I finally have our curriculum finalized for the coming year. Here’s the great reveal!
Math – Saxon Algebra 2
We are continuing with Saxon for a few reasons: it’s easiest to continue one math program, especially once we’re this far, so it continues without gaps or excessive review; I like Saxon’s spiral method; I like the no frills aspect; it’s very easy and cheap to find. I have not yet gotten the teacher CDs for Saxon, but there may come a time where we’ll need them since Care Bear works on her own. She says she doesn’t like doing math with me because I get too excited. LOL!
Literature – Excellence in Literature (EIL), American
I’m a huge fan of Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), and when I saw they distribute EIL, it immediately gave EIL a leg up in the competition for what program to use. I’m not a big literature buff, and with two little kids in the house, I just can’t plan on reading along with Care Bear. I needed something that was student-led and would require little work from me on a daily basis. This is exactly the feedback I’ve heard about EIL, so we went with it. Now that I’m looking at it, it requires more planning than I anticipated, but in sha Allah it won’t be an issue.
Writing – Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), Student Writing Intensive – C (SWI-C) with Elegant Essay
As far as I can tell, there’s not a program that beats IEW when it comes to improving a student’s writing ability. There may be things that about the same caliber, but nothing that beats it (at least currently). I decided to go all out and get the Teaching Writing with Structure and Style (TWSS), which is basically a DVD set of a recorded seminar and a workbook. It’s a bit expensive at about $150, but given I have at least two more kids to get through homeschooling, I think it’s worth the investment, in sha Allah. In order to give Care Bear a leg up with with Composition CLEP, I thought Elegant Essay was a good boost. In sha Allah we she see as the year progresses!
Mandarin Chinese – Currclick.com
This year we are adding in an online class component to Care Bear’s Mandarin Chinese course. Last year she just did Rosetta Stone Level 1, but frankly, that’s not enough work to award a high school credit. I searched high and low for an online option so she could have some teacher support, and ended up choosing Currclick’s Hybrid class. Currclick offers some fully online classes, and some hybrid classes. The hybrid classes have less live session, but are a fraction of the cost. My pocketbook will be really happy if this works out with the hybrid class. Care Bear has her eye on doing a foreign exchange program in the future, in sha Allah!
AP US History – Hippocampus.org
I’m in love with Hippocampus in a big way. They make my homeschool planning ultra easy, and I feel really good about using them even though it’s the first year. The entire lesson plan is laid out for you, and at least this class easily fits one class chapter (not necessarily the book’s chapter) into one week. It tells you what to read, gives you a presentation to watch, and then assigns work. It’s pure beauty to a homeschool parent.
Biology – Compiled
Biology is a long story… I would have written this post weeks ago if it wasn’t for Biology. What we’re planning on at this point (and it seems like a solid plan, but it’s still a bit new) is we will be using Prentice-Hall’s Biology book for the spine. Hippocampus has linked up videos to textbook page numbers on their Textbook Correlations section, and we’ll use that to supplement the reading. We’ll also be connecting with one or two other homeschool families for labs and discussion. This is my first year being responsible for science at home instead of using a virtual school or a co-op, so I’m a bit nervous!
Qur’an – Studio Arabiya
We have been using Studio Arabiya (my newest sponsor – Welcome!) for the past month and we’ll be continuing that. We were doing Qur’an memorization together, but I want to make sure Care Bear has correct tajweed (pronunciation and recitation), which is not something I can provide for her at this time. Alhamdulilah for Skype!
Tafseer – Bayyinah
We’ll continue with the Nouman Ali Khan lectures through Bayyinah Institute and then Care Bear will give me a halaqah. She seemed to really like this setup last year, and she learned quite a bit. Even though we were doing some tafseer along with her memorization last year, I’m going to have her start all the way back at Surah al-Nas. I’m sure there’s a lot she can pick up, plus it’s been about four years since we originally covered Surah al-Nas, so I’m sure a refresher would be beneficial.
General Islamic Studies – Compiled
We’ll be using a few things for general Islamic studies. When Care Bear is not on her menses, she’ll be reading Qur’an in Arabic for 15 minutes a day to work on her recitation while reading. When she is on her menses she’ll read Don’t Be Sad for 15 minutes each day. I’m not sure yet what I’ll have her read when she’s done with that. Outside of her personal reading, we will cover one hadith a week from Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith collection. In sha Allah I’ll be getting the book with commentary to aid our discussion even though I have one copy of the book already.
So that’s it! As with anything in life, there may be some slight changes later, but I’m feeling really good about this. Plus, since we’re in high school now, I don’t feel like I have as much wiggle room. We’ve started part time already, and will be back full time after Labor Day, in sha Allah.
The rest of the series to check out!
- 8th Grade Curriculum 2012-13 (September 18, 2012)
- 2013-14 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum (August 22, 2013)
- 2014-15 10th Grade Homeschool High School Curriculum (August 4, 2014)
- 2014-15 Preschool Homeschool Curriculum (August 4, 2014)
- Toddler and Preschool Curriculum and Book Lists (August 13, 2015)
- Mid-Year Kindergarten Curriculum Review (February 13, 2017)
- Charlotte Mason Grade 1 Curriculum Choices (September 3, 2018)
The mamá says
Sharing on the page!
Salamualaykum. How do you check on care bear’s progress? And what do you do to keep her on track? I’m facing some compliance issues, and with younger siblings in the house we often get sidetracked. Any advice on getting things done?
Shannen Espelien says
Walaykum assalam, We use the gradebook posted on the Five J’s blog, and quite honestly, I mean to update it weekly, but it’s probably closer to every 2-3 weeks. Care Bear *loves* fencing, so she knows that if her schoolwork isn’t done (a necessity), fencing goes away (a luxury). I think we’ve only had to stop her from going to fencing once because she simply was misusing her time, so it’s been quite effective. It’s not something I implement right away because we didn’t have deadlines last year, so I try to give her some leeway, but if things get out of hand, using her time for school work rather than going to fencing is a pretty big deal, so it works for us. I hope that helps! It’s hard to know when to draw the line, and when to give them more opportunities to complete things.