Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 ~ 2016 Curriculum

The girls will be in 8th and 10th grade this year.  Planning has become so much different as we know what works for us and what does not and the girls have become more and more involved in what they want to learn, setting goals for themselves and selecting resources.

Language Arts

A few of my friends have formed an Artist's Way Circle and asked me to join.  In looking into it, I thought it might be something the girls would benefit from as well.  I don't know if they are blocked, but I do think they probably have some fears and hesitations about their work that this program may help them with.  I really like that the program looks at creativity as God's work.  We listened to the audiobook in the car on several road trips this summer and the girls have decided they are interested.  So, this fall, we will embark on the Artist's Way journey.  No grading, no judging.  I am just going to make sure they do the work and the rest is personal for them.  It is liberating in a way for all of us to trust the universe that this is the right path.

We usually take a few weeks off around the holidays, when we get back down to it, we will start Writing Strands 5.  Writing Strands is one of those programs that works for us.  The girls like that they get to be creative with the assignments and I like how their writing grows and develops with this program.

We have always studied Latin and Greek roots for words.  As Allie contemplates the PSAT and the SAT (not sure whether or not she will take it, as she is planning to do her first two years of college at community college and she won't need to take the SAT to get in), I am aware that continuing a study of Latin and Greek roots will benefit her.  We will complete Level 1 of Word Up and review with Critical Thinking Company's Word Roots.  Allie also has an SAT Word a Day App on her phone, she share the word with us every morning and we all try to use it throughout the day.  We will also use Think Analogies and Mind Benders, both are good for test prep or just deductive reasoning and critical thinking.

Compass Classroom Word Up Lessons 5-10
Word Roots
SAT Prep Words App 

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - read in July (went to play at the beach)
  • The Crucible - read in August (trip planned to Salem early September)
  • Allie is running a Teen Book Club at e3 with a friend, reading those books and prepping discussion will count as part of her literature grade; Piper is required to read the books and participate in the discussion (So far, she and a friend have chosen The OutsidersTo Kill a MockingbirdLife As We Knew It and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  Allie has learned SO MUCH already just attending planning meetings for this teen-led group in terms of differing opinions and strong personalities.


Dark Ages Project - research topics, write paragraphs, correct MLA format for resources
Renaissance Project - research topics, write paragraphs, correct MLA format for resources
Early Modern Times Project - research topics, write paragraphs, correct MLA format for resources

**I created our research based projects last spring for history and they worked well, so we are going to continue that this year.  I have found a few movies and documentaries to go with the topics.  


We have used lapbooks from CurrClick for different topics we wanted to learn about and the girls really enjoyed them, found them interesting and liked the creative aspect of working with them.  They would prefer to use lapbooks over textbooks.  We may combine the lapbooks with additional research at the library and some experiments and field trips.  I am, however, concerned that this may not be high school level work and if I feel we need a little extra, I may bring in the free books from CK-12 for additional work.
CK-12 Earth Science for High School 
CK-12 Earth Science for High School Workbook
CK-12 Earth Science Concepts for High School interactive games and activities app


Complete Key to Algebra - Allie 
(still undecided if we will go back to Teaching Textbooks because I like the scaffolding/spiral approach and review or if we will try Key to Geometry when she finishes Key to Algebra as she finds the Key to books easier to understand.)

Complete Key to Fractions, Key to Decimals, Key to Percents - Piper
(again not sure if we will go back to Teaching Textbooks for the review or just continue with the Key to series as both girls find the Key to series easier to understand for new concepts, but the review may be helpful)

Foreign Language

Rosetta Stone Italian Levels 2 & 3

Film Study 

a continuation of what we did last year; we may see if we can get a group of friends together to watch movies every other week like we did with Art/Writing Club last year.  We just have to see how much time we have and if our friends' are free when we are.

Cooking & Baking

The girls each make dinner at least once a week.  They use pinterest to pin recipes or our collection of cookbooks.  They get credit hours for each new recipe they try.  Allie also loves to bake and we only bake from scratch, so she gets credit for that as well.


Teen led group on Wednesdays.  Both girls attend and LOVE it.  Allie has volunteered to lead the book discussion with a friend.  It has been a learning experience already and she has not even started leading yet!  In addition to book discussion, there will be skills (kind of like shop class), performing arts, music appreciation, mock trial and art.  All lead by kids.  Based on North Star.

Personal Finance

I have a few ideas for this, not sure what is going to work yet...

Ski Club

Allie has found a sport that she LOVES.  She has been talking about skiing every single day since the last time she was on the slopes.  She dreams about it.  She LOVES it.  She CAN NOT WAIT for ski season!


Both girls will continue to volunteer at the library on Mondays.

DogWalking and Babysitting

The girls will also continue their jobs.