Thursday, July 23, 2015

2015 - 2016 Curricular Plans

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Welcome to any new visitors! I can't believe it's that time of year again, but I'm slowly starting to look forward to our new school year. New books and supplies always help. ; ) 


This year I'll be homeschooling my almost 16 year-old son who was diagnosed with autism at age 2. He has been homeschooled since the middle of 1st grade. Although he's starting 10th grade this year, his skills vary. Last year Ryne enjoyed his first year of Classical Conversations. He was in Challenge A last year, but will be skipping ahead to Challenge I this year (many factors led to that decision -- too long to go into now).

I also have two daughters (12th and 7th grades) who attend a classical Christian school three days a week. All three kids now work pretty much independently, but my homeschool days still feel very full with grading, record keeping, planning, proofreading papers, reading the books my son reads, proctoring tests, and a lot college planning with my oldest. It's a very different life than when the kids were young. For those of you looking forward to getting a break when the kids are older . . . sorry, it ain't happening! ; )



Memory work from the Heidelberg Catechism and weekly catechism classes at church
Grace and Ryne are entering their fourth and final year of catechism training. They have worked hard and are seeing the fruit of their labor in other areas of life. Such a blessing!

This will be our third year using this series. It gives him structure to his Bible study time, but doesn't get overwhelming, given he also spends daily time memorizing his catechism assignment. 

Government and Economics

Challenge I materials: Words Aptly Spoken: American Documents, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?, The Money Mystery, A Bluestocking Guide to Economics, An Introduction to Policy Debate
Anyone who has followed our homeschool journey knows how much I have loved our history studies, so you can imagine how sad I am to not have formal history plans this year. God must have known I'd need something good to fill that void, so it's providential and appropriate that this former political science major would get to study government and economics with her son this year! Woo-hoo!!!! : )
Showdown at Gucci Gulch
I'm going to try not to add too much extra reading until I get a feel for how heavy Ryne's workload is this year, but this book is a must-read. Long before I knew the value of living books, I first read Showdown in my legislative process class in college and couldn't believe how exciting tax reform could be. No, really, I'm not kidding. : ) I figured there would be something more current that today's professors prefer, but apparently not; it's now a classic and I'm looking forward to reading it again. 

CNN Student News
Last fall I learned about this resource from another blogger and it quickly became Ryne's favorite part of the day (I enjoyed it too and Grace loves to watch on the days she's home). In just 10 minutes a day, we can follow all the latest world events, often with interesting background information. No, it's not from a Christian perspective, but I actually find the coverage about as ideologically balanced as you can find these days.

One of the positives of skipping Challenge B is that Ryne can start on the traditional high school science progression, and I will have the accountability I need to keep us doing science (my least favorite subject, but a favorite of all my kids)!
Math and Logic

I'm a loyal fan of MUS. It works well for us, so I plan to stick with it for the long haul. Classical Conversations encourages parents to take math along with their oldest homeschooled child and I think this is the year that I just might have to start doing some practice problems on my own. It all looks familiar, but I'm a little rusty. ; )
Just thought I'd throw in this link. Do you ever remember having to start over with your algebra homework just because you messed up a graph? These little post-it style graph paper pads take care of that! Anna has used them all through high school, so I stock up when I place my annual Rainbow Resource order.
The main downside to skipping Challenge B is that we'll be skipping the year they study logic. Having a high school senior who is classically educated, I know just how crucial the study of logic is and that it should not be skipped. I had hoped to start on it this summer, but that has not happened. So we will start lightly and hit it hard on the winter break and when CC ends in mid-April.

American Literature and Composition

Challenge I and II are the heaviest reading years of the Challenge program, but I've always had Ryne do a lot of reading for history, so overall he will actually be reading less than in previous years. This will allow us to focus more on further improving his writing and reading discussion skills.
We didn't get this done last year, so I need to be more organized with our planning so it actually gets done. 

Foreign Language

When it's not broken, don't fix it, right? Ryne did very well with the Latin for Children series (he started with Song School Latin and completed LFC A & B). We would have continued with Level C had he not started Classical Conversations. He did great with the Henle latin they use, because he already knew most of what was introduced in Challenge A. But I noticed that the few things he had to learn new, he didn't learn as well as he had with LFC. Plus, we both found the assignments tedious (especially to grade -- I can't stand the Henle answer key). Many CC families do their own thing for certain subjects (especially math, but other subjects too), so we're going to mostly part ways with Henle. I'll still have Ryne look over the weekly vocabulary and grammar rules the Challenge I guide assigns so he can participate in class, but we're going to use the Latin Alive series (the continuation of LFC) as our main program. I think he'll start in Book 2, but I need to compare scope and sequences a little more.

Computer Science

Ryne loved the first two books of this series he did a couple of years ago. I don't think we'll have time this year to work on the other set we purchased since we need to squeeze in logic, but you never know. : )
Fine Arts

Drama/Music Theory (part of Challenge I studies)

At least two musical events, such as the symphony or a musical -- a BHA tradition!
A tradition we didn't keep last year, but I'm already looking at symphony dates for this year.

Physical Education

Cross Country and Track

Mom Stuff

This book is so helpful!!! Not just for planning Ryne's schooling, but for Anna's college search as well.

It's been two years since I switched from paper to an online planner. I had tried once before with some software, but found it cumbersome and went back to paper. In preparation for high school, however, I felt I needed something that would calculate grades and hours and all that better than what I could do on my own. I have been very happy with Scholaric. It does everything I need it to do without being overwhelming.


There you have it, our plan for the new school year! We officially start school August 17th, but will ease our way into things the week before. Feel free to ask me any questions or let me know your experience with anything we're using this year.

Happy Homeschooling!!!


  1. Great job on your past accomplishments regarding the fabulous education you've given your kids. Prayers for this coming year. : )

  2. Thanks, Melanie! Prayers are much appreciated!!! : )