Our Homeschool Curriculum (Grades 2 and 4)

Lots of people have shared their school plans for this next year in the not-back-to-school blog hop: curriculum week.  In fact, I shared our preschool curriculum plans several weeks ago. Now finally, here are our basic plans for DD and LD this next year.  While they work on their own levels for math and language arts, we do most of our other units together.

As you’ll see, much of our day entails reading.

Here’s DD reading in our book nook area where we keep library books.  See more pictures of our homeschool room here.

The list below won’t give you any idea of how our day works, but shows our general plans (subject to change–additions, child-led learning opportunities, etc.). If you are interested in seeing how I plan for the school year, I’ll include those article links at the bottom of this post.

Math

  • Geometry Unit (Fall) See what we’ve done so far in our geometry unit here.
  • Fraction Unit (Spring)
  • Daily Math Work: We’re pretty happy with our basic math textbooks.  DD will continue with borrowing/carrying and is moving into multiplication. LD will sharpen his double-triple digit multiplication and continue with long division etc.

Language Arts

  • Independent Reading (usually about an hour a day)
  • Read Alouds: We started the Chronicles of Narnia a couple weeks ago and then perhaps will read The Hobbit together as well. Plus we’ll do biography readings Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa 1595  and Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. That doesn’t include the endless picture books and short chapter books that just happen along the way!
  • Spelling: We use and love All About Spelling. It covers spelling in a progressive way. In this lesson, DD was going over the soft and hard “g” sound. It is multi-sensory. You can see DD using tiles on a magnetic board, plus the write words, phrases and sentences on paper (or the dry-erase board or in chalk) practicing the rules they have covered in that particular lesson.
  • Grammar: Write Source Skills books — These offer straight forward grammar lessons on punctuation, contractions, plurals; abbreviations, homophones, and more.

  • Writing: We have a number of writing ebooks we got from Teacher Express. We’ll be using those a lot for creative writing, narrative writing, etc. Plus doing real-world writing (letters, thank yous, lists, etc.)

Social Studies

  • World Cultures (Starting with Africa and then depending on how things go perhaps moving on to the Middle East and Asia).  Africa Unit: We will be covering the regions of Africa and just started North Africa last week. We’ll cover both the culture, geography and history (ancient-modern).  We have an amazing basic text and lots of read alouds too. More details coming soon! Here’s a picture from the other morning. Yes, more pin maps!
  • American History: We’ll be doing a little bit on the early settlement to go along with a trip we have planned this fall.
  • Geography: Mostly Africa, though we’ll review our song the 50 States That Rhyme (all the U.S. states in alphabetical order) from time to time too.
  • Biographies of Famous People: This is a unit that will go on all year just covering famous people who have shaped history.   We started with 100 Folk Heroes Who Shaped World History last week (I bought several of the books in this series). These are very short entries (they take under 5 minutes to read) but cover people from Helen of Troy and Homer to Jesse James and Harry Houdini. Plus, we’ll be doing a couple biographies that ties into our unit on Africa.

Science

  • Water Unit (water cycle, climate, glaciers/sink holes/wells etc.)
  • Human Body (this year we’ll be covering the digestive system, ears, mouth and nose)
  • Biology: Plant/Animal Unit (with focus on cellular differences)
  • Simple Machines (Time Permitting–we ran out of time last year when we were studying physics)
  • Plus, the kids do all the activities that ED is covering in her science curriculum. LD is particularly keep to do natural disasters again; the last time we did a natural disasters unit was about three years ago!

Arts and Music

  • World Music Class with friends–primarily African music
  • LD — Trumpet, DD — Piano We took a long break from music, so we’re starting back very slowly to build confidence (and practice time).
  • Crafts, Art & Music Appreciation (in the biographies above)

Foreign Language

  • Continue with German

Others

  • typing
  • critical thinking and logic activities and games

Sports/Extras

  • LD: Team Gymnastics, Scouts, Children’s Choir
  • DD: Irish Dance, Scouts
  • ED: Gymnastics, Play Dates :)
  • Children’s Theater: We attend 3-5 children’s plays/musicals each year and have several lined up for this year as well.
  • We might do a homeschool sports class (that teaches things like tennis, basketball, flag football, etc.)
  • Roller Skating: We’ll attend a two hour homeschool roller skating session about once every two or three weeks to catch up with friends.
  • Bike Riding: Before we moved here, LD learned to ride a bike.  We live on a steep, steep hill though and so the girls have only every used bikes with training wheels. I will be taking the girls and their bikes to a local park twice a week to learn to ride bikes.  We have a 1/2 hour between dropping LD off at gymnastics and when ED’s gymnastics starts so that’s my goal until the weather is too cold for bike riding!
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Here are last year’s homeschool plans when the kids were going into 1st and 3rd grades.

How I Plan for Our School Year:

Last June I wrote a series of articles on how I plan for our new school year:

  1. Here are the questions I consider.
  2. This post looks a back at our school year. I talk about what went well and what could use some improvement.
  3. I talked about how I  assess our homeschooling philosophy: Am I happy with *how* we are homeschooling? I talked a lot about the books I’ve read that helped us find the homeschool style that works for us.
  4. I went into quite some detail about our long-term goals for homeschooling.
  5. Short-Term Goals and Planning: Our Upcoming Homeschool Units
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  1. by Jenny

    On August 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I love reading posts like this! I think it’s fascinating to read about what other homeschoolers are doing. My older daughter is interested in natural disasters, so I’ll be looking at that link for sure. I hope that you and the kids enjoy NOEO- I recently discovered http://buildyourlibrary.com, so we’re going to give that a try this year.

  2. by Liesl Den

    On August 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks Jenny! Thanks too for the link. I’ll check it out. :)

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