Our Classical Curriculum 2015-2016

Skills curriculum is not something that lights a fire under my kids. An explosive science project — yes. The nuances of spiral versus mastery math? Not so much.

You guys, on the other hand, have been hinting madly (I get emails, lots of emails.) that you want to know exactly what we’re using for curriculum this year.

Unlike the kids, I happen to geek out over that kind of thing too. Here’s the lowdown on our choices this year.

Curriculum Picks 2015-2016 Kindergarten

Our curriculum is broken into three sections:

Our Morning Time — More details (read: an entire post) coming on that soon. Until you can see our philosophy on it in this Morning Time post.

Our Scholé Group — This is our classical co-op we started three years ago. We are still going strong. A few things have changed since that original post, one of the biggest being our affiliation with Scholé Groups from Classical Academic Press.

Our Table Work — That is what this post is about — all the table work I do with the kids each day on skill subjects. Honestly there isn’t much new and exciting with what we do here. We found curriculum we liked years ago and keep plugging away with it. Here are our choices, though.

Olivia, Age 10

MathUSee Delta — Technically she is reviewing multiplication tables right now because her lack of fluency was slowing her down big time. She is about halfway through with great improvement. I am hoping to have her back on track in the math book before September’s end.

Right now she does a MUS worksheet each day (for one set of facts), the online drill for that problem set, and a review online drill of all the ones she has learned. She must complete the online drill and get all 20 problems correct in under 120 seconds to move to the next set.

Reflex Math

Language Arts Loop 1 – One day All About Spelling 3 and the next Prescripts American History Sentences

IEW All Things Fun and Fascinating – We do this class at co-op. She is doing great with it this year, working so much more independently than last year.

Song School Latin 2 – This gentle introduction to Latin grammar (and all the fun vocabulary) is just what Olivia needs.

Language Arts Loop 2 (one day read a chapter, one day activity)

Literature – The Courage of Sarah Noble is her current literature selection. After she is done, she will choose another book from The Arrow reading list. Right now we read and discuss the selection with occasional narration activities like these.

Curriculum Picks 2015-2016 K, 3rd, 5th

John, Age 8

MathUSee Gamma – I think he is going to appreciate multiplication much more than all the multiple digit addition and subtraction from last year.

Reflex Math – We got this through the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. Always working on fluency.

All About Reading 2 – We are such fans! I am seeing good progress.

Language Arts Loop –  One day All About Spelling 1 and the next PAL Writing. John is doing level 2 minus the copywork. We are going over some writing conventions and ideas like strong verbs and adjectives. Soon he will start his ABC who/which project.

Song School Latin 1 – He has a harder time with vocabulary than his sister does. We are slowing down to cement memorization of the words.

Classical Copywork – We are using the elementary level poetry book. I like the content and the size of the lines.  I had this printed and spiral bound across the top at my local copy shop.

Curriculum Picks 2015-2016 Kindergarten

Thomas – Age 5 (Kindergarten!!)

All About Reading Pre-level – We are about halfway through this from last year and moving right along. I love the ease and the prereading activities. Thomas loves the zebra puppet. It’s a win-win.

MathUSee Primer – This one is pretty easy for him. We are skipping right through only slowing down when he doesn’t understand something. I already have Alpha on the shelf and waiting.

PAL Writing – Thomas is doing level 1 which teaches how to form the letters. I love the fact that they start with boxes instead of lines and each letter has a story that helps him remember the sound it makes.

Reflex Math

Our Schedule

Basically on Tuesday we go to our Scholé Group. There, among other classes, we get new memory work every two weeks. Olivia often has writing and science homework from that as well.

Each Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings we start the day with Morning Time which lasts for about an hour. After that we move into our Table Work. If we get started early enough almost everyone is done with that by lunch time. Olivia sometimes has a little left over in the afternoon.

In the afternoon we listen to an audiobook as a family and then go on to activities like piano, karate, dance, choir, and religious ed.

It is just the perfect amount for us. The focus is on skills and truth, goodness, and beauty in Morning Time with the subjects that we cover in our community — science, history, fine arts, memory work, handicrafts, and nature study being the icing on our cake.

