2017 Curriculum Roundup: Group Subjects

2017 Curriculum Roundup: Group Subjects ~ from Our Cozy Den

If you’ve been hanging around my blog for a while, or you know me IRL(!), then you probably know that we do a January-November homeschool year, and we take off the holidays instead of the summers. I go into more detail as to why we choose this calendar in this post here. But in a nutshell, it just works for us!

In the past, I’ve shared with you our curriculum choices. (You can see all of those on my Homeschooling page here.) Today, I’m going to show you what we’re using for our Group Subjects for the 2017 school year, which just started a few weeks ago!

How we divide up our days:

We divide our homeschool work into two categories: group subjects {that I teach all the kids together} and independent subjects {that each child does on their own, I’ll show you those tomorrow!}

Most of our group subjects do not change from year to year. Science, History, & Spanish are always a given. Geography is a toss up — we seem to be on an every-other-year rotation with it being a group subject one year and an independent subject the next. For example, two years ago we did the 50 States {click for a full FREE curriculum!}, and then last year the kids did Evan-Moor Daily Geography workbooks on their own.

For electives, Spanish is a standard every year. The other elective changes from year to year. In the past we have done Health & Safety, Home Economics, Survival Class, Art, and this year — Poetry.

>>I wanted to say one more thing before we get started. This year, we got a homeschool scholarship from a local charity, so we spent more money than we have in years past. If money is an issue, you can get a lot of these for free at the library!<<

So let’s take a look at each one in detail! 2017 Curriculum Roundup: Group Subjects ~ from Our Cozy Den

This year in Science we are doing Geology: or in other words, the study of rocks. Boy, can I tell you how hard it is to find books on this subject that are in alliance with our Christian views?!? Pretty much every book in existence is saying things like “millions of years ago” and talking about the “big bang”…

Fortunately, our family took a trip to the Ark Encounter & the Creation Museum this past fall, and I was able to find *amazing* Christian-based books in the gift shop! I wanted to be able to look through it and check the info instead of purchasing online and being disappointed. But if you trust my take on it, you can buy it online through the links below!

The books we chose are:

In addition to these, we’re doing a rock collection, and many hands-on activities & field trips! 2017 Curriculum Roundup: Group Subjects ~ from Our Cozy DenFor history, we are continuing with Story of the World. We started with Story of the World Volume 1 when Connor was in Kindergarten, and we have just finished our way through all 4 volumes. This year, we are starting over at the beginning again with Volume 1: Ancient Times through the last Roman Emperor.

Alongside the textbook, we use the Activity Book that is full of fun maps & coloring pages to go along with the stories. Since Connor and Lia are in 6th and 4th grades now, I also want them to be doing more challenging work than just coloring. So I also have the accompanying Test Booklet for them. I don’t use it to test them, but they fill it out as we go — more like a worksheet.

We also have this really neat fifteen foot timeline called the Big Book of History, from Creation to Modern Times. It’s also Christian based, and I got it at the Creation Museum. But you can grab it online here! 2017 Curriculum Roundup: Group Subjects ~ from Our Cozy DenI wanted Geography this year to be more FUN. We are doing an around-the-world unit, using this neat book series called Race the Wild as our base. In the book series, children compete in various challenges, kind of like that reality show The Amazing Race, but for kids. As they travel to various continents, we are learning about those places. We are studying maps from The Geography Coloring Book and looking at pictures from the stack of library books I brought home. We are also planning a few field trips and cooking sessions! When we finish a country, we’ll “stamp” (sticker) these cute passports I got from the Dollar Tree!  2017 Curriculum Roundup: Group Subjects ~ from Our Cozy Den

For our electives, like I said, we have Spanish & Poetry.

For Spanish, we are primarily using the Let’s Learn Spanish series. I really like it for teaching various ages. After we complete our lesson, I’m giving the kids 15-20 minutes of “Spanish Game Time”, where they do something on their own or with a partner to practice their vocabulary. I have a whole bin full of these activities (see it on my Homeschool Room Tour here) — but they include things like flash cards, the fun Usborne Listen & Learn interactive book, this Leapfrog Memory game, as well as many apps on the iPad.

I have a whole post about how we homeschool Spanish for Elementary Aged Students here, if you want to know more!

And lastly: for Poetry, we are using only one book: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry. Each lesson introduces a poetic theme, and it comes with a CD of people reading the poems. It’s a really low-key subject for us. I loaded the CD into my iTunes and transferred the tracks to my phone. We all sit on the couch together, read some poetry, & listen to a few tracks. Toward the middle/end of the year, I might start encouraging them to write some. But it’s more about introduction & appreciation for me — I want them to have a love for words like I do!

 

So that’s it for our Group Subjects — tune in tomorrow to see what the kids are doing for their independent work!

2017 Curriculum Roundup: Group Subjects ~ from Our Cozy Den
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