Dec 4, 2009

Winter Session 7th Grade Curriculum Picks

As we are drawing our fall session to a close over the next week, I figured it was time to look ahead and finalize the choices we have made for the upcoming Winter Session! Since we are always changing things around here, this is of course a rough guess of what we will be doing. Most of our picks for the fall session worked out rather well, but there are some areas that we needed to tweak a bit. Here is our "intended" outline -

ELA -
We have swapped out our ELA system SEVERAL times in the past two years, but I do think that we have finally made a bit of progress in this area. KM worked through Levels 3 & 4 of Writing Strands rather quickly and decided to work through a few workbooks for latter half of this past session and the next.
  • She has been working through 5-Minute Daily Practice Grammar, she tends to do all 5 lessons for the week at once on Monday, but she is getting them all correct, so I guess I can't really complain can I.
  • Quick Practice Writing Skills is a bit more of a challenge for her - well it varies day to day. There are some things that she just needs a slight reminder on and others that have never been covered, so when we come to an area that needs to be covered completely we stop and cover it. It seems to be working and she is far less weary of asking for help.
  • For writing itself we have gone back to the 3 minute non-stop writing and are using 350 Fabulous Writing Prompts. Some of the prompts are not so fabulous in my opinion, but we just skip those ones and take those days to go back over and review or edit her previous days writings.
  • We will also begin working through the Grammar and then Writing on BrainPop.
  • For literature we will be using Teacher Created Resources for Tuck Everlasting and The Island of the Blue Dolphin. As well as a Scholastic Book Guide for Around the World in Eighty Days which will coincide with our Geography. KM of course will also be continuing her free time reading - not that I have to worry about that.

Math -
  • We will be finishing up The Complete Book of Algebra and Geometry this next session so that she can feel confident when she goes back to the Teaching Textbook for Algebra in the Spring.
  • I also thought that it would be fun and interesting to take a look at Women Mathematicians during this session. This book features 15 women and we will spread them out covering one or two a week for the 10 week session.
Science -
  • We have decided to put off Story of Science again as KM wanted to slow down a bit on her Physics so that she could really investigate each area more closely. So for the next session she will continue with her Physics Workshop Kit from Thames & Kosmos. She will also continue to supplement with Brain Pop.
  • We are also going to revisit Chemistry. She had done a bit of it last year at our co-op, but I think we will try to dive a bit deeper this time around. I have gotten a light textbook - Chemistry of Matter - from Paperback Swap and she has agreed to try it. I have the Periodic Table from Basher Science Books - WHICH SHE LOVES! - as a stand by in case the text flops. I have a lot of projects and kitchen chemistry things to add in as well as BrainPop - AGAIN!

Social Sciences -

Health -
KM really likes the Learn to Be Healthy site - though some of the content is a bit below her level, most of it seems to be sinking in and she is moving right along through it. They do have a high school level, but I don't think she is ready for that set just yet. She is also working through the Health topics on Brain Pop.


Electives -
  • Staying with our strong Science focus - per KM's request - she will be studying weather and meteorology this session. I will be listing our resources for this in a separate post.
  • For her foreign language she is going to be doing Spanish. We were lucky enough to get a FANTASTIC deal on Tell Me More by Auralog through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op last summer and she is REALLY enjoying the program. The voice recognition software is great and the homeschool edition has worksheets that you can print off to supplement with. I will be supplementing with two workbooks - Let's Learn Spanish Grades 7 & 8. I also picked up to sticker books that I thought KM & SC could do together. This would help reinforce the basics for KM and would introduce SC to a bit of Spanish as well.
  • Music Alive! is still a big hit and we will continue with this through the next session. We also will be taking a look at some opera pieces from Opera for Everyone and will be going to the Boston Lyric Opera's presentation of Barber of Seville.
  • Piano Adventures is working incredibly! She will be starting on Level 2 and I am amazed and awestruck by how well she is playing with no outside instruction. There was talk of an interest in Flute, but I am not too sure how serious that was...
  • She will be continuing with Drama at our co-op and they will be working on another Shakespearean play with music and dancing, but the title has not been disclosed yet!
  • We will be continuing to work through the Meet The Masters for our art practical and theory section. She will also continue on her cross stitch work and may start some sewing as she interested in working on her costume for the play this spring.
Again I can't stress enough how much of a guideline this is and it is in NO WAY set in stone. I am very open to changing things that are not working and try to make sure that KM feels that she can be honest with me about how she feels something is going.
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