Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 - 2013 Curricular Plans

It's the beginning of a new homeschool year, and I just returned from a homeschool convention in Houston where I was able to attend sessions by Susan Wise Bauer {love} and see all kinds of new products in the vendor hall.  For those of you wondering what this Midwestern mom was doing at a convention in Houston, you'll have to tune in later this week for that story.  The point of me mentioning the conference in this post is to let you know I'm on a homeschool high right now.  Anything is possible.  This will be the best year yet.  

Follow?  What that really means is this: Read through my plans, knowing that reality will soon set in and one or more things on this list will get neglected or even dumped.  

Actually, I have been trying to be more realistic in my planning this year.  Besides attending almost every SWB session, I heard Diana Johnson speak and she voiced so succinctly what I have already learned the hard way.

This thinking greatly influenced some of my choices this year, especially science.  As much as I love the beautiful Apologia elementary science books and the accompanying notebook journals, we never get them done and I feel like a failure.  So we're going back to a curriculum we enjoyed and were more successful with, even though it means going back to a black and white textbook that is not as detailed as the Apologia books.  That's what supplemental books are for, right?  In fact, we may use one of the Apologia books to fill in some gaps.

My choices were also influenced by a book I read earlier this year, Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism by Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy.  A recurring theme of the book is that individuals on the autism spectrum need to find a skill they enjoy and become experts at it.  You'll probably be able to tell how this influenced my homeschool planning as you get to the bottom my list.  Our extras will focus less on the things I thought made our homeschooling wonderful (nature and composer studies) and more on practical skills that might help my son find a job someday.  I'm sure the new additions will be wonderful too, but they are a tad out of my comfort zone.

One thing we will not be giving up, however, is our read-aloud time.  After her session on literary analysis, I spoke to SWB, about how much reading we do for history and other subjects, expecting her to say maybe we should cut back a little.  Or maybe deep down I asked her because I knew she wouldn't be phased in the least and just encourage me to keep on reading and reading and reading, which is exactly what she did. ; )  

Enough with the reasons for my choices and on with the nitty-gritty; this is what we have planned for our school year:

Grace (4th Grade) and Ryne (7th Grade, autism)

(Forgive me, but to save time I'm only linking the lesser-known materials.  Please let me know if you need additional information about anything I've listed.)


Devotions using some of the suggested reading schedules in the NKJV Early Reader's Bible (despite the title, we've found this Bible version to be very helpful for the elementary and middle school years)

Bible Sound-Off (a memorization program of verses and Bible facts, compiled by Anna's 6th grade teacher)

Catechism memorization and instruction through church

Sunday School memory verses and take-home lessons

Church history (incorporated with history)


Story of the World 2: The Middle Ages (with Activity Guide and separate test booklet)

Favorites from our previous SOTW 2 reading list, plus some new finds

Timeline book

Veritas Press history cards

Classical Conversations style of geography instruction (the helpful article I used to link for this has been taken down; I'll try to find a new one)

Map Skills for Today 4 (Grace)

Intermediate Geography & Map Skills (Ryne)


All About Spelling 4 & 5

IEW - All Things Fun & Fascinating

Copywork, Dictation & Narration using the WWE model 

Michael Clay Thompson (almost finished with the whole Island level, but after that we will just do Grammar Town, Practice Town, and Sentence Town)

First Language Lessons 4 (Grace)

Analytical Grammar (Ryne)

Oral reading (CLP Nature Reader 4 - Grace; CLP The Story of Inventions - Ryne)

Editor in Chief A1 & A2

Outlining (Ryne)


Math U See Gamma & Delta (Grace)

Math U See Epsilon & Zeta (Ryne)

Challenging Word Problems (Grace)

Daily drill (flashcards, Quartermile, timed tests)

Mind Benders A4 & B1

Following Directions (Ryne)


Christian Kids Explore Biology


Latin for Children A (finish) & B

Rosetta Stone French (Grace - her request, but it will just be for fun)


Beginning Drawing with Thomas Kincade (a program we've had around for awhile, so I may change my mind on this)

Piano lessons (this is dependent upon my finding a new teacher; our previous teacher had to quit because of a family illness)

At least two musical events, such as the symphony -- a BHA tradition!


Typing Instructor Platinum

Kids Coder Series (Ryne)

Scotto's Place Essential Office Applications

Whew!  That should just about cover it.   Feel free to ask me any questions, share your experiences with anything on my list, or leave a link to your homeschool plans.

Happy Homeschooling!

P.S. I'm linking this post to the Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop.  Come, join the fun!

Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. It does look like a busy year, but the beauty of homeschooling is that you can make adjustments along the way if needed! How lucky to attend such a big homeschool convention. It would be great fun to listen to amazing speakers and get the chance to talk with them.

    Glad to hear you've had good luck with AAS. Good luck starting your year!

  2. Sounds like you have a great year ahead of you! Your plan for Ryne sounds very wise, and I will be passing along your advice and that book to my SIL who homeschools her son with Asperger.

    You got to meet SWB?!? She's one of my heroes. I better start reading more. I have let read alouds slip over the years.

    We used CKE Chem one year and really liked it. I thought about choosing one of their other courses for this year. We are, however, taking a PAID SCIENCE CLASS instead!!! Can you tell I'm excited?

    Blessings for a great school year, dear friend! :)

  3. Love your curriculum. I'm still using much of our curriculum for homework, AAS method, and well, we'll always be following timeline methods. We are reading aloud still, as well as WWE methods of reading. Love reading about everyone's curriculum. ! Have a wonderful year!

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