2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum


***11th Grade:***


Her Hand In Marriage

Consider the Lilies

Bible embedded in American History

Easy Peasy Bible Level 3

EFCA Bible  Quizzing – Memorizing Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon


Pre-Calculus with Ask Dr. Callahan, text College Algebra, 7th edition


Continue with piano, handbells and beginning ukulele

Easy Peasy Music Appreciation


“Art Class” by See the Light

CM style Art appreciation with home made Art cards


Apologia Anatomy and Physiology/Human Body, Anatomy coloring book (Kaplan)

Biology CLEP

American History and Literature:

Exploring American Government by Notgrass with the addition of the following books:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Lakota Woman, 1984, Fahrenheit 451,Animal Farm, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, One Flew Over the Cockoos Nest, The Last of the Mohicans, I Will Fight No More Forever, Miracle in the Hills, Kisses for Katie, The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne), Narrative of the Life of David Crockett (David Crockett), Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe), Co. Aytch (Sam Watkins), Little Women (Louisa May Alcott), Humorous Stories and Sketches (Mark Twain),  In His Steps (Charles Sheldon), Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington), Mama’s Bank Account (Kathryn Forbes), Christy (Catherine Marshall), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Giver (Lois Lowry)

College Courses at the University of Northwestern:

History of Western Civilization

Old Testament Archaeology

English Composition and Grammar I

Human Growth and Development

Lifetime Fitness and Wellness


Spanish 3 with Instant Immersion


4H, Bible Quizzing, Awana Leader in Training (One night per week), Karate assistant instructor (one night per week), Special Olympics Bowling Coach (fall only), Sunday school


***8th Grade (Autism):***


Easy Peasy Bible 3


Growing in Wisdom (Marylyn Boyer)

EFCA Bible  Quizzing – Memorizing Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon


Easy Peasy Music Appreciation, piano 


Art Class  (See the Light)

American History Through Art (Visual Manna)

Art Appreciation (CM style with home made Art cards 

Physical Education:

DAPE (Developmentally Adapted Physical Education) one hour per week at public middle school

Physical Therapy (in clinic twice per week, in home twice per week)

Wii Fit

Language Arts:

Literature in American History Menus, Beyond Five in a Row, New American Cursive – book 2, G.U.M. Drops 3, All About Spelling 2, Story Cubes, Story Starters, copywork from American History Menus, Write From Early Modern History


Finish Saxon Math 3, tons of math games and file folder activities, start Easy Peasy Math 4, Times Tales, Math Mammoth Division, Saxon 4 Intermediate with Adaptations workbook, Life of Fred elementary books Farming – Jellybeans

Life Skills

Cooking, Model Me Kids, Individual Therapy, In Home Skills Worker, Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, Saying One Thing, Meaning Another (Super Duper Publications)


Easy Peasy Physical Science, Bridges, Electricity, Snap Circuits, Magnetism, topics from American History Menus, The Quark Chronicles – Botany


American History Menus 



 4H, Bible Quizzing, Special Olympics Bowling, Autism Camp


***5th Grade (Autism):*** 


Easy Peasy Bible 3

Growing in Wisdom (Marylin Boyer)

Heroines of the Past


Easy Peasy Music Appreciation, piano, ukulele 


Art Class  (See the Light)

American History Through Art (Visual Manna)

Art Appreciation (CM style with home made Art cards) 

Art and Architecture (Hillyer)

Physical Education

DAPE (Developmentally Adapted Physical Education) two hours per week at public intermediate school

Physical Therapy (in clinic twice per week, in home twice per week)

Wii Fit

Language Arts:

Literature in American History Menus, Beyond Five in a Row, New American Cursive – book 3, G.U.M. Drops 4, All About Spelling 2, Story Cubes, Story Starters, copywork from American History Menus, Write from Early Modern History, Callie’s Contest of Courage and Literature Study Guide (New Millennium Girls), Creative Writing Made Easy and Isabel books (New Millennium Girls)


 Horizon Math 4 (J just informed me that she wants a “real” math book, which apparently means hardcover, copy your own problems type.  After completing the placement test, discovered she will need Saxon 6/5, which I can get used for quite a savings), tons of math games and file folder activities,  Easy Peasy Math 5, Times Tales, Math Mammoth Division, Life of Fred elementary books Farming – Jellybeans

