The start of our school for the year has been delayed. As much as it drives me batty, I was hoping to be six weeks into the year by now. However, life took over. That and our Jr. Notebooking Journal for science that I preordered is now back ordered until the end of the month. So our target date for starting school is August 8th. I so look forward to it this year. It will be one step closer to reclaiming our lives.
This year, I’ve decided to do what my friend Renita does and school for six weeks, then basically take a week off and do light work and have a break. It worked well for her last year to do Sabbath weeks and I think it will help keep us from getting burned out and on information overload. I have no real intention of following the public school calendar anyway, so this is one step closer to our independence.
I pieced together our curriculum this year. The Bugs and the Beans are both all over the map with where they are operating, that no boxed curriculum would truly work for them. I figured if I bought Sonlight’s Core A along with Timberdoodle’s First Grade Core, sub in Mystery of History for Story of the World, add in Kindergarten level handwriting we might have a program that would work for the Bugs. Yet, that would have eaten up my homeschooling budget for the next two years…
So, here is what we’ve gotten. I’m still debating adding the Stick Figuring Through the Bible from Grapevine yet. We’ll see if I need to add to our Bible or not…
So, for the subjects we will mainly do together:
Bible: I have Leading Little Ones to God by Schoolholland. We will also be going through the Mighty Acts of God Bible put together by Star Meade. After we are done with Leading Little Ones to God, we will begin Who is God and Can I Really Know Him put out by Apologia Press. I am debating if we need the Stick Figuring Through the Bible by Grapevine Studies yet or not. I’ll make that decision after we’ve started if it seems that we aren’t getting enough.
History: We will be reading through the Mystery of History together. We’ll add in some of the suggested activities and I also have the reproducible CD-Rom. I chose this because it is a providential view of world history that starts with Creation. My husband and I believe that we really cannot separate our world view from any part of life and that includes the education of our children. Other history products totally neglect God and it is because of Him we have a history at all.
Science: we are using Apologia Press’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeanie Fulbright. The Bugs has been asking questions about the sun, moon and stars and begging to learn more about them. So that is what we are doing. We will throw in some kitchen science and do other things, but our main science focus will be astronomy. The girls are so excited. It is my Jr. Notebooking Journal that is backordered at the moment. I so can’t wait for it to arrive the end of this month after vacation.
Art: We will continue using Artistic Pursuits, The Way They See It (their preschool art book) that I got to review last year as a part of the TOS Crew. It is so gentle in introducing art concepts, theory and artists to young children. If we get through this book this year, my mother-in-law found the next two at a garage sale for me so we will just continue with the series. I really like how easy this makes it to teach art to children. Especially when Mom isn’t artistic at all.
Music Appreciation: We plan on introducing a variety of music styles to the children. We’ll spend some time listening to different genre’s and discussing how they sound. I also hope to start introducing them to famous composers and do some composer study. It depends on how busy we are with our other school work.
For the Bugs, we are going to continue along with The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading for phonics. We’ve neglected the lessons since May in that book so I know we will have quite a bit of review to do. We will also be doing
First Language Lessons for a gentle introduction to English. The Beans can tag along with that if she is interested.
The Bugs’ math this year is a new item. I debated long and hard about math curriculums. Each company has things to recommend it, and yet deter me from it. I ended up going with JUMP at Home Math for first grade. It is a workbook (I can add manipulatives) that is making it’s debut in the U.S. this year from Canada. I like the way the book is laid out, how simple it is and the way it introduces concepts. That and it was pretty cheap. I figured if I tried this and it didn’t work out too well, then I won’t have as large a pill to swallow to replace it with something else than if I had bought the other product I was looking at that cost well over a hundred dollars for everything.
Handwriting for the Bugs is A Reason for Writing book K. Which I have the feeling she will simply blast through and I’ll end up having to order her the next book in the middle of the year. That child loves to trace and do workbooks.
I’m also introducing Geography to the Bugs this year. I have Beginning Geography by Evan Moor for her. She loves maps and is always asking to look at them, so I figure we can go off of her interest for it.
And we are continuing on with our studies in Latin. I will again be using Song School Latin from Classic Academic Press. The girls love it, and I love how easy it is to teach.
For the Beans, we are going to continue using All About Reading for her introduction to the world of the alphabet. She loves the stories that go with the letters and the puppet. It is a nice gentle introduction to the world of print and reading.
The Beans gets to use the I Can Trace book by Big Skills for Little Hands. Bugs loved that book when she got to go through it. And the Beans has been trying her hand at tracing various things. I just hope that I can teach this child how to write. It is looking like she is going to be the solo righty in our family (at least at this time).
We also got the Beans Mathematical Reasoning Beginning by Bright Ideas Press. She counts along with her sister and is showing an interest in early math skills. So I figured why not try it? If I have to put it away for a while, I do, but it will come back out. The book is reproducible, which is nice.
We also got the girls Building Thinking Skills from the Critical Thinking Company. I wasn’t really taught to think in the terms of logic growing up and I mean to rectify that with my children. I want them to be able to use logic and have it be basically second nature to them.
We are also planning on field trips. We are planning on making to the annual Prairie Days at the George Washington Carver site. That is something we’ve done the last two years and have always had a great time at. And I’m thinking about maybe a trip back to the Candy House. That is an incredible tour, they are great with the kids and you get yummy things afterwards and sometimes during. I’m contemplating other fun trip ideas. Maybe Bass Pro would count. It is nearly as fun as a zoo, and it is free to go and wander around in. Plus there are various places to go for field trips over at Grandma’s.
So, there is the basic plan for the year in a nutshell. Hope it works out!