Curriculum Choices

I have had many people ask what I am doing with my kids this coming Fall.  Below are my choices for each child.

Kayla.  Entering 5th grade.

Abeka 6th Math and Singapore 5A and 5B.  Kayla just finished Saxon 65.  She did well, but overall was about a B student.  Ironically her standardized testing showed her to be way above average (and even stellar in some areas) in math even though I would have thought this was one of her hardest subjects.  I decided to do 6th grade math again (since she is only entering 5th) and solidify some concepts.  She is currently working through A Key To Series for the summer.

History/Literature: Sonlight Core F.  She will be taking a class at Pine Castle Eagle School on Mondays for this as well.

Language Arts:  Abeka and some Easy Grammar if needed.

Science: Apologia Zoology.  This will be taken at PCCA Eagle School as well.

Writing:  IEW through PCCA

Kayla requested a while back to do Latin.  She knows a couple of kids who do it and I figure that it may be good to help with vocabulary and grammar as well.  We will be doing Latin for Children A and she will be working with a friend of mine.  We may do this for two years, and after that, PJ would like to her start German.

Building Thinking Skills 2

Wyatt.  Entering 2nd.

Math:  Math in Focus 2A and 2B. Doing Singapore worksheets for extra practice.  I am excited to try this math.  I have been doing SIngapore with him and he does very well, but this has a lot more ideas for games, teaching suggestions, practice, and keeps with the standards for each grade.  Wyatt picks up on math very easily, so it is hard keeping things hard enough the the doesn’t get bored, but fun enough that he doesn’t get bored.  We will see how it goes.

History:  My Fathers World Countries and Cultures along with Galloping the Globe.  Taking a class at PCCA to go along with this.

Literature:  Sonlight 3rd grade readers.

Language Arts:  Abeka

Science: Apologia Zoology. PCCA class.

Writing:  IEW 2nd grade class at PCCA

Song School Latin

Building Thinking Skills 1

Anniston (entering K) and Danae (entering pre-K)

Math:  Singapore Earlybird.  I plan on transitioning her to Math in Focus 1 when she is ready.  She loves math, but I want to be extremely gentle for now until I know she is ready to move on. We have worked through the first book of Horizons K this year, but I want to transition to Singapore for a while.

History:  Same as Wyatt

Science:  Same as Wyatt

Phonics/Reading:  Abeka

Building Thinking Skills Beginning

For all of them I will be using Apologia Bible.

I realize that at any moment I can change this.  The curriculum that I am most certain about is Sonlight.  We have stayed with them for a few years now and love it more and more as each year passes. To cut down on the cost of all of this,  I utilize what I already have (passing down from kid to kid), the library, friends who have good deals, and buy what I think I will want for years to come.

I am one of those who really do not mind admitting when something is terrible and ditching it.  Part of the reason I homeschool is for all of us to enjoy ourselves and to instill a LOVE of learning.  As the years go on, I do learn more and more about each child and their learning style, which makes decisions a little easier.  I do prepare for changes throughout the year and don’t mind making them. There are times where something needs to be changed and there are times that I have to make them push through difficulties with certain subjects/curriculum.  The hard part is knowing which is best in a particular season.

I admire all of the families who started homeschooling around the time I was a kid and only had a couple choices for curriculum.  Although, maybe that would have made things a little easier.  :-)


Because We Think It Is Best


I often feel as though I have to be careful how I articulate why I have decided to homeschool.  I don’t want it to seem as though I believe this is the only good or wise option for all families and I feel the need to be sure that the focus, in talking through schooling options, is that “it is not for everyone”.  I believe there is a focus on not being legalistic in our choices on discipline, education, and raising of our children.  Obviously, there is truth to this.  I don’t want to be, but it creates an environment where I feel as though I need to be so careful that I cannot even be excited, or opinionated, about the choices PJ and I have made.