Life Skills

Sewing, repairing and restoring sewing machines, 


Model Me Kids, Individual Therapy, In Home Skills Worker, Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, Saying One Thing, Meaning Another (Super Duper Publications) 


Easy Peasy Physical Science, Bridges, Electricity, Snap Circuits, Magnetism, topics from American History Menus


American History Menus


4H, Special Olympics Bowling, Autism Camp, Art Camp, Awana, Sunday School




Printable Apologia Chemistry Vocabulary Flashcards

ChemistryI created printable, editable flashcards for Apologia Chemistry (this is a Word doc but will also work on Pages).  I printed each module on a different color of cardstock and laminated the term with the definition on the back.  We will be using them for a Slylanders themed chemistry game but you could use them for matching, pocket charts or as regular flashcards.  I also included common elements and their abbreviations.

Click ChemistryVocabCards to download the file for modules 1-8 and the elements.  I plan to have modules 9-16 ready by Christmas.



2014-2015 Homeschool Curriculum



homeschool curricula

World Geography: (Trail Guide to World Geography, Bold Believers, Abeka Geography, create geography notebook, geography activities with the littles)

Introduction to Psychology: (Carnegie Melon University open course, REA CLEP prep, CLEP exam in December)

Human Growth and Development: (Tufts University open course, The Developing Person through the Lifespan – Berger, Lifespan and Human Development REA CLEP prep, CLEP exam in June)

World History part 2: (Notgrass World History part 2, History of Western Civilization REA CLEP prep, CLEP exam for Western Civ. 1 in October)


Geometry: (Jacob’s Geometry) and geometry games

Chemistry: (Apologia Chemistry, Elements photo cards, molecule kit, Knowledge Box lapbook)


English 10 (honors):
Excellence in Literature II, Teaching the Classics discussions and story charts, Ultimate Grammar 11, weekly essays for World History, writing MLA style research paper, Summer reading: Canterbury Tales (Chaucer), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Tolkien), The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Doyle). We will read the following books during the year (the unit corresponds to Exploring World History curriculum):

Unit 16: Robinson Crusoe (Daniel DeFoe); Unit 16a: Here I Stand (Roland Bainton); Unit 17: The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann Wyss); watch Luther movie; Unit 18: Walden (Henry David Thoreau); Unit 19: Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan); Unit 20: The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas); Unit 21: A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens); Unit 22: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) and watch movie; Unit 23: Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad); Unit 24: Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis); Unit 25: The Hiding Place (Corrie Ten Boom); Unit 26: Hamlet; Unit 27: Country of the Pointed Firs (Sarah Orne Jewett); Unit 28: Animal Farm (George Orwell); Unit 28a: 1984 (Orwell); Unit 29: Ivanhoe (Sir Walter Scott); Unit 29a: Jane Eyre (C. Bronte); Unit 30: The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde) and watch movie; Unit 30a: The Abolition of Man (C. S. Lewis)

Spanish 2: Living Language Spanish; Complete Edition (includes text, workbooks, audio CDs and online learning). This is a switch from Rosetta Stone last year. I was not that impressed with Rosetta Stone for the price. There was some kind of glitch that required me to reinstall the software 1-3 times per month and losing all of the saved progress. The price point for Living Language is within our budget and had good reviews.

Bible 10: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist Curriculum,
I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Read Her Hand in Marriage, bible included in Notgrass World History, EFCA Bible Quizzing (memorize the book of Acts)

Music: (piano, handbells, composer studies to coordinate with history and geography)

Extra: Bible Quizzing, 4H, Karate (will earn black belt in November), Bright Lights, Sunday School, AWANA leader, VBS leader, get a part time job



homeschool curricula (Autism)


L and J do many subjects together including history, literature, art and geography.

History and Literature: We will be using the free literature based curriculum American History Menus.

Spelling: All About Spelling Level 1 and most likely will start level 2

Grammar: GUM Drops grade 3, games, copywork for American History Menus and Geography.

