2011/2012 School Plans
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:
- Singapore Math 2A/B supplemented with Math Mammoth as needed
- Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading–we’re still working through this and I hope this is the year that he’ll really take off in reading. This is our number one priority this year.
- First Language Lessons–it didn’t work with the other two, but maybe the third time’s the charm. I like the fact that it’s not writing intensive.
- Writing with Ease 1
- Pentime copywork although it might be superfluous next to WWE
- Writing with Ease–finish 2 and move into 3
- Singapore Math 2B/3A and challenging word problems
- Pentime 2 for cursive practice
- MCT language arts: Grammar Island and Practice Island
- Latina Christiana I at a slower pace of one lesson every two weeks
- First Form Latin
- Singapore Math 5A/B supplemented with challenging word problems and Life of Fred Fractions and Decimals and Percents
- MCT language arts: Grammar Town and Practice Town (grammar), Paragraph Town (writing), and Caesar’s English 1 (for vocabulary)
- Writing with Skill level 1 from Peace Hill Press (when it’s finally published!)
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!