Daniel, age 10 in August, and Dwayne, age 9 in September, will both be enrolled in Classical Conversations’ Foundations program. This will be our fourth year with CC, Daniel’s second time through Cycle 1 (Dwayne moved in with us a little more than halfway through Cycle 1 last time).
The Foundations program is a once-a-week, half-day program that helps me homeschool my children through the Grammar stage of learning. The boys will learn a new fact sentence each week for 7 different “subjects” (Timeline, History, Latin, English Grammar, Science, Math, and Geography) and spend time in class reviewing older facts through incredibly fun group games. We will flesh out our memory work at home with in-depth history, science, literature, math curriculum and other resources.
Foundations also provides a Fine Arts lesson each week (drawing, music theory/tin whistle, great artists, and composers/classical music), a weekly in-class Science experiment, and a chance each week for the boys to give oral presentations. Both of them have improved greatly over the years in their public speaking skills, and I am confident this practice will help them as adults to not be scared of communication in the public square.
Here’s our extended plan:
We will memorize Exodus, Chapter 20.
We will use the audios of both Mystery of History, Volume 1, and Story of the World, Volume 1 as our spines for Ancient History this year. I plan to have us color or draw while we listen each morning. We will also add in several “living” books having to do with Egypt, Greece, and Rome spread throughout the year. I want to at least read each of these: The Golden Goblet and/or God King (Ancient Egypt), D’Aulaires’Book of Greek Myths and Archimedies and the Door of Science (Ancient Greece), and Detectives in Togas (Ancient Rome). The Bronze Bow would be another great Roman read around Easter, or perhaps Vinegar Boy.
Pinterest (especially CC Mom) has been so helpful to me in finding go-alongs for both the History and Science memory work from CC. I’m trying to organize week by week, using these go-alongs to study the CC topics a little deeper each week (spending more time investigating if the kids are very interested).
First Semester (Biology and Botany) –
We will use several Usborne-type books and various websites to look up info on animal classification, plant cells, and animal cells. etc. We will read parts of Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany book for details on flowers and seeds. Living Books may include Magic School Bus Plants Seeds, Seed Babies, Little Wanderers, Burgess Flower Book for Children.
Second Semester (Earth Science) –
We will go through A Child’s Geography, but out of order so that we can read more in-depth along with our CC science facts.
Language Arts –
Daniel is enrolled in Classical Conversations’ Essentials program this year. (Micah took it a few years back. Though the program is intended to be for student and parent, because I was tutoring Challenge A I was not able to sit in class with Micah. He surpassed my grammar knowledge in mere weeks and became my tutor. This time I get to learn alongside Daniel!) Essentials is a full English Grammar course. We will learn all the parts of speech, memorizing lists such as prepositions, helping verbs, etc. We’ll learn how to parse and diagram sentences. Daniel will be writing essays using the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Ancient History book. I think the writing book will be a little over his ability, but we’ll scale it to be challenging without being overwhelming.
For Dwayne, we’ll continue to work on reading for fluency. We’re working slllooowwwly through Phonics Pathways at this time, but may try another phonics program later in the year if we need to. He’s starting to be able to read little readers, so we’ll stock up on those from the library. We’ll continue in First Language Lessons (although he really enjoyed the first chapter of Grammarland– stories just may be his learning style).
Daniel just completed Miquon Math. He did a summer course learning incredible things through a Hands On Equations tutor. He will work through Singapore Math (5th grade) this year.
Dwayne has been using Miquon Math as well, but it is just too abstract for him. We’ll probably try Singapore Math again (2nd Grade) and see how it goes.
We’ll schedule Math games into our lives.
Dwayne will have two Math tutors this year – my mom, one day each week or two, and another one that we’ll hire.
Fine Arts –
We’ll learn and practice Music Theory and the tin whistle through CC lessons and review at home.
Drawing with Children will guide our drawing instruction.
My kids love crafting (clay, beading, scratch art, digital art, etc.) and so I’m sure we’ll find time to do plenty of it, probably during their afternoon free times.
We are studying Africa, parts of Eastern Asia, and some of the Americas in Classical Conversations this year. The boys will memorize over 120 locations on the globe by being introduced to them in class and then locating them and tracing them on their Trivium Tables all week long at home. We will also play some games at Sheppards Software (free) and on our GeoSafari for practice.
We’ll simply work on memorizing the basic 5 noun declensions in Latin this year. I will have the kids do copy work and perhaps a memory game to help with review.
Memory Work –
The core of our homeschool involves memory work. We will work on memory work every day for at least 15 minutes, and dedicate 15 minutes to working on these beautiful lapbooks (which in theory should lead to more memory work time!).