Handwriting: New American Cursive level 1, copywork


Geography:  I am really excited about WorldWorld Geography.  Each weekend I will load a vintage, well-travelled suitcase with books, recipes, maps, notebooking pages and more for the country we will “visit” the upcoming week. On Monday morning the children will get to open the suitcase to see where we are “going” (they are already begging to start).  After learning about each country they will get a flag sticker for their passport.  In addition to library books we will be using Bold Believers, Expedition Earth, Trail Guide to World Geography, Uncle Josh’s maps, Christmas Around the World cards, Sea Bird, Montessori style geography cards, The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, and How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World.  We will do crafts, study animals from the country, cook native(ish) recipes and play games including Quick Pix and Map Tangle.

Music and Art: Artist and composer studies to correspond with history and geography, piano lessons, music therapy, free play with instruments and art projects with different mediums.

Science: We will be doing mostly hands on physical science with some animal studies to correspond with geography and nature studies to go along with history.  I plan on doing units on electricity, earth science and engineering including Knex bridges and A Child’s History of Architecture by Hillyer.

DSCN5188 DSCN7214

Math: We all play a math game together at least four days a week (Quick Pix, Dino Math Tracks, Dino Dice, Math Wars, etc.).  I have created many file folder games to use for independent work and we use a lot of manipulatives and Montessori style activities like the the stamp game and geometry cards.  L is working at the beginning of Saxon Math 3, the repetition and slow pace are just what he needs.  J is just finishing Horizons 3 and will soon be in Horizons 4.


Life Skills: I choose activities to work on from Contenders for the Faith (L) and Keepers at Home (J) whenever possible, the little badges are a great incentive.  How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism has been a great resource for me.  L is currently working on tying his shoes, sweeping and using a microwave/kitchen safety.  J is learning to follow a schedule independently including doing her chores (folding laundry, watering plants and feeding the fish).


During the week we work on increasing food tolerances through games and play food, and do activities for OT, PT and speech.  We also use and practice the Zones of Regulation and Superflex Social Thinking curricula every day.


Bible: Memorizing verses to coordinate with copywork, history and science; BibleIs and watching Nest videos.  J will be memorizing some Psalms from a lighthouse themed Psalm book and Logan will be memorizing Acts and plans to join the junior Bible Quiz team.

Extra: Activities outside the home include 4H, Special Olympics, OT, Speech, therapeutic horse riding, PT, music therapy and play therapy.  L and J both have skills workers that come into our home each week for two hours.







Our Homeschool Rooms (2014-15)


As usual, I reworked our school rooms over the summer. 


I moved the piano that was along this wall and replaced it with this buffet this used to live in the kitchen.  One day I will have two Expedit (or Kallax I think they are called now) units along this wall.

DSCN7644 For now, the buffet will have to work. I have milk crates on top to hold L and J’s binders, with home-made games on top stored in scrapbook paper cases and large games in the cabinet portion of the buffet.

In the Trofast units are drawers for L and J to keep their personal workbooks, notebooks, etc. as well as OT supplies, scissors, colored pencils, fidgets, chewies and math supplies.  The white Target shelf has J’s weekly schedule on one side and holds larger items such as sorting trays, Montessori trays and therapy putty.

DSCN7651  DSCN7645

On top of the Trofast units are Sterilite bins that hold the math manipulatives and sensory items we are currently using. Fine motor manipulatives and J’s token jar (we give her a token when she uses her words) are housed on the white shelf.

DSCN7639 Along the opposite wall is a bookcase that houses our books for the upcoming year as well as small educational games, flashcards, Montessori cards and All About Spelling materials.  The teal bins were brown last year, I painted them with some acrylic paint to spruce them up a little.

DSCN7640       DSCN7667

I used scraps of fabric to decoupage a shoe box to hold our 3×5 cards as well as boxes for spelling.  The little square boxes are “micro boxes” from Rainbow Resource.

DSCN7642    DSCN7641

Next to the bookcase is another new addition – a 2×3 Expedit!  The right side holds books I use daily – geography books, teacher’s manuals, art resources and L and J’s mini offices.  C’s binders and textbooks are on the left.  The plastic bins are just ice cube bins decoupaged with more scraps of fabric.  They are perfect for holding “slouchy” books.

