Bold Turquoise

Jul 13 2015

2015-2016 Curriculum (4th & 1st Grade with a preschooler and baby in the mix)

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2015-2016 Curriculum CHoices

This year we are further refining our homeschooling style to better reflect the ideals we are wanting to pursue for our family and embracing more fully the whole-books method, which you can read more about in this post.  But if you just want to see the nitty-gritty layout of the simple homeschool plan we will be following for 2015-2016, then have a look below- it’s lengthy but simple!  I will also be posting monthly throughout the year with the specific book lists we will be using, projects we will be doing, as well as our daily routine and how we are utilizing Travelers Notebooks, so there is lots more to come.

Our goals this year boil down to- Jesus, Family, Story, Nature & Community.  Homeschooling made personal & beautiful.

As a Family

Memory Work– Although I don’t consider us to be a Classically educating family, there are certain things that I think are important or helpful for my children to memorize.  Each morning after all my kiddos have finished their independent work we will come together with refreshing drinks and scrumptious snacks to start our together-learning off with some memory time.  This time will include- (affiliate link are used in this post)

      • Hymn Study- We will be learning 6 this year, 1 per term.
      • Scripture Memory- Most of our verses will come straight from Seeds Family Worship.

    • The Books of the Bible– We will be working on these again.  We got about 2/3rds of the way through the Old Testament a few years ago but it’s time for a refresher and to get the younger kiddos in on the action.  We will be using a song off of YouTube to help us memorize them all.
    • 24 Family Ways– We have been working our way through these ways  for a few years now but I am hoping to finish them out this year and just continue working them into our family culture.  It is not uncommon to hear the question “What’s our family way about that?” asked regularly in our home!

  • Latin & Greek Roots– We will be viewing one Word Up! episode per week, for which we will be reviewing the words and roots each day following. (I think these videos are hilarious and my kids enjoy them too, although I think sometimes the witty humor goes over their heads!  But hey, I think they’re funny!)
  • Poem Memory– Each term we will be memorizing one or two poems and better familiarizing ourselves with the authors.  This will not be very formal but rather a way of introducing my kiddos to the lyrical language of poetry.  (This is one of the Brave Writer Lifestyle traits that is strongly encouraged.)
  • Sign Language– My kiddos enjoy learning sign language just for fun and also to help in communicating with their younger siblings since we use Baby Signs when our children are very small.  I think this is a great life skill and studied it extensively in high school and college.  We will be employing the use of YouTube videos which we will view each week and then review the rest of the days following.

Each child (including my 3 year old) will have their own memory binder to work through, which I will be going into in more detail on the blog soon.  I will also be posting the details of what we are learning each term in large posts each season, for all of you who are curious and interested in joining us or doing something similar.  So be on the look out for those to come soon!

History, Literature and Language Arts- Great Books!  To learn Early American History we will immerse ourselves in read alouds and audio books and draw most other lessons from these works. I have complied a wonderful book list that focuses on people throughout the various Early American time periods that will wrap us up in story and imagination to make history really come alive!  The boys will be able to draw or build things out of legos that relate to the stories while we read and will also work on a timeline, followed by narration.

In addition, each boy will work on some kind of culminating project of their choice at the end of each unit to show what they have learned.  This could be anything from writing a play to drawing a mural.  The details of all books and projects will be posted each term as we work our way through the year, so look for those soon as well.



Science books
Science- Nature Study, kitchen science experiments and STEM projects!  Our science will be worked into a rotation of different kinds of projects we will work on on Fridays, since we only do our core-schooling 4 days a week.  These will be outlined in each term’s larger blog post.

Heroes of the Faith/Missionary Study- We will be reading a different book about a different missionary or hero of the faith (or a collection on many different people) each term.  These will be listed in our monthly booklists (coming soon).

Artist Study- Our year consists of seven terms and we have decided to learn about one artist every other term.  We will be using the Anholt’s Artists Books for Children by Laurence Anholt along with looking up individual works of art by each artist.  The artists we have chosen to study are Monet, DaVinci and Chagall.


Composer Study– We will be using the Opal Wheeler Books by Zeezok Press for Composer Study this year.  We read Mozart’s story a couple of years ago and we absolutely loved hearing about him as a young boy!  We have chosen three composers to study- Bach, Handel and Beethoven.

YouTube & Video Learning- Each day during lunch we will view some kind of educational video while we eat, as I briefly mentioned above.  Here is our weekly line-up:

Roman- 4th Grade

Bible– Personal Devotions every morning as well as family Bible Time.  He will be using this one at the beginning of the year and I will be pre-recording each devotion on my iPhone for him to listen to and follow along with.

