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Curriculum Choices for 2015/2016 School Year

It's time to start talking curriculum for the 2015/2016 school year. This is always such an exciting time of year as you anticipate all you will learn in the next term.

We are not making a lot of changes in our curriculum choices because we have found a rhythm that really works for us. We know that we are a literature-based homeschool and have found essential courses that we enjoy and challenge us.

Eli and Brynne will be in their 5th/6th grade year next year. We officially promote in January.

Our curriculum choices are:


New Testament Overview, Grapevine Studies - Stick Figuring Through the Bible. We will continue with this much-loved curriculum. It will likely take us the majority of the year to finish it. It's a great way to start our morning.


McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader and McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader. Reading the Little House on the Prairie series really inspired me to have the kids do recitations from these classics. If it was good enough for the Ingalls girls, it's good enough for us. We will do this right after we finish our Bible lessons each morning.

Fix-it Grammar, The Nose Tree (IEW). We will complete The Nose Tree and then move onto the next level. This program has been a good fit for us as it involves literature, writing, and a slow-progression of learning grammar.

Soaring with Spelling, Levels 4, 5 and 6. Brynne has specifically requested that we go back to a formal spelling curriculum. She loves spelling. With an emphasis in writing, that we will begin in the next year or so, it's important that these kids can spell. Plus, the lessons are fun!

Writing. I will come up with a monthly writing assignment that goes along with our history or literature lessons.

Current Events

CNN Student News. Of course we will continue our year with a daily dose of Carl Azuz and his 10 minutes of current events and puns. We love this show! Hopefully we will get in our field trip to the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta next year.


Mastering 5th Grade Math, Volumes 2-4 (Fractions). We are finishing up Volume 1 and the kids have decided that they prefer the teaching methods of Jason over Mr. Demme in Math U See. I have to admit, he has a way of explaining it that seems to resonate with them. Why mess with something that is working.

Life of Fred, Fractions. Yeah, we are going to bring in some Fred. I like how the books use literature to teach math in real life. It will be a fun supplement to our weekly lessons and with Eli's personality I know that he will love the antics of Fred! Math can be enjoyable, you know.


Further Up and Further In. We had such success with Prairie Primer and the Little House series that we are going back to Cadron Creek Christian Curriculum. We will spend our year with C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia series. This will be our daily read aloud. The kids are very excited to read this series. It covers Bible, art, cooking, music, English, and reading. We discuss these things from the curriculum guide. But, we really use the guide primarily for the health and safety, geography/social studies, science, and history aspects. This is from where I usually draw our science topics for the year.


Further Up and Further In. I will draw our science topics from this study and then use various resources, primarily literature, to teach the topics. We try to do experiments whenever applicable and do science notebooking.


World War II Unit Study, self-prepared. Narnia is a fictional world. But it was written during World War II, so we will do an exhaustive study of this period in history. We are using World War II for Kids as our spine and will build on that with books, videos, activities, projects, games, and any field trips we can find. We will finish up the unit with a trip to the World War II Museum in New Orleans.


The kids will continue to read books of their choice. Brynne is pretty hooked on the Warriors series and there are a gazillion books in the cats series so she will be busy for a while. There is also a series involving dogs and bears from the same author that interest her. And she would like to read the other eras in the Little House series, The Rose Years, The Caroline Years, etc. I am trying to find a series that hooks Eli. He has already read all the obvious ones (Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, Big Nate, George Brown Class Clown). I have picked up the first book in the 39 Rules series to see if he likes it. If we can't find something he chooses to read, I may just develop a list of books for boys and require him to read them.

And that's our proposed school year. It's pretty much what we are doing this year, but with switching from pioneer years and the journey westward to the world of Narnia. I know that it will be a good year because this was a good year.


  1. This all sounds wonderful! If you come to Atlanta let me know when you will be here and maybe we could work in a visit. I live about 11/2 hours from Atlanta.

    1. Yes, Diane! That would be so great! I will DEFINITELY let you know if we ever come that way. Would love to see you!

  2. A few ideas for series that Eli might like: How to Train Your Dragon series, William Joyce's Guardians series, the Dragon Keepers series (Kate Klimo), Spirit Animal series, the Magic series (Edgar Eager), the Indian in the Cupboard books (Lynne Reid Banks), the Secret Zoo series (Bryan Chick). My just-turned-8 year old (who reads more like a 10 year old or so) has read these and loved them all. And also we're reading through the Narnia books right now (just as a read-aloud, no other studies along with it) and he is LOVING those as well. I imagine your kids will love them too.

    1. Thank you for these suggestions, Christine! I just requested the first book in the How to Train Your Dragon series. He will love that series. Why didn't I think of that??

  3. Oooh, Narnia. Sometimes I wish we had started homeschooling earlier so that we could have done all these great ideas. It will be fun to read about your Narnia studies next year. I know my child is a girl, but she really enjoyed the entire Ranger's Apprentice series at Eli's age. There's quite a few of them too.


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