Apr 29, 2009

The Great Rambling Post about Next Year

So is anyone else thinking about Next Year, yet?


I'm excited, but nervous too, about teaching three kids "for real" instead of just two. Kaytie is starting 2nd grade and Nate will be in First (that's what I tell him anyway, even though they are doing all the same stuff except for their reading ability. He is, actually, a tad bit better than her in math. But it's weird enough having my 5 year old trucking through second grade material without having to explain it to random strangers who ask him what grade he is in!) Daniel will be starting PreK, which means a "real" curriculum (I made it myself, so its "reality" is up for debate) with emphasis on learning his letters, numbers, and how to follow directions. He will still be doing the "shelf" thing, I'm just going to stock it with all the games and color pages I made for Kaytie and Nate when they were in preK. Abbie will still be playing in Totschool, although I am printing off a copy of all my preK consumables for her, because I know how this works.


I have everything nailed down, pretty much, as far as what we are going to be doing next year and I will be spending the next four months pulling it all together.


For math, we are continuing in Horizons, there was a week or so of panic and confusion (we narrowly avoid delay) about our math curriculum, but the Voice of Reason, also known as Daddy, stepped in in the nick of time to rescue us, and Horizons it is.


For Language, we will be working our way through First Language Lessons for the Well-trained Mind, reading aloud through the old-fashioned but fun McGuffy Readers (Kaytie will start the 4th and Nate will start the 3rd), learning spelling rules, working on copywork, and reading to ourselves The Boxcar Children and The Magic Treehouse until we run out of books and have to find another series.


For science, we will be reading and experimenting our way through Apologia's Zoology book. Adding library books and forays into nature as often as we can. I know that Biology is supposed to be next, but I just think they will have more fun, at this age, learning about animals and insects.


For history, we are going to read through The Light and the Glory for Children. I have pulled together a list of activities, discussion topics, and library book ideas for each chapter and am now working on finding, printing, and putting together the appropriate materials needed.


For Geography, I found a lovely book called Children Around the World, full of ideas for recipes, games, activities and color pages for about 50 countries. It will probably take us a couple of school years to work our way through the book, but it looks like it is going to be plenty of fun.


Music will be piano lessons and art will be continuing with our "still-life and nature sketching" while working our way through How to Teach Your Children About Art, and possibly, Drawing with Children. I am also offering, rather diffidently at first, pictures, stories, and music from one artist and one composer every three months. We shall see how that goes. Any Charlotte Mason followers care to give me ideas of which artist and composer with which to start? Because I need guidance. :)


I'm working my way through a curriculum of Bible stories and a list of things I want them to memorize (the 10 commandments, the books of the Bible, the fruits of the Spirit) and lists of memory verses.


I wasn't going to do Latin (since it flopped so early and so easily this year) but then I just happened to stumble across Prima Latina and it was exactly what I thought my last purchase was, and now I'm rethinking. The chancellor of the exchequer has approved the spending of funds, so it is a definite possibility.


And if that doesn't keep us busy enough, we will be going on field trips to the park and the science museum, grocery stores and hither and yon.


As for a schedule, I'm biting the bullet and planning a five day week this year. sigh. I'm thinking that Daniel, with tag-along Abbie, will be doing their thing in the morning, per usual, and I will have Kaytie and Nate do their math, copywork, etc, basically anything that they can do "on their own" with minimum of input from me, during that time. Then, the stuff that they need me directly involved (science experiments for example) we will do in the afternoons, while the babies, ummm, "rest" (we dare not call it napping) (And for that matter, I should probably give up calling them babies, too, huh?) SIGH.


Oh, and we are dropping the Traditional American School Year Calendar and switching to "terms". Three months on, one month off. We will start our new year in September, in order to cash in on all the Back to School excitement/adrenaline going around the country, but we will take off December, April and August every year, rather than June, July and August. There are many reasons for doing this. December, April and August are usually our busiest months of doing other things besides school, and it will be nice to have them "off". It gets rid of the issue of having to review to catch up after three months of idleness. And most of all, it seems to fit perfectly into the way I plan. We always seem to lose ourselves in December, because that is when my detailed plans start running out and I don't do well with planning as I go. This schedule will give me an entire month to rejuvenate and detail out our next moves.


So, for those of you who are still here... lol that's what next year is shaping up to look like and thanks for reading! :)

13 comments:

One More Equals Four said...

Wow, I am impressed...you have really got it together. I am nervous about next year, too but it is because I will have a 7th grader and that is terrifying and intimidating to me! We are cutting him back to only one day at the homeschool tutorial because I didn't like the math they were using.

i think I am going to try Teaching Textbooks for math this year, at least for 7th grade, I'll probably stick with Bob Jones for the rest!

Good luck with your new year! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Julie said...

That is awesome that you have so much planned already. I have been lurking on your blog for awhile, which I love by the way, and I have been doing mainly Montessori inspired type activities with my 4 year old but I have just started checking out a few curriculums for next year. They only thing I am completely sold on is Handwritting Without Tears. I have gotten so many great ideas from your blog. Keep up the great work!!

TheWzorekFamily said...

Do you know the author of, Children Around the World? I googled, but got many titles by that name. We would love to try it out. (LOve your blog, by the way)

Spesamor Academy said...

1more=4, I am terrified of Middle School and High School! I'm so glad I get to start with the fun grades that I know something about and I hope it takes a good long while for us to get to 7th grade!
Julie, thanks for reading. :) I checked out your blog and you have some great ideas! I want Handwriting Without Tears, but I'm still debating the cost. I did print off their free guides and my kids have gotten SO much out of them!
Mrs Wzorek, it's full title is Children Around the World A Multicultural Journey and it was written by Jane Caballero-Hodges, Ph.D
I hope that helps you find it!

Mama Teaching 2 said...

You are such a talented mama and teacher. :) I was so impressed as I read this post. :) I think I am looking at the same latin program. Can you link us to it?

Spesamor Academy said...

Mamateaching2:
I found it here...
http://www.memoriapress.com/descriptions/prima.htm
or you can just type in memoriapress.com there is a link to Prima Latina on the first page. :)
I had bought Latina Christiana at a used curriculum sale, and thought it would work for us. But it didn't. I'm hoping the right age curriculum will be easier.

Jessica said...

I've been mulling over the idea of using that same school schedule too. My only hang up is that I have being inside doing school in May and June when it is sooo gorgeous outside, but it's not like school lasts all day long.
Hmmm, have to keep working it over in my mind. Maybe I'll just go for it and see how it works.

Tracy said...

You will love the Apologia! Have a great year!

Cellista said...

We used Prima Latina last year and really liked it, although memorizing the long prayers was a bit much for us. I still love that my 4yo comes running to hug me and says, "Ego amo te, Mom!" (I love you)

Looks like you have a great year planned!

Darcy @ m3b said...

Wow you had this organized way early! I'm impressed!

Thanks so much for participating in the NBTS Blog Hop. Hope you'll join us in the weeks to come.

-Darcy

Robin E. said...

I love your ideas of "terms". Ummmmm, it's got me thinking. Thanks for sharing on the Blog Hop.

knit1kids4 said...

Sounds like a great year!

sarahb said...

Hi! I was stopping by to take a look off of Darcy's blog hop! Your plans look wonderful. We are using many of the same books! Research is such fun! I wanted to recommend Harmony Art Mom's blog and curriculum for fine arts. I ordered the curriculum it for this year as i was also looking for CM style Fine Arts and I have found her blog to be enormously helpful in all areas where art, music and nature study are concerned. I hope that helps some~ Have a blessed school year!
Sarah

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