It’s that time of year again where curriculum choices are narrowed down, items are bought, and slowly the packages start making their way to our front door. I’m a little late on getting things in so no fancy photos here of all our goodies, maybe I’ll update that when it all arrives maybe not.

Last year was riddled with bumps and hiccups along the way, like brambles snatching at our sleeves, as we made our way to the finish line. I think all of our curriculum deserves a hardy review to share some of the pitfalls we had as we as the triumphs, but that will have to wait for another day. Today let’s talk about what we’ll be using in the year ahead.

For the first time in years our boys will be working together in several main areas now that the youngest is also at the official US high school level. There are credits he wants, and ones the other need that just make sense to line up this year to allow them a last hurrah together before their lives diverge on the paths God has chosen for them. I’m both excited and nervous about a year with both of them together.

We have had many wonderful years combined in which we still laugh and joke about the memories and chaos that ensued, but at the same time there was a good reason for separating them and they each thrived during that time. So, while we truely believe this is the path that we are meant to take with our children, there is that small part of me that keeps looking over her shoulder saying, “You sure about this Jesus? Super sure?”

2018 Curriculum Choices:
  • Heart Of Dakota’s World History — We are specifically using the history aspect of this curriculum with both boys. It’s a small leap for our youngest who will not have done World Geography, and will eventually loop back to it as odd as that sounds. However, he’s more then capable and really excited about it. Both needed the World History credit which this will accomplish. We are also using the Living Library component that accompanies this level.
  • The Good And The Beautiful High School Language Arts 1 — This is one subject I really debated about. I spent a lot of time in prayer and research and thought I was totally set on purchasing something else when I was led to TGATB’s LA 1. I am actually really excited about this, compared to slightly nervous as I’d felt with my former selection. I really appreciate that the book choices are not only clean but limited with the option to challenge my students to read more if desired, this was a huge huge plus for my Freshman, where as the reading challenges were a huge draw to my Junior. This curriculum actually weaves in geography {my kids love this} and art {have I mentioned my artistic is in love with how heavy the art in his year will be?} The other aspect I was really drawn to about this was that the work is written to the student, and broken down into 10 booklets. Now, okay so to most that’s probably no biggie, but I have a student who needs to see tangible proof that he’s making progress and can say, “Right so all I need to do to be done is finish …” We’ll see how the curriculum goes once it arrives.
  • HOD’s Art History  — A big focus for us in the final years with our eldest is to really hit on the aspects he’s considering for a career down the road, this is art and writing. Hod’s WH has an Art History component that is not cheap, so I was pretty concerned about spending the money on it, but once my Junior heard about it he was gushing. He was making long lists of artists he hoped it covered, he was anxiously stalking the postman each day until the box arrived, and it was all I could do to keep him from popping in the videos and pouring over the curriculum immediately. Both boys will be earning a credit in this, although I am not 100% sure that our Freshman will enjoy this as much, but he’s unsure of what he wants to do for electives at this stage and he does need a Fine Arts so this will suffice.
  • Health — This dread subject cannot be avoided due to the need to comply with our home state {US, not AU} graduation rules. So, as much as we’d like to totally ignore this we’re not. I debated a lot about what to use for this topic mostly because I think there’s a lot more to health than what the average curriculum covers. Having said that, I also accept that my time is limited and so I just grabbed what HOD offered in their WH package, Total Health. They’ll both earn their credit and be done with it, and considering I have one who just wants to tick the box on this I’m okay with that.
  • Teaching Textbooks — Both boys will continue, or so goes the plan, with Teaching Textbooks. I have one who is really flourishing with it which is a true delight to see. The other isn’t a huge fan for a variety of reasons, most of which have little to do with TT. Each will simply pick up where he left off and continue forward until we break for the summer. I am grateful for 3.0 which allows them to just jump on a computer and get to work, although it’d be nice if 3.0 was ipad compatible, but sadly it’s not.
  • ByLine — My Junior will also be indulging in Byline this year, which he’s super excited about. It’s another one of those curriculums we are desperately waiting on it’s arrival. He will not do the writing in TG&TB unless he wishes, and will likely not bother with the notebooking from HOD, but instead use ByLine. We’ll see as the school year unfolds in January how it will all come together.
  • Foreign Language — My Junior has met all his requirements but wishes to continue with French III which is 100% his choice. The Freshman needs to get rolling and while I’ve tried to encourage him down the line of Spanish {considering our move} or French {so he can practice with his brother} he’s pretty intent to try his hand at Japanese, and my response was, “Excellent, I’m so happy you picked something that appeals to you!” He will likely be using DuoLingo to meet his requirements.
  • Bible — I did not end up purchasing the HOD Bible components to go with their WH, I have nothing at all against the HOD Bible which we have done previously, and I may still make the purchase as I can obtain the books within Australia. I just hadn’t felt a firm calling in which direction to go with this topic yet other than to use the Pilgrim’s Progress All-In-One Curriculum that HOD also uses, although do note it’s not their core Bible for this level. For those of you in Australia, I purchased our copy through Book D which was a huge savings due to the new GST laws {HOD was not affected}, and low AUD right now.
We still have some fine tuning to do, as our Freshman figures out what electives he’d like to focus on in his coming high school carer. They may affect his year and what, if anything more, is added to it. The Junior may take a photography course at some point this year to also go towards his electives, although I really don’t think he’s lacking but I’m not going to stop him either.

All up it should be a full rich year and I’m excited to see where it takes us. We will likely end up with “the big move” during our year, but we’ll pack in the days prior and pick up on the other side when we are ready. It’s all an adventure, is it not?

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