MathTeaching Textbooks 4– Hallelujah- I’m in love with this curriculum!!



Handwriting, Writing & Language ArtsBrave Writer’s  Jot it Down and The Wand (for review) as well as daily journaling and the keeping of a commonplace book (all in his Traveler’s Notebook, which I will talk more about in an upcoming post).  By the way, I found this AMAZING 50% off deal on Brave Writer products at Homeschool Buyer’s co-op!  I about jumped out of my skin I was so excited!

Reading– 20 minutes a day (at least) of silent reading time in a level appropriate book


Cooking- Simplified Dinners (This may be the part of his curriculum that I am the MOST excited about!  Hello!  Can you say, “Mama won’t have to cook!?”  …Well, at least not every night!)


Judah- 1st Grade

Bible- Family Bible Times at both Breakfast and Dinner.  In the mornings we will be reading from The Child’s Story Bible and in the evening we will continue reading through The One Year Bible for Kids.

Math- Judah’s math this year will be a combination of a few different resources that I will be pulling from to achieve the math goals that we would like to see him persoanlly achieve this year.  Our plan is that he will move into Teaching Textbooks 3 next fall, so many of our goals align with getting him ready for that.  To achieve this we will be using aspects from each of the following curricula- Pre Math-it and Basic Math-itMEP Math (which is free) and Math-U-See Primer.

Reading- Bob Books & The Wand from Brave Writer

Handwriting, Writing and Language Arts- We will be using the method from Beautiful Writing for Children in conjunction with Brave Writer’s Jot it Down and The Wand.  All Copywork and Dictation will happen in his Traveler’s Notebook, which will be detailed in a coming post and video.


Outside Activities-

We participate in a nature park day 3 times a month during the Spring, Summer and Fall and during the Winter we meet with the same families for a kids literature club instead.  We also participate in a monthly homeschool museum and presentation day with these families.  It is everything I ever dreamed a “co-op” could be- organic learning with great friends that is stress-free and fun!  I adore our Friday afternoons and so do the kids!

Both boys play basketball through the winter months as well and Roman may be joining our Local chapter of First Lego League.  In addition, my husband will be helping to start a Contenders for the Faith Club with some of the families I mentioned above.


Family Bible Times-

Bible Resources
We have Bible time twice a day- at breakfast (usually with just me and the youngers because Roman gets up earlier and will have already had his personal devotions) and at dinner.  We don’t use ALL of these resources at one time but rather pick and choose.  The Child’s Story Bible will be used mostly in the mornings, Our 24 Family Ways is mostly in our memory work and Leading Little Ones and The One Year Bible are typically with Daddy in the evening.

NLT One Year Bible for Kids

Our 24 Family Ways by Clay and Sally Clarkson

Leading Little Ones to God

The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine F Vos


Resources we use to inspire and help clarify our homeschooling style-

Educating the Whole Hearted Child by The Clarksons

Homeschool Made Simple by Carol Joy Seid

The Read Aloud Revival (podcast, show notes and member site)

A Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola

Posts from Sally Clarkson on Homeschooling

This post on homeschooling by Sarah Mae


Book Lists We Utilize to Form our Choices-

Center for Lit


Show notes from The Read Aloud Revival

Aslan’s Library

Read for the Heart by Sarah Clarkson

Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt


This is just the beginning!

As I have mentioned, I will be having many more posts in the near future and over the entirety of our year detailing everything we have planned and I am so excited to be sharing them with you!  Everything from what resources we are using and how we are using them to the travelers notebooks we will be using for our school work and the pretty planning I am doing.

Until then, what are you planning for your year?  Are you making any big changes?  What is your all-time favorite resource?

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3 thoughts on “2015-2016 Curriculum (4th & 1st Grade with a preschooler and baby in the mix)

    1. MacKenzie Post author

      Word Up are videos that teach Latin and Greek roots but in a funny way. They are fairly short and once they give the roots they then give a bunch of English words that those roots are in to help reinforce the root.

  1. Jen

    I checked out the word up, thanks! I would definitely be watching those with the kids as they probably won’t catch all the humor at this point anyway.
    I was also able to get the Anholt book on Monet’s Garden and we absolutely loved it. I am getting some of the Katie series by James Mayhew. You may like those also. When we are learning about people, etc, I like to supplement from a few places so they get a wider view/perspective and we are able to go deeper in each subject. It really works well for our children, 2,4 and 7. It was great to hear my 2 year old saying Monet today. We are taking a literature approach also and they kids really learn so much this way. So do I. Anyway, thank you so much for posting this. The ideas are such a blessing!


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