Hi friends! Every year I like do a mid-year curriculum review just to assess our curriculum choices, make sure we’re on track, and that the curriculum is performing well for us. Mid-year is a great time to make any curriculum changes, start something new, and just freshen up your curriculum!
So far this year we’ve been really happy with everything we’ve selected and so we’ll be sticking with everything we started out with. We are doing great with everything I picked for my 4th and 7th grader this year, so no change there. That said, we did change up a few things for my 9th and 10th grader after we got going and so I wanted to make sure to mention it here.
9th Grade Update:
For my 9th grader, I decided to add in a literature unit for him. While he’s doing one of the IEW Theme Based Writing Units and it does include literature in there, I felt like he needed something a little more geared towards literature discussion and analysis specifically.
So we’ve added in the Janice Campbell Introduction to Literature English 1 unit (also from IEW) which so far we’re really enjoying. It is a one year college preparatory literature and composition course. The lessons guide students through classic literature with the use of historical and cultural contests, literary analysis and essay organization.
10th Grade Update:
I started out with my 10th grader using The Elegant Essay by IEW. Once we got into it I realized that it was a bit harder for me to teach without some background and so we switched to The IEW High School Essay Intensive. The High School Intensive comes with video lessons which helped me out greatly, and so far it is going much smoother. Once we complete this I think we’ll be a little more prepared to move onto The Elegant Essay. which we’ll probably pick back up next year.
The other more difficult thing for us this year has been the BJU Science labs. Their lab kits are quite expensive and so we’ve opted to only do labs that include supplies that are a bit more readily available. Since we’ve done science in the past, we do have a good selection of scientific “tools” available to us, but not everything. The good part of the BJU DOL lessons is that they do show the labs to the students in the video lessons. So for some that require more expensive supplies or more difficult to find supplies we are watching the video and using their results to complete our lab workbooks. The kids are still completing the lab workbooks. This is working well for us, and so we’ll re-evaluate at the end of the year regarding labs because I do think it’s important for them to be able to have that lab experience as well.
So other than these two changes, our curriculum list has remained the same and we’re plugging along nicely!
Click below for more information and links to the specific curriculum we’re using this year!
Options & Extra curricular activities: We also participate in a once a week options program through our local school district. They offer a variety of classes that help supplement our homeschooling. It also provides the kids with a fun day where they get to see their friends and participate in a classroom environment. Each of my kiddos is doing a variety of classes there, you can see more in their specific curriculum picks above.
And that’s it for our mid-year curriculum review. As you can see we made a few modifications, but have managed to stick with most of our original picks. Don’t be afraid to change things up if they aren’t working for you!
Thanks for reading today, and I hope you are all having a wonderful homeschool year!
To keep up with our shenanigans, feel free to follow me:
Looking for more homeschooling fun? Check out some of the links below!
Check out our Homeschool Room Tour here!
Check out my Homeschool Tip Tuesday Videos here!
I hope this helps some of you out, I know getting started can be overwhelming! I wrote a book called Homeschooling 101 that will help answer all of your questions on how to get started homeschooling, choosing curriculum, creating lesson plans, etc. For more information on homeschooling check out my Homeschooling 101: A guide to getting started!
what do you use for foreign language for high school?
We’re using BJU Press Distance Online Learning for foreign lang.
How are you liking BJU Spanish 1 DLO? Is it easy for your student to do on their own? I’m considering it for my 9th grader this fall. Do you like it? If so, are you planning on doing Spanish 2 BJU DLO next year?
Hi Yes, we’re doing okay with it so far. It helps that I can speak some Spanish to help grade, but they do have the answer keys for you to go off of as well. And yes, he’ll do Spanish 2 next year as well.
Thank you!! BJU Spanish DLO is pretty inexpensive so we’re going with it! I’m glad to know that you like it too!
If you start a new curriculum in January that would typically take a full 35 weeks to complete, do you run it through the summer, or take a break and pick it back up in the fall? Thanks for sharing your mid year thoughts!
Hi Jennifer, I would try to see where your student fits within the new curriculum you’re starting and begin at that point. So you may be starting at the beginning if they’re behind and need to get caught up. At that point you might choose to go through it over the summer to catch up, or even just extend it to the following year if you don’t want to do summer school. If your student isn’t behind, then you might be starting that curriculum half-way through and they can finish as normal.
That makes sense. Thank you for replying!
I’m looking into BJU Press OR A Beka Science for my soon to be 4th grader. Have you used them both? Pros or cons? Thanks for your help!!
We have used both and they’re fairly similar. Both tend to be more textbook/worksheet based. They do have labs and experiments in them as well, but on the whole they’re good and thorough programs just not super hands on 🙂