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My 2021-2022 Curriculum Picks

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It feels weird writing this post about the next school year when we’re not yet done with this school year.

Yet, on the other hand, I already have a rough annual and monthly plan laid out for already for the next school year in my attempt at taking a break from working on, or even thinking much about, the 2021-2022 school year. (I will be sharing my planner in the next few weeks!)

homeschool planning sheets

Folks, I need a break!

So, I thought I’d get this out now – in case you’re like me and wanting to start planning now for next year.

So, we are wrapping up our 2nd year of homeschooling!

Last spring, I said that we were chalking up the 2019-2020 school year to trial-and-error. I had started out doing one thing and ended up doing almost none of what I’d started out with.

If you look at my 2019-2020 curriculum post, and what we were actually doing in May of 2020, you would have laughed, because I am not sure there was one thing on that list that we ended the school year doing.

Well, okay – we were doing Math U See. That was it.

This year couldn’t be more different than last year.

The only thing I changed this year was moving my youngest from Rod & Staff English to doing Easy Peasy All in One Homeschooling.

After about two months of doing English together using Rod & Staff, I realized that it was way too much for him. Everything was flying over his head.

That change was the best decision.

Everything else stayed the same, and I am ending this school year with amazing confidence and a sense that I actually know what I’m doing and seeing amazing results.

My 2021-2022 Curriculum picks

I love everything we did this year.

My youngest loves school. He hates weekends because don’t do school on the weekends and he is dreading summer. That for me is a huge win!

This was my child who looked like this on his first day of Kindergarten because he didn’t want to grow up and he didn’t want to go.

child standing in front of door looking sad

I used to call him my little Peter Pan, because he never wanted to grow up.

Now, he’s not only proud of being big, and wants to grow up, he loves school and can’t wait to get started with school every morning.

Bible

I will be doing a character quality study based Bible curriculum next year with my kids – and here’s why.

1. My kids are fairly familiar with the timeline of Bible stories and now I want to go deeper into those Bible stories.

2. I want a Bible curriculum that will last a maximum of 30 minutes a day.

I know point two may sound odd to you, but here’s my reason for that. I want to be able to leave time for table discussion and for maybe getting creative with what we do…add in a supplemental book or story.

If a curriculum I’m using dominates all of the time, or eats into parts of the day that I’ve set aside for academic subjects, I get frustrated.

That’s not to say that the academic subjects are more important – they’re not.

But the Bible, and Christian living….God, His supremacy in our lives, is woven through everything we do. So, I don’t believe that the academic subjects are taking us away from doing Bible, quite the contrary.

They are linked with it.

So, stay tuned for the Bible curriculum I’ll be launching. It will be free here for a limited time!

English

I love Rod & Staff! Can I just tell you how much I love Rod & Staff?!

It really eased us in to English grammar and Language Arts. And we needed that. Both of my kids were diagnosed with Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder (MERLD) and do far better learning sight reading.

They don’t get phonics. At all.

And while I know there are those who don’t agree with sight reading, and believe that all children should learn phonics, I happen to believe that children should be taught in a way that helps them succeed.

Honestly, when my children are older, if they decide that studying phonics will help them in life, we will find a phonics program to help them with that.

But I’m not going to sacrifice their love of learning to cram phonics down their throat.

They both read and spell wonderfully!

We will be doing Rod & Staff English 3 for my 3rd grader and Rod & Staff English 4 for my 5th grader

For spelling, I use Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool. This was launched just a few months ago and I love it, and my kids love it too!

As for reading, I am doing a mixture of Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool, some Abeka literature books that were given to me, and books my kids really want to read.

Here’s what I do often.

I let my kids pick their own book-report books. Recently, my son discovered that Dude Perfect wrote a book called Go Big, and that’s what he’s reading for school right now.

He loves it. And we’ve preordered their new book coming out next month!

Math

It’s no secret that I love Math U See.

What I love most about Math U See is that it focuses on one aspect of math for a whole year. That really fits with my kids’ learning styles.

This year my 5th grader will be doing Epsilon – fractions. I am interested to see how well he’ll do with this. Last year and this year, he was either reviewing what he’d learned in public school or building on what he knew with multiplication of 3-4 digit numbers and long division.

In the 2021-2022 school year we’ll be embarking on completely new territory.

My 3rd grader will be doing Gamma – multiplication. He’s my one who learns math a lot slower and doesn’t really digest the videos too well.

I have had to modify Math U See for him a lot. We ditched the DVD, we completely ditched the concept of “10-makers”. And even many times threw out rounding.

It was more important to me that he learn how to add and subtract – without the shortcuts and distractions.

