It’s curriculum planning time again! Yes, already. I have no idea how that happened, but it has.
Every weekend for the past couple of weeks I’ve been working bit by bit on next year’s plan (and Brayden’s report – it’s due at the same time). I prefer to ‘eat my elephant’ one small bite at a time than have a mega planning weekend. If I sit down and work on it in one mega session, I get to the point where I’ll just write anything to be done with it. Do you get like that? So I’ve spaced out the work so I just ponder a couple of subjects a weekend.
This year’s plan has been fairly easy though. I’ve relaxed a lot more and let go of some of my teacher-ish ways. I’m not as pedantic about getting things just right. I think this comes with a bit of experience, with both homeschooling itself and pleasing the HEU. Of course, things will probably change again when we hit the high school years which are just around the corner.
I’ve kept my planning format the same as in past years, and since most of my resources and approaches are the same I’ve just had to tweak and update things for the new year. Ordinarily I’d upload my plans to my blog however I’m having computer issues (something to do with my internet settings I’m sure) and since it took me 45 minutes to open the ‘new post page’, uploading might take me all night. So rather than leave my blog empty and lonely, I’ll give you an overview of my plans.
First up is Math:
As an entree the boys will be memorising all manner of Mathy things each day, plus keeping up a steady diet of multiplication facts review and algorithm practice with their homemade Dailies book (which we haven’t exactly been doing daily). Both boys will continue in Singapore Maths as our main course – I couldn’t imagine using anything else. Then we’ll enjoy “Beast Academy” for dessert and probably a good smattering of living Math books too.
Next is Language:
IEW is our most loved resource and Brayden will join Ethan as an IEW student in the coming year. He’s dabbled here and there but next year I’ll plop him into the deep end and teach him how to swim. Reading aloud is a non-negotiable for everyone. Brayden reads aloud to me, Ethan reads aloud to Daddy, and Daddy and I read aloud to everyone. Most of our homeschooling is reading so the best part of all of this planning is creating a wishlist of books. Droooool. 🙂
Next year, as I promise myself every year, we’re going to be more vigilant with daily copywork. We will! And I’m going to be tougher. No more sloppiness covered with sweet little boy smiles. Well I’ll try. Spelling with also be daily. I’m good at that. Ethan’s using Sequential Spelling (we tried the app but it’s of terribly poor quality, and not worth the money at all, so we’re back to the ebook) and Brayden’s just using a phonetically organised word list at present.
For grammar I’m doing a bit of a switcheroo. We’ve used Rod and Staff for several years now and I just felt like a bit of a change of scenery so we’re going to have a grammar vacation with First Language Lessons. We’ve used this before and it didn’t suit us at the time but it’s tempted me one more time.
Oh and we’ll be continuing with what we’ve learned from “Teaching the Classics” and will be analysing and delighting in lots of great picture books and perhaps even trying our hand at making story charts for some of the novels we’ll read.
Next stop is History:
In 2013 we’ll be reading about the World Wars. I know some people aren’t keen on this topic but I’m really interested in it and I know my boys will be intrigued too. I’ve purchased the corresponding Truthquest Guide for this period but I’m not entirely sure how I’ll use it with the boys yet. History will mostly be lots and lots of great books. I can’t wait. I’ve already bought the books we’ll be devouring for World War 1. *Rubbing hands together in glee.*
Since we’ve finally finished “A Child’s Geography” volume 1 (we loved it, by the way), we’ll be starting on volume 2 next year (what a terrible shame there are only two volumes, *sob, sob*). Volume 2 covers the Middle East, not an area I would have thought I’d be interested in, but after flicking through this book I’m really looking forward to diving in. I’ve bought the boys travel journals and we’re going to pretend to travel around the area and document our ‘travels’. I’m thinking we could use “Smash” journaling to make these travel journals. (Have you heard of “Smash” book? Hayley, one of my readers, told me about them and now I want to turn everything into one. Google them if you are game.)
Oh and we’ll be memorising the countries in the Americas too (both North and South).
We’ll be using Dr Jay Wile’s unpublished pilot curriculum again. First we’ll have to finish up “Science in the Creation Week” (unless we plow through the rest over the Christmas holidays since my boys are more than happy to use these books on weekends and holidays – miraculous stuff!), then we’ll dig into “Science in the Ancient World”. I know, I know, my U.S. readers are starting to salivate so I’m not going to tell you anymore since it too cruel to tell you more about a resource that you do not YET have access to. But when they are released run, don’t walk to get yourself copies. They are GOOD! We won’t be using anything else from here on in, if we have a choice.
In the coming year we’ll study Monet, his life and works, using a selection of gorgeous picture books. Of course we’ll also do plenty of our own creating using project ideas from the many art teachers’ blogs. Our Mark Kistler Drawing subscription will continue to get a good work out. There’ll be plenty of trips to the Art Galleries to see their children’s exhibits. I’m so lucky to live close to so many wonderful educational venues…perhaps not as lucky as Canberrians but lucky enough.
Tchaikovsky will be the composer we’ll indulge in next year. Once again we’ll utilise a Classical Kids’ CD, “Tchaikovsky Discovers America”. I’m also going to try the Opal Wheeler audio books for Tchaikovsky. We’ve read and enjoyed the books before, with the accompanying CD, but the audio book will be more economical and possibly more delightful. We’ll see. I’ve also purchased a few picture books to read…of course. Oh and of course we’ll be off to the orchestra again and many children’s musicals.
Well first of all we’ll have to finish up “Getting Started with Latin”. We’re in no rush to finish though. We set our own pace with Latin. There’s no rush. After that we’ll start on Visual Latin. I can’t believe my children are already translating whole sentences from Latin. Me too! It’s so cool. We love Latin.
And finally, if you don’t count P.E. which is the ‘same old same old’, Technology and Design:
Next year I really want to purchase the 20 storybook set from “Engineering is Elementary”. Price, when you add shipping, is the obstacle but we’ll figure out a way around that little pesky problem next year.
Okay, well that my planning. It’s the basic plan without too many intricate details. Intricate details happen at the beginning of each term. Maybe next year I’ll share those intricate plans term by term too.
I have to polish off Ethan’s report yet. I might start on that next weekend while I’m still in the report writing frame of mind…if there is such a thing. 😦