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Road School Curriculum 2014

With the “start” of another school year I thought I’d update the far reaches of the universe with our current road school curriculum. After a harrowing,  first ever experience putting together a curriculum on my own last year I feel that this year has been pretty low key. We’ve moved ahead in most of their books, added a few unit studies we thought they would enjoy, and generally have become a whole lot more relaxed about the situation. If that’s even possible to be more relaxed than we were at the end of last year.

Back to School Portland_01

The biggest milestone for our structure-driven oldest child was that we gave her an end of 2nd grade test which she cried over (tests are SO hard! Mom! I don’t KNOW the answer) and then passed with flying colors. Of course there are still concepts we need to work on, but overall I feel pretty good about our progress.

Just a quick note – Utah does not require testing for home school students. This was purely for my benefit to see how far she has come and what we still need to work on. Plus, learning how to take a bubble test is just something every kid needs to learn to survive in this world.

We also have a very high-tech (insert eye roll here) way of keeping track of assignments. With our crazy, unpredictable schedule, we don’t have time to do every subject every day. We’d all go nuts and I would much rather have them outside exploring tide pools than reading about it in a book.

To that end, I wrote them out a schedule in a small notebook that lists the schedule for the week. I fill in their assignments usually a week at a time. I try and make sure they do each subject at least twice a week.  No, we don’t always get them ALL done, but I figure at least this way there is some record of what we’ve done.

With that said, here’s a look at what we are planning on doing this year (most links are Amazon affiliates – we use the money to buy books. Don’t be stingy, okay?):

Back to School Portland_10Rachel – 3rd Grade

Spelling:  Spelling Power – new book this year, but so far we are loving it. Kind of confusing to read the manual (its huge) but once we got on a roll things fell into a rhythm.
Math:  Spectrum Grade 3 – she started this mid-year last year and we are continuing. We are also contemplating starting Beast Academy maybe around Thanksgiving. It comes highly recommended and Sam is totally on board (since he does math anyway its his call). She’s also working on addition & multiplication flash cards.
Language Arts: Spectrum Grade 3 – she protests she hates this book but at least she’s learning it. I also bought Grammaropolis on our tablet for them to review.
Reading Comprehension: Scholastic Grade 3 – this is a short book and she’s almost done so we’ll have to find something else soon. I’m not worried as a lot of our Jr. Ranger Badgering involves this subject.  Maybe we’ll do book reports.
Writing: 20 minutes of free writing in her journal, Typer Island, Scholastic Story Starters, Journaling, or helping me with our Currently Wandering Magazine.
P.E.: Family Time Fitness I’ve had this since last year and we’ve yet to be consistent, but we sure are going to try!
Geography: Color a state page in Road Trip USA (we’re pretty lax about this one), work on their States & Capitols Flash Cards, or play Scrambled States with mom. I figure we are living Geography and the fact they can sing the states and capitols song all the way through is pretty impressive. That should hold us for at least another year, right?
Science: Read and Understand Science Grades 2-3 – not my favorite book, but its okay. We are finishing up from last year and then I’m going to have to find something new (seems to be a trend?). We also visit a lot of science centers/museums around the country so I figured that counts as well.
Unit Study: This one is my favorite. We pick what we want to study and then go for it. Right now we are doing Poetry, we’ve done a Space/Astronomy unit over the summer, lots of Greek Mythology, and I’m planning a Human Body unit. I’ll post more about these later.
Tablet Review:  Since their electronic free time never includes school/learning games (hello, Minecraft anyone?) I thought I’d give them some incentives to review time, money, math, language arts and anything else they want. 20 minutes twice a week.

Back to School Portland_07Andrew – 2nd Grade

Spelling:  Spelling Power -Same book as above, but he was getting overwhelmed with doing a new list everyday. Instead on Day 1 he writes his rule for the week and organizes all the words into his dictionary pages. Day 2: We test like normal. Day 3: He studies the words he missed and does his Skill Building Activity.
Math:  Spectrum Grade 2 – He started this last April and is still cruising. We’ll probably head into Beast Academy over the next few months as he progresses. Also working on addition flash cards.
Language Arts: Scholastic Success Grammar 2 – This one is pretty easy. We’ll probably move on to Spectrum Grade 2 after he’s finished. He also likes Grammaropolis.
Reading Comprehension: Scholastic Grade 2 – He’s almost done with this as well. See above for why I’m not worried.
Writing: 20 minutes of free writing in his journal, Typer Island, Scholastic Story Starters, Journaling, or helping me with our Currently Wandering Magazine.
P.E.: Family Time Fitness I’ve had this since last year and we’ve yet to be consistent, but we sure are going to try!
Geography: Color a state page in Road Trip USA (we’re pretty lax about this one), work on their States & Capitols Flash Cards, or play Scrambled States with mom. I figure we are living Geography and the fact they can sing the states and capitols song all the way through is pretty impressive. That should hold us for at least another year, right?
Science: Read and Understand Science Grades 1-2 – Once again, not my favorite book, but its okay. We are finishing up from last year and then I’m going to have to find something new (seems to be a trend?). We also visit a lot of science centers/museums around the country so I figured that counts as well.
Unit Study: This one is my favorite. We pick what we want to study and then go for it. Right now we are doing Poetry, we’ve done a Space/Astronomy unit over the summer, lots of Greek Mythology, and I’m planning a Human Body unit. I’ll post more about these later.
Tablet Review:  Same as Rachel, 20 minutes twice a week.

Back to School Portland_08Cara – Pre- School

We are working on lot on her letters (names and sounds) as well as learning to write them (that seems to be what she’s really into right now). I also want to work into getting her to read. She loves to “do school” when the older kids do, but often time will tell me, “Mom. Today I played LEGOs for my school.” Awesome. Totally great, sweetheart.

Leap Reader: I LOVE this thing. We had a TAG reader and bought this for her birthday last May (I was tired of running out of book space). This one comes with special paper and books for writing as well as reading. She’s eating it up.
Leap Workbook: We work through one letter or one number a day. She really likes this book.
Teach Your Kid to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Just bought this last week so we’ll see how it goes!
She also participates in our Unit Study activities, Family P.E. and Jr. Ranger Badges!

There’s the plan! We’ll see how long this lasts! If its one thing we’ve learned from road schooling its that things always change. School is never consistent, we’d all rather be outdoors than in, and that if I don’t give my kids school to do first thing in the morning we’d better be out exploring because otherwise everyone gets cranky pretty quickly!

Back to School Portland_15

 

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  • danielle - I love looking at other people’s curriculum 🙂 Where do you get your test that you used? Our math does a lot of tests but my husband wants the boys to be able to do standard tests so they do not freak out if they go to collage. I have a lot of trouble finding out where to get them though!ReplyCancel

  • danielle - Okay, and also thanks for Story Starters! I just checked it out and it looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer MacIsaac - You are very organized! I have not found it easy to be organized with our road schooling. We have not purchased a curriculum though each girl has a grade appropriate multi-subject workbook. We end up doing a lot of online learning games mixed with library time, and of course field trips! I need to probably add a bit more structure though.ReplyCancel

  • J. MacIsaac Studios - You are very organized! I have not found it easy to be organized with our road schooling. We have not purchased a curriculum though each girl has a grade appropriate multi-subject workbook. We end up doing a lot of online learning games mixed with library time, and of course field trips! I need to probably add a bit more structure though.ReplyCancel

  • 2015-2016 Road School Curriculum for 4th, 3rd, and Kindergarten » Currently Wandering - […] on to what we are studying this year for each kids. If you are interested, check out our 2013, and 2014 curriculum as […]ReplyCancel

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