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Our Homeschooling Curriculum Choices for 2020-2021

our homeschooling curriculum choices for 2020 2021

Homeschool Curriculum Choices

 

I shared in Instagram stories recently about our decision to homeschool this year.  This is our first year to ever homeschool!  My children have attended our local public school since kindergarten and we have always felt confident in this decision.  This year, however, we made the decision to homeschool in light of the pandemic and all of the uncertainty it brings.  When I shared on Instagram about our decision, I received many messages asking for curriculum resources.  Because of this, I have compiled all of the curriculum I will be using at this point in time.  Depending on how this all works for each of my children, we may adjust as necessary during the school year.

 

We have three children in the following grades:  1st, 5th, and 7th.  Needless to say, I am much more confident in teaching my first grader than I am my 5th or 7th graders (although she tends to be the most strong-willed).  🤪  But I am confident that strong curriculum choices will help me with both of my boys.

 

The first thing I did when thinking about curriculum was print off the state standards for each subject in the grade level of each of my kids (yes, that is A LOT of paper).  I am glad to have these printed off so that I can reference them throughout the year and try to align our curriculum decisions with the state standards (especially if my kids choose to return to public school next year).

 

I spent an extensive amount of time researching curriculum.  I really wanted an all-in-one curriculum (My Father’s World, Sonlight, Gather Round) to make life simpler for me, but because of the ages of my kids this just didn’t work for us.  I also want some subjects to be taught simultaneously with all children.  At this point, we will be attempting to do Science and History together with all three children, scaffolded up and down for the academic ability of each child.  My older kids will go more in-depth, obviously, but we will all be learning the same topic at the same time.

 

Also, I think it’s important to note that NONE of this curriculum is sponsored.  I have purchased everything with my own money.  Obviously, I do not know how well this will work for our family YET but I am excited to get started!

 

First Grade Curriculum:

Math:  Singapore Math Dimensions

 

Phonemic Awareness/Phonics:  Pathways to Reading

This is a curriculum I used as a first grade teacher.  I was required to attend a week-long training prior to implementing in my classroom.  Unfortunately, the teacher manuals for this program cannot be purchased without attending the training.  If I would not have gone this route, I would be using All About Reading (which I might still use for the second semester).

 

Reading Comprehension:  I am utilizing the book Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller (you can find the 2nd edition here) along with Reading Strategies that Work that includes some fun printables to use.  But we will primarily be focused on reading strong literature together.  Neither of these are intended to be a “curriculum” in and of themselves but since I have experience teaching this subject, I feel confident implementing them.  If you are new to homeschooling or teaching, All About Reading, along with reading quality literature would be your best all-around Language Arts curriculum for first grade.   Make sure that whatever curriculum you choose, it incorporates elements of the Big 5 skills it takes to teach reading:  Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Comprehension, Fluency, and Vocabulary!

 

Handwriting:. Handwriting without Tears (I have an old teacher’s guide that is helpful for teaching the names like “Frog Jump”, “Magic C”, etc.  but it isn’t necessarily required to have the manual).

 

Spelling:  Pathways to Spelling (OR All About Spelling)

 

Science:. The Good and Beautiful (starting with Kingdom Classifications, then moving to other units throughout the year)

 

History:  Kansas State History and then The Good and Beautiful History Year 1.

 

Bible:  Community Bible Study Homeschool lessons on the book of John

 

Music:  Piano Lessons

 

 

 

5th Grade Curriculum

Math:  Singapore Math Dimensions (Grade 5)  Beast Academy*,starting with Level 3

Due to some MAJOR shipping delays (after over a MONTH I still had not received my Singapore Math shipment) and also a bit more research, I decided to switch my 5th grader to Beast Academy* for math instruction.  I purchased the entire curriculum myself but the links above are affiliate links for the program.

Beast Academy is new to me but it came highly recommended by the math teacher who is teaching my 7th grader’s Pre-Algebra class.  You can read more about why we made the switch to Beast Academy here.

Because Beast Academy is more focused on problem solving and conceptual understanding of math concepts than rote memorization of math facts, we are also doing Multiplication Facts that Stick by Kate Snow for a few minutes each day as he still hasn’t memorized them all quite yet.  😳

 

Writing:  Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Level A, Year 1

 

Grammar:  Fix It (from IEW)

 

Literature:  Novel Unit Studies:  I’m going to choose one book to read each quarter and purchase a literature unit from Teachers Pay Teachers for each book.
Update:  So far we have read Walk Two Moons and are getting ready to read Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World.

 

Handwriting:  Handwriting without Tears Cursive Book (kids in our district were supposed to learn cursive in third grade but his third grade teacher didn’t get around to teaching it).  😕

 

Science:. The Good and Beautiful (starting with Kingdom Classifications, then moving to other units throughout the year)

 

History:  Kansas State History and then The Good and Beautiful History Year 1.

 

Bible:  Community Bible Study Homeschool lessons on the book of John

 

Music:  Guitar Lessons

 

 

7th Grade Curriculum

 

Math:  Pre-Algebra (taught online by a private teacher)

 

Writing:  Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Level A, Year 1

 

Grammar:  Fix It (from IEW)

 

Literature:  Novel Unit Studies:  I’m going to choose one book to read each quarter and purchase a literature unit from Teachers Pay Teachers for each book.
Update:  So far we have read Walk Two Moons and are getting ready to read Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World.

 

Science:. The Good and Beautiful (starting with Kingdom Classifications, then moving to other units throughout the year)

 

History:  Kansas State History and then The Good and Beautiful History Year 1.

 

Bible:  Community Bible Study Homeschool lessons on the book of John

 

Music:  Saxophone Lessons

 

 

Here’s to hoping for a wonderful year full of learning and growth for us all!  

