Considering the fact that we’re about three weeks into our official school year, I thought it high time I share our curricular choices. In my mind I am an almost-unschooler, but in reality this is not even close to the truth. I use a lot of curriculum, but I DO try to hold it loosely. This year is super busy with out-of-the-house activities, so that’s all the more reason to try to hold it all with an open hand.
Circle Time: I consider this the backbone of our homeschool, but it’s a pretty nebulous collection of materials. It’s mostly memory work, though most days we do read aloud, too. I’ll share more particulars about it for this year tomorrow.
Math: Lulu is finishing up Singapore Primary Math 5B, and then it’s on to 6A and 6B. We’ve also been slowly working our way together through Model Drawing for Challenging Word Problems the Singapore Way by Lorraine Walker. I confess that I find using the bar model method very challenging myself; it’s so far from the way I was taught. I often have to call Steady Eddie in to help us out. It’s for this reason that we made the decision to go ahead and move Louise to Singapore Primary Math 4A and 4B this year instead of continuing in RightStart. I thought moving her earlier might help us grasp how to do it that way better. Part of Steady Eddie’s job involves math education training, and he’s a big fan of the bar model method. I’m happy to report that so far no one cries (much) over math, and one girl claims it as her favorite subject. I call that a win!
English Language: I’m being pretty vague in my explanation of this subject because we’re not doing a whole lot of formal grammar this year. I did purchase the English Grammar Recitation books from Memoria Press, but so far I don’t think it’s a great fit for us just because we’re not using it faithfully every day. Beyond that, we’re doing once-a-week dictation using handpicked Arrows from various read-alouds, and we’re choosing our own copywork once a week and copying it diligently into our own commonplace books. These two things encompass a lot of our discussion about language. I’m also attempting to pull projects from both Partnership Writing and Faltering Ownership, but I’m finding it hard to manage all of that. We read aloud a lot, of course, and the girls keep their noses in books (both assigned and of their own choice) most of the time. We will also have poetry tea time frequently. My children would prefer to have it weekly, but I’m shooting for every-other-week to keep it fresh.
Latin: We’re using and loving Latin for Children Primer A this year.
This is all just a work in progress, really, because if we use every single volume, we’ll get hopelessly bogged down. So far what we’re doing is the girls are reading about three to five chapters a week and writing narrations or giving oral narrations. I am currently requiring Lulu to turn in one typed narration a week. I’m trying to remember to have them make entries in their Books of Centuries each week, but so far I think that’s happened once or twice. We read lots of extra books, mostly fiction, and we’re trying to watch some documentaries, etc., this year, too.
Science: Both girls are participating in a weekly chemistry and physics class at co-op using Apologia materials. I’ll confess I’m not a huge fan of the conversational style of Apologia, so I’m supplementing with Middle School Chemistry from the American Chemical Society . I also intend to supplement the physics portion of the class, but I haven’t decided yet what we’ll use.
Other stuff: Let’s see. There’s a lot of other stuff to consider.
- All four children are enrolled in Community Bible Study, so the girls are studying Philippians, Christian Living, and Christian Leadership this year alongside me.
- All of my school age kids also participate weekly in AWANA, as well as kids’ choirs, at church.
- Lulu is a full-fledged member of our homeschool co-op’s BEST Robotics team (which was pretty successful last year!) this year. She’s a member of the engineering team, and she is the team’s notetaker. We’ll be pretty busy with all of that at least through mid-October.
- Louise will soon begin learning to type
- Both girls are still taking piano lessons and will participate in various events through the year
- 4-H is a possibility for us this year, too.
- Both girls participate in a weekly math games class (facilitated by moi) at co-op
- Louise takes a p.e. class while Louise is in her robotics class at co-op
- We MIGHT add swimming back into our schedule, though not competitive swimming
As for the DLM’s kindergarten, my goals this year for him are to make continuous, weekly progress in reading using All About Reading and his own desire to read. We’ll get as far as we can in RightStart A, too. I also have a preschool kit that is Five in a Row-ish, but I’m finding it very challenging to fit in all the activities. He takes etiquette, p.e., and math art at co-op. Mostly I teach the DLM in the cracks of the day, and he plays a lot (and fights with Benny 😉 ), which is as it should be. He’s making great progress on the reading front, and I think these things are sufficient for my just-turned-five-year-old boy. 🙂
Typing it all out makes it seem like we don’t really do all that much, but y’all, I end every single day exhausted. Also, I’m not too much of a planner. I might check back in mid-year and have added who knows what to our days. That’s just how I am. I mostly feel pretty good about where my kids are academically. Both girls test very well on the standardized tests we take yearly, and what’s much more important–they’re engaged and passionate learners about at least one thing each; sometimes it’s even more than one thing. We still read together as a family a lot, and we still enjoy each other’s company most days. That’s something. 🙂
Do you want to see what we’ve used in years past? Here you go: