Sunday, August 5, 2012

Curriculum Choices 2012 - 2013

We are excited about our new year!  We will be doing many literature-based unit studies with an emphasis on Charlotte Mason principles.  Our children still being homeschooled are ages 11, 10 and 8.  They all have some special needs and learning challenges.


All of the kids will be using Teaching Textbooks this year.  They love Teaching Textbooks and fuss over who gets to go first on the computer!  Two of them tell everyone their favorite subject is math.  I LOVE that.  We will also be using the Life of Fred series and other living books for focused math lessons.


My main focus this year is making improvements in the children's learning challenges in writing, reading and spelling.  Two of the kids have been diagnosed with dyslexia and vision issues.  Our son is also struggling with the writing process.  I am reading Overcoming Dyslexia and will be using the suggested games and techniques to help the children.  They will be expected to write in their journals, do a few workbook pages, do All About Spelling (with me), participate in a grammar lesson, and read each day.  We will be using the below books and programs:

We will be reading many books this year as a family.  Some will be read as family read-aloud and some will have unit studies built around them.  I am aware that we will probably not make it through this whole list.  However, I am prepared for all of them and will be able to omit what doesn't fit at the time.
  • Hour of the Olympics (homemade Unit Study)
  • Davy Crockett
  • Notes From the Dog
  • The Long Winter (Prairie Primer Unit Study)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek ( Prairie Primer Unit Study)
  • By The Shores of Silver Lake
  • Tales From Shakespeare
  • Sounder
  • The Pushcart War
  • The Christmas Doll
  • Tree in the Trail (Beautiful Feet Unit Study)
  • Paddle to the Sea (Beautiful Feet Unit Study)
  • Thomas Edison Young Inventor (Beyond Five in a Row)
  • George Carver Boy Scientist (Beyond Five in a Row)
  • Rascal
  • Stone Fox
  • Around the World in 80 Days (homemade Unit Study)
  • American Kids in History Victorian Days (Unit Study)
  • Helen Keller (Beyond Five in a Row Unit Study)
We will also be rowing five or six Five in a Row books that complement the above chapter books.  We will be doing a poet each quarter.  I have selected Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, Carl Sandburg, and Langston Hughes.


Using the unit studies above as our base, we will be covering Western Indians, Reconstruction, the Santa Fe Trail, Pioneers, Victorian times, and getting a general understanding of what it was like to live in the different regions of the United States at the turn of the century.  I usually cover much more history in a year.  However, my priorities are on getting the children reading and writing much better this year, and something had to slow down to make room for more work in other areas.


We will be maintaining a science table this year which will rotate subjects monthly.  Some of the topics will be as follows: microscope, geodes, robotics, botany, and electricity.  We will also be doing monthly chemistry lessons with a friend skilled in this topic.  In addition, there will be lots of science sprinkled throughout our unit studies.  We will also be doing weekly nature studies.


All of the children will continue with dance and drama lessons. They will all be in the two performances planned at their dance studio, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.  One child will be in the homeschool choir this year.  We also will be learning about four composers ~ Tchaikovsky, Scott Joplin, Richard Wagner, and George Bizet.  In addition, we will be studying four musicals this year.


We will study an artist each quarter in the style of Charlotte Mason.  Our artists will be Henri Matisse, N. C. Wythe, Pablo Picasso, and Frank Lloyd Wright.


We will be starting an Our 50 States book.  RoadTrip USA will be used along with Five in a Row books for our study.  We will also be exploring geography through our unit studies ~ Paddle to the Sea, Tree in the Trail, and Around the World in 80 Days .


Our children will be doing vision therapy, physical therapy, and/or speech therapy in the home with me each day.  They will also be expected to become more proficient in typing.  We hope to do history and science related field trips every month.

It is going to be a full year!  Happy Learning!!

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Looks like an awesome list!!! I love the book list that you have. I hope to finish lesson plans once we get to IA next week. I was hoping to start school but that's a no go until we get more settled.

    Check out, they may have some unit studies for you on some of those books. I've found some and enjoyed them.

  2. What a great list! It looks like a very Charlotte Mason year! We too did speech, OT and PT several times a week for 10 years. I remember well. Now swimming and karate the replaced therapy appointments and serve the purpose well. We still do some sensory work at home, as my boys still need it. Makes for A full schedule!

  3. Love your literature list! We loved the Little House books and even went on a tour of the homesites when we finished reading them:)

    We live really close to the George Washington Carver National Monument...let me know when you study him!

  4. Wow! I'm amazed at all that you have planned for the year!!! Way more than I'm going to be covering. It all looks awesome! Great job in planning!

    Do you do all of your children in the same lessons? I miss doing that with my wide age span. We do what we can with read alouds and our Bible studies. I would love to hear more about how you are planning to use LOF and a traditional math curriculum. I'm looking at doing that too with one of my boys, but don't want it to seem like he is doubling up on math as it isn't his strong suit.

    Hugs to you

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Looks like you will be having a great year. I love the history choices. :)

  6. Looks like a great year of studies for you all! Your listing of books - so many great ones. We will be using Tree in the Trail and Paddle to the Sea in my daughter's writing (IEW). As I've never read either, I'm looking forward to them (I've heard such great things about both).

    Last year, we really started to delve into Shakespeare, and my children (and I) are hooked - my newest favorite is 'The Taming of the Shrew' - Greathall Productions (Jim Weiss) has a cd of it we borrowed from the library and listened to this week.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love the Charlotte Mason method, yet I haven't figured out how to incorporate the arts as much as I would like to. I like how you study a poet, musician and artist every quarter. I'm hoping Tapestry will tie these in much better for me. Have a great year!!!

  8. We are an (almost totally) TT family, too. In fact, I'm thinking about switching my youngest over as I'm not sure that Horizons method (skipping between sections and coming back around later) is still working for her as we get more into concepts like carrying and borrowing, etc. We'll see. Anyway, you already KNOW that I'm stealing from some of your literature selections--Tales from the Dog sounds like fun!! I'm going to subscribe to your blog--too much wisdom to miss out on. Don't know why I didn't think of that before! Blessings to you!!