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Course of Study With Reviews

January 7, 2009

Our Course of Study with reviews


A course of study is a listing of the resources you will use for each subject for the year. In CA, homeschoolers are required to submit a Course of Study at the beginning of the school year. 


For a typical course of study for grades K-12, check out this site.


Here is our course of study (it has already been updated this year!)  You can read my notes on some of the books, but keep in mind that I am only a few months in, so take my reviews with a grain of salt.


Coco, 7th grade


I did not find any particular Bible curriculum that met my objectives for Bible class this year, so I put together my own Bible course. To find in more detail what this includes, click here.



Algebra ½ , Saxon Math

I love Saxon math.  It has a spiral review built in so concepts are continually reintroduced.  It is straightforward, easy to understand, and offers a CD Rom tutor which I will definitely be taking advantage of next year.



We started the year with Lifepacs by Alpha Omega and tossed them after a month.  After studying and thinking more about the approach I wanted to take, I settled on these 3 individual books. 


Grammar &Composition 1 by Abeka:

This is comprehensive grammar course and a pretty decent composition one.  I am a big fan of this book.  How many of us learned proper grammar?  I for one had never diagrammed a sentence in my life.  Next year, we will be able to just do a review course of daily grammar and focus on a more in-depth composition study.  Then in ninth grade, we’ll go back for more Abeka grammar. 


Spelling Power, Castle Moyle

I just started this a couple weeks ago and the jury is still out. So far, we are liking it.   


Vocabulary from Classic Roots: 

I really like this book as well.  We make flashcards each week of the key words and in addition to the exercises, review previous weeks’ words.  This book focuses on the Greek or Latin roots of the words, and I have learned a few new words myself with this one.  The challenge words are a bit much, I think we will come back to them when we have finished the entire course in ninth grade and do the challenge words. Why not?



Order and Reality, Abeka  

This Biblical-based Science text is very well written, but covers so many subjects there is not a whole lot of depth to any subject.  I am supplementing heavily and the book will last all year, as opposed to one semester as it is planned. There are lots of experiments to choose from and a workbook that goes along with it.  Next year, I will be switching to Apologia Physical Science. 


Healthier You, Abeka

This book is okay, we are not crazy about it but it does have lots of illustrations and photos and is easy to read.  I don’t think we’ll be revisiting health until high school, but when we do we may very well use Abeka again.


Social Studies:

Lifepac Social Studies 7, Alpha Omega

Okay, I am not crazy about Lifepacs.  They might work for independent “Perfect Paulas” (A learning type mentioned in Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 Homeschool Curriculum).  But these books just do not work for my “Sociable Sue.”  Frankly, the sight of them bores me as well.  Note: Can’t wait to try Tapestry of Grace next year, a classical, unit study approach to History.  I am pretty thrilled about this curriculum, I’m sure I will be posting about it someday!


Because we can’t stand Lifepacs, I added a couple units to give us a break.  They are: Political Science and WWII (Unit studies include history, writing, literature, art and more.)



Foreign Language:

Spanish, Rosetta Stone Homeschool version

We have not actually gotten this yet; it is planned for second semester. It includes an audio component and is taught immersion style – no translating.  I took 3 years of high school Spanish and 2 years at College level, but I plan to take this course along side Coco to be a better teacher.  It offers multiple users, which is a bonus for big families. 



Cheerleading, Volleyball, Fitness (gym workouts, setting personal goals)



Soleil (K)


Abeka Bible story cards, Doctrinal drill

I use these story cards with big pictures on them for Soleil, and do doctrinal drill almost daily.  As with Coco, I wanted to design a Bible class just for her.  You can read about her course here.



Primer, Math U See

We are loving this math program.  I chose it for its hands-on approach, perfect for my active five year old.  It has a DVD with sample lessons.  Soleil enjoys watching these with me and then we spend a week or two doing the assignments for each lesson.  When it comes to teaching telling time, I think I may use my own Judy Clock instead of their manipulatives, as I started that with Soleil when she was 4.  Because I think Saxon Math has a better program for the college-bound, I plan to switch her to Saxon in 5th grade, when the use of manipulatives slows anyway.

Abeka Numbers Tablet

        Great for practicing writing numbers.


Reading and Phonics:

Letters and Sounds K, Abeka

Abeka Readers

My Blend and Word book

I know some people detest Abeka because of the volume of busy work they incorporate into their lessons, but you don’t have to do it all!  I have not found a better phonics program.  I taught Abeka at a private Christian preschool and my entire class of 14 four year olds were reading before kindergarten.  I highly recommend the flash cards for drilling.  I also use most of the teaching aids, as I plan to use their phonics through third grade.


Writing with Phonics, Abeka

This a great writing curriculum,  just remember you don’t have to do it all.  I use the manuscript style.  Sure, you can teach your kindergartner cursive.  I just didn’t want to.



Science Excursion

This is a fun kit I bought at a convention.  I bought it mostly for the supplies, we don’t really use the workbook that came with it.  We’re talking kindergarten here, so for us science is all about the experiments.  Next year, I will probably follow the Well Trained Mind science curriculum, with a Charlotte Mason influence in my approach.  I plan to stay away from textbooks in science at least for the first few years.


Social Studies:

God’s World, Abeka

This is okay, what I really love are the giant-book visuals that go along with the workbook.  Starting next year, Soleil will begin a classical history course, Tapestry of Grace.  No more textbooks!



Cheerleading, Swim, fun physical activities at home (bike riding, dance, walks)


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    January 7, 2009 11:08 am

    i like the new look

  2. angelamills permalink*
    January 7, 2009 11:43 am

    Thanks! I like it, too!

  3. Mamala permalink
    January 14, 2009 6:44 am

    I want to go to your school.

  4. May 28, 2009 5:37 pm

    Hi. Hope you don’t mind my commenting on an older post. I was just wondering if you’ve heard of Christian Light Education? My son learned to read with Abeka K4, K5, and 1st grade programs homeschooled. However, he was drilled to death. We switched to CLE for second grade this year and love it. It is still a comprehensive language arts and reading program, just has more variety of activities in the lessons. There aren’t as many distracting pictures in the workbooks. We like it a lot better than Abeka. CLE has a beginning reading phonics based program they call Learning to Read. I’m going to be starting my daughter with that instead of Abeka this fall. You may want to check it out if you’re having to tweak Abeka.


  1. Course of Study « Angela Mills

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