   DSCN7648  On top of the Expedit are basic supplies like pens, pencils and white-out as well as my black spinny thing Office Apprentice.  I keep all of my upcoming printables, clear covers and file folder games in the center.  Each file folder has a color coded sticker and letter so we can easily find the right zipper pouch (currently hanging from a tension rod under the buffet) containing cards and game pieces.


DSCN7652  DSCN7656

I built two new art ledges to display the masterpieces.

DSCN7659     DSCN7653

The table is where most “together” work happens.  On the wall I have a mini ledge to hold our spelling board out of the way and a pocket chart I made to display art cards for our artist studies.  On the table is a fidget basket and white board marker holder made from a plastic tub, toilet paper rolls and decoupaged fabric.

  DSCN7649   DSCN7650

My favorite new addition to the room is my DIY map rail/pocket chart system.  I purchased a wooden dowel ($1) and closet rod holders ($3) from a hardware store.  I cut the dowel to size and painted everything black.  Maps and posters can be hung with curtain clips; pocket charts with book rings.  The dowel pops right out to change charts quickly.  Above that is simply a yard stick (painted black) with velcro attached and screwed to the wall.  Right now it holds out USA markable map.  I love how easy it is to take the map off for mapping work and then stick it right back up.  On the door is our Calendar Connections pocket chart simply held on with magnetic hooks.  See how I made the pocket charts here. 



In the dining room I have an Expedit turned bench that holds our speech resources, social skills games and bird watching guides/binoculars.


In the hallway and on the fridge are their daily PEC schedules, chore sticks and L’s weekly schedule.

DSCN6333    bac.JPG

Downstairs we have a large room that serves as a sensory room, art room, play room, physical therapy room and homeschool storage.  One end has a reading nook with a giant whiteboard and the other end features a crash pit.  See more about the  Sensory Room on my blog.


Along one long wall are 3 cabinets for games and art supplies as well as several more bookshelves.


To help keep things organized and easy to find, I have a color coding system for fiction books.  Nonfiction books are organized by theme.  I decorated white magazine boxes with clip art and fabric.  It’s super easy to find books and put them away.


DIY Pocket Chart Calendar



Most ready made pocket charts are pretty hideous, less than sturdy and fairly expensive for what you get.  When I found these beautiful calendar cards on 1plus1plus1equals1, I knew I needed to try to make a pocket chart worthy of displaying them.

If you would like to make your own you will need:

  • A piece of heavy fabric (if using regular cotton or other lightweight fabric, attach fusible interfacing to the back) the size you want your completed pocket chart to be, PLUS four inches extra added to the height (I wanted my finished chart to be 28″ x 28″ so I cut my fabric to 28″ x 32″)
  • A 1/2″ wooden dowel the width of your pocket chart MINUS 3″ (my dowel is 25″)
  • 1/4 yard of premium vinyl
  • Coordinating thread and bias tape (I needed 3 packages)
  • Dry erase marker
  • Carpenter or quilting square
  • Sewing supplies
  • Grommets (2-4)


1. Find the top of your fabric.  On the WRONG side press under 1/2″.


 2. Press again at 1 1/2″. Sew close to pressed edge. This will provide a nicely finished top and a thick layer of fabric to attach your grommets to later.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the bottom edge.  This will create a casing for the dowel.


4. Using the square and a fabric pen or chalk, mark horizontal lines for the pocket placement.  I wanted 7 rows for my chart so there is room for a title and 6 rows for calendar dates.   My cards are 3.25″ tall, so I marked horizontal lines every 3.5″ to allow a little space between each row.


5.  Use a dry erase marker and the square to draw your pockets on the vinyl.  My pockets are 2″ tall and 28″ wide (the width of the chart).  Cut out the vinyl with a utility scissors, please do not use your fabric scissors!


6.  Cut 7 pieces of bias tape, each the width of the pocket chart.  Attach to one long edge of each pocket with paper clips.

7.  Sew the bias tape to the vinyl using the longest stitch possible (on my machine this is “4”).


 8.  Pin each vinyl pocket to the chart as shown.  Note – the bias tape is the bottom of the pocket.  Sew each pocket to the chart, again using a long stitch.


9. Next, use the square and a dry erase marker (only on the vinyl) to mark the vertical line placement.  Sewing along these lines will create a pocket for each card.


