Well our preliminary plans for next year are pretty much ready.
Here’s what I’m thinking so far….
We are continuing with Singapore Math. I did momentarily consider making a change….I must have experienced a blow to the head. Thankfully I came to my sense before it was too late.
We will however add in as many of the “Key To” sets of workbooks as we can manage. They are fantastic!
To keep the boys’ grey matter nice and fit, they will continue reviewing number facts and algorithms as well as some memory work.
I’m a little undecided in Language.
Without a doubt, we’ll continue using IEW. That’s a no-brainer. Is there any other writing program nearly as good? I
think know not.
For spelling I’m thinking of switching Ethan to All About Spelling, as the rules are taught more explicitly, which they aren’t in Sequential Spelling.
We’ll continue with Michael Clay Thompson’s Grammar series and we may or may not include “Fix It”. I need to put more preparation into “Fix It” to get the most out of it.
We need to finish our “Ready Reader” literature unit, although I apply the skills I’ve learned from “Teaching the Classics” to most of the literature we read anyway. Next year I’d like to purchase the Worldview supplement and start applying that content to our discussions too.
We’ll also be creating a notebook containing various literary devices – their definitions and various examples. I also have both the books, “Figuratively Speaking” and “Figurative Language and Other Literary Devices” from which to work.
We are just about done with “Getting Started with Latin”. I know, we have been using this book for ages. But that’s okay. We’re in no rushed.
Once we are finished we’ll finally get back to properly starting Visual Latin.
We’re also going to work through Song School Latin 2, because a little extra vocab can’t hurt.
We recently started working through “Fallacy Detective” so we’ll be continuing that on. We have plenty of work to do there, however, if we finish, I’ve already purchased several great options – “The Art of Argument” and “Logic in 100 Minutes”. I’m yet to look at these properly to determine which will be the best fit.
We also dabble with the Mindbenders series, plodding through them as the urge hits.
Next year we’ll be continuing on with our World War 2 focus. Currently we’re completely engrossed in the events in Europe during the War, so next year we’ll move our focus to the Pacific and see what was happening over there.
Once we’ve wrapped up our WW2 studies, we’ll switch to studying significant people, places and events in Asia, focusing primarily on China and Japan, but hopefully we’ll have time to take a peek at Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, Mongolia and Tibet. Aim high I say.
No we don’t use a formal curriculum for History. We read lots and lots of great books and then use the content we learn in our writing. Our
drool book list is quite extensive for next year and we might not be able to wait that long.
In the past two years, the museum in Brisbane has hosted a special exhibition. The first year was centred around Egyptian Mummies and this year it was the Silk Road. I have no idea what next year’s exhibition will display, or even if there will be a special exhibition next year, but if there is, we’ll be there and we’ll make sure the boys have plenty of background knowledge.
Oh we have a History excursion planned for next year already. It’s with a homeschool group at the local heritage village. We’ve visited before however this tour will contain the demonstrations that the public doesn’t normally get to see.
For a few years we have been memorising the countries of the world. We have learned the countries in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, so next year we’ll start learning the African countries. Of course,we’ll continue to review past learning as well.
Next year we’re going to read through the books, “Material World”, “Hungry planet” and “Where children sleep”. These books are visually fascinating and should spark plenty of further study. If not, I have the curriculum guides for the first two, which have lots of discussion points.
Of course, since we’ll be learning so much about Asia in History, more than likely, it’ll carry over into Geography too. There are several key places I want the boys to study – the Great Wall of China being just one of them.
Next year we’ll start Dr Wile’s second book in his new primary series “Science in the Ancient World”. There’s lot of interesting scientists and concepts in this volume so I expect we’ll find plenty of tangents to explore.
Of course, if there’s anything topical happening, like celestial events or interesting weather, will skip off on a little bunny trail and study that too. (Do you see why it always takes us longer than expected to finish curriculum?)
We’ll definitely purchase new Science Centre passes and might even look more closely at the CSIRO workshops.
No doubt the boys will continue to watch weekly episodes of “Backyard Science” and
torture delight me with follow up experiments.
My cupboards are overflowing with various Science kits so I might start being a lot more obvious about my ‘strewing’. Or at least better in tune with the best times to suggest a kit.
We’re going to read and work through several art books from my shelves next year – “Looking at Pictures”, “The Art Book for Children” (volumes 1 and 2) and “Children’s Book of Art”. These books teach art appreciation while reminding us of the artists we have studied over the years. We may even find a new artist we want to know more about.
We have one more year of our Mark Kistler online drawing subscription so we’ll be making good use of that.
I collect a folder of great art project ideas each year (from art blogs), and next year’s folder will contain some Asian inspired projects. At least that’s the plan.
We’ll continue to regularly visit our two favourite art galleries – the Gallery of Modern Art and the Ipswich Art Gallery. We always keep a close eye on their exhibitions and make sure we don’t miss any.
We’ll attend another orchestra performance next year, even though I was very disappointed with the new venues. We’re planning on booking in for “Mr Smith’s Composition” as we have attended “The Composer is Dead” several times.
Our composer for next year will be Chopin and his works. We’ll be listening to the audio version of Opal Wheeler’s book on him.
I suspect we’ll also be exploring music from the Asian region.
As always we’ll book into several drama performances. So far there are four performances that we’ll most likely attend, “Tashi”, “The Deep”, “Wombat Stew” and “Cinderella – A ballet”. Okay I know a ballet might not be the boys’ favourite thing but I think it’s important to at least try one. I’ll also keep an eye on QPAC however tickets are outrageously priced for a family.
Next year we’ll start familiarising ourselves with Shakespeare. We’re going to read children’s versions of some of the plays and attend the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival.
“Out of the Box” is on again next year and perhaps there’ll be performances of interest there as well. Yes I know we’re out of the age bracket (under 8), but homeschoolers hardly count as they rarely utter the words, “I’m too old for that”.
Technology & Design
Next year is the year we definitely learn to type. We’re going to use “Keyboard Classroom” as I don’t believe in using all those glitzy game-like programs.
We’ll also be doing formal Mindstorms challenges using “Classroom Activities for the Busy Teacher: EV3”.
I’d also like for the boys to dabble in a little woodwork next year. Grandpa is a carpenter so that shouldn’t be a problem.
During the year we usually do a few design challenges as well. These are always great to do with friends.
Next year we’re also booked in to do a 3D printer workshop.
Health & PE
We encourage fitness focused activities rather than team sports. We bike ride and walk as a family. We play at the park, and swim at the local pool and beach. Currently the boys are also learning to juggle.
Next year we’re going to work through a First Aid course using a CD Rom.
We’ll also be reading a lot about manhood. I have several books to select from. The books include: “Boyhood and Beyond: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man”, “Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men”, “Young Man, Be Strong”, and “Practical Wisdom”. We also have “Talks to Boys”, “From Boy…to Man”, and “God’s Will for my Body” but we have to check these over before we decide which, if any, we’ll read.
We are also booked in to participate in a smoke house activity and a kitchen fire demonstration, both with the fire department.
So that will be our year. Plenty full I would say.