Sunday, August 9, 2009

Homeschool - The Weekly Curriculum Edition

Our schedule is set and we've reviewed the core (daily) curricula. Our weekly studies will be done once a week following our core studies.

Here is what we will be doing on a weekly basis...

Monday - History... Story of the World (4) We will read one chapter, complete one activity
and there will be a selection of additional reading from which the kids can
choose one to read later in the day.
Physical Education... Although the credits for this subject will be met through the
physical activities (ballet, hockey, etc) we will also study the rules for a
different sport each month and we will be learning an exercise a week (for
example - sit ups, jumping jacks, and such).
Grammar... our main spine for grammar will be First Language Lessons (3). We will
complete one lesson each week. Additionally, the kids will be responsible
for one lesson a week in their Grammar Practice work books. We also have
games that we will add to the agenda this year.

Tuesday - Physics... Christian Kids Explore Physics. We will complete one lesson each week.
We also have a physics lab kit that we will complete.
Geography... for geography, we will focus on countries and where they exist on the
earth. Using Geography Songs as our main resource, we will add in books and games to each country.
Computer... we will also be learning about computers and programming. Since I
know absolutely nothing we will all be learning to together. The main

Wednesday - Nature... for this topic we will be using Nature in a Nutshell, which consists of 10 minute nature activities.  We will also be using the Christian Liberty Nature Readers.  Each will be assigned a reading passage in the appropriate level reader which will then be narrated.
Logic... Each week we will do one lesson in The Fallacy Detective.  

Thursday - Art... we do not have a specific curriculum for art although we will be using "What Makes a _____ a ______" as a spine.  Each month we will look at an artist's work, read about the artist, complete a lapbook about the artist and color/paint a replica of the artist's work.
Citizenship... although our previous studies have focused on characteristics of good citizens, I purchased  "Citizenship Activities" which is full of activities about voting, elections, and other citizenship responsibilities.

Friday - Music... This year's music curriculum is one I have made for studying muscial instruments.  We will look at a different instrument each week, listening to a recording of that instrument.
Life Skills... Each month we will focus on a different life skill.  Some things we will be learning include - knitting, finances, cooking, sewing, woodworking, auto upkeep (I do have one that will be learning to drive next year...YIKES!!!), gardening and home maintenance.  Obviously, we won't be able to cover any of these topics in depth but my hope is that they will learn enough to spark their interests in these areas.  

That wraps up our weekly topics.  Next homeschool post will focus on the plans for my HIGH SCHOOLER!!!  YIKES X3!!!

In love and recovery,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Homeschool - The Core Curriculum Edition

Our core studies this year will be Orthodoxy, Vocabulary, Math, Writing, Literature, and Foreign Language.  These are the areas that will be studied every day.  My process this year was to develop a basic outline of what I hope to cover in these areas.  Although I am hoping that this year will be a little more consistent on a day-to-day basis, it has been proven that life happens and rarely is one day like the next, much less one week to the next.  To assist my weekly lesson planning, I have completed a list of 180 assignments for each core area.  When we "officially" begin school, I then plug lessons 1-5 into the first week.  As assignments are completed, the grade will be recorded and then the next set of lessons will be "officially" assigned.  If for some reason we are only able to accomplish 3 of the 5 assignments for that week (for a legitimate family reason), then the remaining 2 will be assigned for the next week along with the next 3 new assignments.  If the assignments are not completed because of student issues, they will have to be completed on the weekend as "homework."  I don't have an end date for the school year, that will happen when the assignments are completed.  

The 180 assignment plans have been completed for Vocabulary, Math, and Writing.

For Vocabulary, we will be using Word Study developed by the makers of Singapore Math.  We used these some last school year and I found them to be enjoyable for the kids to use on a daily basis. Simple enough to be completed in 5 minutes or so but complex enough to strengthen their vocabulary.

For Math, we will be using Singapore Math.  I've been very impressed with Singapore.  Our math journey has included several different math curricula.  We have tried Saxon, Ray's, Keys to..., and MCP ( and there may have been others I'm not remembering at this  While all of these programs had much to offer and several strengths, I have found Singapore to be the best fit for all of us.  Nearly all of the math is taught as mental math.  I have seen a huge difference since we have switched, mostly, when I ask a math question, my children are able to answer without using their fingers (which is really good since one of them is about to start algebra...LOL!!!)  I can't say enough good things about this program but it does have to be right for the student using it or it will be very frustrating.

For writing, we will continue to work our way through Understanding Writing.  I love this program although I have found with our homeschool, we have been able to skip some things. This curriculum is for grades 1-12 although my daughter in kindergarten was able to work along with us.  My plan is to cover several years this year by skipping those lessons which are repetitious.

For Orthodoxy, Literature, and Foreign Language, I will be working off of my yearly plan.

In our study of Orthodoxy this year, we will be taking a look at the New Testament.  Using the Children's Bible Reader, the Law of God, and our family bible, we will study the books of the New Testament, along with the parables, and other significant passages.  My goal this year is for the children to become familiar with the teachings of Jesus as expressed through the gospels and epistles.

My approach to foreign language is a little bit different from the other core courses in that I really don't have goals set because of the nature of foreign language.  I see these as being similar to music lessons, at the end of the year, I want to see progress but the amount of progress made is dependent upon each child.  As long as I can document 180 days of foreign language practice for each child, then their goal will be met.  Princess will study Greek, Rosebud will study French, Stinkbug will study Spanish, and Sugarcake will study American Sign Language.

Literature seems to be our family favorite.  I read aloud a chapter from the selected book while the children follow along in books we have borrowed from the library.  Following the reading of the chapter, the kids either have an activity to complete taken from a study guide, can illustrate the chapter in some way, or we discuss what was read to make sure all understood the passage.  Our selections for this year are...

That wraps up our core studies.  Next homeschool post will look at our weekly study plans.

In love and recovery,