2013/2014 School Plans
It’s time for the 5th annual Not-Back-To-School blog hop hosted by ihomeschoolnetwork.com. This week we’re talking curriculum.
The Well-Trained Mind serves 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 in this all-boy household. Grades listed are for simplicity’s sake as I try to teach each of them at the level they’re at. Here’s the plan:
For E (age 3.5 and officially a pre-schooler this year):
- I don’t do a lot for preschool, but would like to spend more one-on-one learning time just with E this year. We’ll follow a very informal letter-of-the-week program (mostly reading books), adding in these cute letter animals, and some Before Five in a Row books.
For D (almost 9 and in 3rd grade):
- Singapore Math 3B/4A and Challenging Word Problems
- First Language Lessons 3–we didn’t quite finish volume 2 last year, so I’ll pick and choose topics he needs until he starts MCT grammar next year
- How to Teach Spelling
- Writing will be a combination of Writing with Ease 2 and Institute for Excellence in Writing
- Prima Latina and the Prima Latina Copybook for cursive practice
For C (age 10 and in 5th grade):
- Singapore Math 4A/B plus Challenging Word Problems and Life of Fred fractions for fun eventually
- Copywork quotes in cursive for more practice
- How to Teach Spelling
- MCT language arts: Grammar Town and Practice Town
- Writing will be a combination of Writing with Ease 3 and Institute for Excellence in Writing
- First Form Latin at a slow pace
- Second Form Latin
- Singapore Math 6B with Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Biology and then Lial’s Pre-Algebra . . . or not, as in researching I discovered Singapore 6 covers a lot of pre-algebra material and I’m not sure what more he’ll need before actual algebra.
- Copywork quotes in cursive
- MCT language arts: Magic Lens 1 and 4Practice for grammar
- Writing with Skill: This was a huge challenge for A, but his writing is really maturing. He’ll continue level 1 with lesson 23 and then move into level 2 after Christmas. We’ll also add IEW techniques in writing assignments for history and science.
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. Hopefully this will be a good year.
- Poetry: MCT’s A World of Poetry and I also want to put the boys in charge of reading a poem a day to us on assigned days.
- Logic: This is new this year! We’ve played around with Mind Benders off and on for years, but we’re going for something a little more formal. A will use The Art of Argument, while C and D work in the Building Thinking Skills books. We’ll also supplement history with exercises from Critical Thinking in United States History.
- Art/Music: The big boys will all continue to take piano lessons from Poppa this year and E will attend Kindermusik once a week. I’m a cellist so they hear me practice and attend most of my symphony concerts and get a lot of music exposure that way. But I’m actually attempting something scheduled for art and music appreciation this year! I’m looking at both World’s Greatest Artists and World’s Greatest Composers from Confessionsofahomeschooler.com. These are the extras that always seem to get dropped, but I’m hoping that they’ll at least give me an artist and composer to reference each month, plus the plans were pretty cheap so if it doesn’t work out, it’s not a huge loss. And with a new baby coming in the winter, I’m not making any promises as to what will happen after January!
- Science: We’re following the WTM schedule for both science and history so that means this year is chemistry. We’re switching things up a bit and not committing to a year-long curriculum. Instead all three boys will do Ellen McHenry’s The Elements supplemented with Tiner’s Exploring The World of Chemistry. As we never got to earth science last year due to paring down our schooling for a while, we’ll also go through Tiner’s Exploring Planet Earth. Eventually we also want to get into McHenry’s Carbon Chemistry, but again we’ll see what baby does to our time table.
- History: We love history!! We’re on our second go-around with chronological history and this year is year 3–the early modern period, both world and American history from 1600 to 1850. Story of the World volume 3 will be our spine with the accompanying Activity Guide and notebooking pages for D, while A and C will each keep a timeline and history notebook as outlined in The Well-Trained Mind, supplemented with MapTrek, history encyclopedias, and primary source documents. Particularly this year, we will delve deeply into the beginnings of our government and read and discuss the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. As a family we’ll read and discuss The 5000 Year Leap and also use Great American Documents for LDS Families among other resources. 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: Finally, all the boys are great readers! They’ll continue our practice of getting certain genres from the library each week, but we’ll also read a lot of literature that will tie in to our history studies. I just love the book lists in the Story of the World Activity Guides. In addition, A and C and I will also work through most of The Well-Trained Mind’s early modern book list for 7th grade (minus a few we’ve already read), as well as a list of historical and other fiction (which I haven’t finalized yet.) We’ll also continue with our homeschool book club, mostly for fun, and we always have a book on cd going in the car. I’m slowly catching 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 Book of Mormon this year as we follow the LDS Seminary 4-year schedule. We’ll use both the seminary manual and Scripture Study for LDS Families: Book of Mormon. I want them to learn from the actual scriptures but I don’t want to turn gospel study into just another workbook-y subject, so we mainly read and discuss together and it’s a great way to start the day!
On top of all this, the boys have scouts, homeschool park days, dog walking for a friend after lunch every day, and exercising in the morning (usually biking), and somewhere in the next two weeks I need to organize it all into some sort of routine.