Looking back on last year’s curriculum post, I realize that writing up a post like this is simply making an educated guess that the choices I’m making will be the correct ones. (We ended up not using several of the things I mentioned in that post, opting instead to return to tried-and-true favorites for history and writing and eventually abandoning Latin for the time altogether.) However, this year, unlike the three years that have gone before in our homeschooling career, I feel more stable and secure in what we’re doing–like we’ve finally hit a groove. (I think I’ve said that before, too, so take it with a large grain of salt. ;-)) The tricky part for me is actually fitting it all in on a daily or weekly basis. We will be attending tutoring at Classical Conversations once a week, also.
First, a bit of a getting-to-know you profile of the students:
Louise is officially a first grader, albeit a very old one–she’ll turn seven in November, and she has always tagged along with whatever her older sister has done. Louise is reading very well and is turning into quite a bookworm. Of course, she’s not a carbon copy of her big sister; she has her own learning style and preferences, and she’s definitely more kinesthetic than her older sister, as well as (perhaps?) more visual. It will be an interesting year as I get to know her better as a learner.
Lulu is eight-going-on-eighteen and a third grader. She is a voracious reader and spends much of her days doing just that. She also likes to create things.
The DLM is two. 🙂
Both girls have always been homeschooled, so we are beginnning our fourth official year.
We do this together, usually the first thing right after breakfast and piano practice. We don’t have an extremely strict schedule that we adhere to, though–mostly it’s a routine. In addition to our Classical Conversations memory work from the Foundations Guide, I plan to loosely adapt the Ambleside Online hymn rotation for 2012-2013, this year’s folksongs rotation, the year 1 and year 3 poetry schedules, and, because I’m feeling ambitious today, some Plutarch and Shakespeare. We’ll also have memory verses from AWANA to work in there somehow and any other Bible memory work we might decide to do as a family.
I realize this is extremely ambitious, but I hope that we can utilize our time in the van to work on CC memory work, too, so that the bulk of our Circle Time at home is not consumed by that.
Of course, we’ll also do a lot of reading aloud. 🙂
Louise will use Writing with Ease level 1.
Lulu will use Writing with Ease level 3.
Besides Circle Time, history, and science, this will be the only thing the girls do together. At least, I hope they’ll do it together. That’s my plan and the goal toward which I’ve been working with Louise this summer. She is currently about half way through level one of All About Spelling, and I hope that soon after we begin school August 20 we can start level two. This will be a review for Lulu since we got maybe about half way through it last year, but I’m okay with that. I really, really need something I can do with the girls together, and I’m also considering this reading reinforcement since both girls took off reading before we finished their phonics curriculum and I dropped it. Does anyone have any advice for teaching two or more students together using All About Spelling?
Louise will continue in Getty-Dubay Italic B and move on to C when she finishes it. She will also have copywork in her language lessons.
Lulu will continue in Getty-Dubay Italic C and move on to D when she finishes it.
Both girls will likely do some copywork from the CC memory work, etc.
Louise will continue with RightStart B this year. We began it slowly toward the end of the year last year, so I anticipate taking the rest of this academic year to finish it.
Lulu will complete RightStart C fairly early in the year and move on to RightStart D. I’m also considering trying the Singapore Challenging Word Problems (grade 2) again this year (last year was a no-go) or perhaps adding in Beast Academy for fun for Lulu. I still haven’t made up my mind about this.
In addition to these curricula, I will try to pull out fun math picture books occasionally and read them aloud to the girls.
We will pick up where we left off with Story of the World II last year. The girls will do narrations and activities (possibly) based on our readings in this. We’ll also likely read everything supplmental we can get our hands on for the time periods we’re studying. I also broke down this year and purchased the History Through the Ages Historical Figures Timeline CD-ROM, so I’m hoping that this is the year we’ll have an honest-to-goodness timeline up on our wall. I’m also planning to come up with a list of books for each girl to read on her own that correlate with our history sentences and timeline cards for CC. This will give them something constructive to do while I’m working with the other sister, and it also will give them a bit more context for our memory work. I still have a lot of work ahead of me to get all this figured out and coordinated, though.
This will likely be a mish-mash of Exploring Creation with Astronomy and science based on the CC science sentences. I generally ask Steady Eddie to make the science and math decisions for our homeschool (that’s his background and profession), and this is what he has chosen for this year. In fact, he’ll probably be the one who implements most of it, too. We also plan for the girls to take monthly classes at a hands-on science center. Nature study will also be a big part of our science each week.
I’ve toyed with the idea of letting Lulu start learning to type this year, but I’m undecided about that. Opinions, anyone, on the best age at which to begin typing instruction?
Both girls will take private piano lessons this year, and our plan for physical activity this year is to join our local YMCA so the whole family can benefit. The girls might take classes there.
The DLM, of course, will do what two year olds do: build with his blocks, read books, color and “write,” make messes, overfeed the fish, swipe math manipulatives, and generally throw our day into chaos occasionally. I do plan to be more intentional this year about how the girls can work with him. I’ve considered actually coming up with specific activities for them to do with him, but as yet haven’t made the time to put this plan into action.
I still have a lot of work to do! I need to get busy! 🙂
Here are links to my previous curriculum posts:
- 2011-2012 (2nd grade and K)
- 2010-2011 (1st grade and a 4-5 year old)
- 2009-2010 (K and a 3-4 year old)