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Joshua's 10/11 School Year 7th Grade

I cannot believe my eldest son will be in 7th grade. Wasn't it just yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital? My goodness, those of you with little ones, believe me when I say the years go by VERY fast!

Like with Annette, I had a hard time figuring out Joshua's school curriculum.  I purchased three or four writing programs, trying to figure it out. Thankfully they weren't expensive ones, but I had to see them to find out which one would work for my Josh.

For writing I went with http://www.thefathersbooks.com/ How to Write Essays and Research Reports. It covers; Taking notes

Building an outline
Preparing a bibliography
Drafting topic sentences
Formulating concise sentences
Creating summary sentences

Composing opening paragraphs
Constructing closing paragraphs
Developing supporting detail paragraphs
Sentence structure

Paragraph structure.

I want to include some copywork and dictation for Josh, this year. I think it will help with his spelling and writing skills. To cover this area as well as reading I chose Learning Language Arts Through Literature. I went with the Tan book because of the spelling and grammar. It's more of where he is at and I like that it would reinforce what he will learn from  his spelling and grammar. LLATL has some creative writing assignments. He will also read Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Latham, The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare, Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard, The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. He has read all but Big Red, but I think that could be a good thing. It's like watching a movie for the second time; you notice things you missed the first time.

For spelling I went with Saxon Phonics Intervention. I know we used Spell to Write and Read last year and I had 'planned' to continue using it for another few years. I still own it and refer to it but quite frankly, I don't want to teach spelling to Joshua and Annette, for another two years. I want to be done with teaching spelling with my two older students. Since Josh, has a hard time with spelling and really wants to spell well, I went with Saxon. Saxon Phonics Intervention covers: consonants, vowels, and reading comprehension, the program offers explicit, systematic strategies for decoding and spelling words. I know that Saxon Phonics Intervention will help Josh with decoding words that he is not sure about by taking the words apart and it will help him spell the word too. Can't beat that!!!

Last year for reading we used Christian Light Education. Although the readers were well enjoyed, the Light Units were pretty boring. Josh, never complained but I could tell. This year he'll get reading with using Learning Language Arts Through Literature and using The Elson Readers. I'm going to have him use the same book as Annette. For one my sister is reformatting that one into a workbook. Secondly, it's pretty meaty series and the stories are interesting. I know he'll enjoy them. Because we are using LLATL, like with Annette, we'll probably not finish the whole book.

For grammar we are going with Saxon Grammar6. I had the binding cut off and three-hole punched, so we can put a weeks worth in his binder. The textbook is pretty thick, 612 pages thick. I'm also letting him write in the book. I know many kids can transfer the information onto notebook paper but I'm all for making our day run a bit smoother. There will be times when he has to use notebook paper.

Our schedule for Language Arts will look something like this:
  1. Spelling 4 days a week
  2. Saxon Grammar 3 to 4 days a week (3x-week for three weeks, 4th week 4x-wk. This way we will hopefully finish at the end of the school year.)
  3. Elson Reader, complete a chapter a week (not planning to use this every week)
  4. Learning Language Arts 3 to 4 days a week (I'm fine with taking more than a 9 month school year to finish LLATL)
  5. Essay and Research daily
Math was a hard one. I went with Bob Jones Math 4. Math is one of Joshua's favorite subject but yet he struggles with it. I hope for us to finish BJ4 in six months, then he can take a placement test for Saxon Math and continue with Saxon. I really feel like Josh, just needs to go back to the basics. He knows all his math facts but he can use some review with  place value & money, addition & subtraction, fractions, decimals, multiplication & division through two digits, time, data & graphs, geometry, pre-algebra. The bold is where he really needs review.

History, is one of Joshua's favorite subjects as well. He enjoyed using Christian Light Education last year but we chose a different route this year, using Bob Jones Heritage Studies The American Republic. This is the 8th grade text and we went with it because Joshua, is REALLY interested in U.S. History. We may use it over a two year stretch because I'm adding in some additional optional reading: Faith of Our Fathers: Scenes from American Church History, American History in Verse and Free Indeed: Heroes of Black Christian History. We will also use parts of My Father's World Exp1850.

For Science we went with Sonlight Science 5. Josh, will get 'the' talk with his father this year. Sonlight Science 5 kinda goes into learning about puberty. This year he and Annette will learn about the human body, survival and nutrition. Looks like an interesting science year. Plus I'm sure they'll want to help with the younger ones science experiments from McRuffy.

Josh, may have academic difficulties but he loves to learn. He doesn't give up. I know it's hard for him to use a 4th grade math program and that he has a hard time spelling small words but he continues to try. Sometimes he feels down about it but for the most part he continues on. I love homeschooling because I can cater to his needs. This year Joshua, wants to start learning Greek. I think it's wonderful. He'll start with the Greek Alphabet Code Cracker. We were going to do this over the summer but it didn't make it into our budget. Once he finishes with it he'll move onto Elemental Greek.

Joshua, on his own is also using Wordly Wise 3000. His is book 6. I'm not going to schedule this in as school otherwise he won't think it's fun. I didn't know that Wordly Wise has an audio companion. I thought this would be neat for Josh. He is always looking for ways to learn new words. I purchased the workbook, so he can read along with the audio. He'll hear and see the words. yay! 
I just read a review today (it wasn't there when I purchased it) that Wordly Wise has some evolution in it. I'm not happy about it but I'm okay with it, only because we have talked about this a lot with our children. They know that birds have always been birds and whales were not land animals. 
For Bible we will use My Father's World; studying the book of James. I think this may be a tough year considering the devil will not like us attempting to memorize the book of James. We have never memorized anything this long before. We will be doing lots of praying because I know we'll be attacked spiritually.

Well, that's Joshua's 7th grade year. I pray that he really enjoys all his learning.


1 comment

  1. I know, they grow up so fast! I hate that they grow up so fast...:) But don't worry, he'll always be your baby, mine always are. (shhhh, I still baby my 15, 19, and 22 year old...don't tell anyone!)

    Just a few more days for you to start!!! You'll do great, don't worry!

    Dee :)

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