Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Classical School of Wiedz :: curriculum


I wanted to post and link up with Heart of the Matter's blog hop "It's NOT Back to School Week", this week's topic is curriculum.

Last year when Mr. Wiedz and I took the plunge and decided to homeschool I had already done quite a bit of research into the different options. I knew I wasn't an unschooler, so really I was trying to decide between some of the already packaged options like My Father's World and Sonlight and a build-your-own type of program. We decided the build-your-own would best suit us and I set off to put together a curriculum with guidance from Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise's book, The Well Trained Mind.

It worked well last year. I was happy with what we accomplished and what the kids learned so at the end of the year I pulled out TWTM to read up on what I may need to have a 5th grader (5th grader!!?!?!?!).

Since I can't figure out any other way of doing this, I'll list what I've got planned for each kid.

#1 (5th Grade) ::
Logic :: Building Thinking Skills - This is the first year we've done logic and I read some reviews before trying out BTS. We'll see how it goes.
Math :: Horizons 5 - We used Horizons last year and though I didn't LOVE how many problems they had in the workbooks I felt the kids really got the concepts.
History :: DK History: Definative Visual Guide and National Geographic Almanac of World History - new to us this year, #1 should find an article to read to complement our group study, write a more detailed report and outline each week.
Language :: Rod & Staff Following the Plan (5th Grade) - again, haven't used this but she finished First Language Lessons level 4 and that was as far as that series went.
Spelling :: Spelling Workout D - finishing from last year...I'm not sure if she'll need to continue with a spelling curriculum after she finished level D.
Writing :: Rip the Page! - After I read Amanda's review (sorry, I can't get a link to her post, if you want to read her review search "family writing club" in her search box) of this book I thought it would be fun. #1 naturally likes to write just struggles with ideas. I thought a book like this would provide us with enough framework to stick with it but enough freedom to not feel like it wasn't natural. The Rod & Staff program she's using for grammar also has writing built into it.
Science :: Apologia Anatomy with Notebook - we're doing this as a group with another family. The plan is to take two weeks for each chapter and alternate meeting at each other's houses to do experiments and notebooking and discussing what we learned for each chapter.
Latin :: Latin's Not So Tough level 2 - we switched to LNST last year after giving another program a try. We liked it and though I wonder if it wasn't too easy last year, I'm sticking with it and giving it another try. I purposly started with level 1 to help her gain confidence.
Foreign Language :: Rosetta Stone Spanish - Mr. Wiedz wanted to see Spanish started in school and of course the best reviews are for Rosetta Stone.

#2 (3rd Grade) :: he's the age of a second grader but did 1st and 2nd grade work last year and is ready to do all 3rd grade work this year.
Math :: Horizons 3
History :: Story of the World Middle Ages - we used Ancient Times last year and enjoyed the history, the activities and pretty much everything about it. Can't wait to get started this year. We'll also use the Activity Book this year.
Handwriting :: Handwriting Without Tears Grade 3 - again, we used HWT last year and I liked the program. #2 will also have 2 pen pals, my friend's (and pen pal of over 20 years) son who is also homeschooled and about the same age, and his grandmother who recently moved to Arizona.
Language :: First Language Lessons level 2 and 3 - we started level 2 last year so we'll finish it up first then move on to level 3.
Writing :: Rip the Page! - I'm not sure if I'll start this right away with #2, he really dislikes writing right now so I think I'll add it after he's more comfortable with the amount of writing required this year.
Science :: Apologia Anatomy with Notebook
Latin :: Latin's Not So Tough level 1 - his first year having independent Latin study (we do Sing Song Latin as a group in our morning meeting).
Foreign Language :: Rosetta Stone Spanish
Unit Studies :: I'm planning some unit studies based on some books that either go along with our history for the year or are books I think he'd enjoy. Saturdays, Boxcar Children, Canterbury Tales and A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (although that last one I thought was a tad more child friendly, I thought I saw one somewhere that was more on kid level...gotta keep looking).

#3 (Kindergarten) ::
Unit Studies :: Five In A Row - we did some Before Five In A Row last year and I loved it. Can't wait to start our first rowing. I've got the books somewhat organized according to our history study (you know, A Pair of Red Clogs during our study of Japan, etc.).
Math :: Horizons K
Handwriting :: Handwriting Without Tears: Letters and Numbers
Science :: Apologia Anatomy with Junior Notebook
History :: Story of the World Middle Ages with Activity Book

#4 (Preschool) ::
I'm hoping to create a little letter curriculum and tie it into #3's FIAR. #4 will join #3 and I for a lot of the FIAR activities and whatever other parts of the day (history, science, etc.) that he'd like to. He keeps asking for his own math book so I picked up Learn with Me :: Math Basics and Teacher Created Resources :: Cutting and Tracing

We took some longer breaks during the year last year which were nice but we didn't finish everything the way I would have liked and by May when it was starting to get nice we were DONE so this year I'm trying to get us ready to start in August sometime (like the 15th but I don't know if I can swing it!) and take time off at Christmas and a nice long spring break.

Go check out more curriculum posts linked up at ::
Not Back to School Blog Hop


Theresa said...

Stopping by from the blog hop!

Last year was our first year and I had a 5th grader too! Homeschooling is the best thing our family has done!

Best wishes for an awesome year!

amanda {the habit of being} said...

We use Well Trained Mind as the basis of our homeschool stuff too - such a great resource!

Mom Guide said...

Some our fondest homeschool memories are with FIAR.

Have a blessed school year.

Ellen said...

Welcome to the homeschooling family! Well Trained Mind is a great resource book. I still refer to it after homeschooling more than 10 year.

Thanks for visiting me at A Season for All Things. I'm your newest follower and look forward to reading your posts.

~ Ellen

Anonymous said...

Looks like fun this year!! We are using BFIAR this year and I am super excited to get started as well!

SchneiderPeeps said...

Sounds like a great year. I can't wait for my toddler to be old enough for FIAR. We were packing up some books we don't need right now and they had a great time revisiting them and talking about different activities we did. Such great memories.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving the nice comment. We're excited about Rip the Page, too.

Michelle said...

Looks great! I'm excited that you will be using FIAR ~ I hope you have a blessed year. :)