 

 

 

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Classes are now live-streamed online!!

Since we are currently unable to practice together in person, join us online for your favorite yoga classes instead! It’s very simple to join the online classroom – start today so that you can continue your regular practice throughout this challenging time. 

Cost: pay what you can* (recommended minimum: $10) 

As a small business, having to close our doors for any amount of time is extremely challenging and a big financial hit. We ask you to support our studio and our teachers as much as you can. However, we also understand that these are hard times for some of you – and want you to know that WE are here to support YOU, too. If you are out of work, lost your job, or suffering financially – please pay what you can afford. All are welcome to join us in our virtual classroom. 

(This schedule is currently being updated. Please check back daily!)

Mondays
6:00pm Level 1/2 flow with Sally

Tuesdays
9:15am Level 1/2 flow with Carrie

6:00pm Level 1 with Jamie 

Wednesdays
9:30am Level 1/2 flow with Melanie
4:30pm Gentle  Yoga with Megan
5:45pm Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga with Megan

Thursdays
9:15am Level 2 flow with Carrie

6:00pm Level 1 with Larissa

7:30pm Yoga Nidra with Miriam

Fridays
9:30am Level 1/2 flow with Melanie

Saturdays
9:00am Level 2 flow with Carrie

Sundays
10:00am Level 2/3 with Miriam

register here:

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Let’s Get Philosophical!

I have the great honor of being able to teach the basics of yoga philosophy a couple of times a year in various 200hr teacher trainings. This allows the content to stay very fresh in my mind. 

When something is reinforced enough, it becomes harder to ignore, so the knowledge ultimately keeps me accountable to make sure that I am living my yoga every day, in every way. I also try to incorporate different philosophical topics in my weekly asana classes so that my regular students get little morsels of what else the practice has to offer beyond the physical benefits. I fall in love with each sutra all over again each time I revisit it and can see how new life experiences apply to the lesson. 

However, I find I always come back to the kleshas as the most impactful and powerful concept. The kleshas provide a logical, practical way of looking at the obstacles in your life and seeing what’s really going on. It allows us to take the emotion out of it and just looking at each situation objectively, which is so helpful and important. 

A short overview of the kleshas can be found here.

What’s your favorite yoga philosophy topic? I really want to know!

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Academy

Only 10% of educational media from print to video and XR is from people of color globally. Text GIFT or CULTURE to (202) 858-1233 to support more inclusive stories and supplementary learning materials globally.

DreamGalaxy Academy seeks to use the DreamGalaxy Fund to produce, curate, and distribute culturally relevant learning materials globally. Already in 1200 cities and 131 countries globally with interest from 610 schools and growing, we seek to answer the simple question: Do you have stories from my country or culture? Join us and help us tell your story, our story. As seen on TED, everyone has a story, and every story matters. 

DreamGalaxy Academy is the perfect app for your students this year, bringing the world to students through engaging and culturally relevant educational media. Our LEAP2STEM curation focuses on Languages, Entrepreneurship, Arts, Civics|Policy, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths). 

Thank you for supporting multicultural educational media and learning materials production and distribution for homeschooling, K12, and Higher ED. 

“It does not get better than this.” – African Billionaire Mr. Tony Elumelu, an Africapitalist and Banker,  on inclusive education

“You have just delivered a lesson plan! ” – Teacher Henry of Lang’ata Primary School (Nairobi, KENYA)

“I wish the whole school would have an opportunity to learn like this!” – Deputy Head Teacher, Utawala Academy

“Thank you for making learning exciting and engaging for (all) our children.” – Teacher Hannington of Westlands Primary School

“We love it!” – PS 51 The ELIAS HOWE SCHOOL Students on Storytime by DreamGalaxy Pilots (NYC DOE)

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Winter Blues? We’ve got your back.

There are plenty of healthy, fun, and practical ways to get yourself through these next few weeks of winter and closer to the spring time! You can start by joining us for an upcoming workshop, class or training. There is nothing like a warm and welcoming community to help “turn your frown upside down.” Read the article below on Winter Blues, it includes great tips like sharing a pot of stew or going for a brisk walk. There is also a video in there with one of my favorite teachers, Seane Corn.

Also, be sure to stop by our #loftlove wall and leave a message! XO

Source: The Yoga Loft (A DreamGalaxy Trusted Brand)

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Her Soul is Perfect.

I found myself with a surprise window of time where I didn’t have to take care of any children, so I decided to go on the walk that I always love to take whenever we come up to the Berkshires.

I started out and thought to myself, ‘I took this walk with my mom once and she was so excited and giddy about seeing a wild turkey.’ Then, I paused my thoughts for a while and took in the scenery.

Minutes later, I thought, ‘It would be lovely to see some sign from my mom.’ Then, I looked at my phone and got really absorbed in an important text thread for a while.

The moment I looked up from my phone, I was looking at the exact spot where my mom and I saw the wild turkey.

Whether that’s an actual sign or not, it was enough to make me instantly burst into a completely surprising, ugly, major cry for a few minutes. In that moment, I realized that, even seven years after her death, I still miss her so much. And so many of the activities that I enjoy in my life are because they help me feel closer to her.

After some significant time since her death, her physical absence now feels equally like a gift and a curse. Of course, I would rather she be here, but in another way, I’ve learned how to always have her around and truly focus on the best parts of her. The living people we love don’t have the same luxury. Because humans are flawed but her soul is perfect.

I am thankful to the Universe for the knowledge, for my memories and for Love.

Source: The Yoga Loft (A DreamGalaxy Trusted Brand)