipate us needing to use a math tutor again in the future, but for now he is doing great.
Literature – Heart of Dakota has 14 books selected for his literature, some of them include Factory Girl, War Horse, Candy Bomber, I Am David, and Mama’s Bank Account. He loves to read, so this should be a highlight of his day!
Grammar – This is one area we are not strong in (and it’s all my fault!). We will be doing a combination of Rod and Staff Grammar (fingers crossed that we can make it through), and we are also trying The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts this year for the first time. I just discovered this curriculum and I’m in love! It combines art appreciation, spelling, grammar, geography, vocabulary and reading!
I actually decided to put the three oldest together in level 3. They don’t go by grade level, just by skill. It covers a good foundation of grammar. The other parts of it will be easy for him, but he should be able to get through it quickly because of that.
If you are new to The Good and The Beautiful, they offer free downloads of their Language Arts curriculum! I purchased the physical copies because it wasn’t terribly expensive, but if your budget is super tight you can try the download!
Music – He will continue taking cello lessons, he is in the Suzuki cello book 3 and he also plays in an orchestra in the fall and spring.
Handwriting – I grabbed the handwriting book from The Good and The Beautiful, level 5 for him to work through. It’s sweet and simple, and focuses on cursive.
Nature Journaling – Heart of Dakota requires him to nature journal this year, but I also grabbed every child a nature journal through The Good and The Beautiful. We will use those on Fridays. I like how it breaks up the journaling by season, and also tells them what to look for.
That is pretty much everything we are doing, along with lots and lots of free reading when school is over!
I’m thankful for all the amazing curriculum choices we have to pick from! When my mom started homeschooling us in the 1980’s, the only options she knew about was Abeka. Things have certainly changed! It can get overwhelming, especially attending a curriculum fair, but choices excite me so I appreciate it. 🙂