At Heart of the Matter is sponsoring a “Not Back-to-School” Blog Hop for all homeschoolers to join in and share what they are using this year. We don’t start school until after Labor Day here in New York, so I still have quite a bit of time, which is good because I still have some stuff to plan and buy. This year I just have my son homeschooling for 7th grade, since my oldest is off to college and my 15 year old wants to go to the local public school. Since I’ve taught 7th grade before (twice) this should be pretty easy, and I shouldn’t need to buy any new curriculum, right?
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The problem is that I like to change up the curriculum so I don’t get bored. Plus my son has different strengths and weaknesses than his sisters, so the same thing doesn’t always work. Our focus this year is going to be on Science, Literature and Writing and Math, and I expect to spend most of our time on those subjects. Everything else is going to be lower priority. Here are my plans:
Science: I wanted to do an integrated science approach this year, which is not how most U.S. curriculums cover science. Plus I want my science choices to be secular, not religious. So I am going to use a British series called Discovering Science from The Open University. It covers all the branches of science woven together in a two year program. I am excited about this, I think it should be a lot of fun. Oh, and educational too.
Literature: I am going to use Hewitt’s Lightning Literature and Composition Grade 7. I also have Kolbe’s Jr. High Literature program, and I might add in a some books from that to complement the Lightning Literature, or if we start to get tired of using the same thing all the time. Kolbe’s program is based around individual novels, so it is easy to just use it for one book and then do something else.
Math: My son still has to finish the last 2 chapters of Chalkdust PreAlgebra that we didn’t get to last year. Then I have five algebra curriculums that I already own:
- Modern Algebra: a Logical Approach by Pearson & Allen
- Algebra I by Dolciani
- Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra
- Chalkdust Algebra I
- Teaching Textbooks Algebra I
The Art of Problem Solving Introduction to Algebra, because clearly my collection is not complete without that. But since it seems kind of difficult to justify getting another Algebra program, I will use the Pearson & Allen book, which is an older book from 1964 that was one of the first “new math” textbooks. It is a classic textbook that is actually hard to find, and it goes into a lot of theory that isn’t usually covered in Algebra any more. I think it will provide a good solid base for high school math. Since my son is only in 7th grade we have plenty time to take it slow and spend more time on theory.
History: We are going to de-emphasize history this year. We covered U.S. history through World War II last year, so this year we will cover from 1945 to the present. We will probably only do history once a week. My son is also doing a geography class at a local co-op, so he will have that once a week also.
Foreign Language: I have never had much success teaching my kids a foreign language. I’m not sure if we will continue to do Latin at home, or just wait for high school and farm out foreign language to an online course. I will probably wait until a few weeks into the school year to decide, so I can see how long our work is taking.
Computer Programming: My son is taking a class in this at a local co-op.
Religion: I think my son is at a good age for the Prove It! series from Amy Welbourn, so I will probably use those books.
Music: He is learning to play guitar and read music.
Art: We will learn about some famous artists and do some projects related to them.
Did I leave out anything important?