Monday, May 12, 2014

Our 2013-2014 curriculum for a 16-year-old playing catch up

Wrapping up our fourth year of homeschooling, I finally feel ready to share our homeschool curriculum choices and my position on different topics. I didn't want to lead anyone astray before! The truth is that every family is different and the beauty of homeschooling is that we don't all have to agree on the same curriculum, schedules, etc.

My dear son N16 is catching up to his same-age peers and I couldn't be more grateful for our right to homeschool. Though some days are tough, I stand by my decision to homeschool him, with no regrets. This was the right move for him. 

He's all over the map with his "grade level" and when someone asks him what grade he's in, it takes him a moment to think before he finally just answers "9th."

I'm not claiming that this is is the exact program I would recommend for any and every 9th grade boy, I'm just sharing what works for him in hopes that it will encourage others who have kids with "special needs."

Science - Elemental Science: Biology for the Logic Stage We're almost through with this 36-week biology program. Though it is written for the 6th grade, the author shares ways to make it work for younger and older grades. I have been very happy with this simple program and I'm glad I bought the teacher guide and two of the consumable Student Guides (for N16 and his twin brother, C16). Each week there is a hands-on experiment or demonstration. Next year we will study earth science and Astronomy; I'm not sure if we will stick with Elemental Science or try another program. I'd love your input!

History, Geography, Literature - Tapestry of Grace We're starting week 22 of Year 2 on Monday. We're a little "off" a normal schedule because I found out about Tapestry of Grace during the middle of a school year and switched. We continued through the summer and will begin Year 3 in late-September. He does the Upper Grammar assignments and will move to Dialetic in Year 3.

Math - He began Math-U-See Pre-Algebra (after completing Gamma through Zeta) but we paused that to work on this

Writing - This one is a big struggle! We are doing brief poetry activities together about three days a week just to teach him the beauty of our language and what we can do with words. He also uses the writing section of inexpensive BrainQuest workbooks at the 4th grade level (after wrapping up the 3rd grade level earlier this year). My goal next year is to utilize the writing component included with Tapestry of Grace. 

Spelling - All About Spelling - Level 1
I'm so glad we went back to the beginning with this subject! It's no wonder my son was a lousy speller; he never learned the very basics, like the sounds each vowel can make! He has breezed through many lessons in just a day each, but some (especially the ones involving vowel sounds) have taken a week each. He's on step 20 of 24 now and will move on to Level 2 soon. I can see his confidence in spelling (and writing) increase every day. Click here to watch a video explaining All About Spelling, especially if you have a student struggling in this subject (affiliate link).

The rest of his school day is spent exploring extra-curricular activities and practical living skills. He is learning to play guitar, how to cook some of his favorite foods, going fishing and working in the garden. Each week he chooses a Big Brother Activity to do with A3 and a chore to do with A3, like washing the dog or scrubbing the kitchen sink.

Soon I'll share what C16 's college prep curriculum consists of and what I do with A3 for preschool. Stay tuned!

Have you used any of these programs? Do you have a child in multiple grade levels for different subjects?


  1. That sounds like a great plan. I love the way homeschooling allows you to fill in all the gaps.

  2. We have loved Math-U-See, and you are right, the beauty of homeschooling is that we can tailor it to fit our individual children and unique family style. I hope this school year is your best one yet.


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