I didn’t think I’d be making another one of these. I had made a subtle shift towards unschooling that really served the needs of one of my students really well. However, as I prayed over our school year this year, I felt that for me to be able to personally take care of the needs of all four of my children, that I needed to shift towards structure.
I want everyone to get their needs met, and I want to follow the Lord’s call in discipling my children. I also want interest-led education to play a big role in their lives so at times following their interests will call for an abandonment of our schedule. That’s okay too, and will probably be a dynamic that will play out over the years in our homeschool.
So, without further adieu, here is my plan for this semester:
Monkey and Owlet (Ages 3 and 2)
I am currently using the ABC Jesus Loves Me 2 year old curriculum for them. It’s slightly below Monkey’s level and slightly about Owlet’s. We’re mostly using it for fun so that I can introduce various Bible stories to them and do some fun crafts. We’re not using it on a weekly schedule or anything. We spent almost 3 weeks on week 3, and we’ve paused to do an Itsy Bitsy Spider unit study before going on to week 5, so we’re having tons of fun with it. Monkey and Owlet insist on doing everything together, so I’m teaching them together. Also, I don’t have it in me to do separate curriculum for them.
Rose often joins in for doing this. At 6, she’s not too old to want to do fun preschool crafts, so sometimes, when we have a book like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish I use it as a small literature unit for her.
Monkey will have preschool classes at co-op while Owlet will probably be playing in the nursery. I think that between that and Community Bible Study, that will give him enough time to be on his own instead of with Owlet. Both kids will be in AWANA, and I expect Monkey to be in Cubbies and Owlet to be in Puggles.
Rose (Age 6)
For Rose, we’re using the Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers as reading practice and mixing in occasional free worksheets found at 3 Dinosaurs and a few other websites. All the websites are good and you can find links to them from the 3 Dinosaurs site that I linked to. After we finish set 1, we plan on moving on in the Bob series. We’re also using the readers from Progressive Phonics as additional reading practice.
For math we’re reading through Life of Fred. We’re in a place that’s way beyond her right now in the reading, so we’re going to return to Apples and begin working through the math concepts presented in Fred. and adding additional resources. For the first few chapters of Fred, I’m going to be using the ideas that are presented at Noah’s Ark Homeschool Academy as our supplement. We’re also going to be making some addition and subtraction lapbooks and playing plenty of math games with playing cards and other manipulatives.
She will also be keeping up with copywork practice a couple of times a week and narration. When we don’t have it attached to the unit theme that we’re working with we will be using The Complete Writer: Level 1 Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer).
She’ll have her own classes at co-op also, and I don’t know yet what those will be, but I expect them to enrich and compliment her home studies. She’s going to be in her last year of preschool level classes at CBS and will be in her second book of Sparks in AWANA.
Firecracker (Age 8)
For reading, Firecracker will be taking the 100 book challenge. Anything that he doesn’t read aloud to me will be something that he will narrate or complete a book report for.
Firecracker will also be completing some of the Life of Fred activities with us, playing games with us, and he will also be working on his multiplication and division at the same time via lapbooks, extra practice pages and other things that I haven’t determined yet.
He will be working on cursive writing (his request!) and will be doing journaling and notebooking pages related to our unit themes. When he doesn’t have a unit theme assignment, he will also be using The Complete Writer.
He’ll have classes at co-op, and I will be teaching his history class, but do not know what his other classes will be yet. He’s going to be studying Romans at Community Bible Study and will be in his first year of T&T at AWANA.
Most of the list of the things they want to study that they gave me were science topics. We will be incorporating various unit studies and curricula to learn. We’ll be using Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett and Nature Explorers extensively. We will also be using the free lapbooks at Homeschool Share as well as occasional paid lapbooks at A Journey Through Learning and In the Hands of a Child
Also their science requests have been mostly biology, so I’ve tied them into nursery rhymes and into the little kids learning themes. It gives me a chance to combine science and literature and to reinforce from reading and writing skills at the same time. I can’t give you an exact list of what we’re going to study here because I’m not real sure. For example, right now we’re studying “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and doing an express lapbook about Spiders from A Journey Through Learning (as well as some other activities). We’re using some language arts concepts from Mother Goose Phonics and Teaching Reading & Writing With Nursery Rhymes. I also have Literature Pockets: Nursery Rhymes and Mother Goose Math to help me turn these units into real multi-faceted learning and concept review experiences for them.
We’ll kind of be going through science topics/nursery rhymes based on experience, the toddler’s curriculum and our history and/or literature units.
Along with nursery rhymes we will be using several novels to complete unit studies with. Many of those novels will correlate to the monthly bookclub we attend. Some of the novels will be tied into our history learning. Others will just be novels that we’ve picked out.
Our most recent novel study was Gooney Bird Greene and our next novel story is going to be The Bears on Hemlock Mountain. We’re going to be using the Homeschool Share unit to go along with it. Outside of the bookclub books, this portion of our studies is completely unpredictable.
After several attempts to start history at the beginning with The Story of the World, I’ve decided to drop world history for a while other than as a read aloud and when we encounter it in our other unit studies.
However, instead, I’ve decided to go comprehensively through American history. Of all the history volumes I’ve seen so far, I liked the Winter Promise program the best. However, there were things that I would have wanted to change about it before I even ordered it, so instead, I’ve decided to use the Guest Hollow free American History program outline with a few of my own revisions. So, I’m excited to start experiencing Native Americans with the Seminoles over the next few weeks. I just will be lingering and sharing what we do on my blog. I expect to study Native American Tribes and Explorers before Christmas, but I’m not really sure because even though we’re going through sequentially, we’re not on any sort of schedule. 🙂
Art, Music and Bible are folded into our studies as opposed to being separate studies at this point. That’s the beauty of unit studies. I don’t think I’m leaving anything out, but if you have any questions, just ask me.
Linking up at Teach Them Diligently’s 2013-2014 Curriculum Link-Up