What’s New In Your Summer Curriculum? 2015 Summer Curriculum

Every summer I still school my children . . . I know . . . I am the worst parent on the planet! We school part-time, meaning we school for about an hour three days a week. We cover the basics during the summer. Math and Literature. I also throw in whatever we may not have finished up during our regular school year OR whatever the kids may need a bit of extra attention with.

What’s New In Your Summer Curriculum? 2015 Summer Curriculum

This past school year, we didn't really focus on Spelling, but only because it is not an area that my children do not already excel in. However, this summer we are going to focus on Spelling to keep the girls completely on course and aide them in their continued success with Spelling.

My son attended a private school this year and I don't feel their curriculum was on par with what we were completing at home. His grades have progressively slide down the ladder from first trimester to third trimester. He will be working on Algebra  and Literature with me as well. I have completed an AP Literature curriculum just for him. He will be reading quite a bit for me this summer and writing a lot more. He only wrote two papers this entire year for his teachers. I can not even fathom this as I was having him write 2-5 papers a week for me - in sixth grade! He is not happy with me, but I told him he either accepts this deal with me or he will not be returning to this private school in the fall. I even made him sign a contract!

Each August I write a post on what curriculum we will use for the coming school year. Here is my 2014-2015 home school curriculum2013-2014 home school curriculm2012-2013 school curriculum and  2011-2012 school curriculum posts. 

Math: Saxon Math (Level 5/4 and 6/5 and 1/2 Algebra)
Does it work? Yes
Will I continue to use it for summer? Yes.

We are heavy on Math in this house! I refuse to allow my children to fall behind in this subject.  We did not get through our books this year, so we will be finishing up on Saxon Math levels for the girls. My son will be working on Algebra 1/2. He actually finished this book two years ago, but we are going back and revisiting concepts that I don't feel he did well on this year in Algebra.

Spelling: The Grammar of Spelling
Does it work? We will see
Will I continue to use it?  Unsure

This is new curriculum for the summer. I had used Spelling Power in the past and it just didn't work for us. My youngest daughter is a great speller and my oldest daughter is an average speller.I have Grade 4 and Grade 5 for the girls and so far they really like it.

Handwriting/Penmanship: Classically Cursive
Does it work? Yes
Will I continue to use it?  Yes

My daughters have wonderful fine motor skills, but is a bit off.  I think they struggle more with where to place their paper in relation to their writing utensil. My 3rd grader will work with Book IV The Attributes of God and my 5th grader will work on Book III Shorter Catechism. 

Literature/Composition: Various Books with Comprehension Guides
Does it work? YES
Will I continue to use it?  Yes

Grade 3 & Grade 5Dangerous Journey From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler and Misty of Chincoteague

Grade 7th: Uncle Tom's Cabin, A Tale of Two Cities and Moby Dick

Field Trips/Extra Activities: Tennessee, Iowa, Illinois, State Fairs

We have many, many field trips since we live in a great city with numerous museums. Field Trip days will always be the favorite. My son is going to Tennessee with his father for a week while I am away at sleep-away camp with the girls. They have numerous activities planned whilst there.

About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

This past Sunday, the first episode of the new, Chicago kids' TV series, Moochie Kalala Detectives Club, started. Moochie Kalala inspires Chicagoland kids to discover science. Starring Tim Kazurinsky as the fun grandpa telling his grandchildren, Evelyn Alumbreros and Gregory Vasquez, amazing stories that lead them a search in Chicago's museums. 

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

Each episode inspires Chicagoland children to discover science, and features a Chicago museum and its scientist! The first episode showed the grandchildren visiting the Adler Planetarium to learn what scientists know about the planet Mars. The Moochie Kalala detectives give the viewers a taste of what locals get to see all year long--our great city of Chicago. During each episoide they visit an area classroom to perform a basic science experiment related to that week's episode and museum visit.

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

The remaining five episodes visit the Museum of Science and Industry to learn about tornadoes; the Lincoln Park Zoo to learn about big primates; the Field Museum  to see Sue, the T. Rex; the Robie House to discover Chicago's great architecture and the last episode will be at the Shedd Aquarium to learn about the beautiful beluga whales.

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

This Sunday during Episode #2: The Grabinators vs. the Hoagies of Skunksville, featuring the Museum of Science and Industry Did you know that tornadoes are made from grabinators & hoagies? Either did the grandchildren, Kyle and Mandy, until Grandpa told his story. To check the facts, the detectives head to Museum of Science & Industry and meet with physicist Olivia Castellini.

Awesome Experiment #1 - Make a Tornado!!


  • Two 2-Liter clear plastic bottles (they should be empty bottles!)
  • Duct tape
  • 1 washer Water
  • Food coloring(any color)

Instructions for Experiment:

1. Fill one of the bottles two-thirds full with water.

2. Add food coloring to the water.

3. Take the metal washer and place it on top of the bottle opening.

4. Take the second bottle and place it upside down on top of the first one

5. Match the openings perfectly and tape with duct tape (tape tightly so no water leaks out).

6. Turn the bottles upside down so that the bottle with water is on top. Swirl thebottle in a circular counter-clockwise motion.

7. What shape does the water takeas it moves from the upper bottle to the lower one?

8. Now, change it up! Tip bottles slightly. Move faster or slower

What happens to the tornado? Does the Tornado get wider or narrower?

TV Air Times

Episode Names and Broadcast Dates

  • Episode 1 – Featuring the Adler Planetarium, “Space Dragon of Oceanic Mars”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 18
  • Episode 2 – Featuring Museum of Science and Industry, “The Grabinators & Hoagies of Skunksville”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 25
  • Episode 3 – Featuring Lincoln Park Zoo, “We’re All Good at Something”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 1
  • Episode 4 – Featuring The Field Museum, “Cave Girl & The T-Rex”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 8
  • Episode 5 – Featuring Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, “Magic Blocks of Creation”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 15
  • Episode 6 – Featuring Shedd Aquarium, “A Whale of a Tale”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 22

Moochie Kalala Detectives Club airs on WTTW Kids, Channel 11 in Chicago on Sundays at 11am, and on Saturdays at 7am. The shows are also available on Comcast VOD and will run March-June 2015 on WTTW Kids

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent

Jotham's Journey: A Sotrybook for Advent

In this widely popular, exciting story for the advent season, readers follow ten-year-old Jotham across Israel as he searches for his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters the wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.

We finished this wonderful book on Christmas Eve, right before we went to the midnight service at our church. There is something so satisfying about sitting together in our family room, with Advent candles burning and the children spellbound, listening to every word of Jotham's story. The children are captivated and want to know what happens each night.

The story follows Jotham's journey to find his family after he gets angry at his father and runs away. He has many exciting adventures and our children want to read the next day's section. Jotham ultimately ends up in Bethlehem and his life intersects the lives of Mary, Joseph, and the newborn Christ child in a lovely way that brings home Christ's divinity as well as the humanity of his infancy.

As a homeschooling mother, I really appreciate the way Jotham's Journey makes biblical times come alive. Even though there are very few illustrations in the book, the text provides many details about daily life that raised good questions from our children, showing their engagement with the story and their desire to understand the setting.

Jotham's Journey IS a Christian story that tries to bring to life the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of the Savior. This is the first time we have read this book and I know it won't be the last during Advent. We loved this book!  Reading Jotham's Journey together has been a simple and completely rewarding way to draw our family together.