2012/2013 School Plans
It’s that time of year again! The 4th annual Not-Back-To-School blog hop is hosted this year by ihomeschoolnetwork.com. This week we’re talking curriculum.
As I mentioned in my last post, we’re still waiting for the last of the homeschool purchases to come in the mail, and while I hardly have any semblance of a plan on paper at this point, I think I can safely lay out the curriculum we’ll be using. Luckily for me, not much has changed from last year. I think I’m finally at the point where I have realized there is no perfect curriculum. The best curriculum is that which gets used, so we’re sticking with a lot of familiar favorites.
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 6th grade this year (he’ll be 12 in December), C is in 4th (just turned 9), D is almost 8 and in 2nd grade, plus one toddler who just figured out how to escape the house on his own and will surely be keeping us on our toes as we won’t have naptime to look forward to!
The Well-Trained Mind has served us well as our overall guide to classical education, but I still really enjoy the process of picking out just which books we’ll use each year. Here’s the plan:
- Singapore Math 3A/B supplemented with Math Mammoth as needed
- Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading–he’s so close to reading fluently. We’re ready to start multi-syllable words at lesson 178 and should finish the book in the next few months.
- First Language Lessons–we loved this last year and will continue with volume 2
- Writing with Ease 2–although I’m not sure he’s ready for dictation until he’s reading better and has done some spelling work
- Pentime copywork–he really enjoyed this last year so we’ll continue with book 2 manuscript and transition into cursive at some point
- Writing with Ease 3
- Singapore Math finish 3A, then 3B and challenging word problems, also supplementing with Math Mammoth
- Pentime 2 will finish, then do copywork quotes in cursive for more practice
- First Language Lessons 4–I never thought FLL would click with this child, but he loved it so we’ll continue with book 4.
- MCT language arts: Practice Island
- Latina Christiana I with Ludere Latine word games
- First Form Latin–we have about 16 lessons left then we’ll move into Second Form Latin
- Singapore Math 6A/B supplemented with challenging word problems
- MCT language arts: Grammar Voyage and Practice Voyage for grammar, then since we really dropped the ball last year on poetry and vocabulary, we’ll continue where we left off in both Caesar’s English 1 and Building Poems
- Writing with Skill level 1–this was a huge challenge for A last year and we only made it through lesson 15. I really love the way it builds writing skills, but we’ll work through it slowly. A needs a lot more practice putting things into words in the first place so we’ll also be spending some time with . . .
- Killgallon Sentence Composing workbooks as a supplement (for C as well)
All other subjects will be done together, which include:
- Memory work: Using the Simply Charlotte Mason scripture memory system, I hope to be more diligent at memorizing scriptures, poetry, historical…stuff, Latin declensions, and all kinds of things this year! Some years we’re really on top of this, other years not so much.
- Art/Music: We will continue with Time Traveler I from handleonthearts.com which will cover art, music, architecture, and theater as it ties into our history program. We haven’t done much for art the past couple of years, but C is my artist and I will try to feed his drawing appetite. I just got the Usborne Big Book of Things to Draw and as always, hope to do more with Drawing with Children. We’re also working through Evan-Moor’s How to Teach Art to Children. Beyond Time Traveler, we don’t have any formal plan for classical music/composer studies this year. A and C (and possibly D) will continue their piano lessons with Poppa. 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.
- Science: We’re following the WTM schedule for both science and history so that means this year is earth science and astronomy. Like last year, we’re going with Elemental Science–Grammar Stage for D coordinating topics with the Logic Stage for both A and C. It’s not the most exciting science program out there, but it’s solid and it gets done which makes it a winner with me. We also renewed our membership to the planetarium so we can explore and watch movies to our hearts’ content this year. At some point I’d like to add in Barb’s Outdoor Hour Challenges again, but as I found out last year, life with a 2-year-old is exhausting so I’m trying not to overdo it.
- History: We love history!! We’re on our second go-around with medieval history this year and will mainly use Story of the World volume 2 with the accompanying Activity Guide and notebooking pages, and we’re so excited! I love this period, but then I say that every year. A will also continue to keep his own timeline and history notebook as outlined in The Well-Trained Mind. He will also research (in our many history encyclopedias) topics that he is interested in and will use MapTrek as another supplement. We will do history club again with three other families on a monthly basis to share what we’ve learned and do activities together.
- Literature: For all our love of reading, we really didn’t do as much literature together last year for one reason or another, and I missed it. A and C read a lot on their own (keeping them stocked with good books is the challenge) and this year I really hope to have D reading real books before too long. But I am going to make a bigger effort to read aloud more often and talk about the books. There are so many great books that tie into our history studies. I love the Story of the World Activity Guide for its literature lists. A and I will also work through most of The Well-Trained Mind’s medieval book list for 6th grade. We also attend a homeschool book club, mostly for fun, although we’re talking about being more deliberate this year and choosing books that we can have discussions about using techniques from Teaching the Classics. Those plans have yet to be finalized though. Meanwhile, we always have a book on cd going in the car. Someday I’ll feel caught up on all those children’s classics I never read when I was young.
- Last but certainly not least, Scripture Study: Everyone has their own personal scripture study time in the morning, but together we will be focusing on the New Testament this year as we follow the LDS Seminary 4-year schedule. We will actually follow the seminary manual reading schedule this year, as well as use Scripture Study for LDS Families: New Testament for ideas along with Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament.
On top of all this, the boys have scouts, homeschool park days, dog walking for a friend, and if Daddy can not work quite so many crazy hours, Crossfit Kids workouts with him in the mornings. I still need to decide on spelling for the year and I’m also thinking about doing some Before Five in a Row with E, who needs more Mommy time. Even though he always seems to be in the middle of everything, sometimes he gets lost in the craziness of trying to educate three older brothers. Which craziness will hopefully make it onto paper sometime in the next few weeks. First day of school is August 20!