10.  The next step can be a little tricky…sewing along each vertical line.  When you sew directly on the vinyl it rends to stick to the presser foot.  To prevent this I place a napkin on each side of the sewing line, which allows the presser foot to glide.  (I have also heard that putting scotch tape on your presser foot will work, if you don’t mind sticky residue on the foot when you are done).  Use your longest stitch and sew up from the bottom so you don’t catch or wrinkle the pockets while sewing.


 11.  Almost done!  Cut 2 more pieces of bias tape, each 1″ longer than the chart (mine were 29″).  Fold and press each end in 1/2″.  Pin one piece of bias tape to the right side of the chart, encasing all vinyl edges.  Sew.

12.  Insert dowel into bottom casing, sliding it all the way to the right.

13.  Attach and sew remaining piece of bias tape to the left side as directed in step 11.  Center the dowel in the casing.


 14.  Add 2-4 grommets to the top casing.


 15.  Hang and enjoy!

After discovering how easy sewing with vinyl could be I went a little crazy.  I made:


Pencil pouches,


a pocket chart for our artist studies,



more pocket charts


and even a pocket chart to hold the cards for the other pocket charts!

American History Menus

American History Menus

What is American History Menus?

American History Menus is a FREE, totally customizable history curriculum for grades 1-6 incorporating literature, language arts, art study, science and hands on activities. To use the curriculum you will need:

  • American History Menus (download below)
  • A library card
  • A printer
  • Internet access
  • The spine (either A Child’s Story of America by Christian Liberty Press or Stories of America by Simply Charlotte Mason)

Each printable Menu corresponds with an American History Menus unit. Menus have three parts; the Appetizer (spine), the Main Course (books by reading level), and sides (art studies, notebooking, lapbooking, science, hands on activities, etc.). Each menu also has a corresponding Pinterest board with links to a description of every book and links to all resources, websites and printables.


Why American History Menus?

I am a homeschooling mom of both typical and special needs children. American History Menus was created during my 15+ years of homeschooling. I have studied and researched countless curricula. I even tried a few…

Most had minor problems – copywork lines not the right size for my students, books that I (or the children) didn’t like, books that I could not find, etc. Many had what I considered major problems for our family – too many expensive required resources, giant disorganized manuals that kept me flipping pages most of the day, readers that did not correspond to the period being studied, etc.

Once I “tweaked” the curriculum (adding notebooking pages, lapbooking, art, period readers, appropriately sized copywork, and added in all the books that we wanted to read) there was very little of the original left and trying to make everything fit was truly more work than just designing my own curriculum.

What American History Menus is NOT:

American History Menus is NOT a day by day or week by week lesson plan. If this is what you need or want – American History Menus is not the curriculum for you! 

Download the Menus for part 1 (Exploration through 1860) here:

American History Menus

Download the Helps and How to Use American History Menus here:

American History Menus – Part One

I would love to hear from you, drop me a note and let me know what you think about American History Menus.  Please link directly to my site when sharing with others!





Sensory Hot Dog



The idea for the Sensory Hotdog came from a Southpaw product found here.  L and J both like deep pressure, it is calming and helps them get organized, especially before tasks like writing or math.  If you don’t mind using bedroom pillows or couch cushions, they work just as well.  I did mind having our pillows on the floor, however I was not willing to spend $300-$500 to remedy the situation.  So, I made our hotdog for about $35 and it was super easy.

I bought 5 yards of  thick, but soft, khaki fabric for the “bun”.  I simply folded the fabric in half and sewed around three sides, then turned right side out.  Next I sewed a double fold hem on the fourth side and sewed one long seam down the middle to create the top and bottom of the bun.  Last I sewed Velcro on the open ends so the filling can be removed and the cover can be washed.  I stuffed one side of the bun with two body pillows, the other side i filled with chunks of high density foam and polyfill stuffing.

For the ketchup and mustard I just sewed long tubes and filled with a mixture of polyfill and poly pellets – they weigh about 8 pounds each. I used a green mottled fabric to sew two random blob shapes for relish which I filled with smaller foam chunks and a little bit of poly pellets – the relish weighs about 4 pounds each.

 We already had body sox for the children (hotdogs).