Monday, August 1, 2011

Our 2011 - 2012 Curriculum Choices

It's this time of the year where I get to share the plans for our school year:)

I stress "plans" especially this year, because it is soo very overwhelming to think that I have 3 kids to school each day and a toddler to keep track of. But there are moms everywhere schooling 3 or more, so I have some inspiration... it can be done!!!!

But not without some plans and preparation;) Oh, and TONS of grace and patience;)

Let me also share that I attempt to base our choices from The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I was recommended the book from a dear, like-minded friend and have used it as my homeschooling manual ever since! That being said our Bible study, history and science will be done as a family !

What We're Doing Together
  • Bible - One Year Bible story Bible, Awana verses and Draw to Learn series... starting with Proverbs;)

  • History - Story of the World... finish vol 2 and start vol 3;) And I have found that there are a LOT more books available at our local library with the Renaissance and Early Modern Time periods... so there will be a LOT more reading;) And hoping to include some time to highlight musicians/artists of these time periods as well!!

  • Science - We're studying Chemistry... my WORST subject ever, good thing I married a Chemistry major;) We'll be using Adventures With Atoms and Molecules: Chemistry Experiments for Young People - Book I ... doing experiments and learning new vocabulary each week! I'm actually looking forward to it;)

  • Spanish - Hooked on Phonics Spanish I found this at a really good price during the year and hope it will just to give us a taste of Spanish. Just enough to pursue a more intensive program!

Anna - 3rd Grade
  • Math - Saxon 3
  • Grammer - First Language Lessons #3 or Rod and Staff... I'm still debating :(
  • Spelling - Spelling Power
  • Reading - library selections based on history topics
  • Writing - journaling, history narration exercises
  • Handwriting - history copywork
Christopher - 1st Grade
I've been struggling to give Chris a "grade placement"... I feel like he's reading and doing math more on a 1st grade level, but he's a 5 yr old boy;) I'd rather go slow and have him enjoy it, but I think he's ready to take on a little more... blessing of homeschooling is that he can try it and if it's too much too quickly we'll scale back! LOL.. I felt the same way last year;)
  • Math - finish Saxon 1 and then move to Saxon 2
  • Spelling - using an old Houghton Mifflin spelling workbook I was given... very similar to Spelling Workout
  • Reading - Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, LeapFrog readers + library books
  • Grammer - First Language Lessons
  • Writing - letters to family/friends, prompts from spelling
  • Handwriting - history copywork, cursive, if he asks!
Lydia - K
If we can get him to take 2 naps and learn to play quietly for minutes at a time we will be doing GREAT!! Course NOT standing on the table or eating crayons as we work would be nice, too!!
I do hope to include him in our Bible reading and Spanish... again, we'll see:)

We plan on starting Aug 22nd.... so I have plenty of time to tweak:) Especially if I find other ideas from the NOT back-to-school blog hop ;)


Our Side of the Mountain said...

Are you doing some of those GREAT photos with the cards again? Those are so cute! (Think I can get my 7th grader to do it this year? LOL) Wishing you a wonderful school year! (We're starting 9/6.)

Aliesha said...

This looks awesome! You're such an inspiration. :)

Tristan said...

Your plans look great! It really does get easier learning to balance the baby with the rest, I promise. This year I've got 5th, 1st, K, and then a 3yo, 2yo ,8 month old, and baby #7 due in January. Life is never dull with little ones, is it?

Amy said...

Looks great! I have a first grader, one almost ready for kindergarten and a 2 year old. I can relate!

livelifewithyourkids said...

Hi - just dropping in with the blog hop.

I love how you have divided your plans up between doing some things together and some things as individuals. Doing it this way certainly helps balance the needs of the different ages you have happening.

Well done also on recognising where your son is really at - regardless of age - and yet you have planned to go gentle with him. He is a blessed little boy!

enjoy your year.

Sally said...

I wish you all the best this year!! I'm here by way of the HOTM blog hop, and I hope you'll stop by and see what all we (will hopefully) be up to this year!

Ryan & Heather said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your goal of two naps for the littlest... if only my fifteen month old firecracker would go that route...oh well, God gives us different seasons of life for a reason, right?

Your Lydia sounds like a close replica of my J. Cute blog and great school plans.

Amy Sorensen said...

And if Nate is anything like Noah, how to keep him from coloring all over everything! Noah keeps getting a hold of crayons & tagging everything in our house! We'll be doing 1st, K, Pre-K & Noah here plus new baby due Sept 1st! :) (Doing History/Science/Bible together & I think I always will) Love you & thanks for your encouraging blog :)

Amy said...