I tend to also focus on the educational benefits of homeschooling when giving my reasoning behind my choices.  This makes sense to people.  We all know the public school system is failing for the most part.  Yes, there are good teachers, and good schools, and successful children who come out of the public school system, but you can find enough research that shows that overall the system is not set-up well for a lot of kids.  It is set-up for those kids who are currently succeeding and will come out of it doing ok.  My point is, why do I never actually mention the fact that I want to homeschool because I want to raise my children with the values I choose?  More than likely, it is because I do not want to be seen as isolating them out of some sort of fear.

I do not think that by homeschooling I am guaranteeing Godly children who fear the Lord.  I am not insuring their salvation by giving them a Christian education at home. I am certainly not homeschooling to keep them out of the world.  I am homeschooling them to prepare them to BE in the world.

I do not want to send my little missionaries out there without a solid foundation.  Without a faith that can defend.  There is the view that we should send them out to give the Christian view to the world, but my question is, would they really be being sent out to be given and taught the view of the world?

There.  I said it.  I think I have built enough bridges in the past to hopefully make clear my belief that there are many reasons a child will go to public school.  Homeschooling is not for everyone blah, blah, blah.  I just am tired of hiding, or being self-conscience, about my beliefs and thoughts.

There is no technique that will insure smart or Godly children.  There is no method that will take away the fact that our children’s worst enemy is the enemy within.  The enemy they are born with and that has been handed down from generation to generation.  Sin.  I just want to do my best to obey the Word of God, how I interpret that for my family, and for right now, that is homeschooling them.

IEW Classes at Pine Castle Christian Academy Eagle School

If you are interested in writing classes for your children from 2nd grade to 8th grade, we will be offering once a week classes at PCCA Eagle School this coming fall.  

For more information in IEW check them out here.  If you are interested in taking classes, please email me at

Pine Castle Christian Guitar and Music Theory/History Class

Information on a great opportunity!  James Tschannen will be teaching a high school class for Music Theory. He is also offering a guitar class for all ages.  Below is his bio and information on the theory class.

James Tschannen was born and raised on the Space Coast of Central Florida.  He began playing guitar at the age of 10, and soon began playing with his church’s worship band.  James entered Stetson University as a guitar major on a music performance scholarship in 2009 to study with Stephen Robinson.  While at Stetson he was recognized for his academic and musical excellence, winning the Outstanding Freshman and Outstanding Sophomore awards and graduating with a GPA of 3.9/4.0 in 2009.  While at Stetson James began teaching, first private students, and then at Professor Messer Music in DeLand, and Avalon School and Music Center in Orlando, where he was awarded “Teacher of the Year” in 2009.  In 2009 James attended Middle Tennessee State University where he received a graduate teaching assistantship and studied under William Yelverton.  While at MTSU James taught private lessons, class guitar, performance class, and coached guitar ensembles.  He graduated with his MA in music in 2011 and moved to Central Florida.  James continues to teach guitar at Seminole State College and Avalon School of Music.

Music Theory


 1.0 High School Credit



This college prep course is designed for students who have a basic understanding of music reading and some musical skills.  It prepares students for college level theory and ear training courses.  This class covers the basics of music notation, harmony, part writing, and ear training.  It emphasizes the importance of being able to spell chords, scales, and key signatures from memory.  It also deals with ear training, teaching students to dictate chords, melodies, and rhythms upon hearing them. 


Materials needed:


     Tonal Harmony, Mcgraw Hill



     Music for Ear Training  2nd edition, CD-ROM and workbook.

3-Ring Binder (1 ½”)

          College Ruled Paper




     Students will be expected to read material in Tonal Harmony and complete assignments in the workbook and in the ear training workbook.  Time in class will be spent explaining theory concepts, and practicing  rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation.  The final project for the class will be to set line of text to music using  SATB voices, functional harmony, and proper part writing technique.  There will also be tests taken in class as well as graded homework.


Grading Procedure:


     Test grades will comprise 60% of the grade.

     Homework will comprise  20% of the grade

     The final project will comprise 20% of the grade.



Teacher Contact Information:


     James Tschannen