How about you? Do you have a homeschool curriculum you love?

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  • Mrs.Momof7 says:

    We homeschool 6 children in the Classical Schole method. I found your post interesting because you function in a similar way to us.
    We have Morning Time, for focusing on virtue, memory work, and music which our family uses to bless others (my children love to sing, so we memorize music to share both spontaneously and in planned events.)
    Table Time: We use Abeka for math (4th, 3rd, K5) and language arts (3rd, K5, PK), I have found that I have too many kids under 9 to handle anything more intense. We use the LA program loosely, and the math program more strictly, but hit both subjects each and every school day. We also have Latin, for which we prefer Memoria Press’s “Form” series, currently we only have a student in 3rd form and three students in Prima Latina.
    Afternoon Schole: Where I read to them history, science and literature pieces, randomly, with a very loose guide from Tapestry of Grace, Year 2 and Apologia’s Swimming Creatures. Or we work on a handicraft, currently I have kids learning embroidery, knitting, and crochet, and simple hand sewing.
    I have one more aspect to our school, and it is Media Time: wherein we utilize YouTube playlists to help with grammar and math fact memorization, and to help my very small people with “Circle Time” like songs, season songs, and such… We might also have time for audio books, spelling practice (www.homespellingwords.com), math games, and Latin flashcards during Media.

    On top of this I have a student in high school, who is extremely independent. He takes: Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Rhetoric History with Honors, Church History and Literature, Apologia’s Biology, Honors Geometry, Spanish 2, Third Form Latin, Memoria Press’s Classical Composition series, Traditional Logic 1, Basketball, Music Appreciation and Performance, and Art History (a bit). Whew, he is full up! He helps me teach the Latin to the younger crowd, and grade elementary papers too!

    *In case it isn’t clear this is the break down on the ages n stages: 12yo- 9th grade, 9yo- 4th/3rd, 8yo- 3rd, 6yo- 3rd, 4yo- K5, <3yo- PK. (and a baby for good measure!)

    I hope to start a Schole group one day…

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Your day sounds awesome! We love our Scholé Group. Be sure to check out that website.

  • Katie says:

    Where do you find your memory work that you mention?

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Katie – It is a combo of memory work from CC and a program called Classically Catholic Memory.

  • Elizabeth Hafferty says:

    Thanks for responding by email with the links to your homeschool year and breakdown of the co-op(now Schole’ group). This sounds like Just what we would love!

  • Tara says:

    I just started using All About Reading with my Kindergartener. I’m so sad it took me this long (she’s my 4th) to use it!

  • Joanna says:

    I have K, 3rd, and 4th this year! And a 3 year old and 8 month old! I love seeing what you’re doing. I really need to get better at morning time and making sure to enjoy my kids instead of seeing them as getting in the way of my day. They are my day! I’m very slow to catch on to this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I have a 1st grader. We had a good rythm last school year.
    Playtime for her while I exercise.
    Breakfast
    Table work
    done by 10 am usually.
    Rest of the day open with lots of reading.
    We took a 3 week break & the start of the new year is HARD! She is completely unmotivated and clams up at the tiniest difficulty. I only focus on reading- penmanship- math & we’d be done in 1 h or less if she focused…
    I hesitated between going the unschooling route or tightening the rules/consequences/discipline. We decided to go for the latter as that has worked well in other areas of parenting our daughter.
    Wish me luck. I was crying this morning so really hope things improve soon.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Just be consistent. Once she sees this is how it is going to be, she will be less resistant to it. Also, try a timer. “We’re doing math for 15 minutes,” set the time, go. The timer really helps motivate my 6yo to get done and he usually gets more done with it than without.

  • Laurel says:

    When do you teach bible? Do you incorporate it into your Morning Time?

  • Crystal Johnson says:

    Can I ask how you combine CC and CCM? We are Catholic but did 2 years of CC but we own CCM alpha and beta. I was thinking of combining but haven’t. Just curious what you do for memory work?

    • Malinda says:

      Hi! Her post “2013 – 2014 curriculum” outlines how they combined CC & CCM. The Co-op has probably tweaked it since then. I hope she does an update on it soon, though!

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