I see you are nervous about doing three. I am nervous about starting this whole process to begin with with one and two younger siblings. My oldest is four so I am doing a pre-school experiment year and we will see how it goes. I don't know when to focus on him though because I was going to do it while the other two napped but now he has started napping again! (And my two and a half year old would be the one to eat the crayons...)

Angela said...

Thanks for posting this. I love the info and am taking notes as we plan to start home schooling next year.

I did want to ask where you order your materials from? How to budget for homeschooling ie each child gets x amount or do you have one budget for all of it?

Ashley said...

This is great! I have a 1st grader, kindergardener and then 3 toddlers. I am feeling really nervous about this year for some reason so it is great to see others going through the same and finding ways to manage. You are such a caring, hardworking Mom and although I rarely comment, I have been following your blog for sometime and enjoy it tremendously.

joelle said...

Looks great. Wishing you a great year! I am married to a chemistry major guy too.

Stacy said...

Sounds like you've got a good plan going. We did FLL last year, my #1 will be doing Rod and Staff this year...we'll see how it goes.

Eclectic Education said...

I hope you have a wonderful school year! :)


Ashley said...

I wanted to ask your opinion. Do you think it would be beneficial to introduce my kids (grade1 and kindergarten) to "The Story of The World" without doing the activity book or do you feel that to get the full benefit you really need to use both? I am torn between getting the audio CD or reading to them. My problem is I am already a little overwhelmed at finding the time amidst our other read loud interests and subjects.

Kelly @ In Everything said...

Ashley, this was the only way I could comment back to you... so I hope you come back and read this;)

Since you have a 1st grader, I could see why you wanted to start Story of the World (since it's recommended). but honestly, you could wait a year so you'd have two kids ready to start instead of just one... Anna has enjoyed it MUCH more since her siblings have been doing it with us... and maybe b/c shes a year older!!

2nd- With how young your children are... I would HIGHLY recommend the study/activity guide just b/c of the coloring sheets. Mine color while I read. It also includes TONS of reading options that fit many different age groups... we've loved some of the recommended stories that our library had!

3rd - you could do the CDs and just listen to Story of the World in the car since you said you have a lot of reading already planned. I guess the would be exposed to the material which is a goal... but mine really enjoyed the stories and the activities... and the extra reading... like they wanted to learn more about Mummies or reading more greek myths... the trojan horse was a favorite...etc!

one reason I like The Well-Trained MInd was that besides language arts basics and math... the rest of the homeschooling day/week is based on your history or science... so our read alouds and extra reading is usually focused on our history/science, too!! So it alll comes together!!

And know that there is NO wrong choice. You just have to choose what best fits your family:)

Ashley said...

Thank you so much for such a great response! I definitely have a lot to consider. May I ask one more question? So far I have schooled my older two together for everything except Math. Do you think I could do Language Lessons with my Kindergardener or should I wait until Grade 1 as suggested? (She will be 5 in December yet reads at a Grade 3 level.)

Kelly @ In Everything said...

Ashley, You're very welcome!!

What do you use for teaching reading??? That's amazing that your 5 year old is reading at such a high level. She'd probably be fine with Story of the World, too!!

I"m in the same debate with First Language Lessons and my 1st and Ker. It's very SIMPLE! The lessons aren't very intensive at all and cover very basic stuff that first year with only 2 or 3 lessons a week depending on your schedule. I think I"m going to teach them FLL together.... or at least try it... and if it's too much just drop it for another year. And it tailors copywork/narration for different writing abilities/ maturity.

Ashley said...

That's a good idea that maybe I could try and I could always stop if she struggles.
For reading I used "100 Easy Lessons". I think my daughter just has a passion for reading. I was teaching my 4 year old to read and she had just turned 3 and wanted to learn as well. She already knew her letter sounds (from watching Letter Factory which you recommended!) so she picked it up very quickly. I don't think I ever made it past Lesson 50 in the manual. Although my son can also read above his grade level, he lacks the expression and flow that she has. My 2 year old has absolutely no interest in learning letters and is just beginning to have a longer attention span for books. I find it so amazing that kids are all so different!!
Thank you again for your insights. I appreciate and value it.

Very Blessed Mamma said...

I know how you feel. I have been surprised that I have not really found much that I haven't seen already or that I really found interesting.

I am now following you!

You can find me here.

Jansen Family said...

lol...I'd like to get my baby to quit sampling the crayons too! He does like to draw, though!

We're just starting homeschooling with my daughter's PK year--she's four right now! We're using BocaBeth for some Spanish introduction and Siegfried Engelmann's method for learning to read. The rest...well, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas! I'm excited that I've "discovered" you and your blog!

Carla @ Jansen Family Adventures