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:
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.
- National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia
- Baby Animal Stories
- Janice VanCleave’s ANIMALS Science Projects
- Animals Puzzles & Games – I got this from the dollar store, and we will be using it during the intro lessons. It’s more supplementary, as it contains mazes and other fun stuff.
- My Giant Sticker Coloring Book – animals
- Primary Composition Creative Writing Journals – I bought one for each student, they will draw the animal and write their own facts
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.
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?
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!
Our geography books:
- States & Capitals Flash Cards
- USA map notepad – bought at a local teacher’s store
- States & Capitals activity book – it comes with a CD of USA songs (states, capitals, national anthem, etc.)
- Fifty State Plates
- America, Land of Beauty and Splendor – this book has beautiful photos of every state, and highlights famous landmarks
- A few other supplementary materials – printed coloring pages for each state, a board book of state flags, a banner of facts, a poster with state mottos/flowers/birds, library books, and a field trip to the state capital when we cover Ohio.
- Lastly, a 50 States passport with Flag-It stickers. I made these myself, with scrap paper. We’ll “stamp” (sticker) each state as we complete it.
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!
*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 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:
- Manners and Etiquette
- Home Management
The books we are using:
1. Manners and Etiquette
- Little Annie’s ART book of Etiquette and Good Manners
- Character Builders Wise Quacks – Self-Control
- A Little Book of Manners for Young Ladies
- A Little Book of Manners for Boys
*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.
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!