Update: The Lord orchestrated a surprise opportunity for us this year! It looks like all three boys will take part in Classical Conversations, the Foundations level, and I will be a tutor for one of the groups! I made a few changes below as we are losing a morning of I “home” work each week and will be adding a significant amount of memory work to our workload.
I love new seasons — I adore change! We tend to have a few “fresh starts” each year in our home education — a Fall quarter, a Beginning-of-the-year quarter, and a late Spring/Summer quarter. I like to plan only a few months in advance, concentrating on what is important right now and knowing we can change our focus a little as needed in the future.
Because I’ve benefited from reading other homeschool families’ plans and schedules, I figured there may be one or two people who could benefit from taking a peek into our homeschool plan for the fall. Here’s what’s a-brewing in our home:
Soli Deo Gloria Academy, Fall 2009
Inductive Study of 1 John (Deb, Christian, Micah)
Everyone will do daily readings of scripture (Christian is going through the NIV One Year Bible, Micah will read our children’s bible aloud to Daniel). Update: I found another copy of the One Year Bible for Micah at a thrift store, so he’ll go through this as well (maybe the New Testament only? Maybe I’ll have them both do N.T., Psalms and Proverbs only, since we are intently going through the O.T. already…? We’ll “play it by ear!”)
I also remembered a neat resource I already owned called Greenleaf’s Guide to the Old Testament. Since we are studying Ancient History this year, it only makes sense to do this for Bible time. I picked up a copy of World History Made Simple and am absolutely impressed at the clear explanation of world history! Ruth Beechick explains in detail the dating methods scientists have used to come up with the age of different civilizations, and explains why the Bible has stood the test of time for historical accuracy! (I”ll only read bits and pieces of this book to the kids, but it has encouraged my faith and helped me to understand history.)
Here are some nice maps that will incorporate well into Bible and History.
This semester will be unusual. Because we cannot wait to begin Ancient History and because we didn’t do much of the reading scheduled for this summer (I wanted to wrap up American History before the fall), we’ll have a semester of concurrent histories: Ancient World and Modern American.
Ancient History: Ancient Civilizations and the Bible guide, breaking to use Truthquest (my favorite resource of all time) for in-depth study of Egypt and Greece. We may add in a few era-appropriate art lessons from God and the History of Art. (Creation thru Greece should take us 1 year, then we’ll spend a year on Rome.)
Modern American: We are finishing American History for Young Students III (Truthquest), hoping to get from Buffalo Bill to 9/11 in 3 months!)
We have our kids going through 2 sets of curriculum for 1-3 grades. It takes them a little longer to get through it all, but this way we ensure they understand math from 2 different angles (LOL).
Singapore 6A and 6B for Christian
Micah finishing both Singapore 3A and Miquon Green soon. When he’s done, he’ll move onto Miquon Yellow before doing Singapore 3B.
Daniel is is finishing Singapore 1B, moving on to Singapore 2A, and continuing in Miquon Red and Blue as well.
All three boys are doing Calculadder drills daily.
The boys have Memory Boxes where they keep the scriptures they are working on for Sunday School. They’ll go over verses to themselves for a few minutes every day, and Ron will quiz them on Saturday night in preparation for church.
I would like to attempt reading poems aloud daily to the boys for “memorizing without labor”. I’ve toyed with the idea of using the little recording device for this too; I’m just not sure how this will work out yet. We’re purchasing the audio CD with all the information for Classical Conversations, Cycle 1, on it and will have the boys listen to the CD a few times each week.
I’ll give the boys a few books to read over the semester, and they’ll read 30 minutes a day from the book of their choice.
Micah: The Princess and the Goblin, The Cricket in Times Square (may listen to one of these on mp3), A Child’s Garden of Verses (one poem a day).
Daniel: I bought a neat story anthology that I’m reading aloud to Daniel right now. We’ll also read The Burgess Animal Book for Children. I think the poor boy has not been read to enough – he’s heard big boy books since he was a baby, but I haven’t read enough age-appropriate short stories to him. So we’ll have a special reading time every day together this semester!
