A curricula post seems almost pointless to me because we’re just plodding along with what has worked for the past four years or so. When I go back and read last year’s curriculum post, I realize (once again) that we deviated a good bit from what I set out for us to do. Of course, when I wrote the post I hadn’t yet divulged the fact that I would spend almost the entire school year pregnant. That’s one of the major reasons the year didn’t go as planned. 🙂 Ah, we press on.
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean,
And the pleasant land.
So the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages,
Of eternity. —Julia Fletcher Carney
Inspired by Cindy at Ordo Amoris (and Morning Time Moms), Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace, and countless others, I am determined to get back to this. We participated in Classical Conversations last year, and oddly enough, somehow I lost the thread of our memory work in the middle of all of that. I think it was a combination of morning sickness and it not being a great fit for me in terms of the memory work. I am determined to bring back Circle Time and be very intentional about how we spend our precious time. I hope to share more of my plans later, but until then you can peruse my Memory Monday posts to see some of the things we’ve memorized in the past. Of course, our Circle Time won’t be all memory work; we’ll also do plenty of reading aloud, too.
- Lulu will finish up First Language Lessons 3 and pick up with FLL 4 this year. She and I will also hopefully delve into Michael Clay Thompson’s materials again, having finished Grammar Island last year. The last half or so of last year, Lulu also did a four level analysis of a sentence each day, per the MCT Sentence Island. I think this might be one of the best things we did. Little drops, you know. We’ll continue with that this year, and we might even add some exercises from Editor in Chief.
- Louise will complete FLL 2 this year. I might go through Grammar Island with her; we’ll see how much she’s grown over the summer first.
- Lulu will finish Writing with Ease 3 and move on to 4 this year.
- Louise will complete WWE 2 this year.
I’m in the middle of reading The Writer’s Jungle by Julie Bogart right now, and I hope that I can also put some of the BraveWriter philosophy into practice, but that’s another post for another day. (Read Farrar’s archives for more on BraveWriter from just-a-mom-in-the- trenches.) I also purchased one of The Arrow–the one that goes with Thimble Summer, if memory serves me correctly–to use with Lulu and see if it’s a good fit. I hope to get started on it right away, as mine and Lulu’s first one-on-one read-aloud of the year.
If there’s one subject in our homeschool that I’m conflicted about, it’s spelling. Last year the girls did Spelling Workout, with Lulu also adding in studied dictation through Simply Charlotte Mason’s Spelling Wisdom. By the end of the year I almost hated Spelling Workout, mainly because I never felt like I was on top of what the girls were learning (which is really my fault), and I think the whole point of the lessons often flew right past them. This year we’re back to All About Spelling, which I’ve tried to use a couple of times in the past. This year we’ve purchased an iPad app, Sound Literacy, for one girl to use instead of the letter tiles. Our reason for purchasing such a costly app is because I have one girl who hates using the tiles anyway, so adding in a fun techno-gadget will likely make her like it a little bit better. Plus, I hope to teach both girls spelling together (at least at first), so one girl can use the real tiles while the other uses the app, and then they can trade the next day.
I’ll let you know how it goes. 😉
Seriously–in my heart I’m conflicted because I’m just not sure spelling is all that terribly necessary. Yes, I value extremely the ability to spell correctly, but I’m not sure that teaching it is the way to go. I’m still thinking through these things, especially as I read The Writer’s Jungle.
- Lulu will finish RightStart D this year and move into RightStart E. I also hope to add in Beast Academy on Fun Fridays.
- Louise will work through RightStart C this year.
We got our feet wet last year with noun declensions through CC, so this year Lulu is going to continue slowly through the Big Book of Lively Latin.
Like most of my summer academic plans, the one to have the girls practice handwriting didn’t pan out. That means we’ll have to hit it hard and disciplined when we get back into our school routine. Lulu will probably just do copywork sentences (I’ll make them using the italic alphabet in StartWrite); Louise will continue with the Getty-Dubay handwriting book.
- This year we are participating in Community Bible Study because for the first time in years, we will have classes for school aged children at our local CBS. I’m excited about this!
- The girls will take weekly piano lessons.
- I hope to have a Poetry Tea Time once a week, probably on our Fun Fridays.
- Louise will be participating on a local, community-based swim team which requires at least three practices a week. (Whew!)
- I hope to get Lulu involved in some sort of Upward sport, too.
- I also plan for the girls to do some of the clubs (sewing, cooking, whatever) offered by our county extension agency through their 4H program.
- Louise will probably take an art class in the next month or two at Hobby Lobby (sponsored by Nana).
- I hope to start an art group here at home, but I’m still trying to figure out the nitty gritty for that one. (I’m hoping to do something like Jessica has done with her art journaling group.)
- We may try to catch a class or two at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, which is doubly appealing to me since we’re studying botany this year.
- We’ll wear out our library cards, as usual. 🙂
I’ll be honest–I feel like I’m wading out into waters over my head this year. With four children now, I feel like I’m having to re-learn how to do everything. I really, really want to get things organized for the DLM–to figure out how to keep him busy, engaged, and happy while we do school. (Alice’s post reminded me that this year would be a good year to be more intentional about what I read to him and what I do with him.) Benny is happy to hang out with me right now (of course), but it’s always, always a juggling act.
I’m determined to make this a good year. I think I’m ready to dive in.