Our 2015 Curriculum Roundup – GROUP SUBJECTS

group subjects

Yesterday I told you about how I plan my school year. Over the next few posts, I’m going to show you exactly which books we’re using for each subject!

Let’s start with the group subjects. I teach these subjects to all my kids together. I tailor the work to each individual’s grade level. For example, my kindergartener might have to trace a few key vocabulary words, my 2nd grader writes a sentence, and my 4th grader writes a paragraph.

These are our group subjects and the curricula we are using this year:

Science

This year in science we are doing animals! We are going to start with a lesson on classification, then do a different animal for each lesson. There will be one “intro” lesson as we introduce each new category of animals (birds, reptiles, mammals, etc.). We also have a membership to the local zoo, so we will be heading there at least once a month to study the animals we have been covering in school.

ScienceThe books we are using:

History

We have been using Story of the World for a few years now, and I love it! This year we are up to Volume III: Elizabeth to the 49ers. Story of the World history is my favorite, because it covers history for the entire world, chronologically, starting in volume I with creation, and moving up to volume 4: modern times. It is written from a Christian-based point of view, but it does cover all world religions and beliefs. I love the way they do this – when telling a story from the Bible, they introduce it as fact. Abraham said this, Moses did this, etc. When they tell of other belief systems, they phrase it like this: “Ancient Egyptians believed in many gods…” Being that we are Christians, I love this. I do however, have a few friends that are not Christians that use Story of the World with no issues, by a simple rewording of a few phrases.

I also use the Story of the World Activity Book, which comes with fun maps, coloring pages, and games to supplement the reading.

Story of the World Volume III

In addition to Story of the World, we will also be reading historical fiction novels that correspond with that time period in history. And of course, I have a few fun field trips planned for history as well! See why we needed a Field Trip Friday?

Historical Fiction Novels

Geography

For geography this year, we are doing the 50 states. In years past, geography was an independent subject, and each child did their own book. But we are taking a break from that this year to do the 50 states all together. We’re also taking a pretty big road trip later this year, so they’ll get to experience several of those states in the flesh!

Geography

Our geography books:

Spanish

For Spanish, we are going to continue with a book we started using last year, which I love, called Song School Spanish. It comes with a teacher’s book, student book, and CD. The kids enjoy learning new words and singing the songs!

Song School SpanishWe also supplement our Spanish with Lil Pim Spanish DVDs, Twin Sisters Spanish workbook and music CD, and even just watching our favorite movies with the Spanish language track on!

*I should note that I do actually speak Spanish, but all of these resources can easily be used by someone who has little or no Spanish knowledge!

Home Economics

Home Ec is the subject my kids are most excited about this school year. Like I mentioned yesterday, this is our rotating elective, and not a subject we have done before. When planning, I decided that in Home Ec I wanted to cover 6 areas. This works out, because we have 36 weeks of school, so we’ll spend 6 weeks in each of the following areas:

  1. Manners and Etiquette
  2. Sewing
  3. Home Management
  4. Cooking
  5. Finance
  6. Baking

Home Ec

The books we are using:

1. Manners and Etiquette

*I want to say that the last 2 books on this list^ are sufficient in teaching this subject. I’m not the biggest fan of the first 2 on the list.

2. Sewing – Sewing School

This fun book has great projects for beginners. Use Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature to look at the page with the supplies needed, so you can pick those up as well.

3. Home Management – a.k.a. chores! Haha!

Really, though, we’re going to talk about the various tasks that need to be completed in each area of the home to make sure it is managed properly. This does include things like cleaning, but also things like changing batteries in the smoke detector, flipping mattresses, changing furnace filters, changing a light bulb, leaky faucets, blown fuses, lawn care, and other home-related stuff. To make it a little more fun, I bought these Melissa & Doug stickers to go along with our lessons.

4. Cooking – we’ll be learning kitchen safety, basics of measuring, and how to make some of the recipes in the two books I picked up: Children’s Quick & Easy Cookbook and The Mother Goose Cookbook.

5. Finance – Dave Ramsey, of course! We’re all about living DEBT FREE! We’ll be using Financial Peace Jr, Dave’s curriculum for kids.

6. Baking – same as cooking (above), but focusing on baked goods as opposed to meals/snacks. And since we finish up our school year in November, this one will be just in time for pumpkin bread, apple pie, and other fall treats!

So that’s it for our group subjects this year! Next I’ll tell you about the individual subjects and which books we’re using for those!

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