Finish Zoology 1. We’re almost done with this book. I’m going to push to finish before the end of September.
Exploring Creation through Astronomy. We’re doing this with another family, one or two evenings a month (dads too).
Nature Study! I really, really want to get busy with nature study. It ALWAYS falls by the wayside. What to do this year? Maybe we could go to a park or the river every other Monday, if I can get going on this… Here’s a neat site w/ laidout plans, but you know what they say about “the best laid plans” — I have put this on the schedule a times now and never done it. We’re going to go somewhere “nature-y” every other Monday with our nature journals, our art notebooks, and a picnic lunch in tow. I plan to be very relaxed about this, asking the boys to observe and to draw one thing each time in their nature journals. The art journals will be used at their pleasure.
Prima Latina (Micah)
Latina Cristiana (Christian and Deb)
We bought the dvd’s to go with these courses, so the lovely Leigh Lowe teaches us all Latin right here in my living room. Yay for technology!
Phonics (Daniel) – Daniel is still working through Alpha Phonics. It’s an oldie-but-goodie that helped all my boys learn to read. It’s simple, cheap, and it works. You can usually find a copy on eBay for about $10.
For Christian and Micah, we bought both the Student Writing Intensive produced by Institute for Excellence in Writing. We also purchased the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (a training seminar I’ll watch w/ a few mom friends). I’m excited to use this program as I’ve come to respect and enjoy Andrew Pudewa’s style — this was where we spent our “big money” this year.
We haven’t really done formal spelling yet, but plan to this year(Christian and Micah). The boys are actually REALLY excited about Spelling (how weird is that!). Over the course of a week (or more if needed): they will use a little hand-held recording device to record spelling words, use the word in a sentence, like a teacher giving a spelling test. Then they’ll record themselves reading each word and spelling it slowly. They’ll then give themselves spelling tests and correct their own tests. Once they pass the test themselves, I’ll test them on the words; once they pass, they’ll move on to the next list. (Thanks to Denise Drake and Andrew Pudewa for ideas on this method.) (The Classical Conversations group will also hold a Spelling Bee!)
Obviously, some geographic-learning will take place during History and Bible studies, but Christian and Micah will continue working through their Trail Guide to U.S. (just 5 minutes a day — the printable student notebook makes this curriculum so easy — no help needed from me!).
In Classical Conversations, the boys will be learning names and shapes of the 7 continents and the countries of Africa.
We take a few minutes each morning to listen to the hymn-of-the-month and look at a famous masterpiece-of-the-month. These kind of co-incide w/ history studies.
Hymns (using Hymns for a Kid’s Heart):
Sept –This is My Father’s World
Oct – A Mighty Fortress
Nov – O God Our Help in Ages Past
Art Study (somewhat like this):
Sept – Creation/The Sistine Chapel
Oct – Poortvliet’s Noah’s Ark (available at the library)
Nov – The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel)
For music appreciation, we’ll pick a song or album for each month and listen to it in the car and at random times in the house. This month I’ve been loving The World’s Very Best Opera for Kids! Also, some homeschoolers at our church are getting together bi-weekly for a little music co-op. There will be some formal musical learning and some music appreciation.
Sept – The Creation Oratorio by Franz Joseph Haydn (library CD)
Oct – Ballet of the Baby chicks in Their Shells (a “symphonic poem” by Mussorgsky — CD at library)
Nov – Carnival of the Animals/Peter and the Wolf (not sure which/both yet).
Apple Hill (and making applesauce — yum!)
Ice Cream Social with Classical Conversations
We’ll continue on with cooking, cleaning, yard work.
Daniel and Micah will continue learning various man-skills through Cub Scouts, and Christian through Boy Scouts.
We’ll make sure to schedule times to visit my grandmother and have the boys complete chores around her home.
The boys will continue to take a P.E. course through a local homeschool group, Youth Are Worth It. (The info on the website is a little outdate, so email before you show up!) Unfortunately, P.E. moved to a day that doesn’t work for us! Or, perhaps I should say FORTUNATELY, since it opened up the door for us to partake in Classical Conversations.