Wednesday, August 08, 2007

And The Winners Are...

After reviewing and debating over many fine curriculum possibilities, I have come to a decision about what to use for this coming year. This was also part of my personal resolve at the beach-- to figure out who we were homeschooling and what we would be using. Consequently, I spent large amounts of time just staring at a page in my spiral notebook with choices written down for each child. Then, I whittled those choices down based on availability, expense, and what I knew about them. And I have come up with a list I am pretty excited about.

My oldest will be attending our local high school. He is excited about this and is already working out with the football team in hopes of playing. He has made good choices about his classes and I am happy with his friends. As long as all of that stays the same, he is good to go.

My daughter, as I wrote about in the last post, will be attending Classical Conversations. She will be in their Challenge A program and will be taking some pretty rigorous classes, from what it sounds like. She needs that challenge and will rise to the occasion I am sure. She is going to be reunited with some old friends and is pretty jazzed about that. She will go to classes on Wednesdays and will have enough work to keep her busy at home on the other days.
She is taking:
Creative Writing (fall)
Newbery Literature (spring)
Nature Study/Body Systems
Clear Reasoning (Apologetics-type course)
Saxon 8/7
She will also continue with her homeschool Girl Scout troop and the Musical Theater company she did last year. She is also considering a cross country track program through the local parks and rec and is on the waiting list for Gavel Club and Community Bible Study. I am praying she gets into both of these. In short, the girl will be busy and will not lack for friends and exposure! I feel good about the decisions we have made for and with her, and she is excited about the coming year now, except maybe for Gavel Club, which she is very hesitant about since it involves public speaking. We told her we wouldn't force her to do it, but that we would prefer she at least try it, as learning to speak and be professional will serve her in so many areas. Gavel Club is part of Toastmasters and they teach kids how to speak, conduct business meetings, etc. My son was part of it and it has served him well as he has held different leadership positions.

The 11 yo boy (fifth grade) will be doing:
Queen Homeschool Copywork: Lessons In Leadership
Horizons Math, 5th grade
Write With The Best
Study Skills That Stick (Scholastic)/Learning To Learn (Queen)
God's World News
Recommended reading for 5th grade by Sonlight, Veritas, etc. (I am making him a list which he will have to read through by the end of the year.)

For activities, he would like to play basketball in the winter, and we are trying to convince him to audition for some plays or take a class or both at our local community theater. He is not a big "joiner" and needs to be "encouraged" to do new things.

The 7 yo girl (2nd grade) will be doing:
Phonics Level B
Calculadders Level 1
Mathematical Reasoning for Grade 2 by Critical Thinking Press
Little Annie's Book of Art and Manners
Growing with Grammar for Grades 1-2
God's World News
Recommended reading for 2nd grade by Sonlight, Veritas, etc. (same as above list for my son, but with more guidance and input from mom)

For activities, she will be taking a ballet class at a local Christian dance studio. She would also like to take the Mary Poppins musical class at our local theater. So, she probably will. She is a big joiner and would take everything there is if we didn't stop her-- same gene pool, totally different kid!

The 5yo boy (K) will be doing:
Get Ready, Get Set, Go For The Code
Horizons Math K
Can You Find Me (Critical Thinking press)
Baby Lambs Book of Art

I listed out the independent work each child will be doing. In addition to the independent work, we will be doing the following together (not including the daughter who will be doing Classical Conversations work on her own).

For our group work, we are using:
Apologia Science, Exploring Creation With Zoology II: Swimming Creatures
A Child's Geography
Manners and Life Skills
For this I am using Manners Made Easy by June Hines Moore, 365 Manners Every Child Should Know, and Everyday Graces by Karen Santorum. I am also compiling a list of "Life Skills" I want the kids to have using the book Life Skills for Kids by Christine Field and From Playpen To Podium by Jeff Myers. Using games, read alouds and activities we will introduce the different areas and move down the list. (That's the plan, at least.)
Along this same line, I am also planning to use a program I just got in the mail called "Accountable Kids." I am very excited about this program, and will definitely be posting more about it once we begin using it. It looks great for all families-- whether you homeschool or not.

Our trip to the beach has set the perfect stage for diving into (excuse the pun) our study of swimming creatures with the Apologia book. The author, Jeannie Fulbright, has a great blog, as does the author of A Child's Geography, Ann Voskamp.

We are also on the waiting list for Community Bible Study-- and I hope we get in! That will take us out of the house every Thursday. We did this in years past and took the year off when the two year old was born. In hindsight, I have since wondered if that was wise, as we have sat on the waiting list trying to get back in! If you have this in your area and they offer a homeschool program, look into it. You won't be sorry you did, as it is great for you to have that regular Bible study on a personal level, plus your kids have friends and their own Bible study tailored for their age and ability. I highly recommend it-- it was life-changing for me year after year.

I hope taking a look at our homeschool plans encourages and inspires others to dive into their year with excitement and anticipation-- whether you are homeschooling, public schooling, charter schooling, university model schooling, private schooling or unschooling. I just love reading posts about what other people are using and how they are using it. Brings out my inner geek. (And for those of you who know me, please no comments about not having to look very far to find it!)

NOTE: To view other posts for the Homeschool Open House, go to Tiany's blog. I love this type of thing and am hoping to spend some concentrated time reading up on what other folks are up to!
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laundrylessons said...

As a non-homeschooler I am so impressed with your creativity and organization. The closest I ever got to homeschooling was theme weeks in the summer. I enjoyed the planning of those fun times, but it is nothing compared to the gift you're giving your kids. Wow! I also love the way you've individualized each plan. One thing I think I will try is the manners segment. My kids are all pretty good, but those are skills you never get enough of. It is shocking when some of their friends come over to see the lack of manners out there. Thanks for sharing.

amy said...

It looks like it is going to be a great year. And so, the count down begins...when are you going to start school? Very excited for "oldest daughter"...sounds like a great plan! love to all!

Christine said...

Wow! Awesome work!! Homeschooling many kids seems daunting to me, but I know it will probably be easier than trying to homeschool 1 (and a bit with my preschooler) with a toddler and a baby!!

I loved reading what you're planning and am looking forward to your follow up posts on how things are going.

gina wheeler said...

I just found your blog and I am so glad! I need all the help homeschooling I can get. Your blog had a wealth of info for me...thanks! I bookmarked you:)

Ribbon Rock Star said...

Found your blog through the open house, WOW! You have a lot going on with your kids. It sounds like a wonderful year.


gayle said...

Having a houseful to train and educate is a challenge, isn't? Sounds like you very much have it together and are prepared for a great year! Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful year. It sounds busy, but productive and fun! :)


Anonymous said...

It looks like you have a great year ahead! We too are stressing life skills with the younger ones.
4sweetums #13 on Tiany's blog

Melissa Markham said...

Love the title of your blog! Sounds like you have a great year planned! Enjoy the time with your children!