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2011/2012 School Plans

August 1, 2011

It’s that time of year again!  Heart of the Matter is hosting the 3rd annual Not-Back-To-School blog hop.  This week is Curriculum Week.

Our first day back to school will be Monday, August 8, which means sometime in the next seven days I need to pull together a plan for all of these books we’ve got sitting around!  I think everyone’s just about ready for a new routine, including me.  (Although I haven’t finished my great declutter the whole house project.  I’ll just keep at it, but in the meantime we need to get back to work on school.)

I love homeschooling and being able to teach each child where they’re at, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll say A is in 5th grade this year (he’ll be 11 in December), C is in 3rd (just turned 8), and D is official this year, in first grade, and counting down to his 7th birthday in November.  We continue to use The Well-Trained Mind as our overall guide to classical education, but I really enjoy the process of picking out just which books we’ll use each year.  Here’s the plan:

For D:

For C:

For A:

All other subjects will be together.

  • Poetry: MCT Building Poems and poetry memorization
  • Memory work: Using the Simply Charlotte Mason scripture memory system, we daily work on memorizing scriptures, poetry, historical…stuff, Latin declensions, all kinds of things!
  • Science: Biology, or plants, animals, and humans and not necessarily in that order–A will be using Elemental Science Logic Stage Biology and I like that it is written to the student.  It’s more likely to be completed that way.  Science is not my thing.  C and D will do Elemental Science Lapbooking through Biology, coordinating topics with A so they can do the experiments together.  We also bought a microscope and are already having fun with that.  Maybe we’ll attempt nature study again.  Maybe not.
  • Geography: We’ll finish up Beautiful Feet’s Geography through Literature program that we began last year.  We’ll also be using MapTrek along with our history studies.  We love maps here.
  • German: Yes, German.  I finally got all three boys to agree on a language, so I’m running with it.  I don’t know that we’ll learn German necessarily, but we will definitely have fun with German this year using Usborne’s German for Beginners, First hundred words in German (which was a Christmas gift one year and may have started this fascination), and a book of German Christmas carols.  We can also access Mango languages through our library if they are that interested.
  • Art/Music: We haven’t even attempted art the past couple of years, but I’ve missed it.  So we’re going to go back to Artistic Pursuits book 1 at least for the art projects as they coordinate with our history.  I also have the Phonics of Drawing program that we never got to this summer, so we’ll add that in as well.  We don’t have any formal plan for classical music/composer studies this year.  A and C will continue their piano lessons with Poppa and D moves into the Kindermusik Young Child II class in September and will learn the dulcimer and recorder.  They also hear me practice my cello, they hear my cello students, and they come to most of my symphony concerts.  We all get a lot of music.
  • History: We’re back to ancient history this year and will mainly use Story of the World volume 1 with the accompanying Activity Guide (when I find it, I know it’s here somewhere!) I know there are lots of cool projects this time around (mummifying a chicken, maybe?) and A will also begin to keep his own timeline and history notebook as outlined in The Well-Trained Mind.  He will also research (in one of our many history encycopedias) topics that he is interested in, I’m not really planning that out.  The past couple of years I’ve gone overboard cramming in as many activities and readings as we could handle.  History is still our favorite subject, but we’re going to back off just a bit and do a little bit less reading and a little bit more writing and notebooking.  I’ll probably also have C and D complete the SOTW lapbook found here.

  • Literature:  We have no problem reading books around here and I know the Story of the World Activity Guide is filled with wonderful selections for this year, but I would like to start discussing at least a few books more in depth so I’m looking at Classical House of Learning’s ancient history literature guide to aid us.  We always have books on cd going in the car (my way of catching up on the great children’s classics I never read growing up) and other than that, my biggest challenge is keeping A and C supplied with good books to read on their own.  Thank goodness for that 100-book limit on our library cards!
  • Scripture Study: Everyone has their own personal scripture study time, but together we will be focusing on the Old Testament this year as we follow the LDS Seminary 4-year schedule.  I know we can’t read the whole thing, nor do we want to, so we’ll pull ideas from Scripture Study for LDS Families: Old Testament, Discover the Old Testament, and the Seminary manual.  I also found Jehovah and the World of the Old Testament half price at Deseret Book last week so I snagged it with a gift card I’d been saving!  It will be helpful for our history studies as well.

They also have cub scouts, and homeschool park and hiking days, and we’ve joined a book club, and we’re sort of learning how to cook, and A wants to learn how to type.  Once again, I think I’ve overdone it (and I have yet to decide on a spelling program.)  But most of the bookwork anyway is what we’ve been already been using, so there won’t be a steep learning curve.  I just need to figure out how many times per week we need to cover each subject and how our weeks will flow.  We also have one busybody 19-month-old who will want to be in the middle of everything so that is the big unknown at the moment.  How will we keep him busy?  And happy?  And Mommy sane?

If you’d like to leave a comment, please include your best “keeping toddlers happy while homeschooling” tip for me, will you?  Thanks for stopping by!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2011 5:44 am

    It looks like a great year ahead. I love your picks.

  2. August 1, 2011 8:40 am

    Looks like a very full and exciting year. I loved studying Ancient History with all my kiddoes. My best tip for keeping a toddler happy–water play. I would put toddler at the kitchen sink with the water running really low and several different types of containers–bowl, drinking cups, measuring cups, funnel, ect. This would usually work for about 20 minutes. And your floor will be drippy wet, but I would clean it up with a towel and my kitchen floor was never cleaner. You can mix it up of course by having toddler play in an outdoor space or in the tub. When playing outdoors I would add just a few drops of food coloring to the water. Just have school with the older kids travel to where ever toddler is playing.

  3. August 1, 2011 8:46 am

    It does look like a lot! But if anyone can get all that in it is you and your kids. You seem to have kids much more willing to do school work. I have the hardest time just getting each of my children to do the 5 R’s for our family. Religion (scripture study), aRithmetic, wRiting, Reading and Rhythm (this is our 15 min of piano each day). History, Science, Art, latin, and everything else seems to be lost in “before we had Molly land”. That baby with other plans always seems to make things run rather haphazardly. I wish I had advice for you. I am struggling right along with you.

    Good luck with starting school next week!

  4. August 1, 2011 9:05 am

    Oh I needed this post! We are still living in a hotel and hopeful to have found a rental so we can get back to living again! We miss our piano and open space! I am sure so much has been learned but I feel a bit overwhelmed as I contemplate the upcoming school year. I wish I could sit down with you and talk about how you do it! I am always so impressed with your method of schooling your boys. I guess your post will have to do for now since Indiana is a little far from Utah! 🙂 I am feeling a little nervous as my oldest enters 6th grade. All four will be school aged now – 6th, 4th, 2nd, and K. Ahhhh! I feel like I do okay with grades K and 2nd but as they get older I get more concerned. Probably because we haven’t been down that road yet where I have already done K and 2 with the older ones.

    I am never quite sure what to do with the two younger ones as I try to school with the older ones. We need to work more on respecting each others time with mom. I am hopeful to start on August 15th. But piano lessons start up again next week. I keep thinking how your oldest plays for the Spanish branch yet my oldest is not there yet. I know I shouldn’t compare but I fear she has not yet learned the art of discipline! How do you manage to get your oldest to practice his piano – do you sit with him? I am not musical myself – my husband is an organist/pianist. I am learning as an adult.

    Sorry for my ramblings. Off to take my laundry out. At least I can get three loads done at a time here at the hotel! 🙂

    I’ll keep checking in here as I continue with our planning for the school year. Thanks for sharing your plan it is very helpful for me.

    Judi )

  5. August 1, 2011 10:36 am

    Fun to find another LDS homeschooler! I like your plans, though latin and german together would probably make me crazy. Kids are great at that sort of thing though…LOL.

  6. Mindy permalink
    August 1, 2011 3:48 pm

    I’m with you on the toddler thing. I found this website with lots of ideas–
    My oldest will be doing Singapore 5 as well. How are you going to implement Life of Fred books? Everyday? I’d love to hear how. My dd could use extra help in fractions and decimals. Thanks for sharing your curriculum.

  7. Emily permalink
    August 1, 2011 9:25 pm

    Hey! I think we were in the music department at BYU at the same time. You look familiar to me. I was a piano major and then went on to do choral conducting. My name was Emily (Neil). I found your blog a few months ago. I am homeschooling also! I have three boys and one girl. I have a 16 month old and know it’s going to be a tougher year than last. Your curriculum looks exciting! It looks like a lot! I know we couldn’t get through so much, but I sure wish we could. Good luck!

  8. August 2, 2011 12:41 pm

    Let me know if you like the ordinary parents guide to teaching reading. My son is only four but I think he may be an early reader. How will I know when he is ready for more. Would this book be appropriate for him?

  9. August 2, 2011 8:33 pm

    WOW! You are going to have a full, FuN year!!! I wish you all the best this year with those beautiful children!

  10. August 3, 2011 11:57 am

    I always over plan too. Everything is so fun, I want to cram it all in. Have a wonderful year.

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