We’ve gone back and mastered rounding now, and he’s even grasped the concept of borrowing quite easily – thanks to Math U See’s use of manipulatives.

The manipulatives are the huge win for my family!

History

My kids love The Story of the World.

This makes my heart sing, because I love history. I absolutely love history so much, and so reading the material to them is a double-pleasure.

I get to see them learn to love history, but I also get share in that love by revisiting the stories I love so much!

We finished Volume 1 – Ancient History – this year.

In 2021-2022 we will start on Volume 2 – Medieval History. And I’m already counting down the days to our first day of school!!!

This is, hands down, my favorite era of history.

My struggle with this will be not doing too much. Seriously, BBC documentaries. BBC historic reenactments. Cooking. Art. Dress up. Skits. Plays. Movies. You name it. There is so much that makes this era of history come alive!!

Science

My kids also love science. And I’m glad, because I always hated science. And by hate, I mean haaate.

And that makes me sad, because now I love science. Moving to Ketogenic lifestyle and researching adrenal fatigue have awakened in me a love for biology and science that I had never enjoyed before.

Lest you think that this was my parents fault (being homeschooled myself from the 4th grade), it wasn’t.

It probably had much to do with my own personal interests and disinterests….and in high school having a very boring biology teacher, while doing distance learning.

We are continuing on with Answers in Genesis – God’s Design for Life – the Animal Kingdom.

We did The Human Body this year, and I have to tell you that I learned at least as much as my kids did, if not more. There was so much that I simply – out of disinterest – didn’t know. It was fascinating and my kids loved it!

They are over the moon that we’ll be studying animals next year.

And much like history, my challenge will be to not cram too much extra and supplemental stuff into this subject! Like this channel I can’t wait for my kids to start watching – The Dino Discovery.

P.E.

Admittedly, I have not done well with P.E. at all. Last year or this year.

I had good intentions and they did not play out very well in real life. I have scheduled it in for 2021-2022, instead of just expecting it to happen.

Not as much for kids, as for me.

My kids get a lot of outside time. We have a basketball hoop and trampoline in our backyard. We have a great dead-end street for them to ride their bikes.

We also have exercise equipment in our laundry room: a crunch-bench, elliptical, and stationary bike.

But I am just not consistent with making this more organized.

On nice days, we will go on walks. This will give us time to talk and bond more as a family. On not-so-nice days, I will use this channel I love – Work Hard, Praise Hard.

Art

This is another subject I’ve done poorly with. Partly because I’m not terribly artsy myself, and so I feel like I’m all thumbs and left feet when it comes to art.

But like P.E., I have scheduled this in for the 2021-2022 school year, and not just expecting it to “happen”.

For art we’ll be doing a mixture of Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool and Mark Kistler’s YouTube Channel for drawing.

Extra Curriculars

Music

Both of my kids are enrolled in Hoffman Academy for piano. I did upgrade them both, so that they get the games (which they love) and the theory pages.

They love Mr. Hoffman and are thriving in piano.

My oldest also takes drum lessons from Venture Music (which happens to be owned by my brother and sister-in-law).

He is doing fabulous with drum lessons. I highly recommend Venture Music! They offer a wide range of private music lessons in person and online.

Video Editing

While I have not enrolled my kids in any formal video editing classes, my son sometimes calls my nephew, who is studying this formally, and who happens to have used the same software I already have and use for my podcasting and vlogging.

My oldest is a whizz at video editing and loves doing it.

He knows more about video editing than I do, actually, and does stuff I have yet to figure out. It’s amazing!

He has two channels: Robi’s Legos and Drums where he shares about his life: basketball shots, drumming, Lego creations, and lately gaming.

His 2nd channel is Robi’s Homeschool Life where he shares some of his homeschool assignments. And he’ll be doing more on this channel in 2021-2022.

My youngest is just getting into serious video. Until recently, I had made all of his videos unlisted, but he did this video all on his alter-ego channel, John Connor, all on his own. You might enjoy it.

Unit Studies and Holidays

I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% on board with unit studies. Mostly because I like a more direct and linear approach to academics. But I do like them for holidays.

I usually set one week aside over a holiday to do a unit study. You can find all of my holiday unit studies here.

Also, I have free, fun and colorful notebooking pages for all of these unit studies that you can find here.

As for Christmas, I will do just as I did last year. I will set aside November 30-December 23 to do “Christmas Around the World”.

In the fall, I will share with you what I did in 2020, and also what I plan to do for 2021.

My kids loved doing Christmas Around the World and learned so much from it!

Rosilind
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