Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Course Of Study

Note: I have revised this post from the original, as I decided to change things a bit since I wrote the entry. That's the beauty of homeschooling, right? You can do what works for you!

With only two students for the year, I have had the chance to shift my plans slightly from the original. Knowing that I have more flexibility with only three kids at home has lent itself to taking on more outside activities. (If you are wondering why I didn't attempt much outside the house when I had all six, please see the post about the grocery shopping experience.) But with only three, I can do more. Not only that, I have now enlisted my mother in law as a cohort for doing some of the field trip type things, which will provide me with an occasional break.

One of the things Curt requested in regards to this year was for the kids to get out more. When I first began homeschooling, I was involved in lots of field trips and co-ops and groups. We got out a lot and it made a big difference-- for the kids and for me. But as we added more babies and more students, I started spending more time at home. I was quite tied to the house and it did not help my attitude to be honest. I have found that I need the support and fellowship of other homeschooling moms in order to persevere. And so, I am being very intentional this year about reaching out to other moms and signing up for events, classes, etc. I think this is a part of homeschooling (one of the best parts) that my middle kids missed out on. So I am happy to have the time this year to redeem some lost time and lost opportunities.

With that said, here is what I have planned for the year.

The 11 year old will be doing:
Lessons In Leadership copywork
Write With The Best
Study Skills/Learning To Learn
Reading Notebook (I created a list of books to read by the end of the year, with a list of response questions to be answered about each book)
Horizons Math (5th grade)
Manners Made Easy
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds (catechism devotional)
A Child's Geography

The 7 year old will be doing:
Memoria Press Copybook, book 2
Steck Vaughan Phonics, level B
Reading list based on Sonlight recommendations for Grade 1 and 2
Growing With Grammar, Grades 1-2
Calculadders, Book 1
Mathematical Reasoning, Level C
First Language Lessons
Little Annie's Book of Manners
A Child's Geography
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds
She is taking Ballet I at a local Dance Academy as well.

We are going to be participating in these activities this fall:
Community Bible Study (they will have their own homework geared at their age level)
A Walk in The Woods nature science classes (once a month, held at a local homeschool store)
Latta Plantation nature clubs for homeschoolers (each Wednesday through Nov.)
Various field trips and classes-- In the fall so far we have signed up to go to the Catawba Indian reservation, to take part in the Charlotte Museum of History's homeschool day, and to Latta Plantation's colonial history day for homeschoolers. The kids are also signed up for a one time art class on Contour drawing.

Here is what our daily routine will look like:
Assigned Chores
Morning Meeting: Catechism devotion, reading from Everyday Graces, daily assignment for Little Annie's and Manners Made Easy, activity or exercise from 365 Manners Kids Should Know
Journaling with prompt-- set timer for ten minutes
A Child's Geography read aloud-- activities/assignments from the book
Individual Work assignments-- one on one time with me as needed
Lunch-- listen to The Bible Experience cd's while we eat
Mom reads aloud from a selection of books (see note below)
Naptime/Quiet Time-- finish individual work, independent reading from individual lists, browse through magazines

I plan to have all of this wrapped up by 3:15, when I need to run carpool for the other kids. After school time, then, becomes time for computer time, outdoor play, and other free time activities.
Obviously, on days when we will be out of the house, this schedule will be out the window. I learned a long time ago not to count on getting much (any!) schoolwork done on days when we leave the house.

Note on read alouds: Reading Elizabeth Foss' book has prompted me to change things a bit from what I originally posted. I have decided to have my fifth grader read from the Apologia text on his own, and then use the read aloud time that I was going to devote to science to read from a selection of books. Since I have now signed the children up for several nature-themed classes, I feel that especially the seven year old will be getting enough science through this. And the truth is, I wanted to devote time this year to great read alouds, but couldn't find the space in our day to do so. This was bothering me, so I tinkered a bit with the schedule and adjusted the plans to make it happen. To enhance the "nature study" classes, I am going to purchase several of the "One Small Square" books by Donald Silver and read them aloud to the kids. My mother in law is also buying subscriptions to Nature Friend magazine and Zoobooks magazine. (She is also buying Learning Through History magazine-- hooray!) I will have them read through/look through these publications when they arrive in the mail as well.
Some of the books we will be reading this year are favorites from my childhood. Including North To Freedom, Danny The Champion of The World, and Mandy. I am so excited about sharing these books with my children.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Listening to The Bible Experience at lunch, what a fantastic idea! I'm going to recommend that to my homeschooling friends